What's new in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing

Welcome to Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2016 Update 0.5. Here’s a list of features we added to this release, and other recent updates going back to Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2015 Update 1. If you’re new to Dynamics Marketing, go to Get started with Microsoft Dynamics Marketing to get started. If you’re upgrading from a previous version, see Updating from an earlier version for a few extra notes about the process and what to expect.

In addition to this topic, see also What’s new for developers for details about what’s new in the Dynamics Marketing SDK and other developer resources.

How to tell which version you have

To see which version of Dynamics Marketing you’re running, click the Settings button on the nav bar, and then choose About from the settings menu. This opens the About Microsoft Dynamics Marketing page, which shows the Version number. See the following table to match your version number to the release name.

Release name

Version number, as shown on the About page

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2016 Update 0.5

19.5x

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2016 Update 0.4

19.4x

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2016 Update 0.3

19.3x

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2016 Update 0.2

19.2x

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2016 Update 0.1

19.1x

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2016 Update

19.0x

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2015 Update 1.2

18.2x

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2015 Update 1.1

18.1x

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2015 Update 1

18.0x

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2015 Update

17.x

This topic describes the biggest features introduced in each version 19.x and 18.x release.

Features introduced in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2016 Update 0.5 (version 19.5x)

Include custom subscription centers on landing pages

Add any of your existing subscription center plug-ins to any landing page to let contacts sign up for newsletters when they register. You can customize your subscription centers to make sure they include only those mailing lists that are appropriate for each landing page’s target group. In previous versions of Dynamics Marketing, you could add a default subscription center (which included all available subscription lists), but you couldn't select a customized plug-in like you can now.

More information: Create and customize landing pages, Create a Subscription Center page using a plug-in

Use relative date/time arithmetic in query criteria

Create dynamic marketing lists (queries) that include relative date/time arithmetic and inequalities among their selection criteria. Use the updated TODAY placeholder to do date-based arithmetic that finds contacts based on date/time values such as birthday, sign-up date, or payment date. For example: TODAY+4D (four days from now), TODAY+5M (five months from now), or TODAY-2Y (two years ago). Inequalities (such as less-than or greater-than) are also supported by the updated TODAY placeholder. (The TODAY placeholder was available previously, but has been significantly improved for this release.)

More information: List management and segmentation

Leads views and direct engagement links are now supported by the seller portal

The seller portal provides salespeople working in Dynamics CRM with a view of which communications from Dynamics Marketing have been (and will be) sent to their contacts and accounts. The seller portal was already available from contacts and accounts views in CRM, but now it's also available from leads views. In addition, the seller portal now provides direct links from the contacts, accounts, and leads views in Dynamics CRM to the customer-engagement display in Dynamics Marketing. In CRM, links to the seller portal and engagement view are labeled as View Marketing Portal and View Marketing Engagement, respectively.

More information: Dynamics Marketing for Dynamics CRM users


Important

After you install this update, you must reset the seller portal in Dynamics Marketing by disabling and re-enabling it in the Site Settings. More information: Updating from an earlier version Configure site settings


Improve authentication performance in your SDK solutions

Use the new shared access signature (SAS) method to improve authentication performance when you communicate through your Azure Service Bus queues to and from the Dynamics Marketing SDK endpoint.

More information: Configure the SDK and Dynamics CRM Connector

Use fully-customized text colors in the graphical email editor

The graphical editor for designing marketing emails now provides a full-range color picker, allowing you to choose from thousands of colors rather than being limited to the set of predefined swatches provided by earlier versions of Dynamics Marketing.

More information: Design message content using the graphical editor

Use custom page-background colors in the graphical email editor

You can now assign a custom color to the background behind your email body container. which is especially useful when you are using a fixed-width container design.

More information: Design message content using the graphical editor

Establish a white list of permitted from-address domains for marketing email messages

Establish a white list of domains that are permitted in the from-address field for email marketing messages. Any message that does not include a valid and approved from-address domain will be blocked at send time (and reported as such in the performance results). This can help to improve security, prevent typos, ensure conformity to company policies, and increase deliverability by ensuring that from addresses always match your DNS registrations. You can also disable this feature if you prefer to allow all domains in the from field (the default setting).

More information: Configure email marketing and marketing automation options, Get ready for email marketing


Note

This was previously a limited-release feature that required a special service request to activate. The feature is now generally available to all organizations who update to Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2016 Update 0.5 or later.


Use business segments to better align your marketing initiatives to your organizational structure

Dynamics Marketing already lets you map companies, divisions, and departments to your various marketing initiatives so you can set budgets, organize your records, generate reports, and perform advanced analytics along organizational lines. But in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2016 Update 0.5, we have extended support for division and department associations and also introduced support for a new type of organizational structure: business segments. A business segment is a part of a company that is identified by the specific set of products, services, and/or geographical locations it serves. Each business segment typically distinguishes itself from other segments by its unique collection of customers, products, and marketplaces.

In Dynamics Marketing, you set up each business segment using the categories feature, which makes the segments available to the entire site, ensures consistent naming, and establishes a single source for editing and translation. The concept is similar to departments and divisions in that you can use them to divide an organization along logical lines for purposes of management, budgeting, reporting, and other practical concerns. However, unlike departments or divisions, Dynamics Marketing allows multiple business segments to be assigned to a single entity.

