Nurture Marketing with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

The idea, is to deliver regular content that addresses the interests of a prospect or customer and to time it to arrive where they might be interested in reading something about that.

Nurture marketing is about delivering a predefined series of ‘touches’ or messages designed to keep your name and products in front of a customer over a period of time. Since it’s generally agreed that it takes seven or more “touches” to get your message across, this can be an effective way of building name recognition and familiarity with prospects and customers. You also want to deliver value in your content so that you create a favorable impression and don’t get the dreaded ‘unsubscribe’.

Nurture marketing chains can be used very effectively for educating your prospects about some of the questions they need to know to correctly evaluate your product. You can use this to pre-qualify prospects and to ensure they ask the right questions when talking to your competitors.

The amount of content you need will be directly related to the average length of the sales cycle divided by the average time between touches. Some content will be directed towards prospects, while other content is designed for the decision-maker in opportunities with a long sales cycle.

Here’s an example of a simple nurture marketing chain for new prospects.


    1. A new lead is entered into the system, and a workflow is used to determine how to process it. If it meets certain criteria, begin a nurture marketing chain. This could also be started manually.

      • the creation of a new lead kicks off a workflow that determines who to assign it to,


      • which processes may be needed based upon the interest of the prospect,


      • sends an introductory e-mail to the prospect with the contact information of the lead owner and


      • creates an open phone call from the owner to the prospect.



    2. Nurture marketing Workflow LS01 is called by previous workflow or started manually.

      • The desired content is now sent or created. This can be e-mail, phone call, other activity or any process that you may wish to execute within CRM.


      • The workflow waits for 2 to 3 weeks


      • If the recipient has not unsubscribed, and the lead is still active, child workflow nurture marketing 02 is submitted



    3. Nurture marketing Workflow 02 is called by previous workflow or started manually.

      • The next content is now sent or created.


      • The workflow waits for 2 to 3 weeks


      • If the recipient has not unsubscribed, and the lead is still active, the next child nurture marketing workflow is submitted



    4. and so on for as many links in the chain you need.


The approach that I used was to create a single workflow for each link in the chain. I began by creating a template that calls the last link in the chain (see below), which doesn’t exist yet so you have to do a couple of changes to the template to get started. See the downloaded examples for how the last workflow in the chain differs from all the others.


Next, I build the list of content and create appropriate e-mail or other templates prior to building out my workflow chain.

Now create one workflow for each piece of content you want to send, starting with the last one first.  You need to do this because workflow you want to call at the end of this workflow must already exist. Remember, you can’t call workflow that doesn’t exist yet. use a standard naming and numbering system to identify all the links of your chain. ie: Product xxy LS-00 – Product xxy 99.

I use the modular workflow approach for a couple of reasons.  Long workflows have a number of fundamental problems, which make them difficult to program and maintain. With my approach, I am able to insert an additional link in the chain anywhere I like, even for Nurtures already in progress. I’m also careful to name my content to match the workflow names to make it easy to maintain.

We have implemented this approach for both opportunities and leads to great success.  For opportunities, our nurture marketing chain works better when we added the primary decision-maker relationship to a contact for the opportunity itself.

Here is where you can get the examples if you are willing to register with us: Download

Hope this gives you some ideas!

Stephen V Noe, MCT, MCBMSP

About stephenvnoe

CRM & XRM solution architect and project lead. I provide CRM design, services, mentoring & support to all manner of front office solutions and CRM projects.
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