MB2-719 Certification: Dynamics 365 for Marketing – Marketing Emails

I am about to take the MB2-719 certification, this certification covers the Dynamics 365 for Marketing Application. I plan to create a series of blog posts that collectively should help anyone else preparing for this exam. In this post I’ll review marketing emails.

The skills measured statement connected with marketing emails is shown below, I guess it is no surprise that marketing emails represent a significant portion of the exam. (As email marketing is such a core feature of Dynamics 365 for Marketing.)

You will find the option to create marketing emais under marketing execution. (As showb below.) The concept is that you will create a marketing email that can later be distributed from within a customer journey.

Creating an Email

Marketing emails can be created from blank or by using a template. I covered the concepts associated with templates in another post. You can view it here.

Having selected the marketing emails option and clicked new you will be asked to pick a template or use the blank option to create an email from scratch. Marketing ships with a number of sample templates but you will probably want to create your own. As using templates makes the process of creating similar emails much quicker and also ensures you maintain brand continuity.

Initially you will probably want to give your email a name, you can then start building the content. You can do this in the email designer. Where you have two options for creating / amending content. Firstly, you have the WYSIWYG style editor. Here you can drag tiles from the toolbox and edit the properties of the components you add as required.

The Available tiles include text, image, divider, button, content block, video, marketing page, event and survey. Each tile may have differing properties, for example with an image I can define the size and alignment of the image. Other tiles, such as text, may not have any properties but you will get a toolbar show to edit the test entered as required.

If you prefer you can use the HTML option to edit the code directly. Maybe not such a graphical approach but if you know HTML you may find this a rapid way of making changes.

Dynamic Content

Dynamic content can be used to personalise your emails. This might involve adding content from the recipients contact record. (Including things like first name, last name, address etc.) Dynamics content can be added in text blocks, subject lines, from address and from name fields.

Adding Dynamic content is easy using the “assist edit” button. Denoted by the “</>” icon. Having selected this option you can opt to select data from various “places”. The most common of which might be the first and selecte data from the contact who will receive the email. (Contact [context]).

Other options exist, including adding ContentSettings. (I will mention this option again later in this post!)

You can aslo add content from other entities including account, event, survey etc. However you might need to be aware that custom entities are not supported.

Having selected “Contact [context]”, I can start to enter the name of any field on the contact. And select as required. Notice the syntax of what gets created. We end up with a field surrounded in double “handlebars”. The format being “{{entity.fieldname}}”.

If you view the html code you can see how this handlebar syntax fits into the code.

You can even add some extensions to this “code” to allow for conditional content and even to loops. An approach known as using handlebar.js. (aka handlebar JavaScript.) The syntax for handlebar js is beyond what I’d like to cover in this post! But I have blogged about it before, you can read that post here.

Content Settings

Content settings are a set of standard values you might want (need) to include in your marketing email messages. I introduced the concept of contents settings when I covered subscritpion centers, you can view that post here. The concept is that each marketing journey will be linked a a content settings record, The detaisl from that record can be added as dynamicas content into your email message.

In fact some content wll be mandatory. All emails must include your physical address. And all marketing emails will also need to incluce a link to your subscription center.

Below you can see that if I check my email for errors without adding the mandatory content I will get errors.

Adding a link to my subscription center and adding my phyiscal address using the content settings option will resolve these errors.

The mandatory fields on an email will vary depending on its legal designation. Commercial (aka marketing) emails will require a subscription center link and an address but transactional emails will only require an address. You set the legal designation of emails from the summary tab on the email.

Preview of Emails

You will probably want to check out how your emails look beofre going live with them. We have several options for achieving this. The preview option includes two options, basic and inbox.

The basic preview option allows you to quickly view how the email might look on different form factors. Including desktop, tablet and mobile.

The alternative approach is to use the “Inbox preview” option. An Inbox preview makes use of “Litmus credits” to see how the email might render on specific devices. You will get a number of free Litmus email previews per month. Additional previews can be purhcased if required.

Test Sends

An additional way to test your emails is to do a test send. This is useful to check that any dynamics content will; be inserteded as expected. Below you can see that using the test send option I can trigger a send of the email. I can insert the email address to receive the message, which content to use for any dynamics content and also which content settings to use.

Go Live

Before your email can be used in any customer journeys you will need to check it for errors and make it live.

Once live the status will change to “Live”. If you wish to make any further changes to the email you would need to use the “Stop” option. (And then use Go Live again after your changes.)

Email Insights

Once your email is live and being used in customer journeys there is a very useful insights form. Changing to the insights form will allow you to monitor various statistics about how the email is performing. I suggest part of your revision should include creating several marketing emails, then use them in customer journeys, You’ll then be able to use these insights form to see how your interactions with the email effect the insights.

On the interactions tab of the email insights form you will find an interactions timeline. I find this view to be really useful when reviewing the performance of my emails.

Hopefully I have touched on most of the topics you’ll need to revise for marketing emails as part of your prep for the MB2-716 exam. But I suggest you keep in mind that this is an important topic and therefore gain plenty of hands on practice with various types of emails including differing types of content. Hopefully you will have fun experimenting with marketing emails. Enjoy.

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