How do I manage subscriptions with ClickDimensions? How do I keep my lists clean?

Every marketing department wants some form of subscription management as a blanket un-subscribe is not ideal. Using ClickDimensions you have access to subscription lists. Subscription lists enable you to create areas of interest for your customers to subscribe to. Subscription lists can be added to one or more subscription pages using the standard web content record type. Once you have a subscription list you can then add it to an email you send out. All sounds good so far.

The problem though is how do you maintain a nice clean list of contacts or leads who have subscribed to stuff? If you use ClickDimensions you probably know what I am talking about if not see here for the details http://help.clickdimensions.com/managing-subscription-list-opt-ins/  (no point me going into it here as well, as fully articulated in this great article by ClickDimensions). The basic point is that you either have dirty lists or need to add fields to the contact or lead form.

But wait there is a better way of doing it now with the latest release of ClickDimensions that keeps your lists clean and does not require any new fields to represent new subscriptions.

How you ask? Use the workflow custom step provided by ClickDimensions to add and remove users from a static marketing list.

So how does this work, you ask?

  1. The concept first
    1. Subscription Lists are used to manage the interests that you want a user to sign up to
    2. Static Marketing Lists are used to represent your internal representation of the subscription list
      1. An internal marketing list might relate to one or more external subscription list as internally mean same thing but externally you might want to break things out
    3. The value of Static marketing lists is that they can be used in advanced finds to identify individuals that exist in the list or not, you can combine lists into a dynamic marketing list, you can easily view on a Contact or Lead record the lists that a person is in just like having a field on the list, you can manually add people to the static list
  2. Setting it up
    1. Create the subscription lists and Subscription Page as per articles here http://help.clickdimensions.com/category/subscriptionmanagement/
    2. Create your static marketing lists to represent the internal subscriptions
      1. staticlist
    3. Create a workflow to add or remove people from the static marketing list based on whether they subscribe in or out via the subscription page
      1. Create a new workflow from Settings->Processes
      2. Select the Subscription Preferences entity
      3. Run on create of record and tick the delete workflow after execution to save space
      4. In the designer you will now have to add a condition per subscription list, and sub condition to see if the person opted in or out. The action step will use the new ClickDimensions workflow custom step that can add or remove contacts and leads from lists.
      5. The workflow should look something like this where I have 2 subscriptions lists one for Newsletters and the other for Events
      6. Marketinglistworkflow
      7. The first condition checks the subscription preference subscription list record
      8. The second sub condition checks the value of the Subscription Preference Preference attribute. In resembles ticking the box, out resembles leaving it blank or unpicking the box.
      9. The parameters to be used in the new custom step are:
      10. Customstep
      11. You can add this to the workflow via the Add Step button and selecting Marketing Lists -> Update Marketing List Members
      12. Repeat the conditions for each subscription list and then Activate and you are now done.

Once you have activated you are up and running, your lists will stay clean, it will be easy for users to view what subscriptions a customer is subscribed up to and managed on going. Screenshot below is of the Contact associated marketing lists.

Contactmarketinglist

Any questions let me know. Hope it is useful.

Sneak peek at my top 10 features of CRM2013

As you may or may not be aware Dynamics CRM will be having a facelift in October with the new release CRM 2013 being launched.

In short, CRM 2013 is the next release of Dynamics CRM. Dynamics CRM 2011 was released in 2010 and as such in line with the rest of Microsoft products has had a facelift to enable it to continue to be a market leader. With the range of new laptops, tablets and phones available to users, the Dynamics CRM user interface had to be re-imaged to support these devices more natively.

With a lot of information already out on what CRM2013 will deliver to users, I thought I would submit my “Top 10 feature” changes that you will experience with the new release. Keep an eye on this page for new postings about the upcoming release http://rc.crm.dynamics.com/rc/2011/en-us/Dynamics-CRM-Upcoming-Release-Information.aspx and Intergen’s blog www.intergen.co.nz/blog.

1. Ribbon goes, say hello to the navigation bar. The navigation bar is a replica of the navigation pane and represents the site map that you are used to and the ribbon buttons are replaced with simple worded command bar options. The reason for this change, speed up the UI, simplify the visuals and easy to touch.

2. No left hand navigation, expand the navigation bar

3. Process enabled forms, you can create processes to support users navigating through the system. A record type can have many different processes that can be started. A process drives a user through the information and related entities to complete the process. A user can change the process during a process if required. Example processes, Simple Opportunity Process, Complex Opportunity process, New Member, Renew Member etc.

4. Mobile for free, the new release includes an always online with cached offline mode for Windows 8 and IPad devices. The mobile user interface is dynamically created based on the same forms non mobile users utilise. This will provide a great tool for the mobile workforce to engage in CRM wherever they are.

5. Business Rules – remove the need for code. Business rules will enable some of the more simple business logic that we would have created in the past as plugins or JavaScripts to no longer be needed, simplifying your CRM system and enabling you to create and manage your own business rules.

6. Dynamics CRM and Server side e-mail and appointment processing. This is a great new feature, take this an example CRM 2011 process. A customer service agent creates an appointment for a user to visit a customer. The user will not see this appointment in their Outlook calendar until they sync Dynamics CRM with Outlook. If they are mobile using a smart phone or tablet then again they would not see this appointment until they sync their outlook, delaying the visibility of this appointment. With CRM 2013 the appointment will be pushed by CRM direct to the mail server and then it will immediately appear on your device. Great new feature.

7. Synchronous Processes. Basically processes in CRM 2011 have always ran in the background requiring a user to reload or refresh the screen to see the impact. CRM 2013 will now introduce processes that run immediately and update the form in real time, resulting in less code, less plugins and simplified management of business logic.

8. What is this Hero thing all about? The hero area of CRM is where you see all the recent activity of a record in one glance. If implemented well this will save all users an immense amount of time. Some of you may already be using this in CRM 2011 – activity feeds or in CRM online via the Polaris forms. Basically in CRM 2013 it takes this area to the next level with full capability to create all activity types, integrate with Yammer and view all notes. In some ways this is my number 1, as it provides the bare essentials to all users about the what is going on with the record with minimal clicks.

9. Global search within the Mobile Client.

10. Quick Create forms are back! You can now quickly create a record without capturing all viewing the complete form, great if you are on the move and just want to get something in quick.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Update Rollup 6

See link: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2600640 for the latest rollup 6 for Microsoft CRM 2011.

Note: Update Rollup 6 cannot be uninstalled. Specific database updates are applied during Update Rollup 6 installation that will not let you uninstall Update Rollup 6. You should back up your databases and application servers before you install this update.

Note: Update Rollup 6 establishes a new servicing baseline. This will enable uninstalls of some future CRM 2011 Update Rollups, but this also means that Update Rollup 6 will be a prerequisite for installation of post-Update Rollup 6 Update Rollups.