If you’ve ever needed to send emails, create form letters or mailing labels from CRM data, you have a few options. You can do it the old fashioned way and export data from CRM using Advanced Find and then build a Mail Merge document in Microsoft Word that uses your export file as a data source. But this method would require you to modify the Mail Merge data source each time you wanted to run it. Following the process below will allow you to use CRM to supply dynamic merge data to the Mail Merge process. Steps 1 – 7 below only need to be done once per template, or template update, so if you have a lot of templates and do merges regularly, this process will save you a lot of time in the long run.
For this example we will be creating a merge for mailing letters to contacts in CRM who live in the 97024 zip code.
1. Ensure that you are using Office 2010 or Office 2013 with Outlook on Windows. See the following link for specifics on software requirements. https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh699818.aspx
2. Download, install and configure the Dynamics CRM 2015 Outlook client to connect to your Dynamics CRM system. In our example, we are connecting to CRM Online, but you can also use CRM On Premise. See the following link for details:https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=45015
Create the Merge Document and Template
3. Prepare the Word document
a. Edit your merge doc to add your static content, formatting, borders, headers and footers, etc.
b. Save the file as Word 2003 XML format.
4. Create a Mail Merge Template record in CRM. Keep in mind that your assigned security role(s) in CRM must be configured to allow you to do this
a. Open Settings | Templates | Mail Merge Templates
b. Click New
c. Enter the Name of the template.
d. Select the entity this merge will be related to. Note that only entities that have the Mail Merge checkbox selected at the entity properties in customization will appear in this option set.
e. Click Save. Wait for a few seconds to ensure the record is actually saved.
f. Click Data Fields and select/de-select the fields you wish to be part of this template
g. Click Save again and wait until the record is saved.
5. Attach the Mail Merge doc to the template record
a. Click on the browse button from the Mail Merge record you created in the step above.
b. Browse to and select the Word doc (saved as XML file) you created in step 2 above.
c. Click the Attach button
d. Click Save and wait until the record is saved
6. Configure the Merge fields in the merge doc
a. Click Edit Template in Word from the Merge record created in step three above.
b. When the file downloads, click Save and save it to a location on your hard drive. Then open it. The file name will be something like “Mail_Merge_9987.doc”
c. When the document opens, click on the Add-ins tab and click on the CRM button.
d. This will open a Mail Merge Recipients window. Click OK.
e. Place the merge fields in the places in the document where you want to see dynamic text. You can access the list of fields by clicking on the down arrow under the “Insert Merge Fields” button in the Mailings tab in Word.
f. Click File | Save as and select the Word 2003 XML format.
g. Answer “yes” to the question about overwriting the template.
7. Update the CRM Mail Merge Template with your updated version.
a. Select the file you added earlier in the Mail Merge Template record and click Remove. Answer OK to the ‘are you sure’ message.
b. Click Save and wait a few seconds to let the record save complete.
c. Browse to and select the file you saved in Step F above.
d. Click Attach.
e. Click Save and Close on the Mail Merge Template record
Perform the Merge
8. Initiate the Mail Merge in CRM
a. From CRM, open Advanced Find and search for the contacts that match your criteria.
b. Select the records you wish to be included in the merge
c. Click the Mail Merge button. Note that at the time of this writing, the Mail Merge button is only available in the Advanced Find window in CRM 2015 update 1.
d. Under Start with a: Choose Personal mail merge template
e. Select the template we created above.
f. Under the Merge section, Select records on Current Page
g. If necessary, review and adjust the data fields by clicking on the Data Fields button.
h. Click Download. Note that this will actually download two files. The first is the Mail merge doc, the second is a txt file that contains the data you selected in Step 6b above.
9. Finalize the Mail Merge in Microsoft Word
a. Click Open to open the merge doc.
b. Click Enable Editing
c. Under Add-ins, click the CRM button
d. Click OK to the list of recipients. Note that this time around there are multiple recipients.
e. Click Preview Results to validate that the result is as expected.
f. Click Finish and Merge to either
i. Merge to a new static Word doc that allows you to modify the individual pages.
ii. Send the merge job to a printer to be printed on letterhead / forms
iii. Send email messages using the merge doc as a template for the email. Of course this assumes you have an email address in the source data and have included it in the fields.
So, there you have it. Mail merging in Dynamics CRM is a great option for periodic communications with your customers. Need help with CRM? We’re here for you!
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