Dynamics Tutorial: as they said at the Oscars ‘This is not a joke’. Mailchimp, Why?

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As they said at the Oscars ‘This is not a joke’. MailChimp is an excellent marketing platform and PowerObjects make it into an epic integration piece with Dynamics 365.

We won’t make a mistake like they did at the Oscars and tell you we were wrong and suddenly push you to Microsoft Dynamics Marketing!

Mail Chimp will suffice just fine, especially for those of you not yet at an enterprise level and I would guess that will appeal to many of you marketers out there.

When you hear the words ‘MailChimp’, ‘integration’ and Dynamics 365 you may slowly start backing away from the computer out of fear on how much time this will take to implement. Fear not, it is far quicker than it takes for the Oscars to dish out a few incorrect awards!

If you would like MailChimp integrated with Dynamics 365 to allow Dynamics Marketing lists to be used, follow these instructions…

This part takes 2 minutes: Sign up to the right MailChimp package

Visit MailChimp at www.Mailchimp.com and click pricing from the menu along the top. You can choose from ‘New Business’, ‘Growing Business’ or ‘Pro Marketer’.  Start with the new business package which is free and allows you to send up to 12,000 emails per month along with 2,000 subscribers. There are only three fields to fill in so you are up and running nice and quick and you can log in to your dashboard.

mailchimp-subscription-pictures

This takes 5 minutes: Download a solution from PowerObjects so that the systems can be integrated.

Visit the PowerObjects website at www.powerobjects.com

Select Add-Ons and choose the PowerMailChimp add-on.

Download the correct solution for your version of CRM to somewhere on your computer where you will find it. So, if you are using Dynamics online, you would select the newest solution.

powermailchimp-solutions

This takes 15 minutes: Import the PowerMailChimp solution and configure it

Open Microsoft Dynamics CRM>Click on Settings from the top menu>Choose Solutions and then click import a solution>Find your zipped up PowerMailChimp solution and in its zipped-up state it should import without an issue, click the publish button within the solution. Refresh your web browser and you will see some new areas created under the PowerPack menu.

mailchimp-areas

Re-open your solution if you closed it and you will see there are some areas you need to fill in for information about you and your CRM credentials you use to login to CRM.

mail-chimp-solution

Now click the little ‘MailChimp’ configuration tab within the solution and leave the sync interval field at 30 seconds and enter your API key.

  • Where can I find my API key?

Login to your MailChimp account, and click on the name of your account. Then click on Account Settings > Extras > API Keys and if you do not have one, simply click create an API key and copy and paste this into the field in your CRM solution in the MailChimp configuration tab. Leave the radio button set to ‘Try’ unless you want to subscribe.

Save and publish the solution and then refresh your browser.

A few areas you should understand in Dynamics to help with the next part

The PowerPack menu in Dynamics has the following areas:

  • – Marketing lists – Allowing you to choose the audience you would like to target
  • – PowerMailChimp Blasts – Lets you combine a list and an email template to send to your audience
  • – Merge Tags – These are used for example; if you want to pull fields like the company name from a record into your email template

We now need to create a marketing list in Dynamics CRM which has a list of accounts or contacts and we will create an empty list in MailChimp in our dashboard then sync the dynamics data across into the MailChimp list.

This takes 5 minutes: Create a Dynamics marketing list

In the PowerPack menu or marketing menu in Dynamics, select marketing lists and click new to create a new one, then use an advanced find to create a new marketing list in CRM if you do not already have one. For example, find all accounts where the City equals London.

This takes 5 minutes: Create a list within MailChimp

Open the MailChimp website dashboard and select lists from the top menu and create a new list, this will simply be an empty list with a name.

This takes 5 minutes: Sync the marketing list from Dynamics with the one in MailChimp

In Dynamics open your marketing list and scroll down to the PowerMailChimp section and select your list from MailChimp, now go back to the top of the screen and select the ellipsis button and click the ‘Sync Now’ button.

sync-now

To check on the progress of the sync, click on the related areas arrow (>) in my screenshot above it is the arrow next to ‘Test for Stephen’ and select ‘MailChimp Synchronization’.

You need to sync the two lists together so the CRM contacts or accounts pull across into your list in MailChimp synchronisation. You should see some figures showing how many have synced and if any have failed.

If it has not worked and your MailChimp list is not populated, go back to this area and delete the synchronisation record, then try again.

This takes 15 minutes: Create an email template

Now your lists have synchronised, you are nearly there. We need an email template to send to our customers. Open the MailChimp website and login to your dashboard, go to templates and create a new template and choose a starting point for your template to help you get a good email message setup. You can make a big impact just by changing the header image to something personal.

template

Now you have the integration setup your list in each system fully synchronised along with an email template. You just need to create a ‘Blast’ which sends out the email to your customers. Ensure you have done a test blast first.

This takes 2 minutes: Create a MailChimp Blast

Go back into CRM and create a MailChimp blast by clicking on PowerPack > PowerMailChimp blasts and create a new blast. Fill in all fields and moving down the page you will see that you need to add your marketing list and then add your email template you created. If the add button (+ sign) does not appear then please save the record and you will notice them appear now. Click the ellipsis button in along the menu bar and select send MailChimp Blast. You will then be able to see all opens and clicks within CRM and within the MailChimp dashboard.

response

MailChimp integration setup in under an hour! Oscar awards blooper arrived at 2 hours 48 minutes, so in the time you spent watching the debacle of the Oscars, you could have configured all of this twice!

Good luck.