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Switching From Another Marketing Automation Vendor? Here’s How To Start With High Deliverability.

Many of our new customers made the switch to ClickDimensions from another marketing automation vendor, and they’re always excited to start using all of the powerful features of ClickDimensions right away. ClickDimensions makes it easy to make the switch and maintain great deliverability. With ClickDimensions you can easily use the built-in functionality in CRM to clean up your marketing lists and have a great first email campaign.

ClickDimensions won’t send to an email address where there’s a matching unsubscribe record, whether it’s linked to the Contact or Lead or not. So importing your old vendor’s suppression list as Unsubscribes will let you pick up where you left off with your old vendor.

Here’s what you’ll want to do to make sure your first email campaign has the best results when you make the switch:

Step 1. Get the “Suppression List” from your old vendor

csv_screenshotMake sure you get the “suppression list” from your old vendor. They should have maintained this for you and they’ll usually provide it to you in the form of an Excel CSV file. A suppression list is a list of email addresses that have either unsubscribed from your mailings or are invalid addresses.

Step 2. Import the list as ClickDimensions “Unsubscribe” records

Using the CRM import tool, you can import the CSV file as unsubscribe records. You may have to do some minor formatting in Excel, such as adding column headers, so CRM knows how to map the data in the list.

  1. In the CRM Import Data Wizard, browse to your CSV file and upload it to CRM. On the screen to map the record type, select the “Unsubscribe” entity.

    import1

  2. On the “Map Fields” screen, map the email address column to the “Email” field, which is the only required field needed to create an Unsubscribe record via importing. You don’t need to map the other fields – all we need is the email address. After clicking Next on this screen, you can ignore the warning about the unmapped fields.

    import2

  3. Finish the import wizard to submit the import job. Depending on the size of the list and your CRM server’s performance, the import job can take anywhere from 10 seconds to several minutes to complete.
  4. When the import job is complete, you can view the new Unsubscribe records in CRM:

    import3

POWER TIP: If you’re using CRM 2011 or CRM Online, the Import Data Wizard has some extra capabilities that will let you actually link the imported Unsubscribe records back to a Contact or Lead. (Note: This will only work if you have Contacts or Leads in CRM with emails that are on the suppression list. See the last step below for what to do when you’re not sure.) Here’s an easy way to do this:

  1. In your CSV file, copy the column with the email address into a second column. I’ve called it Contact in my example below:

    import4

  2. In the Import Data Wizard, on the screen where you map the fields, you can set a lookup reference for this second column. I’ve mapped my “contact” column to CRM’s “Contact (Lookup)” field, which is the field on the Unsubscribe record that links back to the Contact:

    import5

  3. Now, when I complete the Import job, CRM has created the Unsubscribe record and automagically linked it to the Contact that had a matching email address:

    import6

  4. (This part is a “Power Power Tip”!) In this case, I had 4 email addresses on my suppression list, but only one of them successfully mapped to a Contact. I can repeat the process next and try to match Leads, and then do a third import to get unsubscribe records into CRM even if there is no matching Contact or Lead. To save time and avoid trying to import records you’ve already imported, go to the import jobs list in CRM (Workplace > My Work > Imports) and find the import job you just did. You can look at the “Failures” for the import job, export the error rows, and you’ll have a nice CSV file that contains only the records you need for your next pass:

    import7

    In the CSV file that you export, change the “contact” column heading to “lead” and repeat Power Tip steps 2 & 3 above, this time mapping the lookup reference to the Lead’s email address field. Repeat this again if you still have unmatched records, removing the second column, and you'll get Unsubscribe records without any link to a Contact or Lead.

  5. As a final step, if you want to be extra-tidy in your CRM data, you can use Advanced Find to locate Contacts that have an Unsubscribe record and use Bulk Edit to update their “Do not allow E-mails” field to “Do Not Allow.” Or use a workflow to handle this for you. Then have your sales and marketing team figure out if they should deactivate those old Contacts and Leads or if the customer has new contact information for you.

ClickDimensions won’t send to an email address where there’s a matching unsubscribe record, whether it’s linked to the Contact or Lead or not. So now you can start putting your marketing lists together assured that you’ve translated all that hard-won historical deliverability from your old vendor into your shiny new ClickDimensions solution!

One of the biggest selling points for ClickDimensions has always been the fact that it is built right into your CRM – no need for complicated and costly integrations or manual exports of your CRM marketing lists into your email marketing tool. By following the steps outlined above, you can easily make the transition from your old email marketing vendor to ClickDimensions, and going forward, future unsubscribes and invalid email addresses will be handled automatically! Happy marketing!

About the Author:

Matt Wittemann is a 13-time Microsoft Dynamics CRM MVP and ClickDimensions' Senior Director, Pre-Sales Consulting.

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