We have a Partner Hosted implementation of Dynamics CRM – can we use this?
Yes, Partner Hosted Dynamics CRM solutions are already accessible from the Internet and the technical approach we have taken with the Connector means that only standard customisation changes are required. This should be supported by any Dynamics CRM Partner Host.
A new user account will be required for use by the Connector and this must have access to the Dynamics CRM Web Services (CRM Service and Metadata Service).
We have an On Premise installation of Dynamics CRM – can we use this?
Where you are hosting your own Dynamics CRM solution there are three primary methods of providing connectivity between your Dynamics CRM implementation and the Connector.
Internet Facing Deployment (IFD) – Preferred Option
Many Dynamics CRM customers already have this option implemented, which allows secure access to Dynamics CRM from the Internet.
IFD allows Dynamics CRM customers to configure their CRM system to be reachable from outside the intranet (i.e. internet or outside of the firewall). The main difference when using IFD vs. typical on-premise deployment is how users are authenticated. When using the on-premise version, Internet Information Services (IIS) handles most of the authentication via integrated windows authentication. In IFD, the CRM web site is opened for anonymous access and the authentication relies on the presence of the CRM ticket cookie. This cookie is obtained by starting off from a sign-in page.
Directly Expose Dynamics CRM using a Public Internet address
This approach involves your Dynamics CRM Server being directly accessible from the Internet and will use standard Windows Authentication to access the CRM system. This option is not usually recommended without secure firewalls being in place.
We use CRM 2011 (v5) - does the Connector support v5?
The connector will definitely support Dynamics CRM 2011 (v5). If you already have the Dynamics dotMailer connector and are thinking about upgrading from CRM 4 to CRM 5, there will be additional upgrade costs.
What changes are made to Dynamics CRM?
All changes made are undertaken through the standard customisations ability of Dynamics CRM. Several new entities are created and some existing entities extended within your Dynamics CRM. There are also new Security roles created to support access to the new functionality.
A detailed list of customisations is available separately.
The new roles created are:
- Email Campaign Connector Service (System Use Only)
- Email Marketing Manager
- Email Marketing Professional
Extended CRM Entities
- Marketing List (list)
The existing Marketing List entity is extended to support synchronisation with the dotMailer platform.
New CRM Entities
- CRM Field (esc_crmfield)
Holds CRM metadata used by the Email Service Connector
- Email Campaign (esc_emailcampaign)
Holds information about the email campaign, including aggregate statistics
- Email Campaign Connector Configuration (esc_emailcampaignconfiguration)
Holds configuration information for use by the Email Service Connector
- Email Click (esc_emailcampaigncontactclick)
Holds information about each click a recipient has made, including what, when and where
- Email Send Summary (esc_emailcampaigncontactsummary)
Holds detailed information about the send made to each recipient, including individual send statistics for the Account, Contact or Lead.
- Email Data Label (esc_emailcampaigncustomfields)
Holds the data labels that are used to pass recipient specific information between CRM and dotMailer. For example, First Name, Last Name, Gender or any other related CRM attribute.
- Email Data Mapping (esc_emaildatamapping)
Holds the attribute mappings between CRM Fields and Email Data Labels for each entity type; Account, Contact and Lead.
- Email Suppression (esc_emailsupression)
This entity contains the email suppression list used by the Connector and dotMailer when synchronising.
- Email List Unsubscriber (esc_listunsubscriber)
Holds details of Accounts, Contacts and Leads that have unsubscribed from a Marketing List / Address Book.
- Email Message Queue (esc_messagequeue)
This entity is for future use.
- Email Account (esc_emailaccount)
This entity holds the details for each dotMailer account, including synchronisation settings.
How is the installation performed?
As your Dynamics CRM implementation will have been highly customised to meet your business requirements, it is important that the provisioning of the Connector is undertaken by us and the required changes merged with your own existing changes. This will involve one of the following options.
Option 1 (Preferred)
dotMailer will require CRM Administrator access, which will be temporary only. This access will be used to obtain your current CRM metadata and existing customisations and confirms remote connectivity.
Your Dynamics CRM is then remotely provisioned by our technical services team, which includes the following steps.
- A backup of the existing metadata and customisations is created
- The changes required by the Connector will be merged with the existing customisations. These changes will include new entity metadata, new security roles, new forms, configuration data and changes to the Site Map to allow for access to the new Email Campaign information, which is added to the Marketing section
- The changes are published and initial tests conducted
We will ask you to create a new non-administrator user login which includes the role of "CRM Connector Service" (details of which will be supplied)
We will use this login to obtain your current CRM metadata (CRM field names), existing CRM customisations and to confirm remote connectivity
dotMailer will then use this backup to add the Connector's customisations to your existing customisations
These changes will include: new CRM fields, new security roles, new forms, configuration data and changes to the Site Map to allow for access to the new Email Campaign elements which are added to the Marketing section. These changes are then emailed to your own CRM technical support team to be applied and published
Your Dynamics CRM is then accessed by our technical services team to conduct initial testing.
