With the prevalence of omnichannel marketing – utilizing multiple concurrent channels to engage with prospects and customers – most marketing and sales professionals inevitably face the challenge of data management.
Managing and consolidating data from different sources and applications take time and can easily become a cumbersome burden on any marketing department. That’s one of the reasons why the use of tightly integrated CRM solutions and marketing automation platforms has proliferated. These solutions allow marketing and sales professionals to work smarter by automating work tasks, integrating different platforms and data sources, and limiting the amount of manual and tedious data entry.
In this blog we’ll demonstrate how to use ClickDimensions, a marketing automation platform developed specifically for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, to easily integrate your website forms with Dynamics CRM.
With this integration, all data entered through your website will be entered into Dynamics CRM automatically.
While ClickDimensions is a powerful marketing automation tool, comprising rich functionalities within the areas of email marketing, campaign and nurture automation, event management, surveys, landing pages and text messaging, this blog post only touches upon a small, yet highly valuable, piece of what the tool has to offer. Learn more about ClickDimensions here or by visiting www.clickdimensions.com.
How to Integrate Dynamics CRM with Your Website Forms
In this scenario, we’ll look at how to set up a website form to capture and feed leads data directly into Dynamics CRM. It could be a ‘Contact Us’ form, a ‘Request a Call’ form or a form to download or access a digital asset such as a white paper, an ebook, a video or a free trial.
In this blog, we’ll create a ‘Contact Us’ form.
The process consists of five steps:
- Creating form fields
- Designing the form
- Setting up form actions
- Embedding the form on your website
- Testing your form
- Have ClickDimensions installed in your Dynamics CRM environment as well as user privileges to access its functionality
- Have access to the back-end (access to your website’s HTML editor will suffice in most cases) of your website
Step 1 – Create Your Form Fields in Dynamics CRM/ClickDimensions
In order to build our web form, we’ll start off by creating our form fields.
Note: once created, you can re-use the same fields for as many web forms as you’d like. If you’ve already created your fields, you can jump straight to Step 2.
In Dynamics CRM, navigate to Settings à Form Fields (located under ClickDimensions Settings).
This is where we create and map the fields we want to include on our web form. In this case, we’ll create fields for ‘First Name’, ‘Last Name’, ‘Email Address’, ‘Phone Number’, ‘Company Name’ and ‘Number of Employees’.
Hit ‘New’ and the following screen pops up:
The Mappings section will remain blank until you enter a Name, ID, and Type and hit ‘Save’.
We’ll go ahead and create the ‘First Name’ field.
Name: First Name
You can name it anything you want.
Form Field ID: first_name
This is the value used for mapping. You can choose anything you want but it must be unique.
Choose a form field type that fits the data you’re trying to collect. In this case, a Text field.
Important: for the Email field you must select ‘Email’ in the ‘Type’ dropdown.
Hit ‘Save’ and the ‘Mappings’ section will now populate with your Dynamics CRM fields.
Note that you can map the same form field to both the ‘Lead’ and ‘Contact’ entities in CRM – but not the Account entity. As shown below, we’ve mapped this form field to the ‘First Name’ attribute for both ‘Leads’ and ‘Contacts’.
The procedure for creating the remaining fields is the same as described above. For the ‘Email’ field, remember to select ‘Email’ in the ‘Type’ dropdown.
For the ‘Number of Employees’ field, you might want to create a drop-down list to ensure consistency in data entry.
Select ‘List’ as field type and create your dropdown options with corresponding ‘Values’ (IDs). You can choose to map this drop-down list to either a ‘Picklist Field’ or a ‘Text Field’ in Dynamics CRM. In this scenario, we’ve not mapped the list options.
Once you’ve created and mapped all your fields, you’re ready to design your web form.
Step 2 – Design Your Web Form in Dynamics CRM/ClickDimensions
In Dynamics CRM, navigate to Settings à Web Content (located under ClickDimensions Settings).
Click ‘New’ and the following screen will appear:
Name: Contact Us Form
Give your form a meaningful name (e.g. Contact Form, Request a Call Form etc.)
For web forms, always select Forms. Instructions on how to create Surveys, Subscriptions, and Landing Pages are beyond the scope of this blog.
You’d need to select your website domain associated with your ClickDimensions account. Click here for detailed information on setting up a domain.
Create new Visitor as: Lead (optional)
You can choose to create a new visitor as a Lead or a Contact. Leave the field blank if you don’t want any data entered in CRM.
This optional field gives you the option to associate a form and all its related submissions with a campaign. We’ll leave it blank in this example.
Web Responsive: Yes
Who doesn’t want responsive web forms?
‘Save’ your form and hit ‘Design’.
