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Tracking webinar attendance in Microsoft CRM

At ClickDimensions we use GoToWebinar for our online webcasts. However, we realize that many of our clients also use LiveMeeting, WebEx and other services. In this post we will outline a way to easily bring the data from these webinar services into CRM without complex integration. We covered this in our recent blog post titled “An easy customization for event tracking for Microsoft CRM” but we had several request to go into more depth with specifically how this can work for webinars.

The steps we follow for recording webinar attendance in CRM are as follows:

First, we created a custom event entity in CRM to record attendance. The entity contains the following fields:

  • Description (text field for the name of the event)
  • Contact (lookup to the contact record)
  • Event Type (picklist)
  • Event Date

Below you can see a completed event record for a contact that attended our weekly webinar. Note that this record captures everything we need to know about the contact’s participation in the webinar. This record is linked to the contact record so anyone looking at the contact record will know that the person attended our weekly webinar on February 15.

Values on the ‘Event Type’ field:

Values on the ‘Participation’ field:

With our new event record created we then simply import data from the webinar attendee report into event records at the conclusion of each webinar. Since the GoToWebinar attendance report includes the contact’s email address we can use this to match the records in the report to CRM contacts using CRM’s import tool. We will then set the other fields including description, event type, event date and participation.

We start by opening the GoToWebinar attendance report and copying the key data points into a .csv file template we will use for importing data. All we need from the webinar report is email address and whether the person attended the webinar or not (i.e. no-show). The CRM 2011 import tool will be able to use the email address to match our event records to contact records in CRM. Below is what the GoToWebinar attendance report looks like. All we need from it are the email addresses and the field that indicates whether the person actually attended or missed.

We copy the information into our .csv template. This template should have fields to match our event entity.

Next we start a CRM data import and make sure we have our mappings set up as seen below. Note that we have mapped email address in the .csv file to the email address on the contact field which is a lookup on the event record.

After we have completed the import there can be some records that failed to import because there was no matching email address on contact records. If you want to record these you can use CRM’s import feature to create contact records for those email addresses and then re-import the events for the records that failed. To get a list of the event records that failed to import you can open the import job (under workplace > imports) and export the event records that failed.

An alternative to this if you have duplicate checking set to look for matching email addresses is to import all records on the attendee report as contacts before you import the events. The idea here is that duplicate contacts will not be imported so every email address in your webinar report will be in CRM when you import the events. Thus, you will have no failures after your event import. This is the simplest approach but does require that you have duplicate detection running on imports and checking for unique email addresses across your contact records.

Below is a sample contact import file. Note that if you import account name and the account name you import uniquely matches an account in CRM the newly created contact record will be linked to the matching account record. However, unless you have altered CRM to make the parent account field required you do not need to import this field.

We follow this process internally at ClickDimensions and it becomes fairly simple to do after each webinar. It allows us to track who has attended and no shown up for our webinars and other events. Again, more detail on this can be found on our previous post titled “An easy customization for event tracking for Microsoft CRM

About the Author:

mm
The ClickDimensions marketing team is committed to helping marketers using Microsoft Dynamics 365 achieve their goals.

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