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3 Ways to Email an Account’s Primary Contact

What’s the best way to email the primary contact for an account? The answer to this question always seems to be right on the tip of CRM users’ tongues, but often leaves them stumped. Depending on the volume of primary contacts and the frequency at which you need to email the individuals in question, you may find a quick send template, a marketing list or a CRM workflow most effective.

Method 1: Use a Quick Send Template

With the quick send feature, you can quickly and easily tee up an email send record directly from an individual’s lead or contact record. So, if you’re reviewing an account and click through to the primary contact’s contact record, you can send out a personalized email with information about the account through the use of FreeMarker.

In this case, the recipient of our email is a contact record, but we want to reference data from the Account record that is linked to the recipient. Since we are not emailing the account record directly, we will need to reference this data through the lookup field on the contact record and write our FreeMarker accordingly. More information on writing your own advanced FreeMarker can be found here.

Method 2: Import to a Marketing List

This second option uses a combination of the CRM advanced find tool and the ClickDimensions import tool. Start by setting up your advanced find. Your query should look for the account entity (we will set up columns to display the relevant contact data momentarily). Set your search criteria to be records where the Primary Contact > Contains Data. You can also add in any other criteria as relevant (i.e., Description > Equals > Up for Renewal).

Then, click the Edit Columns button, followed by the Add Columns button.

From the Record Type drop-down menu, change the entity from account to primary contact (contact).

This will present you with the list of fields on the contact entity. You can select any pertinent information as needed, but since we are planning to use the import tool, we need to make sure to include the email address. This is what ClickDimensions uses as the unique identifier. Click OK to add your columns.

After generating your results, you can export the data to Excel.

From there, you can paste the data into the ClickDimensions import template. Since these contacts already exist in your CRM environment, you really only need the email address. We won’t be bringing in any new data, just using the import tool to drop these people into a marketing list. Since ClickDimensions uses the email address as the identifier, that’s all the data you need.

Once your import is complete, you’ll have a robust marketing list to use for your email send.

Method 3: CRM Workflow

This last option uses a custom CRM workflow to automate the process of sending emails to the primary contact directly from the account entity. In our example, the workflow has been designed as an on-demand process to check for accounts that are currently up for renewal. You could customize your workflow to be a background process and start when a field on the account record is changed or when a new account record is created, depending on your business needs.

If the account is up for renewal, we will use the Send ClickDimensions Email step to create our email send record. You can use the form assistant on the right-hand menu to generate CRM dynamic values that designate the primary contact as the recipient.

After saving and activating your workflow, you can select the desired accounts and notify the primary contacts by selecting Run Workflow from the ellipses menu.

Happy Marketing!

About the Author:

Suzannah Thompson is a Lead Product Consultant at ClickDimensions.


  1. Whitney Smith August 15, 2018 at 7:23 pm - Reply

    How recent is this blog? Are these still the best 3 solutions for creating a marketing list from contacts who are primary contacts on an account?

    • mm
      ClickDimensions Marketing August 16, 2018 at 11:54 am - Reply

      Thanks for the question, Whitney! This blog was published in October of 2017, and still reflects the best solution.

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