You’re now in the Form Designer. As shown below, all available fields are listed to the right (note that there are more form fields available in the Dynamics CRM environment used for this blog, than the fields created in Step 1).
Simply drag and drop your fields onto your form. You can have up to three fields next to each other.
You can double-click on any field (including the ‘Submit’ button) to set formatting and field characteristics such as:
- Label (this will not change the source field name)
- Default value
- Make the field required or read only
- Set error message (for required fields)
- Font color, name, size and weight
- Label and field width (1-3 columns)
In addition, you can change the mapping of a field on any given form without changing the mapping of the source field. If you tick off the ‘Override in CRM’ box everything entered on the form will override existing data in CRM (ClickDimensions uses the email address as a unique identifier).
In addition to your Form Fields, you can also add Form Components such as Section Title, CAPTCHA, Horizontal Line, Page Break, an HTML section and a File Upload function. Again, just drag and drop the desired Form Component onto your form.
The ‘Preview’ button allows you to see the ‘front end’ side of your form and test any validations and error messages.
Note: in preview mode, no data will be entered into Dynamics CRM.
Customizing Your Form
In addition to the form settings available out-of-the-box in the form designer, you can style and customize the form by clicking the ‘Code Editor’ button.
Once you’re done designing the form it’s time to determine what should happen when a web user fills out and submits the form.
Step 3 – Setting up Form Confirmation Text and Actions
To set up a confirmation text, click the ‘Confirmation Text’ button.
This opens up the Confirmation Text editor in which you can add the confirmation text the users see upon successful submission of a form.
Note that the editor allows for HTML. Hit the ‘Source’ button to type or copy/paste HTML.
You can also enter a URL for post redirect once the form is submitted. In this example, we’ll post redirect to our Thank You page, www.fmtconsultants.com/confirmation
Just enter the URL and leave the text/HTML field blank. Note, you need to include http:// for the redirect to work.
Hit ‘Ok’ and the window closes automatically.
In addition to the Confirmation Text, we can assign different Actions to kick off once the form is submitted.
Hit the ‘Actions’ tab under the top ribbon.
This will open the Actions Designer:
To the right are all the available actions listed. Simply drag and drop the desired action(s) to the left.
In this scenario we’ll set up three actions:
- Add the user to a Marketing List called ‘Contact Us Form’.
- Add an Auto Responder that sends an email to the user with a short ‘thank-you-for-contacting-us. You’ll-hear-from-us-shortly’ message. Note that you can set the email to be sent from the record owner if the Lead (or Contact) already exists in CRM.
- Send an Email Notification to the marketing team so they can ensure timely follow up. In addition, we’ll set the system to automatically notify the record owner if the form is filled out by a user already in Dynamics CRM. The system automatically populates the email with all the information entered on the form, including a direct link to the record in CRM.
Once you’ve added the desired actions, click ‘Save and Close’.
Step 4 – Embedding the Form on Your Website
In the Form Designer, click the ‘Embed’ button.
You have three options to embed the form:
- As a link that opens up the form on a blank page in your web browser (note, you can customize/brand the URL)
- As an iFrame (note, the Post Direct URL does not work with iFrames)
- As a widget
In this example, we’re embedding the web form on our website and will use the widget option.
Simply click ‘Embed as Widget’ and copy the code snippet to your clipboard.
Now, we just need to add the code to our website.
For the purpose of this blog, we’ve created a test page on www.fmtconsultants.com (the site is built on WordPress).
In the site editor, simply paste the code snippet you copied from ClickDimensions a few steps back and add any other text or graphics you’d like.
Save your changes, refresh the page, and the form is now embedded:
Step 5 – Test Your Form
We’ll start by filling out and submitting the form.
After hitting ‘Submit’, we’re redirected to the confirmation page as specified:
As shown below, the system sent out an email notification to marketing(at)www.fmtconsultants.com:
If we click the hyperlinked name (Jakob Bechgaard), the system automatically opens up the newly created Lead record in Dynamics CRM:
And as shown below, the lead is added to the ‘Contact Us Form’ marketing list:
Lastly, the web user (in this case me) received the confirmation email below:
That’s it. We’ve now successfully set up a web form that feeds directly into Dynamics CRM.
To sum up, here’s what we’ve done:
- Created fields for our web form
- Designed our web form using the Form Designer in ClickDimensions
- Set up post submission actions
- Tested our form
By linking your web forms directly to your Dynamics CRM system you no longer need to spend precious time manually entering data into CRM. And by setting up post submission actions, you can ensure that leads are assigned and responded to in a timely and professional manner.
Feel free to reach out below should you have questions or need additional information about Dynamics CRM or ClickDimensions.