I’m going to cover the basics of creating an Email Marketing template and show how to safely test it until it look good enough to be saved, published and ready to use.
Before we can assemble an Email marketing template, we need to first create a couple plugins. Now, the Dynamics Marketing Plugins have nothing to do with the CRM Plugins. In the dynamics marketing context, a plug-in is a mark-up tag that users can embed in the body of an email marketing message. To create a basic Email Marketing Message, we will need a “Sender Address” plugin and a “subscription Center Plugin”.
Before creating the plugins, let’s set up a Vendor Company
Notice that if you still don’t have a Company set. You will need to go and create one. Beside the CRM look and feel, the counterpart of the lookup field does not offer you a link to create a new company. If you type the name of an existing company, it will find for you. But if you don’t remember how to spell it or need to create a new one, you will need to go to the Vendor Company screen.
The name of the Vendor Company now is what you enter under the field “Company” when creating a Sender Address and when creating a Subscription Centre.
The sender address plug-in is a template that converts into HTML with the sender’s address.To create a Sender Address plugin, Go to Settings > Campaign Management > Email Marketing Plugins
Click the “+” button and select “Sender Address”
Fill up the required fields. If you created a company on the previous step, use it here for the field “Company”. Otherwise, make sure you add an existing company under Company.
Now, let’s create a subscription center. The subscription center is a Dynamics Marketing Plugin that converts into a link that is unique to the message and each recipient. This link allow the recipient to change their contact information and subscribe or unsubscribe from email lists.
Notice this also have Name, Created By, and Company. Make sure you enter the same Company on both “Subscription Center” and “Sender Address”.
Click here for more on subscription center
Now we can go ahead and create the email template.
Let’s say we want to send a custom personalised message to each contact.
First Part: The greetings.
- Write the most appropriated salutation (Hi, Hello, Howdy…)
- Click on “Insert Fields” and select first @Contact.FirstName (space) @Contact.LastName
Now what @Contact.FirstName and @Contact.LastName Do? When you send this email, it will pick a Contact record from the assigned Marketing List, and replace @Contact.FirstName with this contact’s first name. (Same with @Contact.LastName).
Let’s suppose you have a Marketing List with this record:
|First Name||Last Name|
Hi @Contact.FirstName @Contact.LastName will be substituted by “Hi Billy Joe”.
Second Part: The Body.
Here you can use HTML for the static part and Razor for dynamic content. Let’s suppose you want to send a custom flyer with a specific product and price depending of the Country.
To add Razor code, click on “Add Code Block”. It will insert the code block icon
Double click it and write some code. Notice you can use the fields of the contact record to tailor it to different occasions.
Click here for the official MS Asp.Net Razor intro.
Go to Insert Plugin and add 1 Subscription Center and 1 Sender Address.
It should now be looking similar to the screen below. Click “Convert HTML to Text”.
This is enough to test.
Click Test and select a Marketing List. Here I created a Marketing List with only 1 recipient with my email address for testing purposes. Make sure you have something like this to avoid Email real contacts when editing a template.
If everything is fine, it should send an email through. But if there is some issue with the code block or the plugins are not the correct ones for that company, you will get error messages.
This is what the above produced:
If you see a Validation Error pop-up, scroll down to Validation Errors:
Another error you may notice is when you forget to add the Sender address plugin or the subscription Plugin.