Business segments are not hierarchical, so they don't belong to a specific company, division, or department, and they can be assigned across these organizational lines. And unlike divisions or belongs-to company assignments, business segments can be changed at any time and do not add any restrictions to how or where you can use the entities assigned to them. More information: Set up business segments to reflect your organization

In addition to the new business segment settings, support for department and division assignments has also been extended to more types of entities. This means that all entities that now support business segments also support departments and divisions (if they didn't already). More information: Set up divisions and departments to reflect your organization


Note

This was previously a limited-release feature that required a special service request to activate. The feature is now generally available to all organizations who update to Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2016 Update 0.5 or later.


Improved send performance for high-volume email campaigns


Note

This is a limited-release feature, which means that it is considered stable, but it may also be highly specialized and/or narrow in scope. Limited-release features are available on request, but are otherwise hidden by default in the Dynamics Marketing user interface. If you would like to enable a limited-release feature for your site, then please contact Microsoft Support for assistance.


You can now set your email campaigns for high-volume delivery, which significantly improves performance when you are sending to a very large number (such as millions) of recipients.

When you use the high-volume option, Dynamics Marketing does not collect message-sent or message-delivered records on a per-contact basis, but it does provide total sent and delivered values for the campaign. Opens, clicks, and other KPIs are still available per contact. For smaller campaigns, you can turn off the high-volume option and also collect sent and delivered records for each individual contact.

More information: Create and manage your campaigns, Analyze the performance of email marketing

Features introduced in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2016 Update 0.4 (version 19.4x)

Establish your preferred bounce-handing policy as the default for all new marketing email messages

When a message can't be delivered, Dynamics Marketing marks it as a hard bounce or a soft bounce, depending on which type of message it gets back from the receiving mail server. A soft bounce typically indicates a temporary problem, while a hard bounce indicates an email address that probably doesn't exist at all (possibly because it is misspelled in your database). Dynamics Marketing tracks the soft bounces generated by each address and will eventually (after five soft-bounced messages in a row), mark the soft-bouncing address as a hard-bouncing address. For each marketing email message that you create, you can set whether Dynamics Marketing should remove hard-bouncing addresses or keep them in your database.

Though many marketers are reluctant to remove email addresses from their databases, you really don't want to generate hard bounces. Hard bounces significantly degrade your reputation as an email sender, which can result in your messages getting blocked by spam filters and may eventually land your organization on a black list. More information: Get ready for email marketing So once an address is identified as producing a hard bounce, Dynamics Marketing will stop trying to send to it and, depending on the message's bounce-handling setting, may remove the address from its contact record (while otherwise preserving the record).

Users establish a bounce-handling policy for marketing emails at the message level. This means that you can choose a different policy for each message. However, organizations typically have a preferred policy for most messages, and this preference varies between organizations. For this reason, administrators can now establish the default policy for all new messages; this policy will be used unless a user manually and explicitly overrides it. More information: Configure email marketing and marketing automation options, Create or view email marketing messages

Find, share, and reuse digital assets across records and entities

Many types of marketing entities in Dynamics Marketing include a Files related-information tab that you can use to find and upload files that are related to a specific record (like a specific campaign, contact, brand, or company). In the digital-asset-management system, files uploaded to a specific record are stored in the Microsoft Dynamics Marketing folder and nested further in folders named for the entity type and specific record (such as Microsoft Dynamics Marketing/campaigns/spring-sale). The Files tab only shows the contents of the current record's folder (and its subfolders) and doesn't let you navigate away from this folder. To let you add files already stored in other folders, the Files tab now includes an Add button , which is not included in the stand-alone file or library browsers. Click this button to open a pop-up window and browse, search, and select files to add to the current record's private folder. The system stores the file just once, but it is listed (as a reference) in each folder where it is used. By sharing files in this way (rather than uploading new files for each record), you will save storage quota and also have a single source to edit if you ever need to update the file.

More information: Find, organize, and upload files in the file browser

Use business segments to better align your marketing initiatives to your organizational structure


Note

In Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2016 Update 0.4, this was a limited-release feature that required a special service request to activate. The feature is now standard for all organizations running Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2016 Update 0.5 or later. See "Features introduced in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2016 Update 0.5 (version 19.5x)" for details about this, now generally available, feature.


Establish a white list of permitted from-address domains for marketing email messages


Note

In Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2016 Update 0.4, this was a limited-release feature that required a special service request to activate. The feature is now standard for all organizations running Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2016 Update 0.5 or later. See "Features introduced in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2016 Update 0.5 (version 19.5x)" for details about this, now generally available, feature.


Extended OData feeds for Power BI and custom analytics, integration, and reports

Dynamics Marketing already provides a rich collection of OData feeds for accessing live Dynamics Marketing data from Power BI, Excel, and other external systems. With this release, we continue to expand our collection of published data feeds, which lets you leverage, analyze, and share even more of your valuable Dynamics Marketing data. New for this release are extended OData feeds for:

  • Event staff/speaker activities

  • Media orders

  • Media order items

  • Media outlets

  • Business segments

  • Business-segment, department, and division assignments for all entities that support them

  • Folders and user-defined fields for events

For a complete list of OData feeds, including all available table, field, and data descriptions, see our OData feeds overview

Improved, standardized paging mechanism for multiple messages in the SDK

The software development kit (SDK) has been updated to provide a standardized mechanism for paging through multiple messages, which enablies more efficient coding while also introducing new possibilities. More information: What’s new for developers

Features introduced in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2016 Update 0.3 (version 19.3x)

Dynamics Marketing is now ISO 27001 and ISO 27018 certified

Dynamics Marketing has now achieved ISO 27001 (BSI Certificate) and ISO 27018 (BSI Certificate) certifications. Additionally, Microsoft can now offer Dynamics Marketing under the European Union Model Clauses.

More information: Microsoft Trust Center

Create asymmetrical column layouts with the graphical email editor

In previous version of Dynamics Marketing, you could use the graphical email editor to create layouts based on blocks of one, two, or three evenly-spaced columns. The editor has now been enhanced to provide a variety of popular symmetric and asymmetric column-layout templates.

More information: Design message content using the graphical editor

Create dynamic-list query criteria based on the dates of contact email interactions

You can now create dynamic marketing lists that collect contacts based the dates of their email interactions (in addition to contact data and other interaction results). You might use this to identify contacts that have not opened any of your emails in a long time, or to find contacts that have been especially active during a recent campaign. The new selection criteria are available to queries set to select based on email marketing behavior.

More information: List management and segmentation

Create seamless event sign-ups by integrating landing pages with external systems

One common use of landing pages is to create a form that lets contacts sign up for an event and/or event sessions. With Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2016 Update 0.3, you can now add seamless online payment to the sign-up process, which lets contacts pay event fees at the same time. You could also use this feature to integrate with other types of third-party systems. The solution lets you configure a URL for each registration setup item, and to link landing pages to setup items. When a contact submits a landing page, he or she is automatically forwarded to the URL for the setup item associated with that page. The solution automatically appends a unique one-time token as a parameter to the specified URL; use this token to enable your third-party system to securely fetch information about the submission, including details such as event ID, registration setup, event session, and other submitted and related data.

This feature requires a third-party system and custom programming that interacts with Dynamics Marketing via its API and SDK (More information: Integrate online payment with event registration).

More information: Set up registration items for events, Create and customize landing pages

Improve security with control over uploadable file types

The digital-asset management features of Dynamics Marketing let users upload and manage digital files, which might include graphics used in email messages, brochures, planning documents, contracts, and other digital resources. To prevent malicious files from being distributed through Dynamics Marketing, the system already prevented certain file types (such as executables and scripts) from being uploaded. Administrators can now read the full list of blocked file types and add their own as needed, helping to make sure that the system only accepts those types of files that your organization actually needs to share.

More information: Set up file options for digital asset management

Improved support for accrual accounting with partial expensing

When processing purchase orders (POs) for goods and services you have ordered, you now have the opportunity to partially expense individual PO line items. For example, if you have a PO with a single line for 10,000 brochure prints, but you have received only 5,000 of them so far, you can now choose to expense just those 5,000 copies you received. The PO will remain open and show the outstanding balance for each line item, and you can continue to expense individual shipments until each line item has been fulfilled.

More information: Manage purchase orders

Expanded collection of user-defined fields for jobs and campaigns

User-defined fields (UDFs) are optional, extra fields that admins can rename and enable as needed for many types of entities in Dynamics Marketing. These fields always exist in the database, even if you don’t use them, but are hidden until enabled, which means that there is a fixed maximum of UDFs available for each entity type. In response to customer demand, we have now expanded the selection of UDFs fields available for the often-used job and campaign entities.

More information: Configure user defined fields


Note

Unlike other types of entities, contacts use a special mechanism that allows for unlimited custom fields. More information: Create custom contact fields for market segmentation


Extended OData feeds for Power BI and custom analytics, integration and reports

Dynamics Marketing already provided a rich collection of OData feeds for accessing live Dynamics Marketing data from Power BI, Excel, and other external systems. With this release, we continue to expand our collection of published data feeds, which lets you leverage, analyze and share even more of your valuable Dynamics Marketing data. New for this release are extended OData feeds for:

  • Equipment

  • Equipment requests

  • Component requests

  • Digital asset management (now includes URLs to open file properties and folders in the file browser and, for files stored in published libraries, direct file download)

For a complete list of OData feeds, including all available table, field and data descriptions, see our OData feeds overview

Features introduced in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2016 Update 0.2 (version 19.2x)

View more meaningful message statistics with standardized performance KPIs

Dynamics Marketing tracks and reports several key performance indicators (KPIs) for evaluating the performance of marketing email and SMS messages. These include both absolute KPIs (such as the total number of opens) and relative KPIs (such as the open rate, which might compute the percentage of opens in relation to the total number of messages sent). In the latest release, you can now choose to display standardized KPI rates, or to continue using the legacy calculations shown in earlier versions of Dynamics Marketing.

Legacy KPIs calculate all rates related to the total sent quantity. The new standardized KPIs calculate rates according to industry standard practice, with some rates related to the total sent quantity, and others related to total delivered, total blocked, or total addressed quantities. The raw data (absolute quantities) do not change based on your selection of KPIs to use; only the calculated rates do. The following table shows equations and examples of how the various rates are calculated for each type of KPI selection for email results; SMS results are similar.

Qty.

Legacy KPI Rate (%)

Standardized KPI Rate (%)

Total addressed

1000

(not shown)

(not shown)

Sent

950

100% (sent/sent)

95.00% (sent/addressed)

Blocked

50

5.26% (blocked/sent)

5.00% (blocked/addressed)

Delivered

900

94.74% (delivered/sent)

94.74% (delivered/sent)

Soft bounce

30

3.16% (soft/sent)

3.16% (soft/sent)

Hard bounce

20

2.1% (hard/sent)

2.1% (hard/sent)

Opened

300

31.58% (opened/sent)

33% (opened/delivered)

Clicked

50

5.26% (clicked/sent)

5.56% (clicked/delivered)

Forwarded

15

1.58% (forwarded/sent)

1.67% (forwarded/delivered)

Unsubscribed

25

2.63% (unsubscribed/sent)

2.78% (unsubscribed/delivered)

Total clicks

65

6.84% (totalClicks/sent)

7.22% (totalClicks/delivered)

Blocked due to cross-campaign rules

15

1.58% (rules/sent)

30.00% (rules/blocked)

Blocked due to contact permissions

8

0.84% (permissions/sent)

16.00% (permissions/blocked)

Blocked due to duplicates

6

0.63% (duplicates/sent)

12.00% (duplicates/blocked)

Blocked due to missing email

5

0.54% (missingEmail/sent)

10.00% (missingEmail/blocked)

Blocked due to inactive contacts

2

0.21% (inactive/sent)

4.00% (inactive/blocked)

Blocked due to do not email

4

0.43% (doNotEmail/sent)

8.00% (doNotEmail/blocked)

Blocked due to invalid sender

8

0.84% (invalid/sent)

16.00% (invalid/blocked)

Blocked due to failures

2

0.21% (failed/sent)

4.00% (failed/blocked)

More information: Configure email marketing and marketing automation options, Analyze the performance of email marketing, Analyze the performance of SMS marketing

Improved contact imports with the option to update existing records

When you import contacts, Dynamics Marketing checks incoming contact records against the existing records to identify duplicates based on your selected duplicate-detection method. By default, the system drops incoming duplicate contacts, but you can now choose to update matching records instead. The drop/update matching contacts option is presented as a checkbox on the import-contacts page, so you can choose your preference for each individual import operation.

More information: Prepare and import data, Configure site settings

Get help troubleshooting OData connections with the new downloadable OData log file

Dynamics Marketing now keeps a detailed log of OData interactions, which you can download from the Site Settings page for use during troubleshooting.

More information: Configure site settings

Fine tune the timing of your automated campaigns with improved scheduler resolution

The Scheduler for automated campaigns is now able to schedule a delay between tiles based on hours rather than just days. The minimum delay is now two hours. As before, you can still create multi-day, fixed date, and repeating schedulers too.

More information: Automate campaigns with the campaign canvas

Collaborate more effectively by sharing direct links to digital assets

Each digital asset stored in Dynamics Marketing is accessible on a file properties page that provides a download link and also displays a rich collection of metadata about the file. Usually you will find a file's properties page by using the file browser window or the Files related-information tab for an entity (like a specific campaign) that uses the file. In Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2016 Update 0.2, file metadata has been extended to show the URL for the file maintenance page, so you can now easily copy the URL and share it with colleagues as you develop, prepare, and approve a digital asset for use. If the file is available externally for download (because it is stored in a published library), then the file maintenance page also shows the direct download link.

In addition, the folder properties page now shows a link that opens that folder in the file browser (only accessible by authenticated Dynamics Marketing users) in addition to the published link (accessible by anonymous users if publishing is enabled for a given folder).

More information: Manage file properties and use version control, Manage folder properties and publish folders as libraries

Work more quickly with improved organization of long drop-down lists

Some drop-down lists in Dynamics Marketing include a relatively long list of options, while others can eventually become quite long if you decide to add a large number of custom fields. To help you find what you are looking for more quickly, we have now applied alphabetized sorting in long drop-down lists. The following features now use alphabetized drop-down lists:

Custom SMTP server configuration is discontinued

Dynamics Marketing uses SMTP to send internal email messages, like alerts or approvals, but uses a separate bulk-messaging server for marketing email and SMS messages. The required SMTP server is maintained by Microsoft, included with your Dynamics Marketing license, and located in the same geographical region as your Dynamics Marketing server and data center. It was previously possible for organizations to use a custom SMTP server (such as one running internally at the customer site) instead of using the standard one. This required a special service request to Microsoft Support and was not user configurable. As of now, however, custom SMTP servers will no longer be supported, so all Dynamics Marketing instances will use a standard Microsoft-supplied SMTP server. This applies to all versions of Dynamics Marketing, even if you do not update to the latest version.

Features introduced in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2016 Update 0.1 (version 19.1x)

Option to treat upcoming (not ready to start) tasks as active or inactive

All tasks in Dynamics Marketing include a Status field, which makes it possible to track a task as it travels from creation to completion. One special status is Not Ready to Start. This status is normally used to mark a task that is part of a series of tasks to be completed in order (as part of a job), but which should wait for a previous task to complete before starting. When the previous task in a sequence is marked as completed (or canceled), then the next task is automatically changed from Not Ready to Start to Not Started, which means that task’s prerequisites are complete and the task is ready to start.

