Marketing with Microsoft Dynamics CRM – Part 3

As a part of our Project to adopt and use Dynamics CRM 2015 out-of-the-box, we installed and configured the Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook add-in on our client machines.  This gave us a way to use Dynamics CRM functionality within Outlook.   It is a powerful tool which tracks and synchronizes Contacts, Tasks and Appointments with Dynamics CRM 2015.

If you are like us, you probably have a lot of old Outlook Contacts that you haven’t kept up with through the years.  These can be business cards picked up along the way or people you worked with once and not since.  In my case, these Outlook Contacts could not be classified as CRM Contacts in terms where our company did business with them or the “Accounts” they worked for.  But, they represented real value for marketing purposes for email lists and call campaigns.  I wanted to accomplish two things:

  1. Keep track of them in Dynamics CRM as Leads
  2. Get them out of my active Outlook Contacts

The CRM for Outlook Connector makes it easy to track and then synchronize a Contact.  Simply use the Track button in the CRM Ribbon in Outlook.

CRM - Track connection - Dynamics CRM

But what about the other Outlook Contacts that are to be CRM Leads?  There was no built in way to do that.  Here are the steps I took:

1) Create a new empty Contacts Folder in Outlook.  Right click My Contacts and select New Folder.  I called mine “Contacts Export”.

CRM - My Contacts - Contacts - Dynamics CRM

2) Drag and drop the Outlook Contacts you want to convert to CRM Leads into the new folder.

3) Export the CRM Leads to Excel.  File>Options>Advanced>Export

CRM - Outlook Options - Import and Export Wizard - Dynamics CRM

4) Select the “Export to File”>Next>Comma Separated Values>Next.  Then select the folder of CRM Leads you want to put in Dynamics

CRM - Export Contacts to a File - Dynamics CRM

5) Complete the export dialog and create the file.

6) Retrieve the Leads Import Template from Dynamics CRM.

CRM - Import Data - Download Template - Dynamics CRM

7) Format the Outlook export file per the Dynamics Template and import the Leads into Dynamics.

There are no doubt other ways to accomplish this, but this was our no code, one time method.


Chris Tsouris founded Strategic Computing over 20 years ago to deliver business empowering solutions through a superior commitment to technical excellence and customer service.  He is a seasoned speaker on Information Technology subjects including: Strategic Planning, Estimating Software Costs, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Data Analytics, Electronic Records and Master Data Management.

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