Use Cases: Act-On and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Integration

Maia Wells
Marketing Integrations

Microsoft Dynamics CRM helps capture relevant data about leads and customers, but if you want to leverage that data to create more meaningful and authentic interactions, you need more than Dynamics alone. Bringing in a marketing automation solution designed specifically to attract and nurture the leads you need to keep your pipeline full and customer base growing. Act-On has a native integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM that provides the two-way data synchronization you need to empower sales. How does this look, exactly? Explore the following use cases to get inspired!

act-on and microsoft dynamics

Technology Company Increases Email Open Rates by 68%

Cloud-based software company SimScale had a marketing strategy that focused on leveraging Google AdWords, search engine optimization and industry conferences to generate leads. But each of these channels existed in a silo, creating inefficiencies and disconnect.

Webinars were a major source of leads, and the company often drew 500 or more attendees for each event. However, the marketing team was tasked with manually entering each lead and following up with contacts, which was a time-consuming and inefficient process. Of course, these manual processes sometimes introduced errors.

The marketing team also lacked the ability to segment diverse audiences within their email programs, making it challenging to send highly relevant and targeted messages. In addition, developers created many of the messages, which limited the time available to make ongoing product improvements.

The company knew that marketing automation could solve many of these challenges, but they also needed marketing and sales performance visibility. This required an intuitive dashboard and reporting capabilities that integrated easily with their existing Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  

SimScale selected Act-On marketing automation because it integrated seamlessly with their Microsoft Dynamics CRM. After adoption, the SimScale team quickly developed an email campaign to nurture leads automatically. As a result, email open rates increased by 68%. Plus, this freed developers to return to their core product development competency instead of being tied down to sending email messages manually. 

The next improvement was transitioning the automated lead nurturing process to Act-On to successfully deliver the right messaging to the right person at the right time. The result was a 15% improvement in marketing qualified leads (MQLs).

The silos that disconnected marketing from sales were eliminated, and marketing is now able to gather critical intelligence about email communications, web interactions and more to make smarter decisions about what communications to send and when. Improved behavioral tracking enabled marketing to create more accurate buyer personas to speak more impactfully to leads and generate higher email open rates. The integration with Dynamics CRM means sales can leverage this richer data to grow your business.

Cloud Services Company Increases Email Conversion Rates by 20%

A leading cloud technology provider, interworks.cloud, struggled to fully integrate their marketing technology stack, preventing them from segmenting marketing lists among multiple business units and several distinct target audiences. 

Without the capability to segment audiences, the marketing team struggled to deliver personalized messages and relevant content that addressed their end users’ pain points. Moreover, the existing technologies did not accurately track leads, measure programs or provide the detailed insights the sales team needed most.

A partnership with Act-On’s marketing automation solution enabled the company to migrate their existing CRM, which was built internally, to Microsoft Dynamics. Act-On then helped the company easily integrate Dynamics with the marketing automation platform. As a result, interworks.cloud can create more personalized emails for prospects and customers, and the marketing team spends far less time manually sorting through data. In addition, this frees up time to work on other improvements, such as testing and executing new marketing campaigns. interworks.cloud worked with Act-On to:

  • The Act-On success team helped interworks.cloud set up complex back-end integrations and import data from the internal CRM to Microsoft Dynamics.
  • The marketing team implemented Act-On’s website beacon to track website visitor behavior to understand existing marketing content performance and improve content marketing efforts.
  • Act-On marketing automation enabled interworks.cloud to automate existing email programs and improve the buyer journey, capturing engagement metrics that could be leveraged for segmentation and lead scoring.

The company increased sales qualified leads (SQLs) quality by 20% and improved email conversion rates by 20% through automation with advanced segmentation abilities.

Hospitality Franchise Boosts Email Open Rates by 60% to Support Repeat Business

Red Lion Hotels (RLH) is a hospitality brand that owns and manages a variety of economy and upscale properties. As hotel owners, RLH needed the ability to automate and improve their welcome and guest communications and brand loyalty programs. These marketing efforts are increasingly critical in the hotel space due to the need to encourage loyal customers and contribute to sustained growth.

Before Act-On RLH struggled to scale processes related to welcome, loyalty and transactional marketing programs. The company also had difficulty delivering highly targeted messages to unique brands, franchisees and customer types.

Disparate systems throughout the various brands created internal communication breakdowns and inconsistent messaging and branding. Struggles also included incomplete and inaccurate marketing and sales reporting, creating further challenges in measuring engagement and the effectiveness of marketing efforts.

Overcoming these challenges required a marketing automation platform that allowed RLH to meet complex guest messaging needs while integrating multiple systems across the company’s eight franchised hotel brands, including marketing, loyalty and reservation transactions. The company also required custom communications based on various criteria, such as franchise, brand, property type, buyer personas and more.

The company selected Act-On marketing automation because of the capability for an easy Microsoft Dynamics integration. Using Act-On, RLH was able to accomplish the following:

  • Guests at 1,000 unique properties across eight unique brands received automated welcome, loyalty and transactional campaigns
  • Welcome triggered emails improved open rates to 48%
  • All loyalty program triggered emails improved open rates to 37%
  • Transactional emails improved open rates to 43%
  • The Microsoft Dynamics integration aligned sales and marketing
  • Granular guest insights improved engagement, number of stays and premium experiences

The two-way integration between Act-On marketing automation and Microsoft Dynamics allowed RLH to align sales and marketing to create more targeted messaging and unique branding and customer communications.

Manufacturing and Distribution Giant Leverages Act-On to Capture 200% More Leads  

Horizon Distributors is a wholesale manufacturer and distributor specializing in landscaping, irrigation and outdoor living products and services. The company has 70 stores across 11 states, and marketing is run by a single person. Scaling programs and marketing efforts manually was not an option, and the Director of Marketing required the ability to scale marketing efforts through automation. Before Act-On, the company struggled with:

  • A small marketing team that needed to uplevel the company’s marketing strategy
  • A lack of ability to efficiently optimize content marketing strategy and generate more leads
  • Dissatisfaction with the existing marketing automation solution, which lacked the ability to integrate with Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Horizon Distributors worked with Act-On to plan, develop and deploy different marketing campaigns more efficiently. The company also gained the ability to track engagement insights and behaviors to nurture and qualify hot leads for sales. Additionally, the company integrated Microsoft Dynamics with Act-On to create a seamless handoff between sales and marketing and further personalize discussions with prospects.

Over a single year, the company increased leads by 200% using Act-On and increased engagement rates by 57% through behavior and engagement segmentation. Additionally, Horizon Distributors created criteria for various segments, building lists through the Act-On platform, which conserved time and resources while empowering the company to deliver unique messaging to over 25,000 people each month.

B2B Company Aligns Marketing and Sales Through Powerful Integration

Pariveda Solutions is a consulting firm that struggled with challenges posed by their incomplete technology stack. For example, the company used different systems to manage sales activities, automate marketing emails, integrate landing pages, run webinars and more. As a result, alignment between marketing and sales was disjointed, limiting their ability to effectively nurture leads and customer relationships and truly understand marketing impacts.

Pariveda sales and marketing teams needed to collaborate with greater efficiency, provide content when and where it was needed, and increase integrations within the back-end technology systems. Pariveda selected Act-On because the software integrated easily with Microsoft Dynamics and made scaling marketing campaigns simple. 

Through Act-On marketing automation, the company developed a more efficient lead generation process to improve the customer journey while integrating tools to improve marketing reporting and create seamless coordination between marketing and sales teams.

Capturing a More Holistic View of the Customer Journey

As you work to connect more authentically with your leads and customers, it’s not just about connecting, but connecting with purpose. Leads who receive relevant and timely marketing messages are more likely to be receptive to sales outreach and, therefore, positively impacted by marketing and sales.

Creating sales and marketing alignment with the right tools enables you to generate higher-quality leads, supported by integrations that simplify the process. As a result, you can gain improved visibility and greater results at every step of the buyer journey.