By default, Not Ready to Start tasks are considered inactive, which means they are hidden in the standard list view unless you choose to view inactive tasks. When the status changes to Not Started, the task is then considered active and is visible by default. This makes it easy to find your most important and relevant tasks.

You can now configure your site so that Not Ready to Start tasks are considered active (and visible by default in your task list). Your choice for this setting should be based on how your organization uses the tasks feature.

Administrators can set this option in the Task Options section of the Site Settings page. More information: Configure site settings, Manage tasks


Note

This new setting also affects new-task alerts, which can be sent to users when a task assigned to them becomes active (or is created in an active state). If you set Not Ready to Start tasks as active, users who have a new-task alert configured could receive alerts for tasks with start dates that are actually days, weeks, or even months into the future. More information: Work with alerts


Customized landing page category values

For landing page fields that display as drop-down lists (categories), you can now choose which of the available values you want to include for each drop-down list on the page. This lets you fine tune each of your landing pages by removing drop-down list values that are not appropriate for a given context. All values are included by default.

More information: Create and customize landing pages

Option to restrict permission to delete contacts

Administrators can now configure Dynamics Marketing to prevent most users from deleting contacts, even if they have Edit-Contact privileges. In previous versions, and still the default setting, all users who can edit contacts can also delete them (Edit Marketing privileges enable this for marketing contacts, while Edit Site Contacts privileges enable this for site, vendor, and client contacts). Administrators can now set an option that prevents all users (other than administrators) from deleting contacts. Administrators with Edit-Contact privileges can always delete contacts.

Regardless of this setting, Dynamics Marketing contacts are always soft deleted, never hard deleted. This means that deleted contacts are always kept in the database, but are marked as inactive and hidden by default.

Administrators can set this option in the Contact Options section of the Site Settings page. More information: Configure site settings

New OData feeds

Dynamics Marketing now publishes even more types of data as OData feeds for use in Power BI reports, custom applications, and other OData consumers. New OData feeds available in this version include the Status field for the company and components tables, and component-related fields for several related tables.

Japanese language improvements

The graphical email editor now offers three Japanese-only font choices on sites where the site language is set to Japanese. Administrators can set the site language in the Regional Options section of the Site Settings page. More information: Configure site settings, Design message content using the graphical editor


Note

The site language, as set on the Site Settings page, establishes the default for new users, but each user can also choose their own personal language More information: Configure your preferences, Configure site settings)When the site language is Japanese, the extra fonts are available to all users, regardless of their personal language settings. These fonts will not be available to users whose personal language is Japanese unless the site language is also Japanese.


Improved query logic for custom contact fields

In previous versions of Dynamics Marketing, you could not create queries (dynamic marketing lists) to find records with an empty or null value in a custom contact field. For example, if you created a custom contact field called “blood type” and created a query to find contacts where “blood type equals null”, no results would be returned. In Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2016 Update 0.1, querying contacts where “blood type equals null” now returns all contacts that have not yet registered a blood type. This means that queries based on custom contact fields now work the same way as they do for standard contact fields.


Note

To make sure all existing queries continue to work as expected, the new query logic will only apply to queries created after you update to Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2016 Update 0.1. Queries created in previous versions will continue to use the logic that doesn’t return results for null values.


Here are some related tips for working with queries:

  • Custom contact fields will never be “empty”—they can only be “null”. This means you should not use the “is empty” operator to find fields without values.

  • The “does not contain” operator does not return null values. If you query for contacts where “blood type does not contain ‘B’”, then you would find contacts with blood type A+, A-, O+, and O-, but you would not find contacts where the blood type is not registered. To include these, add an extra clause to create a query, such as “blood type does not contain ‘B’” or “blood type is null”. This logic is similar for the “does not equal” operator.

Features introduced in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2016 Update (version 19.0x)

Mobile marketing


Important

SMS marketing features are not enabled in the Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2016 Update Preview release, but will be enabled in the final release. You can explore the user interface for these features, and read draft documentation, but you are not able to create SMS keywords or send SMS marketing messages in the preview.


Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2016 Update introduces full-featured mobile marketing based on mobile text messaging, or “short message service” (SMS). New SMS features include:

  • Create cross-media, cross-channel campaigns that include SMS, email, and more

  • Fully integrated with the campaign-automation canvas

  • Author, address, and deliver bulk SMS message directly from Dynamics Marketing

  • Personalize message content with contact-field values such as first and last name

  • Include managed landing-page and offer links

  • View detailed KPIs for every outgoing SMS blast, including deliveries, clicks, and more

  • Drill down to inspect opt-in/out messages and details

  • SMS performance results are published through OData feeds for creating custom analytics and detailed reports

  • Contacts can opt in from any SMS-enabled cell phone, with optional double opt-in support

  • Reserve, create, and manage SMS keywords to handle contact opt-ins and opt-outs

  • Establish multiple SMS keywords to support different clients, products, or campaigns

  • Empower your contacts, with full support for SMS-based help and opt-out commands

  • Set up and manage message quotas with Office 365

  • Cross-campaign rules to limit the number of messages sent to any contact in a given time frame. This can help prevent marketing fatigue among your contacts, and can include limits on SMS messages, email messages, or both.

