If you’re using WordPress CMS and Microsoft Dynamics 365 as your CRM, you’ve probably discovered a myriad of integration methods. They all take a slightly different approach to solving the problem, but none is more correct than the others – it all depends on your priorities.
In this article, we’ll examine and compare the various methods and technologies to integrate WordPress CMS and Dynamics 365 and help you decide what’s right for your organizational needs.
Before We Begin …
Integration technology can be tricky. Before diving into the integration comparison, we’d like to offer a few helpful suggestions to help you on your journey.
1. Consider Free & Paid Options
In general, we recommend businesses opt for paid options that also include a support level that is in alignment with your business operations. If your operations are 24/7, your integration support should be too!
2. Recognize Differences in Integration Architectures
Choosing the correct integration architecture is critical, and comes from an understanding of your current technology, personnel skills, campaign goals, and the channels you’re engaged in. Once you’ve taken a full inventory of your current situation, decide where to do the integration configuration work. This can be achieved in Dynamics 365 tools or in WordPress via PHP, for example.
3. Don’t Overlook Compatibility Requirements
Make sure to research the compatibility of your entire technology stack when considering any new component. For example, WordPress does not have native contact forms, but there are easy ways to add this functionality to your website via third-party apps. Some of the most popular are Contact Form 7, Gravity Forms, Ninja Forms, and WP Forms. It is important to note that not every integration tool works with every contact form.
Now, as promised, let’s dive into the integration options.
1. Alexa CRM
Alexa CRM is a WordPress plugin that collects data from your WordPress website forms to push to Dynamics 365 CRM. This professional plugin supports Contact Form 7, Gravity Forms, and Ninja Forms. Conveniently, you do not need to buy a separate license to switch between form providers.
The Alexa CRM plugin lets you push data to multiple different entities including leads, contacts, accounts, and custom entities from Dynamics 365. In addition, Alexa CRM also offers a business plan which allows you to authenticate users to Dynamics 365 and rapidly build a customer portal.
Alexa CRM pricing starts from $49 per month for the professional plugin.
2. CRM Perks Plugin
CRM Perks has created WordPress plugins to collect data and submit it to over 20 services, including MailChimp, Google Sheets, Constant Contact, and of course, Dynamics CRM.
The CRM Perks plugin has a few components as part of its solution. First, it sends data from Gravity Forms or Contact Form 7 into Dynamics 365, allowing you to easily create contact, account, case, order, and lead entries when a form is submitted. You also get full synchronization with Dynamics CRM entries; should you update, delete, or restore an entry in Gravity Forms or Contact Form 7, for example, the corresponding entry will be updated, deleted, or restored in Dynamics CRM.
Finally, CRM Perks allows you to add a lead to any campaign in Dynamics 365. This includes error reporting, generating easily exportable (CSV) error logs on the fly.
Zapier’s selling point is automation. It allows you to create automated workflows – which Zapier calls “Zaps” – and connect them to your apps without typing a single line of code. The platform supports more than 3,000 apps, including Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement modules like Sales Hub.
To configure the integration, Zapier presents users with a list of triggers and actions to set desired automations. For example, you can set up a Zap when adding a new user to WordPress, which will then be added as a contact in Dynamics 365 CRM.
The downside to all this is that Zapier will not allow your custom or complex logic in its Zaps, but you’ll still be able to integrate Dynamics 365 CRM with Gravity Forms and WP Forms.
Zapier offers a free plan with up to 5 Zaps (again, Zaps are the automated workflows) with a minimum update time of 15 mins. If you need more Zaps or faster performance, paid plans start from $19.99 per month.
Reenhanced is a web software company specializing in supporting difficult CRM implementations. One of the company’s products is a group of WordPress plugins that collect form data from WordPress and integrate it directly with Power Automate.
The plugins are a powerful solution with potent functionality; users can automate business processes, send automatic reminders for past due tasks, and connect to almost 300 data sources or any publicly available API.
Reenhanced plugins for WordPress include both Gravity Forms, Power Automate Add-On, as well as a Contact Form 7 Power Automate Add-on. These plugins are easy to install and connect. Power Automate accepts data from the Reenhanced plugin, which allows for low code, point-and-click data transformation. The data is then written to the underlying Dynamics 365 database, Dataverse.
One of the best parts of accepting data via Power Automate is it provides you access to over 400 services including most other parts of Microsoft’s cloud platform with a no-code, point-and-click-based interface. This allows for broad functionality:
- Put form entries into a dynamically updated excel spreadsheet
- Build a flow to put entries into SharePoint
- Announce new entries in Microsoft Teams
- Connect form data to your CRM and kick off other automated processes
- Build a flow to start an automated marketing campaign
- Use form entries with IoT devices
- Empower your form to start complex internal business processes
5. Power Automate WordPress Connector
We’ve only examined forms-based integration so far, but there is another option worth mentioning: WordPress’ native connector for post-integration. With it, Power Automate can post new pages, read content, trigger actions in Dynamics when a new page is posted, as well as being able to get information & statics on existing pages.
Reference: Power Automate WordPress Connector →
6. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing
Last but not least – and an alternative to everything above – is Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 Marketing App. It’s a one-stop solution for your digital marketing strategy that both collects form data and allows you to plan and execute your campaigns. The latter is achieved through built-in email and landing page designer, customer journeys, in-depth analytics, segmentation, automation, and much more.
Dynamics 365 Marketing has features that let you create forms in the app and embed them to your website. Whether you’re using WordPress, simple HTML, or any other CMS, you can create and embed as many forms as needed.
Alternatively, if you’d like to connect your web forms to Dynamics 365 Marketing you can use a built-in app feature “Form Capture”. The software generates a script to add to your form page and your forms will be tracked in the app and provide you the options to map your web form fields to Dynamics 365 Marketing fields.
As with much of Dynamics 365, implementation requires some tech skills. We’ll have upcoming blog posts pertaining to this, or if you’re interested in learning more, schedule a free demo with us.
Final Thoughts on Dynamics 365 CRM & WordPress Integration
Picking the right integration tool is an important part of your sales and marketing technology stack. There are lots of different architectures, support options, tools, and functionality considerations when picking an integration tool. Hopefully, this article helps you make some sense of it all.
A Note From the Author
If your priorities include personalizing customer experiences and creating compelling customer journeys, make sure to catch my upcoming blog posts on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing. In my upcoming posts, we will be covering customer journey orchestration, engaging customers in real-time, and insights into your customers’ experience.