Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Email Tracking

Written By: Josh Behl

from March 8, 2012

Ever wondered what those “other buttons” at the top of your Outlook emails are all about? Well, believe it or not…that functionality has been part of Microsoft Dynamics CRM for a long time…just not as noticeable!

The first two buttons are related to email tracking. If an email were not being tracked, the button label would say, Track. If it is already tracked it would say, Untrack. A common question we get from customers is, “What is the difference between Track and Set Regarding?”

Typically, you would just click Set Regarding. When you click that button, two things end up happening:

  1. A copy of that email is stored in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
  2. That copy is tied to the specific record you select.

For example, an email may be regarding a sales opportunity, a support case, or a lead, the email would show up within the application linked to the record you select. If you just clicked Track, a copy would be created in the application but it would not be tied to any particular record.

The other three buttons: Insert Template, Insert Article, and Attach Sales Literature may seem like new functionality…well, they are and they are not.

Since version 1.x Microsoft Dynamics CRM has provided you the ability to create your own email templates and have those templates available to all your users within the application. However, prior to version 2011, the only way to do this was to go into the application, create a CRM version of an email within the application and from there…you could use those templates. Unfortunately, because this functionality was buried under layers of clicks and icons few people used it. Let’s fast forward to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011! Now, you can insert those templates (once you create them of course) into the body of an email tracked in CRM. The other two buttons (Insert Article and Attach Sales Literature) fall into the same buried functionality from previous versions.

The Insert Article button allows you to insert a Knowledge Base article into your Outlook email that you have tracked in CRM. For example, a customer calls you with an issue with a particular product…let’ call it a squeaky widget. You could search your Knowledge Base articles that pertain to “Squeaky Widgets” and send them that article to help them fix it. This is assuming of course that you have been using the Knowledge Base functionality in CRM. Unfortunately, most companies don’t know it exists and those that do didn’t use it in previous versions because sending an article meant you had to go into a CRM email within the application and send it from there. Again….not exactly simple.

Finally, the Attach Sales Literature button allows you to send sales/ marketing related documents directly to your customers. Now, you may ask, “Can’t I just browse out to my product PDFs and other marketing collateral on the network and attach them to my emails?” Sure you can…but…the advantage of using the Sales Literature functionality in Microsoft Dynamics CRM is that those Sales Literature documents can be associated with particular products or marketing campaigns you have set up within the application.

All that aside, these tools have for the first time become directly usable in a simple fashion. I plan on writing a few additional articles on each of these in the upcoming weeks so please come back to Dynamics University for an in-depth look at Sales Literature, Knowledge Base Articles, and Email Templates.

If you need assistance contact your local Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner.