I have put together the following list of resources as I was doing some research to see what’s new with mail merge in 2011. At the bottom of the list I’ve also added other references to 3rd party solutions and other notes I need to refer back to.

Here’s some information about the OOTB Mail Merge functionality and the creation of templates for Mail Merge:

In Dynamics CRM mail-merge can be enabled at the entity level (once enabled, it cannot be disabled because you risk breaking previous functionality):

image

TechNet documentation on templates for mail-merge, email, etc.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg327928.aspx

Common Mail Merge issues and resolutions:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/946273

Tips on using mail merge:

http://community.dynamics.com/product/crm/crmtechnical/b/crminogic/archive/2009/11/18/tips-on-using-mail-merge-functionality-in-dynamics-crm.aspx

Using mail merge:

http://www.dynamicscrmtrickbag.com/2009/05/15/mailing-labels/

Pre-populating fields in mail merge templates:

http://dmcrm.blogspot.com/2008/01/word-mail-merge-one-page-quote-with.html

A good step-by-step on creating mail merge templates:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/crm/archive/2008/06/10/microsoft-dynamics-crm-mail-merge-templates.aspx

And another step-by-step:

http://www.ssw.com.au/ssw/Standards/CRM/RulestoBetterCRMMailMergeTemplate.aspx

The following tables describes the difference between mail merge templates and email templates (thanks to Bill Owens at  http://billoncrm.blogspot.com/2009/01/email-templates-v-mail-merge-templates.html ):

Feature

Email Template

Mail Merge Template

Insert merge fields

X

X

Insert custom attribute lookup fields

 

X

Are available to send in bulk

X

X

Preview before sending in bulk

 

X

Edit before sending in bulk

 

X

Place content in the body of an email

X

X

Respect do not contact rules

X

X

Create personal or organization-wide template

X

X

Can be used in workflow

X

 

Can be created globally for use across multiple entities

X

 

Can be created for custom entities

 

X

Requires the Outlook client to create template

 

X

 

Also, with regards to who the marketing emails are being sent from, this is an e-mail router and/or Outlook configuration, see more details here:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg554686.aspx

 

As for record auditing OOTB, please see the following demonstration video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DslWIcbspAI

 

And finally for 3rd party add-ons, check

ExactTarget for marketing:

http://www.exacttarget.com/

as well as c360:

http://www.c360.com/Default.aspx

 

For integration, you definitely want to use Scribe:

http://www.scribesoft.com/

 

Enjoy!

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