Marketing with Dynamic List

Imagine how productive a Marketing manager would be if she can target all her customers by creating a marketing list which keeps itself auto updated based on a criterion. Read on to find out how Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 makes her job simpler. This article talks about the newly introduced Dynamic Marketing list in CRM 2011 and its capabilities. We shall also look into how it differs from marketing list in CRM 4.0 which will henceforth be referred as static marketing list.

The biggest challenge in CRM 4.0 for a Marketing manager was to keep the marketing list updated with new records in the system. This is a time consuming and repetitive process which manifests more in case there are a large number of members to be added. Here is when Dynamic Marketing list comes for your rescue.

For example, if a Marketing manager wants to create a Marketing List for all contacts in New York City, then she can create a Marketing list of type Dynamic and specify a query “All contacts in New York City” just like one specifies an advanced find criteria .That’s it.

Can’t believe that it is this simple? Let me show you a walkthrough.


Launch a new Marketing List Form. Let us fill in the name as “New York City Contact List”. Select Type to be Dynamic, Member Type to be Contact and Save.


Click on Manage Members Button in Actions group.


This is the familiar advanced find dialog. Now select the attribute “Address 1: City” Equals “New York”


Click on Find in Manage Members dialog to verify whether you have selected the right criteria and you are getting the expected results.


Click on “Use Query” to save this query with Dynamic List. And you are done! You can add this marketing list to a Campaign or create a quick campaign for the members of this list.

If you navigate to Marketing List Members left nav in the form, you can see the records in the grid. This records grid is dynamic i.e., it will always show all the records in the system satisfying the criteria specified in the query.


To update the query, click on Manage Members button. You will see the existing query already filled in


You can add the new clauses as per requirement, for example Parent Customer’s name begins with “ATMC”. Click on “Use Query” when you are done.

You can use this marketing list as usual in Quick Campaign, Campaign Activity and you can rest assured that your marketing campaign will reach the right set of customers.

Now, many of you who are familiar with List Member entity might be wondering how this differs from the option of using Advanced Find to add members. ” Use Query” action results in the fetchXML query being stored in the newly added attribute “query” of marketing list whereas adding members using advanced find will actually create a list member record in the database for each account/contact/lead being added.

For those who like to dig deeper, here is how dynamic list works under the wraps:

In a static list, we create a new list member entity record whenever any account/contact/lead is added to a static list. But in case of dynamic list, members are never added in the list i.e. we never add any entries in list member table. Whenever a dynamic list is used in a Quick Campaign or Campaign Activity distribution, the fetchXML query stored with dynamic list is executed at run time to retrieve the records satisfying the criteria. This ensures that the latest records are picked up every time such a list is used.

This is the reason why other actions like Remove Member, Add Member by Lookup etc. are not available for dynamic list. Also, you cannot add Account/Contact/Lead to a dynamic list using Add to Marketing List action available on Grid and Form. You can’t mix up the two actions like adding members by look up and using query on a single list.

For comparison between static and dynamic list, refer to the table below:


Copy to Static

For those who want to save a snapshot of the dynamic list, that is if you want these set of members to be permanently added to a list, then you can use Copy to Static. This action will create a new static list which will have all the records that satisfy the query specified in the dynamic list as its members. This action will be particularly useful if you wish to keep a history of the records targeted by a Campaign. The newly created static list will be locked by default.


This is the new static list created from Dynamic List:


Also, this list has all the members which satisified dynamic list query.You can change the query in the original dynamic list which will have no effect on the members in this newly created static list.


Hope this enhancement proves beneficial in your day to day work.

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