As a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Gold Partner we have been asked the same question many, many times; “How can I import marketing list members from an Excel spread sheet?”  There is no straight forward way to achieve this using standard functionality in CRM 2011.

Our team of CRM developers have looked into this requirement and have built a tool to help import additional members into Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Marketing Lists, using Microsoft Excel.  Using our import tool, users can simply import accounts, contacts or leads as members of an existing CRM 2011 marketing list.

Before we go too much further we are not talking about simply uploading data into CRM from Excel.  It is important that we keep the structure of the marketing list the same but simply append additional records.  This tool has come in handy during data migration and also for everyday use.  Imagine we want to email a number of contacts in our marketing database and we have used the Advanced Find feature to filter through a number of contacts in our CRM database.  Our search has returned 5000 contacts but we would like to extend our offer to a maximum of 3000 contacts.  The user can simply export the results from Advanced Find into Excel using standard CRM functionality, cull the list down to 3000 and using the import tool, bring those 3000 contacts back into a Marketing list ready to be emailed.

Using our scenario the process needs to be:

a)      Run an Advanced Find query to identify new customers added in the past 12 months

b)      Export the Advanced Find results to Excel, (this provides an opportunity to manually cleanse the data – which is otherwise too difficult to achieve via a general advanced find query)

c)       Re-import the Advanced Find results back into the MS-CRM marketing list

The key when re-importing the data is to ensure the contact’s unique identifier is preserved.  This way when the contact information is re-imported to the marketing list the associated contact record is also updated with any future activities resulting from the use of that marketing list.

Professional Advantage has built a nifty little tool to sync these activities together and using Excel as the front end driver to manipulate the data and re-import it.

To find out more how this work, do not hesitate to contact Professional Advantage at www.pa.com.au.

Blog written by Chris Pennington, Consultant to PA.  The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the writer.  Content published here does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Professional Advantage Pty Ltd.

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