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Email Engagement

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In the previous activity, you learnt about Relationship Assistant, which allows you to take advantage of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and apply it to your sales processes. This will be greatly enhanced by understanding Email Engagement.

Email Engagement is a powerful tool provided in Dynamics 365 for Sales.

For years marketers have had the ability when sending email to track when people open the email, click on links and other data about the software that is used to read the email. Now, similar functionally to this is available to salespeople with little effort.

Email Engagement lets you:

  • See when recipients opened your message, clicked a link, opened an attachment, or sent a reply
  • Receive an alert right away, the first time a recipient opens your message
  • Schedule the most effective delivery time and receive advice for the best time based on the recipient’s time zone
  • Choose the most effective message template, with recommendations based on your organisation’s previous email interaction history
  • Set an alert to remind you when it’s time to follow up on an email message.
  • Review the full interaction history of a single message, or review KPI’s.

You need administrator privileges to enable Email Engagement as part of embedded intelligence. Email Engagement uses the relationship assistant to deliver alerts and other messages, so we strongly recommend that you also enable the assistant if you are using Email Engagement.

Get Interaction History for Email

Until now when you send an email, you may never know if it was opened or read unless the recipient chooses to write back to you or accept a read-receipt request.

That’s because the email system was created to simulate traditional mail and was not designed with response tracking in mind. Dynamics 365 uses special techniques to work around this limitation and provide the following message-following features.

Email Opens

When you send a followed email message from Dynamics 365, the system automatically generates a uniquely named, transparent, one-pixel GIF and adds it as a linked image to the message.

This invisible GIF, and all the other images that you add to the message, are stored on your Dynamics 365 server and are first loaded from the server when somebody opens the message (and chooses to download its images).

When a unique GIF is requested, Dynamics 365 registers that the associated message was opened, and notes the device type. We recommend that you always include other images in your message because that will help motivate recipients to download the images (you won’t know they open it if images aren’t loaded).

When you send a followed email message from Dynamics 365, the system automatically replaces each of its hyperlinks with a unique redirect link that points to the Dynamics 365 server. Each redirect link includes an ID that uniquely identifies both the message that contains it and the URL of the original link target.

When the Dynamics 365 server receives the link request, it logs the click and then redirects the click to its original address so that the recipient still gets the correct information with little or no delay.

Attachments Tracking

When you add a followed attachment, the file isn’t attached directly as with a standard email. Instead, it gets stored on the OneDrive for Business share used by your Dynamics 365 server and added as a link to the message. As with followed links, when a recipient clicks to download the attachment, the Dynamics 365 server notes the click and the time.

You can mix both followed and unfollowed attachments in a single email, which can be important if you are sending sensitive files that you don’t want to save on OneDrive for Business. Many of your recipients may actually prefer to receive attachments as links rather than files because that means that your messages will take up much less room in their inbox.

Email Templates

Email templates are standard messages that you send often, such as introductions, confirmations, thank-you messages, and reminders. They can include dynamic values (such as sender or recipient data). They give you a quick start when you’re writing common messages.

The Email Engagement feature automatically analyses the performance of all messages sent through Dynamics 365 and identifies your most successful templates. It shows all available templates but highlights the ones that were found to generate the most opens, replies, or sales.

Using this information, Dynamics 365 shows you the full interaction history for any message and calculates key performance indicators (KPI’s).

Screenshot of email interaction history

Note: You should treat all email interaction data as approximations. The system can only register an email-open event if the recipient also downloads the message’s images (including the invisible GIF), so the actual number of opens could be larger than the number recorded in Dynamics 365.

Similarly, if images are cached (which is typical for web-based email clients), then additional opens may not get reported to Dynamics 365.

It can be a good idea to include visible images in your followed email messages (such as a company logo or illustration) to encourage recipients to download the images. By download the image they want to see they automatically download the tracking image.

You can decide what to use when sending an email from Dynamics. When Relationship Assistant is configured the below information will be available when sending an email. Chose the options that meet your needs. You need to save the email before adding attachments that you want to track.

Screenshot of email follow up options.

Any time you compose an email that includes one or more recipients that do not allow following, the controls for enabling the various follow features are shown as disabled on the email authoring page.

When the following features are turned off, the message won’t include a web beacon (clear GIF), all files will be attached directly rather than linked, and no links will redirect through Dynamics 365. But you can still schedule delivery and may still see the template and delivery-time recommendations.

For additional study: Use email engagement to view message interactions

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Dynamics 365: Customer Engagement for Sales

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