  • Detailed tracking with rich reporting and results analysis; view detailed KPIs for every outgoing SMS blast, including deliveries, clicks, and more

  • Drill down to inspect opt-in/out messages and details

  • SMS performance results are published through OData feeds for creating custom analytics and detailed reports

More information: SMS Marketing

Expanded alerts

Dynamics Marketing can deliver automated email alerts to let you know about important internal events related to tasks, deadlines, activities, leads, events, and much more. In addition, you can subscribe to alerts related to contact interactions, such as website visits, email opens, email clicks, and landing page submissions.

Previously, the contact-interaction alerts were limited to specific contact and entity pairs, such as “Tell me when Gary Hatley opens the Christmas 2015 Promotion email.” But now you can create broader alert conditions in which either the contact or the entity can be a wildcard, such as “Tell me when Gary Hatley clicks any email message,” or “Tell me when any contact submits the Newsletter Signup landing page.”

More information: Work with alerts

Custom list selection for subscription centers

Subscription centers provide a way for contacts to opt in and opt out of your email mailing lists. Usually, a subscription center shows all static marketing lists that are flagged as subscription lists and also belong to the same company as the subscription center. You can still configure your centers this way, but now you can also customize the collection of lists shown on any subscription center by selecting from available lists.

More information: Create a Subscription Center page using a plug-in

Fix marketing email links even after sending

Did you ever send an email and immediately wish you could press undo? Usually it’s too late, but with Dynamics Marketing you can now get partway there by editing the destination of any or all URLs included in your marketing emails—even after they have been sent and delivered. It works because all links in your marketing emails are redirected through Dynamics Marketing for tracking purposes. You can now open any delivered email message in Dynamics Marketing to view a list of links it includes, and even edit the URLs they redirect to.

More information: Create or view email marketing messages

View HTML generated by the graphical email editor

When you use the graphical email editor, you create your message using drag-and-drop layout elements and a rich text editor. But behind the scenes, you are actually generating HTML. If you want to inspect or copy the generated HTML, just click on the new View HTML Content top-level tab while working in the graphical editor.

More information: Create or view email marketing messages

Insert images directly into emails while using the HTML code editor

The best way to include graphics in your marketing emails is to add them from the Dynamics Marketing digital asset management system. This provides a central place for you to store, approve, and manage your images, while also introducing many performance improvements. Until now, it was somewhat difficult to use your digital assets together with emails authored using the HTML code editor, but now the editor features an Insert Image button that lets you place image links directly from the digital asset management system into your code.

More information: Design message content using the text-based code editor

Multilanguage enhancements for marketing email and SMS messages

With Dynamics Marketing you can include personalized content, such as each recipient’s name and other contact-record values, in your marketing emails and text messages. Though most contact fields (such as name and address) are not language dependent, others, such as salutation, can be. Category field values (which appear as drop-down lists on the contact form) can be defined in multiple languages, and you can now assign a language to each email or text message to make sure the correct language is used for any category values included in your messages. This includes custom contact fields.

More information: Design message content using the graphical editor, Create and compose SMS marketing messages, Create custom drop-down values and folders, Create custom contact fields for market segmentation

Expanded OData feeds

With the 2016 update, Dynamics Marketing continues to expand its selection of available OData feeds, which you can use to design custom analytic reports in Microsoft Excel with Power Query and/or Power BI for Office 365.

More Silverlight features replicated to HTML5

Previous versions of Dynamics Marketing relied on Microsoft Silverlight to provide the interface for its digital asset management features. However, Silverlight is being phased out, with many newer web browsers already discontinuing support for it. Therefore, we are in the process of replicating these features in HTML5, where they will be available for all web browsers.

An HTML5 version of the file browser was already included with Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2015 Update 1.2, but Silverlight was still required to use the file-markup features and the library browser. These last two components are now available in HTML5 versions, so HTML5 is now the standard interface regardless of which web browser you use. Silverlight is only available on request.

More information: Browser support for digital asset management.

More options for detecting duplicate and existing contacts

Keeping duplicate contacts out of your database is always good practice, as these can confuse users and also dilute lead scoring and result statistics. It is just as important to uniquely identify each contact to make sure the correct contact gets credit for his or her various interactions and engagement. But different organizations have different needs in this regard, so Dynamics Marketing provides a flexible system for identifying duplicate contacts, depending on whether you want to allow different contacts to share email addresses and/or mobile phone numbers (for SMS marketing). Duplicate detection based on mobile phone numbers is new and has been added to enhance support for mobile marketing.


Note

If you want to start using SMS marketing, then we recommend you change your duplicate detection setting to one that considers mobile numbers. If you will not use SMS marketing, then we recommend you do not change your setting.


More information: Configure site settings.

