Importing and Syncing Lists from Microsoft Dynamics

  • Updated

To begin marketing to your MS Dynamics database from Act-On, you will need to import your Leads and Contacts as marketing lists.


  • An active connection to your MS Dynamics account
  • The Act-On Marketing Platform installed and configured

Import Leads and Contacts from MS Dynamics

  1. Click on Contacts > Marketing Lists.
  2. Click the Import button in the upper right corner of the page.
  3. Click the radio button next to All Leads. Your Act-On list name will auto populate but can be modified manually in the "New List Name" field. Once you've named your list, click Next.
  4. In the next screen select the fields you wish to import as Columns in your Act-On list and click Finish.
    • For Hot Prospects, your list must include Owner and Owner Id fields.
    • For lead score sync, your list must include the Act-On Behavior Score fields.
    • Note: After your initial field selection you can always import additional fields. To do so, click the dropdown menu next to your MS Dynamics list and select Import/Export > Ms Dynamics Sync Setup > Add List Columns.
  5. Verify that your new list has been created in Marketing Lists > Default Folder. Once the import is complete, repeat the same steps for All Contacts.

You may also import Static and Dynamic Marketing Lists and Reports from MS Dynamics using this same process.

Reports imported from Ms Dynamics are pull-only (cannot push data from Act-On to Dynamics).

Synchronize List Data with MS Dynamics

Once you've imported your CRM data into Act-On as lists, you may need to schedule these to synchronize on a recurring basis (or you may do so manually as needed). Before scheduling a recurring sync, however, you must configure settings for how the data will be managed.

MS Dynamics Sync Setup

  1. Click on Contacts > Marketing Lists.
  2. Hover over your list and click the drop-down arrow > Import/Export > MS Dynamics Sync Setup (for a Report, select Re-import from MS Dynamics.)

There are multiple options for synchronizing data between MS Dynamics and Act-On. These options are described below.

CRM Sync Options

  • Push to MS Dynamics:
    • Add new Act-On records to MS Dynamics
    • Update existing records in MS Dynamics (Determine which fields will be updated)
  • Pull from MS Dynamics:
    • Add new records to the Act-On list from MS Dynamics
    • Update existing records in Act-On (Determine which fields you want to update in Act-On)
    • Remove records from this list that are not found on this list in MS Dynamics.
      • This removes records from Act-On if they've been deleted in MS Dynamics. It will remove the Lead if the Lead has been converted into a Contact (the record will be pulled in to the Contact list on the next list sync).

List Sync Scheduling

After configuring the push and pull settings for your list, you are ready to set this on a schedule.

  • Accounts are limited to 10 scheduled list syncs. To increase this limit, speak to your Account Manager.
  • The shortest possible interval between syncs for a single list is 1 hour.
  • Only one sync can occur at a time. Therefore, it is recommended that you stagger your sync schedule. Example schedule:
    • 7:45AM - Scheduled sync from Data Management
    • 8:00AM - All Leads
    • 8:15AM - All Contacts
    • ...with each sync set on the same interval/period.

Schedule a List Sync

  1. Navigate to the dropdown menu for the list you want to synchronize and select Import/Export > MS Dynamics Sync Setup.
  2. Click the Schedule button. Choose the desired frequency, intervals and start times.
  3. Click Save at the top of the window.

Once the list push/pull options and sync scheduling preferences have been set, click Save at the bottom of the window. To discard all changes, click Cancel.

How Scheduled Syncs Work
Scheduled syncs are a full sync every two weeks (pulling and updating every record) and incremental syncs between these (pulling and updating only those records that have changed in the CRM).
A full sync will occur if a new field is added in the Marketing List.

Best Practices for MS Dynamics Lists

  • Implement Primary Lists for Leads and Contacts and schedule these for recurring synchronization.
    • This ensures that your contact data is up to date and your Act-On instance runs efficiently by minimizing the number of regularly recurring syncs. 
  • Maintain your CRM as the database of record rather than using Act-On for that purpose.
    • This means carefully selecting the fields that push from Act-On to MS Dynamics. Fields originating in Act-On such as Act-On Behavior Score are appropriate to push, while pushing fields originating from your CRM (such as the Owner field) can introduce data sync problems.


Can I push/pull Custom Fields?

For a custom field to be imported from MS Dynamics correctly, it must contain basic alphanumeric data and the connected MS Dynamics user must have read access.

While most custom fields are available for syncing, there are some limitations. Custom Fields that will not sync:

  • Custom Campaign fields
  • Custom Multi-Select Picklists
  • Fields such as an External Lookup Relationship that perform a calculation in MS Dynamics.
Your System Administrator may be able to help you convert lookup fields into a new text field that will sync as intended.

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