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Considerations for Sending Email Blasts from CRM 2011 Campaign Activities

In Dynamics CRM, users can distribute many different activities through campaigns and campaign activities to accomplish marketing tasks. There are some advantages to distributing emails via mail merge and campaign activities. For one, users can utilize Word to format the email text, while inserting data fields (First Name, Last Name, Title, etc) from Dynamics CRM. Also, the mail merge emails can be automatically tracked back to CRM and the associated campaign.


How to Send Mail Merge Emails

NOTE: This step-by-step process assumes users understand basic to intermediate navigation of Dynamics CRM, and they have already set up their marketing lists. Also, mail merge must be done from the CRM client for Outlook.

1. Navigate to or create the campaign that you want to associate the mail merge emails to. In this example, we are using “Test Search Mail Merge Campaign.” Please make sure to add your marketing lists if you have not done so yet.

2. From here, navigate to associated campaign activities and click “Add New Campaign Activity.”

CRM 2011 campaign activities - create your activity

3. Important! When creating this new campaign activity, make sure to select the channel E-mail via Mail Merge.

4. Create the new campaign activity by clicking Save.

5. Once created, now we can distribute to the mail merge emails. On this campaign activity, click Distribute Campaign Activity.

6. You’ll see the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Mail Merge for Microsoft Office Word window appear. This screen provides a couple different options to start the Mail Merge. Users can use a Mail Merge template (previously uploaded to CRM) to use pre-formatted text by selecting ‘Organization mail merge template’. Click on the lookup to select your template and click OK.


7.For our example, we will use our first option, Blank Document, to build our mail merge email. To do so, select Blank Document and click Download.

8. Your blank Word document will load, prompting you with the Mail Merge Recipients window. Here you can review the recipient data from Dynamics CRM, and click OK to approve.

9. Now you can format the text. Type in or paste in your desired text, or even insert data fields from CRM by clicking Insert Merge Field.

10. In this example, we are inserting only the First Name data field. End result will look something like this. (You can save this Word document and upload to CRM as a Mail Merge Template for future use.)

11. Once complete, click Finish and Merge and then Send E-Mail Messages.

12. This will open a Merge to E-mail window. Insert text for the subject line. NOTE: This is the subject as it appears to the recipient. Click OK.

13. Next will be a prompt for the user to create optional Dynamics CRM activities. This allows you to track the email being sent. Choose the Create Microsoft Dynamics CRM Activities option. To exclude an unsubscribe link, make sure to uncheck the box. There are also options to include attachments. To send the emails, click OK.

14. Once started, Word will process one by one and send the email through Outlook. Your Outlook must stay open to send all of the emails. Once the mail merge has been completed, Word will prompt with a window. Click OK to finish.

That’s all there is to it! Once you have familiarized yourself with mail merge process, you can distribute your emails via mail merge with CRM 2011 campaign activities while tracking those emails against your leads, contacts, or accounts.

If you are looking for other email marketing functionality, you might be interested in our blog on sending email campaigns from Dynamics CRM with MailChimp.

Happy CRM’ing!

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Joe CRM is a CRM superhero who runs on pure Microsoft Dynamics CRM adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe CRM’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics CRM and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.