Will Dynamics CRM be available while the installation takes place?
Yes, users can continue to access the system while the customisations are being provisioned.
What personalisation can be performed using the information sent to dotMailer?
The comprehensive mapping facilities allow each individual Marketing List member type (Account, Contact or Lead) to have their own mappings, which link any related CRM attribute to the dotMailer Data Labels.
Personalisation lets you add a Data Label (a placeholder for data) in an email that is replaced with recipient-specific information. For example, if the email should start Dear , the Data Label is replaced by the recipient's first name.
Dynamic content lets you include different content in the body of the email depending on recipient Data Label values. For example if you have a Data Label that contains a particular product interest this can drive the actual content within the email, such as including a section pertaining to that product.
Can individual attribute information from dotMailer flow back to Dynamics CRM?
Yes, each mapping can either "push" information to dotMailer or "pull" information back from dotMailer and update CRM attributes accordingly. This is an especially powerful feature when combined with the Survey abilities of the dotMailer platform.
What aggregate statistics are available from within Dynamics CRM for the Email Campaign?
The aggregate statistics retrieved from dotMailer and held within Dynamics CRM are comprehensive and include the following:
- Click Rate (%)
- Delivered Rate (%)
- Open Rate (%)
- Reply Rate (%)
- Hard Bounce Rate (%)
- Soft Bounce Rate (%)
- Unique Open Rate (%)
- Unsubscribe Rate (%)
- User Click Rate (%)
- Total Number of Clicks
- Total Number Delivered
- Total Number of Hard Bounces
- Total Number of ISP Complaints
- Total Number of Opens
- Total Number of Page Views
- Total Number of Replies
- Total Number Sent
- Total Number of Soft Bounces
- Total Number of Unique Opens
- Total Number of Unsubscribes
What behavioural information is available for each recipient of an email?
For each email sent the following send statistics are available from within Dynamics CRM:
- Number of Opens
- Number of Replies
- Number of Clicks
- Number Forwarded To Friends
- Hard Bounced (yes/no)
- Soft Bounced (yes/no)
- Unsubscribed (yes/no)
- Number of Views
- Date First Opened
- Date Last Opened
- Date Sent
- Number of Estimated Forwards
- IP Address used when first opened
- Email Agent details from when first opened
For each click made by a recipient the following statistics are collected and made available from within Dynamics CRM:
- Date Clicked
- The URL Clicked
- IP Address
- Email Agent details
Can Marketing Lists be created or updated based upon recipient behaviour?
Yes, there are several ways to create new Marketing Lists or update existing Marketing Lists based on the behaviour information returned by the dotMailer platform.
- Using the standard Advanced Query capabilities of Dynamics CRM, as all behavioural information is held within Dynamics CRM
- Using supplied views and filters within each Email Campaign to select your new targets and add them to a Marketing List
How much control do I have on the synchronisation process?
The Connector provides you with a high degree of control on what is synchronised and when, including.
- Control each aspect of the synchronisation process, including the intervals, to meet with your own requirements
- Ability to determine the order in which Marketing Lists are synchronised
- Facility to ensure that certain Marketing Lists can be manually synchronised only
Are unsubscribers managed within Dynamics CRM?
Yes, the accounts, contacts, and leads in your Dynamics CRM system can stop receiving email by unsubscribing from within the email that has been sent to them and then this request flows back to Dynamics CRM.
Email Suppression List
The suppression list allows for the global suppression of email addresses to prevent them from being sent emails. This is in addition to the standard Dynamics CRM "Do Not Bulk Email" option.
This list is synchronised with the dotMailer Email platform.
A global unsubscribe will remove the accounts, leads, and contacts who do not want to receive email marketing from your organisation. This action automatically sets the Bulk Email field of a Contact, Lead, or Account record to Do Not Allow without requiring you to make manual changes. This action also marks the Contact, Lead, or Account as unsubscribed in the dotMailer platform.
Once globally unsubscribed the recipient is added to the email suppression list held in dotMailer and Dynamics CRM.
Marketing List (Address Book) Unsubscribe
Depending on the preferences of your subscribers, they may wish to opt out or opt back in to your email sends. The Connector will track a recipient's wish to opt-out of a particular dotMailer Address Book and update the corresponding Marketing List accordingly.send
Does the Dynamics Connector support multiple dotMailer accounts?
This feature is currently in development and is due for release in February 2011.
The Connector utilises the Dynamics CRM Service to communicate with the Dynamics CRM instance. The integration takes advantage of the customisation capabilities by modifying the ISV Configurations, site map and by creating new custom entities and extending existing entities.
The dotMailer platform has a comprehensive web service application programming interface (API) platform and this enables the management of email sending, tracking, subscriptions and recipients.
The Connector manages the communication between the Dynamics CRM web service and the dotMailer web service; gathering data from Microsoft Dynamics CRM and dotMailer as part of sending emails, retrieving and acting on tracking data, and managing unsubscribe requests. All communication is undertaken using standard web protocols (HTTPS and SOAP).