How CRM Makes Email Marketing Data Actionable
By integrating Microsoft Dynamics with marketing automation, CRM will report every action in response to your email marketing. But what does this look like, and how do organisations profit from this data? In this post we've highlighted a series of examples to demonstrate how this detail is accessible in Dynamics 365 and how it can be leveraged.
After a new campaign has been scheduled and successfully sent email data is immediately shown in CRM.
Using the example of ClickDimensions a summary of each email action is shown in a campaign list view.
Each list row represents a unique email send record which are automatically created in CRM for each campaign message sent.
This enables CRM users to check:
• Was the message delivered successfully
• How many times a recipient opened the message
• How many times they clicked a link in the email
• Did the message bounce
• If the recipient made a spam complaint
• Did the recipient unsubscribe
In the example below the highlighted email sent was successfully delivered and has been opened once with 4 clicks tracked. Click Dimensions also calculates a weighted lead score from these actions:
As with any CRM list view the email campaign send summary display can be sorted by individual columns. This makes it a great starting place to see at a glance which recipients were most engaged by using the lead score, email opens or click columns to apply a ranked list.
Because each marketing email sent is created as a unique CRM record these can be opened from the list to view further detail:
Each Sent Email record details:
- When the email was sent and which subject was used
- Lead Score for this email send
- Link to the Email Campaign Send record in CRM
- Link to a CRM Marketing Campaign (if applicable)
- Any emarketing split A/B test data this send was subject to (if applicable)
- Link to the associated CRM contact, lead or account record
- Email open, clicks and other statistics detailed above
- History of every email event including each open and click
- Each URL clicked
We've already seen how Dynamics ranks the most engaged recipients by campaign based on lead score, number of emails opens or clicks. Here are 6 additional examples to demonstrate how it makes email marketing data actionable.
Email Marketing Call Lists
CRM views can be created which reflect any tracked email behaviour data so telemarketing and other sales staff can promptly reach out to the best campaign prospects.
For example, this personalised CRM query will be a call list view that will display all recipients who have clicked any marketing email sent in the last two weeks at least once which was linked to a specific new product campaign:
CRM views are dynamic so this will be continually refreshed with new actions that match this criteria, and new prospects for sales to contact.
As this utilises standard CRM functionality charts can be added to the display to better visualize these views.
Sending Personalised Follow-Up Messages
An email lead score is a useful metric to benchmark engaged recipients from each campaign.
In Click Dimensions the actions that count towards this score include email clicks to landing pages, visits to other tracked web pages and completed registration forms.
The lead score is stored and updated inside Dynamics CRM so this can be used as the basis for creating a new marketing list that will target the most engaged prospects for a single campaign, or across multiple campaigns.
In the example below a new marketing list will be populated with CRM contacts who read a recent email that promoted an event. Only contacts who have been scored with 30 points or higher will be added to this list:
By isolating the most interested prospects it means that a personalised follow up message can be sent with greater likelihood that it will result in the campaign objective being achieved. Using the same scenario, the follow up message could include asking for event sponsorship, selling a pitch or promote event registrations.
This doesn't have to be a single follow-up message in isolation.
Using the integrated tools available from dotmailer and ClickDimensions personalised follow-up's can consist of a sequence of automated emails.
For example, a ClickDimensions nurture program with a series of emails delivered over several days, weeks or months can be triggered when contacts are added to a specific marketing list.
Contacts can be placed in different 'nurture' tracks that reflect their level of engagement.
One track might target individuals with a high lead score following a recent email while a another track may be used to nurture less engaged recipients by using different messaging and content to steer them towards your goal.
Responding to Unsubscribes
By connecting Dynamics with an email marketing solution unsubscribe instructions are handled automatically.
That means CRM contacts and lead records are updated if individual opt out and messages will be suppressed if their address is included in a future email marketing list.
Automated unsubscribe actions could easily be forgotten as a background activity but CRM helps ensure these remain visible to marketing teams.
In the same way that CRM views can be created to show the top campaign prospects another view can be added to list recent contacts who have unsubscribed.
In this example, a Dynamics CRM view will dynamically list any contacts who have unsubscribed from a marketing email during the last 2 weeks:
As with any CRM list view this can be applied as a dashboard component so if one your top customers opts out you'll be quickly alerted to this event.
Understanding Subscription Preferences
In addition to a blanket unsubscribe option, and to minimise opt-out rates, marketing automation services enable recipients to choose what type of content they want to receive.
As well as keeping people opted in this is an extremely beneficial approach if you send a diversity of email content to understand individual interests and preferences.
Thanks to CRM integration this data is easily accessible and visible within Microsoft Dynamics.
As a result campaign marketing lists and messages can be increasingly targeted based on recipients known interests and preferences.
In this example, CRM is tracking subscription options across 3 types of content:
As I've already touched on, each email bounce back is tracked and reported in CRM.
Here are just two examples to demonstrate how this data can be acted upon.
A soft bounce will typically be an automated out-of-office response.
When the recipient returns this will be just one of numerous messages waiting for them and will very likely escape their attention.
Marketing automation solutions track each type of bounce and stores this data in CRM.
As shown below using ClickDimensions data it is a simple process to identify each soft bounce from a recent email campaign so a duplicated, or revised, message can be sent to these individuals at a later time when they are likely to be more attentive:
A hard bounce is a message rejected by the recipient's email server.
This will arise if an email address is invalid due to the misspelling of this entry in CRM, or if the individual is no longer with the organisation.
If you receive a hard bounce from a new customer or prospects this could easily get missed but again a CRM dashboard view can be added to report recent hard bounces.
ClickDimensions tracks numerous failure statuses including DNS failures, spam blocks and timeouts.
In this example I'm creating a view that will report any hard bounce where the reason tracked is invalid recipient, error or general bounce:
This will give early notice of problems with individual emails so obvious typo's can be quickly found and corrected.
Each click to a landing page URL is tracked and reported in CRM.
As a result, not only can you run a personalised follow-up campaign by counting the number of email clicks you can do so with the certainty of knowing which URL was clicked.
By identifying which recipients have downloaded a PDF document or clicked through to other high value web content follow up actions and messages can be planned with ever increasing focus and personalisation that will result in increased engagement and campaign conversions.
Email History for Contacts & Leads
When reviewing a customer account, or researching a prospect, it's often beneficial to check if they are receiving your email marketing and understand how they are interacting with these messages.
With each email action tracked a picture emerges that will help CRM users identify new selling opportunities based on click throughs, or highlight possible problems if repeated messages aren't being read.
Using ClickDimensions integrated with Dynamics 365 a list of recent marketing emails sent is shown on each contact and lead record summarising the key actions:
A more detailed audit trail of actions is shown in the email events screen which includes each URL click and any bounce statuses:
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