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Auto Update Target Lists in SugarCRM

by Amanda Anderson on July 13, 2012

4 minute read

Those using SugarCRM for marketing and email campaigns will appreciate this recent customization we completed for one of our clients. W-Systems Senior Software Engineer, James McGirr, customized Target Lists in SugarCRM to eliminate having to manually update the lists every time an email went out.

Basics of Sugar’s Target Lists

First, let me take a step back and explain the concept of Target Lists in Sugar. These are basically lists of Contacts, Leads, Accounts, or Targets. A company might have one Target List that includes all of its customers. When sending out its monthly newsletter, the company would simply send it to the Customer Target List.

Another use case for Sugar’s Target Lists might be for geographic campaigns. A company could create a Target List that includes all Accounts, Contacts, and Leads that are in the state of Texas. If they wanted to send out an email campaign to people only in Texas, they could easily send it to that Target List.

These Target Lists are created by either manually adding a Contact, Account, or Lead, or pulling Contacts, Accounts, or Lead from a Report in Sugar.

Select from Reports

The Challenge

The concept of Target Lists is great for marketing purposes and saves a lot of time once the list is setup. However, when you create a list from a Sugar Report, it only pulls the people that are on the report at the time the list is created. For example, let’s say you want to create a Target List for customers. If you define customers as those with won Opportunities, then you would first create a report for Accounts associated with won Opportunities. Then you could pull the Accounts from that Report and add them to your Target List and send them a monthly customer newsletter. But what happens next month? You may have added 25 new customers and want them to also receive your monthly customer newsletter. You would have to go back to your Target List and pull from the same report. Also, let’s say you lost a customer, you would have to manually go back and delete them off of your Target List.

The Solution

To eliminate the need to manually update Target Lists in Sugar, we created a way to auto-update reports associated with the Target List.

A simple checkbox was added to turn on the auto-update. This allows the user to decide if the list needs to update in real time or be archived. For example, a monthly newsletter list should be updated the second a new customer is added. But a 2011 holiday card mailing list should not be automatically updated.

Auto Sync on

A subpanel for Reports was added and enables the user to pick all of the reports they need for the Target List. If the Target List is for Accounts and Leads in Texas, then you would want these reports to auto update the list.

 Auto Sync Reports

Every minute, the Target List is updated and records are either added or removed to reflect the current Report filter parameters. By auto-updating Target Lists, marketers can save a ton of time, and be reassured that email campaigns are being delivered to the appropriate people.

For more information on the auto-updating of Target Lists in SugarCRM, contact us here.

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