Improved CRM Connector

The Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Connector for Microsoft Dynamics CRM lets sales and marketing professionals work more closely and effectively while generating, nurturing, qualifying, and closing leads. Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2016 Update introduces the following improvements for the Connector:

  • Visually monitor the queue size and processing rate

  • Visually monitor initial sync progress for each entity type

  • Automatic throttling mechanism during synchronization prevents queues from overflowing

  • Verification of access permissions in CRM, with feedback in Dynamics Marketing

  • Disabling or resetting the Connector using the Dynamics Marketing interface automatically disables or resets the CRM endpoints too

  • Detailed Connector troubleshooting advice and FAQs added to documentation

More information: Connect Microsoft Dynamics Marketing to Dynamics CRM, Troubleshoot your connector setup

Features introduced in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2015 Update 1.2 (version 18.2x)

Improved lead and contact imports

When you import leads or contacts, the import engine is now more efficient at identifying existing company and contact records referenced in the import file, and relating these to the newly imported entities. This means that imported leads are now linked to the existing contacts and companies they apply to, while imported contacts can now be linked to the existing companies they work for. In cases where no existing contact or company is found, the import engine instead creates records as needed. The import engine now identifies and removes duplicate records that occur within incoming files. More information: Prepare and import data

Silverlight features also available as HTML5

In previous versions of Microsoft Dynamics Marketing, nearly all of the digital asset management features relied on Microsoft Silverlight technology to create the user interface. However, Silverlight is being phased out, and the newest versions of some browsers already cannot run it, so all of the features that used to rely on Silverlight are also being made available as HTML5.

For Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2015 Update 1.2, the file browser and file-upload features are available in both Silverlight and HTML5 versions, so these will work in all browsers, with the best-supported interface selected automatically for your browser. However, file markup and the library browser still require a Silverlight-enabled browser. Most of the remaining Silverlight-based features are expected to be available as HTML5 versions in the near future, though some features may instead be phased out.

As of this writing, Silverlight is supported by the current versions of Internet Explorer and Firefox, but not by current versions of Chrome, Microsoft Edge, or Safari. For an up-to-date list of browser support, go to the Silverlight download page. If you are using a browser that does support Silverlight but does not have it installed, then you can use that same link to install it.

More information: Browser support for digital asset management

Dynamic HTML attributes in emails

It was already possible to include dynamic field values (such as a contact name, incentive program, or other values) in your email designs, including in HTML attributes like hyperlinks and image links. However, it was previously necessary to write extra Razor code to use such values in HTML attributes. Now you can place these values directly, which may help make your emails easier to design. More information: Design message content using the graphical editor, Design message content using the text-based code editor

Features introduced in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2015 Update 1.1 (version 18.1x)

Connector Wizard for Microsoft Dynamics CRM (on-premises)

The Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Connector for Microsoft Dynamics CRM now includes a program called the Connector Wizard, which makes it much easier to install and/or update the connector when used with Microsoft Dynamics CRM (on-premises). The wizard is not needed to set up a connection to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. More information: Configure synchronization for Dynamics CRM (on-premises)

Enable marketing lists for testing

While you develop your marketing emails, you can send test versions of your message to individual email addresses, entire marketing lists, or both. Previously, all marketing lists were available as targets for test messages, which made it possible to accidentally send test messages to a very large (and possibly inappropriate) audience. In the new update, only those marketing lists explicitly marked for use during testing will be available for selection when initiating a test send. In addition, you’ll be warned if you try to send a test mail to more than 10 recipients. More information: Validate, test and send messages

Download multiple files at once

It is now possible to download several files and/or folders at once from the digital asset management system. More information: Find, organize, and upload files in the file browser

Improved reporting during campaign automation

The campaign automation canvas now displays the last-run and next-run times for each tile, and for the campaign itself, so you can see how recently each tile executed and the next time it will run. In addition, the email tile now shows sent, opened, bounced, and blocked statistics. More information: Automate campaigns with the campaign canvas

Improved email delivery reporting

You could already view detailed delivery and performance statistics for each marketing email, but now the display offers even more details about delivery problems, including issues related to duplicate detection, cross-campaign rules, contact settings, and more. In each case, you can drill down to see a list of specific affected contacts. More information: Track blocked and unsubscribed email messages

Improved task compression

Task compression occurs when you reduce the time span assigned to a job that includes one or more tasks. In this case, the system attempts to reduce the length of each task proportionally, up to a configurable limit. This system is now more reliable and easier to use.

New API for triggering commercial emails

You could already trigger transactional emails externally from the API (these are individual emails sent to a single, specific address named in the API call), but now you can trigger commercial messages too, which take advantage of marketing lists to establish the recipients. This is especially useful when combined with dynamic lists (queries). To trigger a commercial message, the API call must specify an existing and valid email message design, which must be configured to accept external triggers and already include one or more send lists or queries. Combined with custom contact fields, an external billing system, and other API calls, you could use this feature, for example, to create messages that automatically inform customers their membership has expired or that their credit card was declined. More information: Validate, test and send messages


Important

To use this new API, you must download and use the latest Dynamics Marketing SDK package. This download package includes documentation, sample code, the assemblies needed for development, and other resources.


For more information about the SDK and other developer resources, go to the Dynamics Marketing Developer Center.

Server time zone is now automatic

The server time-zone setting has been removed from the Site Settings page. All times are now stored using coordinated universal time (UTC) and will automatically be converted to local time zones for display and input as needed.

Features introduced in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2015 Update 1 (version 18.0x)

Double opt-in support for inbound marketing campaigns and organic lead generation

Inbound marketing and organic lead generation are great ways to add qualified leads to your contact database. These represent people who are already interested in your products and have signed up for newsletters, online services, events, downloads, and mlore. They are quite likely ready to buy.

To make sure leads like these are legitimate and represent real customers with real email addresses, many organizations provide a double opt-in process. This means new contacts must first submit their email address, and then click a link in a message sent to that address, confirming both the address and the contact’s interest. Double opt-in is a good idea in all countries/regions, and in many countries/regions (especially in Europe), it’s required by law.

