Capturing the right information from customer prospects for your sales team is a universal challenge. Today, I want to show you how Microsoft Marketing Forms and Customer Journeys in Dynamics 365 Marketing can help your team get the right data early with “top-of-funnel” prospects and compress your sales cycle. In this post, I will walk you through how to setup a Landing Form page in Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 Marketing, how to embed the form to your website, and then how to set it up to generate leads automatically with Customer Journeys. 

Let’s start with a quick overview of the tools we’ll use. 

What are Microsoft Marketing Forms?

Microsoft Marketing Forms are the form fields, button(s), graphics, and configuration settings used to create customized form templates within Dynamics 365 Marketing. There are three different marketing form types in D365 Marketing (landing page, subscription, and forward to a friend) and each has unique features and customization possibilities.  

For this article, I will focus on a landing page form since they are such a common, general-purpose option for creating new contacts or updating existing contacts in your CRM while they are still early in the sale cycle. 

What are Customer Journeys in Dynamics 365 Marketing?

The Customer Journeys tool in Dynamics 365 Marketing allows you to create highly customized maps for automated interaction with prospects and current contacts or customers. Once you’ve built a Customer Journey, D365 Marketing users can monitor the effectiveness of their map, refine based on additional data that has been collected and sophisticated AI suggestions and insights. 

There are many additional possibilities for Customer Journeys in Dynamics 365 Marketing when used seamlessly in conjunction with Customer Insights, but for this demonstration, let’s just focus on a solid, baseline integration with a sample Microsoft Marketing Landing Page Form. 

Step 1: Create a Landing Page Form in Dynamics 365 Marketing

To start out, go to the Marketing Forms entity on the left-hand side navigation. Select “New.” You can select an existing form template or go with a blank template. Whether you’re using a template or starting from scratch, you will be able to use the powerful, intuitive Form Designer and Toolbox. Now, give your form a name and select the Form Type as ‘Landing Page’. 

Step 2: Create the Basic Design for Your Microsoft Marketing Landing Page Form

In the Designer, you can select from a variety of tools. These include text boxes, submit buttons, fields, subscription lists, or a ‘Do Not Email’ checkbox. To add these any of these items to your form, navigate to the right-hand side and select ‘Toolbox’. Use the drag-and-drop functionality to configure which elements you want in the form, but be sure to include a submit button.  

Step 3: Configure Your Landing Page Form

Now that your form is setup is completed, you can use the Summary tab to rename your form and configure the settings. This includes Contact and Lead matchingError notifications, Redirect URLs, and Double Opt-In.  

Contact and Lead matching has a default setting that will map the data back to CRM based on the form submission. If the data exists in CRM, the Contact/Lead will be updated accordingly. If it does not exist, then a new record will be created. These settings are highly customizable to the ways you want your form to behave.  

Step 4: Embedding a Microsoft Marketing Form on Your Website

Once you have configured the form, click ‘Check for Errors’ using the button on the top ribbon. After this has been complete, click ‘Save’ and then click ‘Go Live’ on the top ribbon. Your form setup is now complete, but now you need to get it on your website.  

In the Related Entities drop down, click ‘Form Pages’. It will bring you to the Form Pages view. Click ‘New Form page’. By default, it will bring you to a ‘Quick Create’ page to add a Form page. Enter in the required fields and click ‘Save and Close’.  

Navigate to the Form page you just created. On the right-hand side, for the External Hosting Format, choose ‘I want to host it as a script’. Below that field, you will find the script that you will use to embed your form on the website. Copy and paste that script into the HTML for the page you’ve selected on your website, or into a block editor of WordPress or your Content Management System.  

Step 5: Create a Customer Journey in Dynamics 365 Marketing

Now that you have your Microsoft marketing landing page form configured and embedded on your website, let’s tie it all together by creating a Customer Journey in D365 Marketing. This will allow you to use submissions to your new form to create new or updated contacts in your CRM. Then you can configure your Customer Journey to automate subsequent interactions that will turn this inbound lead into a prospect in your sales cycle.   

Go to Customer Journeys and select ‘New’. Setup a Blank Template and press ‘Select’. 

Step 6: Design & Configure Your Customer Journy in Dynamics 365 Marketing

In the Customer Journey Designer, you can set the Audience to determine who should be placed into your Customer Journey. The Audience is the target segment that your Customer Journey will start with. In this case, we will be making our segment source ‘Submitted a Form’.  

This Segment will be the submissions from the form you created earlier in this process. Select ‘Set Audience’, and then set the Source Type to ‘Submitted a Form’. In the box below, search for and select your Marketing Form.  

When a potential new customer submits that form embedded on your website, the form submission will kickstart the Customer Journey.  

Now that you have your Customer Journey segment, you can now add tiles and actions to the journey. These include data creation tiles, sales activities, sending emails, running workflows, or even your own custom tiles.  

These tiles determine where you want the customer journey to go. In our example, we are sending an email for the customer regarding our Cobalt’s Definitive Guide to Choosing a New AMS/CRM, but there are many ways you may approach the Customer Journey functionality. There is no “right” way; ultimately it you should tie your Customer Journeys to your ideal Sales process. In this helpful guide from Microsoft, you’ll find brief overviews of four common maps for Customer Journeys: Current State, Day-in-the-Life, Future State, and Service Blueprint.  

Step 7: Finalize, Save, and Deploy Your New Customer Journey

After you have configured your Customer Journey, you can ‘Save’ and then click ‘Check for errors’ on the top ribbon. This will get you ready to Go Live. Clicking ‘Go Live’ will take a minute or two, but once that passes you are ready to go! 

Final Thoughts

If this is your first time exploring this corner of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing’s functionality, I hope you are excited about the possibilities for team. Dynamics 365 Marketing and Dynamics 365 Sales are some of the most powerful and seamlessly integrated tools for available for organizations today. 

Our team at Cobalt is constantly expanding the 20+ years of Microsoft CRM and 365 knowledge we have established so teams like yours can truly get the most out of your CRM investment. I would love to help you see additional ways to use Microsoft Marketing Forms and Customer Journeys in Dynamics 365 Marketing. Send me your questions, comments, or feedback. 

James Rathgeber 
Software Product Generalist, Cobalt 

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