Bulk-Editing Marketing List Members

Like many people, I used marketing lists extensively to track different groups of people that I work with.

Today I ran into a situation where I needed to perform a bulk-edit of the contacts that were part of a marketing list.

Unfortunately, many of the normal commands available with the standard contact views are not available when viewing marketing list members using the associated view.

But, I found a fairly painless way around this problem: The Advanced Find.

Create a query that looks like this:

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As you can see, you are not selecting anything from the Contact, but are selecting the name of the marketing list from the Related entities section.

When you execute this query, it should show only contacts who are a member of the selected marketing list.

Once shown, select the records you would like to edit, then click the Edit button on the ribbon and you will be presented with the bulk-edit dialog where you can make changes to any of the available edit fields.

The changes you make will be applied to all of the selected records.

Click Dimensions Email Sends: Don’t Panic

Just a reminder, but when you are using the Email Send functionality of Click Dimensions, the sending is not always instantaneous.

Within Dynamics CRM, you will see the email move from a Draft status to a Sent status, and when you first look at the record, you will see something like this:

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Notice how the Deliveries and Send On fields are blank?  That is because the Click Dimensions email processing system has not actually processed your email.  The system is fairly quick, but there are sometimes delays depending on usage.

So remember this: Don’t panic.  It will get sent.

Don’t do like I did a couple of weeks ago where I panicked, thought something went wrong, and sent another email to a group of my customers. This caused me extra work and my customers to get two of the same email.

Just something to keep in mind.

Remove Old Click Dimensions System Jobs

Click Dimensions uses a variety of workflows to accomplish tasks behind the scenes and depending on your usage, you can build up quite a history of completed workflows, which are stored in the System Jobs entity.

Removing unnecessary data from your System Jobs table will make your overall Dynamics CRM system run better.

We can create a bulk delete job to remove the old workflow history. Here’s how:

 

The Process

1. Navigate to Settings, Data Management.

2. Select Bulk Record Deletion

3. On the toolbar, click the New button, to display the Bulk Deletion Wizard.

4. Create the following query:

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The key points here are:

  • Find any jobs that were started on a date over a month old
  • Where the name of the system job contains ClickDimensions
  • And the type is Workflow

Note: Make sure ClickDimensions is one word.

5. Click the Next button.

6 Complete the recurrence properties:

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The key points here are:

  • Run the job in off hours
  • Repeat the job on a frequent basis. 7 days is the minimum.
  • Receiving an email when the job completes is optional, but a nice feature

7. Click the Next button.

8. Click the Submit button to save your bulk delete job.

 

And that is it. It will run on the frequency you specified and remove the old Click Dimensions workflows.

 

Next Steps

If you would like additional Administration tips and tricks, check out my 21 Squared: Administration (OnPremise) self-paced training course.

Click Dimensions QwikTip: Posted Forms-How many of what?

I use Marketing Lists as my primary driver for my communications efforts and most of my marketing efforts, whether it be emails or blog posts, end up asking people to fill out a form that adds them to a marketing list in some fashion.

That process quickly gives me a list of who is interested in what topic.

But what if I have several campaigns that all feed into the same Marketing List. THEN it gets a little confusing about how they came to be in the list.

That is where the Click Dimensions Posted Forms entity comes into play.

There will be a record for each form completed by a Lead, or Contact, as you can see below:

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All you have to do is sort by the form name, and you’ll get a list of all of your form submissions.

It’s a simple thing, but very handy.

Click Dimensions QwikTip: Create a standard blank email template

I have found it very convenient to have a standard email template to use as a basis for sending out general-purpose emails.

The template can be named anything you wish, and use which ever email editor you most commonly use.  In my case, I just used the standard Block Editor:

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The default template for the Block Editor provides us with three sections.

In section one I put a salutation and a place marker for the CRM Contact’s first name. This is also where I would add any additional text.

The second section is my signature block.

The third section is the unsubscribe notice.

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To use this template I just open it and use the Click Dimensions Clone feature, change the name and subject of the newly cloned template, then complete the contents of section one to represent whatever topic I’m writing about.

This saves you more time than you think and having the various sections prevents the inadvertent  formatting issues that sometimes arise when creating an HTML-based email.

Finding all activities for a particular entity type

I am in the process of migrating one of my customers from Dynamics CRM 2011 to Dynamics CRM 2015. While moving to the new environment, I am also moving their forms to the new form model.

While working on the Contract form, I noticed that every record that I reviewed had no activities associated with it. (they mostly regard the activities to the actual Account or Contact.

