Don’t you wish that you could have a feature similar to our Quick Send feature, but not be restricted to launching it from just the Contact or Lead records? Well, with a few minutes of CRM magic, you can make your very own “quick send” dialog on any entity that already has a lookup to an Account, Contact or Lead!

CRM dialogs are powerful ways to give your users access to automated processes, but they are often overlooked because they can seem a little complex. This article will walk you through the steps to create a dialog for your own entity (whether it is a custom entity, or a system entity like the Opportunity or Case).

How does it work?

First, let’s have a look at what you’ll be able to do. In this example, we want to allow our users to quickly send an email to people who have attended our sales webinars. But we want to let them choose from among a variety of templates. CRM Dialogs to the rescue!

Our Event Participation entity has a lookup to the Contact, which is key to making this process work. From the Event Participation record, our users can launch a CRM Dialog:

Here’s what the dialog looks like. Notice that we are letting the user select a template, specify the sender’s name and email address, and even add their own preheader:

Once the user has entered the desired information in the dialog, all they need to do is click Next and Finish, and ClickDimensions will automagically send the email out in the background.

(Just a side note: CRM Dialogs always have the text box at the bottom where it says “Click to add comments” – this is in case they’d like to record notes when they use a dialog. Their comments will be saved and can be reviewed later. In this example of using a Dialog to send a quick email, it’s probably not something the users will ever do, but there’s no way to remove it from the Dialog window!)

Building the Dialog

To create your own “quick send” style dialog for your entity, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings > Processes, and click on “New”. Give your process a catchy name (it will be displayed to users when they run it), set the process category as “Dialog” and choose the Entity you want to work with.
    REMEMBER: Your entity has to have a lookup to either an Account, Contact, or Lead!
  2. In the Dialog designer, click “Add Step” and click on “Query CRM Data”. This is how we are going to show the list of Email Templates the user can choose from.
  3. Give your Query a name – this will be used later in the dialog:
  4. Click the “Set Properties” button to open the query designer – it’s a lot like Advanced Find. Notice a few important things about this query: First, we have set the “Look for:” to Email Templates. We have set some filter criteria so we will only show Email Templates that have been marked as “Quick Send” (but you can use any filter criteria you want to show the right set of templates to your users). You will also want to click on “Edit Columns” and choose a few columns that will help you identify the template. We chose the “Name” field, but you could also use the “Subject” field if that is easier for you to differentiate templates.
  5. Next, click “Add Step” again, and add a Page to the dialog. You can give your page an informative title.
  6. Under the Page, add a “Prompt and Response” step for each of the things you want your user to be able to do. We have added four Prompt and Response steps: one to allow them to choose a template, one to enter the email address to send the email from, one for the sender’s name, and one to let them enter a custom preheader:
    For the first prompt, here are the properties we’ve set. Notice that we have set the “Response Type” to “Option Set”, and we are letting the dialog provide the values from our query of CRM data.
    The remaining three prompts are similar, but they allow just a single line response type:
    Repeat this process for the other prompts for the FROM name and Preheader.
  7. The last step is to set up the actual email. With ClickDimensions, you can send email via a workflow, or in this case, a dialog, by creating a new record called “Send ClickDimensions Email”. In the dialog designer, under your prompt and response settings, add a new step to create a record:
    Click the “Set Properties” box and add the values your user will have entered in the dialog to the record:
    TIP: To get the values from the Prompt and Response steps, place your cursor in the appropriate field, and then on the right side under “Look for” select the name of the Prompt:

All that is left is to save your work and activate your dialog. It will immediately be available to your users from the entity you created it to run on.

And Before You Ask…

The next question that will likely come up for some folks is: What if I want to include data from the custom entity in the email? Well, unfortunately, that’s a little more complex than you can handle with a dialog and would require a fair amount of custom development if you wanted to automate it. It’s certainly possible, and we encourage you to talk to your CRM partner about how that can be accomplished.

We hope you have found this article helpful and another example of the power of combining Dynamics CRM with ClickDimensions.

Happy Marketing!