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Set up a webinar, send invites and track responses

As the world of business becomes more global, the need to communicate on a global level becomes more evident. Online marketing has taken many forms, but the personal interactions provided at shows and conferences are still important because companies can show demos and respond to questions. But customers are not always able to take on the added time and expense of travelling to your events. A good solution, therefore, is to host a webinar (online conference) to which users can connect from any PC or mobile device running the Skype or Microsoft Lync client—all they need is the right link to join in. You might simulcast a live event, or even create a web-only event. Webinars can be a great way to engage existing contacts, and can also be used to boost a contact’s lead score.


Important

Lync has been rebranded as Skype for Business. Currently, you’ll still see references to “Lync” in Microsoft Dynamics 365, but Dynamics 365 will work with Skype for Business.


Make sure you have an on-premises Lync or Skype for Business Server available on your domain

Skype for Business or Lync webinars require an on-premises Skype for Business Server or Lync Server installation, which interacts with Dynamics Marketing to set up new webinar events and generate the unique links required to join in; it also manages the broadcast itself. The on-premises Skype for Business Server or Lync Server must be installed on the same domain that you use to sign into your Office 365 portal. No further settings are required provided this standard infrastructure is in place. However, some network architectures may require additional help from Microsoft support.

Please contact your Microsoft representative for help setting up on-premises Skype for Business Server or Lync Server and, if necessary, configuring Office 365 to support it for your network architecture.

Set up a webinar event


Important

We recommend a maximum of 200 attendees for Skype for Business or Lync webinars. More than 200 attendees can connect, but performance may be affected.


In Microsoft Dynamics Marketing, you can add webinars as registration items for any event. You might add a webinar item to an in-person event to provide a simulcast, or create a stand-alone webinar by setting up an event with just a single item configured as a webinar. To set up a webinar event:

  1. Go to Marketing Execution > Event Management > Events to view the list of existing events. Either open an existing event or create a new one. Set up the basic event as needed (see also: “View events”).

  2. Go to the Registration Setup tab for your selected event by selecting Registration Setup from the drop-down below the dotted line.

  3. Choose the New button in the Registration Setup tab’s Item tab to create a new setup item and configure the setup as described in “Set up registration items for events”. Be sure to select the Webinar check box to mark your item as a webinar.

  4. Choose Save or Submit. Dynamics Marketing now contacts Lync Server or Skype for Business Server and sets up the event. At this time, you may see a pop-up asking you to sign in to Skype for Business or Lync; enter your sign-in details if needed. The connection to the Skype for Business or Lync event will be managed by Dynamics Marketing and will be made available elsewhere in the interface for selection as a webinar (for example, in marketing emails and automated campaigns).

Include a webinar link in a marketing email

When you include a webinar link in an email, the recipient will be able to click on the link to join the Skype for Business or Lync conversation that was created for your webinar. The link will always function, but the contact will only hear or see something while you’re broadcasting it. To include a webinar link in an email:

  1. Work under Marketing Execution > Email Marketing > Email Marketing Messages and create a marketing email as usual (see also “Create or view email marketing messages”).

  2. When designing your email content, write some text promoting the webinar and place the cursor where you would like to put the link. Choose Webinar from the Select URL Type drop-down list and then choose the name of the event where you created the webinar from the Insert URL drop-down list. (If you don’t see these drop-down lists, you may need to choose the arrow to the right of the Insert Field drop-down list to show them.)

  3. Save and send your email as usual.

Include webinars in automated campaigns

The campaign canvas features a webinar tile, which you might place into your workflow for one or all of the following reasons:

  1. View webinar response: The tile shows numbers that track how many people attended and how much revenue was generated (if any).

  2. Indicate that an email includes a webinar link: Drag the tile onto an existing email tile to add the webinar as a linked tile to the email. This will indicate that the mail includes a webinar link (it will also add the link if it does not already exist, but it is better to design your mail around the link and add it manually in the email editor), and will also indicate attendance and revenue (as mentioned previously).

  3. Register contact interaction with the webinar: Depending on where you place the webinar in your workflow, you can configure the tile to register contacts that pass through it as registrants, attendees, or both (see the following example). Webinar tiles that are linked to an email don’t register anything because they just indicate the presence of the link.

  4. Enable triggers to react to user interactions: Triggers on the canvas can only react to states of tiles located earlier along the workflow. This includes the ability to react to user clicks and attendance at a webinar.

Example: Automated webinar campaign

One way to make good use of the webinar feature would be to offer existing contacts the opportunity to dial in to follow a presentation at an upcoming event. Not only can you use this to offer a valuable service that also keeps your contacts well informed about your products, but you can also track and score leads based on both registration and attendance to the event. The following illustration shows how you might set up the campaign canvas to run an automated campaign that meets these goals (see “Automate campaigns with the campaign canvas” for more information about working with the canvas).

The tiles in the illustration function and should be set up as follows (from left to right):

  1. Marketing-list tile: Establishes the collection of contacts who will receive the email and be tracked by the campaign.

  2. First email tile: This is the initial invitation email, telling users about the event and providing a link to a landing page where they can sign up for the webinar. Configure this tile with the marketing email you have created to invite contacts to the event.

  3. Landing-page tile: This tile is linked to the email, which enables you to view a few numbers about how many users have signed up. This tile also enables you to configure a subsequent trigger to react to user interactions with the landing page. Configure this tile with the landing page you have set up to handle registrations for the webinar. To link a new landing-page tile to the mail, drag it on top of the mail tile.

  4. First trigger tile: Configure this trigger to watch the landing-page tile for contacts that submit the webinar-registration form (it could look for landing-page visits instead, but only registration is important here). Contacts who register will be passed along the upper path of the workflow; other contacts are dropped from the campaign here, though you could also set up the lower path to send a follow-up reminder sometime closer to the event.

  5. First stand-alone webinar tile: This stand-alone (unlinked) webinar tile is able to track contacts. All contacts that come this far in the workflow have now filled out the registration form, so you should track them as registrants, possibly increasing their lead scores. Configure this tile with the appropriate webinar event and set it to Track as registrant.

  6. Second email tile: This email should include a message thanking the contact for registering and also, crucially, deliver the link required to join the webinar. Configure it with a marketing email you have created for this purpose.

  7. Linked webinar tile: This linked webinar tile indicates that the message includes a webinar link and makes it possible for subsequent triggers to react to user interactions with the link. Configure it to use the same webinar event as you set up for the stand-alone tile.

  8. Second trigger tile: Configure this trigger to watch the linked webinar tile for clicks. Contacts who click will be passed along the upper path; other contacts are dropped from the campaign here.

  9. Second stand-alone webinar tile: Contacts will only arrive at this final webinar tile if they have opened the webinar link. Configure it to use the same webinar event as the other tiles, but this time set it to Track as attendee all contacts who arrive here.