Native Integration: Your Key to Microsoft Dynamics 365 SMS Performance

Key phrases to describe a top-notch texting program typically include “convenient to use” and “deliver relevant and timely information.” Achieving those goals requires your team to send marketing texts directly within Microsoft Dynamics 365, which is made possible with a truly native SMS texting integration.

By using a native platform with a provider that has direct carrier connections you can avoid extra costs, slower delivery, and greater security risks inherent to third-party apps. Your team will have a powerful mobile tool facilitating communications and marketing strategies from a single unified application.

Working within Microsoft Dynamics 365 also elevates interdepartmental collaboration, helping your team remain more focused on core goals. This is a crucial benefit when you consider that 39% of highly data-driven organizations contend with more than 50 unique data silos. By fully integrating your major communications channels into your CRM platform, you’ve already merged two of the biggest silos.

Besides the ability to text directly from within the Dynamics platform, one of the most important aspects of integrated text functionality is the ability to compile all CRM, contact, and communications data into the same repository. This process removes the manual effort to log text messages within Dynamics and is an important step to configure your refined SMS-powered Microsoft Dynamics 365 integration.

Maximizing Your Truly Native SMS Integration

Generally, the role that texts play in the customer journey determines content decisions. Customers typically want brief and to-the-point messages with meaningful content and high relevancy. This can be achieved by leveraging Microsoft Dynamics 365 for marketing, with customer journey data fully merged into your SMS approach.

An effective strategy is to create a highly polished variety of Calls to Action, and organize them according to each stage of the customer journey using Dynamics 365’s hierarchical categories function. This works for both messaging content and customer records. When your overall messaging and text records are neatly grouped before the campaign planning process, the result is highly engaging content that shows customers you’re attentive to their needs.

Other tactics to improve your SMS-based marketing campaigns to consider:

  • Establishing promotions that the customer can manage by text;
  • Including a clear cut-off date for promotions or discounts to encourage action;
  • Creating VIP programs that offer your most loyal customers early access to new offerings;
  • Ensuring customers know when they can interact directly with a text— a feature only possible with personalized 2-way texting at scale;
  • Equipping your customers with automated text notifications settings related to shipping, delivery, and inventory status.

These efforts can be managed directly within the Microsoft Dynamics 365 workspace via native SMS integration and, as always, keep your promotional and transactional message content distinct. Use Short Codes and 10 Digit Long Codes (10DLC), which Dynamics 365 helps keep straight through its promotional and transactional designations, respectively.

Delineating Your Short Codes and 10DLC

Configuring your SMS channels properly from the outset will simplify future SMS-related workflows. Keep in mind that short codes are ideal for mass texts that don’t invite a response (like marketing promotions), while long codes are perfect for 1:1 texting (such as with customer service transactions).

With strict requirements for the content delivered over 10DLC, this is where legal and compliance issues can arise. You want to be strict in how content is labeled according to each intended channel. However you choose to do it, test your updates and rules to ensure that each phone number is being recorded as intended from the beginning.

The more certain you are that promotional messages are designated correctly, the more confident you can be that your automated data collection parameters will eliminate costly compliance mistakes. This is even more secure if your SMS management platform duplicates crucial subscription data on Microsoft’s own cloud infrastructure.

Setting Categories for Added Efficiency

While your SMS data integration occurs automatically, the data will be more useful if you take some time to set categories for easier searchability and identification. Not every user of your updated Dynamics 365 platform may be as familiar with each data set, so proper categories reduce learning curves for other departments and yield faster onboarding.

Here are several useful tips for classifying categories and tags most effectively:

  • Be sure any agent using Microsoft Dynamics 365 integration with SMS knows that ending a conversation marks it as resolved— understanding conversation states will better inform your use of categories;
  • Validate with your system administrator which standard classification systems and commodity codes (e.g., UNSPSC, NAICS, Intrastat, etc.) are most appropriate for your organization;
  • Major changes to your categories systems are much more accurate with Import Categories Forms;
  • Assign multiple classifications at once with bulk-classification;
  • If you’ve assigned department-specific categories, don’t hesitate to overlap them as needed— you can make two former categories into subcategories of a new overarching category, for example.

Having overcome silos for major communications and CRM data, you are almost at your desired state of a unified environment in which to synthesize and apply all CRM and communications information. At the same time, you now have a much larger sea of data. The next step is to ensure it is cohesive as well— all in the interest of making your data more contextually relevant.

Applying Your Revitalized SMS Records Database

With accurately and automatically streamlined SMS data reconciliation, your communications channels become clean and contextually relevant, both for customer-facing and internal communications. The key is to begin applying your newly SMS-empowered CRM and analytics content where it belongs within your organization.

Once you’ve tested and confirmed that your SMS data is fully set to automatically integrate into your general workflow and analytics, take some time to reacquaint yourself with the revitalized Power BI reports. In a Gartner survey 87% of business leaders reported that their organization has “low business intelligence.” Thus, you don’t want to shortcut this important step.

Ensure your SMS data is being updated and reflected in charts and metrics. If it isn’t, the SMS information is potentially not being delivered to the right places due to ineffective rules. If you’re importing previously live SMS-campaign data, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much higher engagement levels can be. Texts are much more likely to be seen, with response rates that average 45%. It should give your entire organization a newfound respect for the customer-brand relationship, as you see proof that you no longer need to play the odds solely with low-hit-rate marketing efforts.

The beauty of text marketing is its versatility. Some of the most prominent SMS marketing features available to enterprise-level texting that is integrated with Microsoft Dynamics 365 include:

  • 1-to-millions mass texting, powered by far-reaching algorithms and analytics mastery;
  • True 1-to-1 dialog at scale and from any device with enterprise-grade cloud infrastructure;
  • Multi-channel messaging from a central console, unifying email, SMS, and voice;
  • Team-based 2-way texting with threaded conversations for many-to-one conversations;
  • Click-to-call that enables streamlined connectivity right when you need it;
  • Scheduling engine built straight into the SMS/CRM platform;
  • 10DLC and short code compliance management;
  • Text-enabled business landlines;
  • Multi-channel urgent alerts.

Your organization will now be equipped to ensure that your customers’ journeys are as smooth and pain-free as possible.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Integration for Business at Scale

Once your streamlined SMS and CRM operations are thoroughly integrated under the same hood, you’ll be able to streamline internal processes and deliver an exceptional customer experience. With an enterprise-grade SMS-management platform, you’ll have world-class IT experts available whenever you encounter challenges.

TrueDialog has been at the forefront of changes in text-based marketing technologies and SMS regulatory shifts for more than a decade. Schedule a demo today and our experts will show you just how powerful your CRM and communications workflow can become.