Part II: Keys to Setting up a Successful Campaign in Microsoft CRM

Welcome back!

Last time I discussed some Direct Marketing basics that every Microsoft CRM user should know. Today we’re going to jump right in to help you get started with how to set up your very own campaign.

First, direct marketing as a discipline must be properly understood as Direct-RESPONSE Marketing (DRM), which always begins as an outbound effort. The key is the response – the desired action you want your prospect to take – which is the first “conversion” event, or step towards making the sale. Organizations often put so much effort into the planning, administrative steps, and outbound effort, that they overlook the crucial step of defining what “conversion” activities they are looking for.

Establishing a Successful Campaign

Microsoft CRM Campaign Setup Form

A marketing campaign is essentially a business project. A “Campaign” properly sets the tone and momentum of the actual business process. It’s represented by a special entity in CRM where you define the work steps create the necessary conversions. 

One of the best ways to do that is to create an idea as a team, then storyboard the basic campaign workflow at a high level, using Microsoft Visio, or PowerPoint. And because the focus is on the conversion, your objectives need to be definable and measurable so you can add them as fields in the campaign. 

Campaign Elements to Track

If you’re going to measure your marketing success, you’ll need to assign values to several key questions. An important part of setting up your CRM campaign will be to address:

  • The number of customers you expect to gain
  • How much they’re worth to the business (what is their incremental value)
  • How much you will spend to acquire new customers (the fixed and variable parts of your budget)
  • How much to offer them to make the sale (e.g. a 20% discount, a 3-month subscription)

I want to talk a little more about the last item since this figure may not get as much attention as it warrants when planning a campaign. This is easy to understand since it can be tough to estimate. One way to consider how much to offer is to relate it to how much you want to make on the offer. I like to put it this way – “You have to give, to get”. It’s really the key to conversion.

Because the offer often represents the largest part of the campaign spend, you need to put a lot of thought into the offer and making sure it is good enough to “stick”. Because here’s another thing that often gets overlooked when conducting a campaign: “churn” – not all conversions translate into lasting customers.

ACPC: An Extra Dimension for Measuring ROI

Having measurable and definable goals also means you must determine how to measure the success of the campaign as it relates to conversion. That’s right I’m talking about the bottom line: ROI – (I know: we can never escape the financial folks). So marketing success can be defined as the outcome (# of final conversions) divided by the effort needed to achieve the outcome.

ROI is the prize, but how do you align the level of effort you must put into the campaign to drive conversions that generate your ROI. The best way I’ve found is to relate ROI to your campaign efforts is called, Allowable Cost per Conversion (ACPC; sometimes ACPO or CPA*). The ACPC model begins with the notion that as a marketer you know there’s a limit to how much you can spend to make the sale (acquire the customer).

Here’s how you would calculate ACPC. I’ve assigned some random numbers to make it easier to see the value of the calculation:

Take the “Expected # of conversions” MULTIPLIED BY “incremental revenue”

100 x $5,000 = $500,000

Then calculate “campaign fixed costs” PLUS targeted profits

$75,000 +$200,000 = $275,000

SUBTRACT the second result from the first

$500,000 - $275,000 = $225,000

DIVIDE that result by the expected final conversion events to get your ACPC

$225,000 ÷ 100 = $2,250


As we discussed above, Dynamics CRM can track and detail your spend. Determining ACPC, however, requires a bit more effort. To help our clients get the most out of Dynamics, Emtec can offer a plug-in that drives the ACPC formula from within the campaign planning steps so you can get align costs and ROI.

At this point, you have your basic campaign defined and ready for financial and management approval. With the campaign defined and approved, you can develop a workflow to help execute on the outbound and inbound responses.

Next Steps

Our next articles in the series will define how CRM can handle the remaining pieces of the campaign:

  • The list
  • Outbound and inbound communications channels
  • The offer
  • Content/media
  • The conversion channel

Cheers, until next time! 


Written by Emtec Blog Team

The Emtec blog team is proud to bring you the latest IT insights and best practices for the enterprise to optimize and empower IT, Finance, HR, and Sales and Marketing. The team includes thought leaders globally across sectors, technologies and specialties with their unique experience and acumen. If you would like to connect with the Emtec Blog Team:

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