Automating Birthday Emails
Posted on 7th December 2017 at 18:32
Sending an automated email to a Contact on their birthday, a simple requirement that can be achieved with Dynamics 365 and ClickDimensions. However it is not as simple as it might first seem.
Here we compare two different methods of achieving this, and each one has a link to a more detailed pdf you can download.
Please call CRM Dynamics if you need any further help or advice in setting up this type of automation.
We have implemented two different approaches to the Birthday email automation; the Next Birthday solution and the Birthday Today solution.
Below is a summary of each approach. If you need further assistance with setting up your chosen solution, give us a call and find out how our consultancy and training could help you.
Next Birthday solution
This method is probably the simplest to achieve but will require user input and exporting data to Excel to update and then re- import.
This approach hard-wires a Next Birthday date into the Contact’s record. This field can then be used in Views in the same way as any other date field to filter and show Next Birthday this week, this month, Today, Tomorrow and so on.
From there Contacts can be selected and added to the Birthday Marketing list and start the automation or workflows can be created to fully automate the process.
1. Create a custom date field for Next Birthday. (This will need to be entered manually or by exporting to Excel and reimporting, see point 3 below.)
2. Set up a Business rule to make the Next Birthday field mandatory if the Birthday field is filled in.
3. Update the Next Birthday field for existing Contacts: Export to Excel and use the Date formula =DATE(2018,MONTH(E9),DAY(E9)) to generate the Next Birthday date.
4. Set up a simple ClickDimensions’ Campaign Automation to start when a contact is dropped into a Birthday Marketing list.
5. Create a view of contacts with a Birthday Today. Each day select those contacts and add to the Marketing list.
6. OR Create a workflow to add contacts to the Marketing list when Next Birthday = Today
Birthday Today solution
This method does not require user input or exporting to Excel, and is not quite as fearsome as it sounds. It requires custom fields, a custom activity entity, workflows, the use of a recurring bulk deletion job and the Dynamics Objects Workflows plugin.
What you need to do:
Create Custom fields;
• Today – calculated Date and Time set to Now
• Today Day - number
• Today Month - number
• Birthday - Date and time
• Birthday Day - number
• Birthday Month - number
• Send Birthday email - Yes / NO
Create an Activity entity e.g. Job Trigger (This is key to the automation, as deletion of a Job Trigger record starts the workflow to check if today is the contact’s birthday.)
• Workflow to extract the Birthday Day and Month from the birthday field using the Dynamics Objects workflows dates functions.
• Workflow (on demand) to create the first Job Trigger Activity and to set the Send email field on the Contact record to YES
• Workflow to fire on DELETION of a Job Trigger record. This workflow will:
o Check if Today Day and Birthday Day are the same – if so add the contact to the Birthday Marketing list and set the
Send Birthday email field back to NO.
o If the days are not the same a new Job Trigger activity is created.
Create a Bulk Deletion job to delete Job Trigger records to run daily – this will trigger the whole process.
You can then select contacts and add them to the Birthday marketing list to start the automation. This approach can also be more fully automated through customisation and workflow.
To run these workflows against all contacts every day could put pressure on your system, so to minimise the number of Contact records that the workflow runs against each day we would suggest a semi- automated approach.
This would be to create views of Contacts with Birthdays in each month. Then to run workflow against those Contacts to set up the first Job Trigger record and set the Send Email field to Yes. There would be no further manual intervention needed but would mean that workflows were only running against one twelfth of you contact database.
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