Dynamics Marketing now provides a comprehensive double opt-in feature that is fully incorporated into marketing emails, landing pages, and automated campaigns. A full auditing trail is also maintained for when proof of double opt-in compliance is required.

More information: Set up an inbound marketing campaign, Set up the double opt-in system

Improved lead scoring

Dynamics Marketing lets you design detailed lead-scoring models based on a wide variety of demographic data, contact-interaction records, and custom data-field values. For each lead, the system now provides detailed graphical and tabular views that show exactly which rules contributed to the total score over time and how much they affected it. In addition, you can choose to score leads either in real time or with batch processing.

More information: Overview: Working with Leads, Create and manage leads, Set up automatic lead scoring

Improved privacy compliance

Whenever you’re dealing with people’s private contact details, it is vital to respect their privacy and their wishes when it comes to collecting, storing, using, and sharing this information. It’s good for business, and often, it’s the law. Keeping contacts and Dynamics Marketing users informed of Microsoft’s and your organization’s privacy policies is an important part of this.

For marketing contacts, Dynamics Marketing will provide the terms of the policy (encoded using the P3P standard) to all web browser that encounter Dynamics Marketing cookies. This is important because many browsers, including newer versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer, may reject cookies sent by servers without a valid P3P policy. More information: Cookies and privacy issues

For Dynamics Marketing users, the system now offers admins the opportunity of specifying custom privacy policies that apply to personnel within the organization. Otherwise, the standard Microsoft policy will apply and be available for inspection by system administrators. More information: Configure site settings

To further protect the privacy of marketing contacts, Dynamics Marketing subscription centers can now be configured to hide, show, or edit customer data at an individual field level. More information: Create a Subscription Center page using a plug-in

Choose how to identify duplicate contacts

When you run an email campaign, you want to make sure all legitimate contacts receive a copy of your message, but that none of them receives the same message twice. Double messaging can be a fast track to the junk email folder and/or your unsubscribe page. But organizations have different ideas of what constitutes a duplicate contact. Some companies want to reach and track each contact individually (even when they share an email address), while others prefer to filter their send lists to include just one instance of each email address (even if two different contacts are sharing one). Both approaches have their advantages, and Dynamics Marketing now lets you choose which is best for your organization. The duplicate-detection system operates at two levels:

  • Database level: Configure the database to prevent multiple contacts that have the same belongs-to company from sharing the same email address. This also affects the duplicate-detection algorithm, which decides whether an incoming landing-page registration or contact import should create a contact or update an existing one. More information: Configure site settings

  • Company level: Even if your database does allow multiple contacts to share an email address, you can also configure the email policy for each site/client company to allow or prevent sending marketing emails to the same address twice. More information: Company settings and configuration

Expanded Analytics with OData, Excel, and Power BI

Create beautiful, informative reports based on real-time data pulled directly from Dynamics Marketing. With this release, we continue to add expanded support for more OData feeds and Power BI features—both for stand-alone Excel workbooks and on PoweBI.com.

The new Dynamics Marketing connector for Power BI delivers an all-new collection of dashboard widgets that enable you to embed specially targeted graphs and views based on your Dynamics Marketing data right on your PowerBI.com dashboard. Be informed, plan strategically, and show off your results. More information: Design custom reports using OData and Power BI

Improved digital asset management

Find your digital assets faster with multiple-keyword search support. Each file can have multiple keywords assigned to it, you can search for multiple keywords at once, and you can choose to search for files that have any or all of the keywords you are searching for (apply an OR or AND operator, respectively). More information: Find, organize, and upload files in the file browser

Simplified and improved Azure management

Dynamics Marketing uses Microsoft Azure technology to implement data exchange between the various members of the Dynamics CRM family of products, including the Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Connector for Microsoft Dynamics CRM and the Dynamics Marketing SDK. We have improved these functions to take advantage of the latest Azure technologies. As a result, integrations are now easier to manage while offering better performance. Improvements include:

  • Separation of service bus namespace for SDK and Connector: You can now configure the Microsoft Dynamics Marketing SDK and the Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Connector for Microsoft Dynamics CRM with different service bus namespaces.

  • Microsoft-owned queues for CRM Online integration: Microsoft Dynamics Marketing now provides managed service buses for CRM Online integration. You no longer need a Microsoft Azure account and service bus namespace for CRM Online integration.

More information: Configure the SDK and Dynamics CRM Connector

Manage the rollout of Dynamics Marketing upgrades

Because Dynamics Marketing is an online service, users never need to worry about most of the details related to keeping it up to date. However, some times may be better than others for an update to take place at your organization. Therefore, Dynamics Marketing empowers admins to choose exactly when a new upgrade will be rolled out on their instance. This makes sure the service won’t become unavailable, and that unfamiliar features won’t suddenly begin to appear, right in the middle of a critical event or campaign. But upgrades are very fast anyway—usually they are completed with fewer than 30 minutes of downtime. More information: Manage Dynamics Marketing updates

Improved performance and scalability

Behind the scenes, Dynamics Marketing has now been improved to handle more customers and bigger databases with even higher efficiency. For you, that can mean faster page loads, improved application performance, and faster email delivery.