Auto Update Target Lists in SugarCRM

sugarcrmdevelopers —  July 25, 2012

Have your Target Lists ready to go when sending emails, customer newsletters, and more.

Those using SugarCRM for marketing and email campaigns will appreciate this recent customization we completed for one of our clients. Epicom 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 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.

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.

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.

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, email