Since there are seldom any activities associated with a Contract, I was thinking that maybe I could remove the Activities/Notes pane from the middle of the form.

It takes up a lot of room and is pretty useless.

BUT, I really needed to know if this would cause any issues later, should they start regarding activities to the contracts.

I thought about it for a few minutes and decided to perform some experiments with Advanced Find.  I was quite pleased with my results.

It turns out that you can indeed locate the activities associated with a specific type of Entity.  You just need to construct your Advanced Find like this:

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Here is how I created this:

1. Navigate to Activities

2. Select the All Activities view.

3. Add a search for the Regarding Entity that matches your quest. In my case, I was looking for Contracts (as you can see above).

4. Select the field that is the same name as the Regarding Entity type.

5. Change the selection criteria to Contains Data.

6. Click the Results button on the Ribbon.

 

This should show you any activity related to the specific type of Regarding Entity type.

The way this appears to work to me is in the selection of the field that Contains Data. The field on an entity, that is the same name as the entity, is actually the record ID. 

So in essence, we are searching for any activity whose record ID, for that type of entity, is not blank.

Dynamics CRM files do not open in Excel 2013 as expected

[via Susan Bradley]

The Excel team blog has an interesting article regarding Excel files generated by Dynamics CRM.

 

Example Scenario:

You have an Excel file that was created by Dynamics CRM. When double clicking on it in Windows Explorer, the file may try to open in Notepad or Windows Internet Explorer, rather than Excel 2013.

 

Read more about it here.

"Object reference not set to an instance of an object" error occurs when configuring the Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook client

Here is an interesting issue related to Dynamics CRM 2013 and the Outlook client.

http://support2.microsoft.com/kb/2986728

Event Follow-up using Click Dimensions Event Registration Data

In our previous article, Click Dimensions: Use webinar data to create marketing lists, we discussed how to create marketing lists based on the registrants for GoTo Webinar webinars.

Today, let’s take that a step further and discuss how we would use those marketing lists to follow with both attendees and registrants (those who did not attend).

 

Create an Attendees Marketing List

Using a variation of the advanced find we created in the previous article, we are going to create a new marketing list that consists only of people who actually attended the webinar.

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This query has an additional clause on the Registration Status field. This is what is used to denote the final outcome of a webinar registrant and has the following values:

  • Registered
  • Attended
  • Missed

In this instance, we are going to select Attended, to represent people who actually attended the webinar.

The using the steps outline in the first article, create your marketing list.

This will be used to send a follow-up ‘thank you for attending’ email.

 

Registered but Did Not Attend Marketing List

We will then modify the advanced find above and change the Registration Status from Attended to Missed.

This will allow us to capture people who signed up for the webinar, but who did not attend.

A different type of follow-up email can be sent to that type of person. We still need to perform a follow-up, but the message will be slightly different.

 

Conclusion

Between these two articles, I’ve shown you how to create three different types of Marketing Lists that can assist you reaching out to people either before or after a webinar.

These small little tricks can save you tons of manual effort should you hold multiple webinars each year.

Click Dimensions Survey Tip of the Day: Email Field

Surveys are a great feature of Click Dimensions because it allows you to collect information directly from a person, then have that information recorded and attached to a Lead or Contact within Dynamics CRM.

And I truly love anything that automates my life.

I learned something interesting while creating a survey for my Becoming a Dynamics CRM Architect class: There is a built-in field for email – and you need to use that field.

 

Survey Basics

Surveys are actually two components:

1. Questions.

2. A Survey Web Content

First you create all of your survey questions, then add them to your survey using the Click Dimensions survey designer.

 

Creating a Survey

The Survey Designer is pretty simple to use since it is really just drag and drop and if you have spent any time with the Dynamics CRM Form Designer, you should be right at home.

Here is the list of questions that exist within my survey question library:

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These are a combination of text fields, drop-down lists, and checkboxes.

Notice that I created an Email field? Well, that was a mistake, and it was a mistake because of this:

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Notice that there is a built-in Survey Component called Email

Well, at first, I did not, which is why I created my own.

 

The Issue

I turns out that the Survey process uses the Email Survey Component to locate and identify the person filling out the survey.

If you use your own field, like I did, it has no way of knowing who the person is.

This problem can be identified by the survey process either NOT creating a new contact or lead, for a new person, or associating the survey with an existing contact or lead.

 

Once I dug into it a little and realized my mistake, I was able to replace the field on the form, and everything works as it is supposed to.

Keep that in mind the next time you create a survey.