Webinar Campaigns with Click Dimensions

I have been doing a lot of webinars lately through my Teaching Tuesdays program and in doing so, I am constantly refining my processes for all of the tasks that need to get completed before, during, and after the webinar. 

The Click Dimensions integration with GoToWebinar  is a huge timesaver, in this regard, so I thought I would take a few minutes and document my process in hopes that it would be helpful to anyone else doing this type of work.

Stages

There are three distinct stages to any webinar:

  • Preparation
  • Presentation
  • Follow-up

Let’s discuss each one in turn.

 

Preparation

The first stage covers all activities leading up to the actual presentation itself. Everyone will probably have a different set of tasks, but here is what I currently do:

 

1. Create the Webinar in GoToMeeting.

This, of course, is the first step. Don’t forget to put it on your calendar. (yes, simple, but sometimes you get busy and forget)

 

2. Create a blog post announcing the webinar

3. Send a tweet pointing to the blog post.

4. Post a note on LinkedIn pointing to the blog post.

These three steps are actually handled through the same process. I use WordPress for all of my web sites and I have plugins that handle the tweet and LinkedIn post automatically.

 

5. Create an email template containing the announcement.

I have a standard blank email template that I just clone and insert the information into. I talk about this process in this article.

 

6. Send an email to the contacts in CRM who I think would be interested in attending the webinar.

I have two main subject areas (CRM and Xamarin) in my xRM Coaches CRM instance and have marketing lists for each. I just pick the appropriate list and send the email to them.

 

7. Webinar registration confirmation

When someone registers for the webinar, GoToWebinar will automatically send them a confirmation email.

8. Reminder blog post

Since my webinars are on Tuesdays, I create a second blog post on Friday, reminding them of Tuesday’s webinar. In most cases, this reminder post drives additional attendance. This is automatically tweeted and placed on LinkedIn.

 

9. GoToWebinar reminders

GoToWebinar will automatically send a reminder emails one day and one hour before the webinar, unless you change the setting.

 

Presentation

This stage encompasses more than just conducting the webinar. There is actually a lot more to it than that:

 

1. Start the webinar.

In most cases, you need to start a few minutes late to accommodate stragglers. Just delay long enough to get around 25% attendance or so, then start.

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2. Make sure you are recording the webinar.

I forget this one about half of the time. Put a sticky-note on your monitor and use the “what attendees see” option on the GoToWebinar control panel to verify they are seeing the correct screen and application.

 

3. After the webinar, save the recording to disk.

You will be prompted to save the recording. This process can take as long as 30-60 minutes, depending on the length of the recording.

 

4. Upload the webinar

To my YouTube Channel. Again, this will take many minutes, depending o n the recording length.  I also create a custom thumbnail by taking a screen shot of my presentation title slide and use that for the recording. This eliminates YouTube from attempting to pull a random slide out of your presentation itself.

 

Follow-up

The follow-up stage closes the loop with your webinar registrants. One of the things you need to decide is if you treat attendees (those that actually attended the webinar) different than absentees (those to registered, but never attended).

Your numbers will vary, but if you get a 50% attendance rate you should be jumping up and down with joy because that is outstanding.  Most of the time, a 25-30% attendance is the norm.

 

1. Create marketing lists

Click Dimensions automatically creates the following CRM records for a webinar:

  • Event
  • Event Participants.
  • Contacts (which are tied to Event Participants)

You can use the participation to create the following types of Marketing Lists:

  • Registrants
  • Attendees
  • Absentees

There may be cases where you want to give only certain information to Attendees or you have a different message for Absentees, so you might wish to create separate Marketing Lists so you can target each group individually.  The Registrants Marketing List has everyone.

I personally have used all of the above, depending on the webinar.

 

2. Create email templates for follow-ups.

As with the notification email, you need to create an email template to perform a Click Dimensions Email Send operation.

 

3. Sent an email to the various Marketing Lists

Again, depending on how you want to handle Attendees and Absentees, will determine the number and content for the emails.

Note: Keep in mind that GoToWebinar can also send out a follow-up as well so you probably do not want two messages going out.

In my emails I typically add any links that I discussed in the webinar as well as a link to the recording.

 

4. Put a link to the webinar on your web site.

Depending on how you have your web site structured, you can put a link to the recorded webinar or embed a player directly on the page.  I am still trying to find the best fit for my sites, for this step, but I will probably end up with the embed option.

 

5. Blog Post (Optional)

I am still trying to decide if I want to do this step but you can always post another email pointing people to the webinar recording so that others may find and view it.  I am undecided if this is to much “chatter” about the same event.

 

Conclusion

So there you have it. That is what I currently do, and it is always subject to change.  I am thinking about adding some custom tools to help me with some of this process but they are only in the conceptual phase.

If you have things to share in your process, then leave a comment on this post.

I’d love to hear what you have to say.

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:

image

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:

image

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:

image

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:

image

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:

image

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.

image

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:

image

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.