These days, it's often hard to discern the line between Sales and Marketing. Personally, I'm a fan of this departmental co-dependency. When Sales and Marketing work together as a seamless team, campaigns are stronger, leads are hotter, and communications actually offer value. Businesses spend a lot of money and time deploying CRM and Marketing Automation solutions without using them to the fully intended extent of their robust capabilities. This entry will illustrate how to create marketing email templates in Microsoft Dynamics CRM that we can connect to Outlook, saving your friends in Sales a boatload of time while ensuring brand standards and copy consistency guidelines are met.

For the purpose of this blog, I'll be working in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, but the steps are similar in other versions.

Step 1:Steer that ship on over to "Settings"

Step 2: From Settings, select "Templates" from the drop-down

Step 3: Now you're ready to prepare some templates for your Sales organization by clicking on "Email Templates".

Step 4: Once you click on "New" you'll see a pop up prompting you to select email template type. I do not recommend Global - this gives you the fewest customizable fields to choose from. For my own Marketing purposes, I duplicate identical Lead and Contact templates. This allows me to insert the widest array of customizable fields to help the emails feel more personalized. Because CRM maintains separate Lead and Contact records, it's important to make the email templates available to both kinds of records.

You are ready to start adding content for your email templates. "Title" is what will be seen internally when making a template selection in Outlook. I prefer to group all like emails together, so I title all of mine "Marketing Template - " followed by a brief description such as "C5 Insight Intro - Cold Lead" or "Trade Show/Convention Follow-Up" to make it easy for Sales to find  the appropriate template. 

Go ahead and input a Subject line, although your end users will be able to change this as necessary. Fill in the body of the email with your message. Now you're ready to personalize!

Step 5: Click on "Insert/Update" and then on the following screen "Add". Select the Record Type you're working with (will likely be either Lead or Contact) and in the drop down currently labeled "Field" you can input items such as First Name, Job Title, and (Record) Owner. All of these things will help the final email appear as if it was custom drafted and not automated! You can also enter a default text line should the field selected not contain any information.

Once you're happy with your message (again, the end user will be able to tweak within Outlook) click "Save and Close". Congrats! You've made an email template that is now ready to use.

Stay tuned for Part 2, where I will share instructions for you and your team to use the templates within Outlook. 

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