Validate, test and send messages

 

Updated: November 1, 2016

Applies To: Dynamics Marketing

System_CAPS_importantImportant

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing is no longer available as of May 15, 2018. Your organization has until August 13, 2018 to retrieve your data. For advice about how to download data and assets, and how to clean up Dynamics 365 instances that were previously integrated with Dynamics Marketing, see Prepare for the scheduled sunset of Dynamics Marketing. For more information, see also the customer FAQ and read the blog post Microsoft Dynamics Marketing service will be discontinued, and learn what’s coming next. If you have additional questions, please reach out to MDMquest@microsoft.com.

When your email design is finished (or nearly finished), you must validate the message and might also decide to send a test message (recommended). Finally, you are ready to either send it immediately or activate it for use in campaign automation or A/B testing.

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing won’t send your mail unless it passes a validation test. Validation enforces several rules that help ensure that your mail will not be identified as malicious spam; this is very important because large email providers, such as Hotmail and Gmail, may start to block all messages coming from your organization if they notice significant numbers of problematic messages coming from you.

You can validate your mail at any time by choosing the Validate button (available on all top-level tabs of the Email Marketing maintenance page page). Validation will also run automatically if you try to test, send or activate the mail.

After a validation check, Dynamics Marketing displays the results in a pop-up window. For each problem found, select it to go to the page where you can resolve that problem. Typical problems include:

You will always see a plain-text validation warning the first time you validate. This is referring to the plain-text version of your HTML mail, which you would not have had the opportunity to consider until you validate the mail. The only way to edit this is to choose the Edit button for the text elements during validation. This opens a window for editing the plain-text version of your mail. Choose the Re-generate from HTML button to get started, then tweak the results as needed. Plug-in and field drop-downs are also provided in the text editor. The text version is important because one of the anti-spam tests that large email providers do is to make sure that the plain-text version exists and is roughly similar to the HTML content.

You can test-send a message as many times as you need to; test messages are deducted from your total available messages.   Test messages are not tacked and test sends do not affect a message’s send or activation status.

System_CAPS_importantImportant

Test messages are counted against your monthly email marketing quota, so you should probably avoid sending test messages to large groups of recipients unless that is specifically required for your test. Dynamics Marketing shows a warning if you try to send a test message to more than a few addresses at once; the default threshold is 10, but your admin can adjust this as needed for your site (see also Configure site settings).

  1. Open the message.

  2. Choose the Test send button to run the validator and view the results. If validation errors are reported, then you must fix these before continuing.

  3. Provided your message passes validation, click the Test send button in the Validation Results window and do one or both of the following:

    • Enter one or more email addresses.

    • Select one or more lists.

    System_CAPS_noteNote

    The Test Send pop-up dialog only shows those marketing lists that are specifically enabled for use with test sends (see also List management and segmentation).

  4. Choose Submit. Dynamics Marketing sends your test messages immediately

The procedure for sending your message will depend on how you will use it, as reflected by its Designation, Send recurring and Send externally settings (see also Create or view email marketing messages). The following table summarizes your options.

Designation

Send recurring

Send externally

Send procedure

Campaign automation

N/A

N/A

Validate and activate

The message will be addressed and sent according to the lists, logic and schedules defined on the campaign canvas.

Commercial

Disabled

Disabled

Validate and send directly

Send the message directly from the Email Marketing maintenance page, where you must also define the marketing lists that will receive the mail. You will define the send schedule when you choose Send.

Transaction

N/A

Disabled

Validate and send directly

Send the message directly from the Email Marketing maintenance page, where you must also define the marketing lists that will receive the mail. You will define the send schedule when you choose Send.

A/B Testing

N/A

N/A

Validate and activate

The message will be addressed and sent automatically as part of an A/B test, where the marketing lists and schedules are defined. More information:Use A/B testing to test response rates

Double opt-in

N/A

N/A

Validate and activate

This is a special-purpose message intended to support the double opt-in procedure. More information:Set up the double opt-in system

Commercial

Enabled

Disabled

Validate and activate

This is a special-purpose message intended to deliver a welcome message to contacts that submit a landing page and/or complete the double opt-in procedure. More information:Create and customize landing pages, Set up the double opt-in system

Commercial

N/A

Enabled

Validate and send via API

This type of message is only sent when triggered by an external system via the Dynamics Marketing API. It must also be configured with a marketing list or query (like all commercial messages) and also pass validation, but it does not need to be activated. When triggered, the message will be sent to all contacts on its send list.

Transaction

N/A

Enabled

Validate and send via API

This type of message must pass validation, but is only sent when addressed and triggered by an external system via the Dynamics Marketing API.

Unlike externally triggered commercial messages, transactional messages do not include a send list. When triggered, the message will be sent to the email address specified by the external system in the API call.

System_CAPS_importantImportant

The Send externally setting is only available if your admin has enabled the SDK for your site (see also Configure the SDK and Dynamics 365 Connector). The setting is furthermore only editable when you first create a message; once you have saved the message, you can no longer change this setting.

System_CAPS_warningWarning

When you activate a message, your design is copied from Dynamics Marketing to the bulk-message delivery system, which lives on another server. Once you have done this, you can no longer edit the mail; if you do, your changes will have no effect. If you must change your mail after activating it, then create a new copy, edit it and use the edited copy for your campaigns and tests.

To activate a message, go to its maintenance page and choose the Activate button. This button only appears for messages with a Delegation of Campaign automation, A/B testing, Double opt-in, or Commercial with Send recurring enabled. Dynamics Marketing validates the message and, if it passes, locks it and uploads it to the bulk-messaging server, ready for use by your campaigns, A/B tests, and double opt-in landing pages. You cannot deactivate an email message once it is activated.

To send a message directly from the Email Marketing maintenance page:

  1. Open the email message.

  2. Choose the Send button. (This button only appears for messages with a Delegation of Commercial or Transaction.)

  3. Dynamics Marketing validates the message and displays the Validation Results. If validation errors are reported, then you must fix these before continuing.

  4. If the Validation Results pop-up indicates that your messages has passed validation, choose the Send Now button to send the message right away or, for future delivery, click the Schedule Later button and then enter a date and time and click OK. Note that if you choose a future date, then the marketing lists/queries will not be evaluated until that date, which means that any contacts added or removed from the list(s) in the meantime will affect the actual send.

  5. Dynamics Marketing sends or queues the message and begins updating its Status value to track its progress through the system.

If your site is configured to use the SDK, then you are able create email message designs that can be triggered repeatedly by an external system via the Dynamics Marketing API. For this to work, the following elements must be in place:

  • The SDK must be enabled for your site (see Configure the SDK and Dynamics 365 Connector).

  • Each time you create a message that should be triggered externally, you must mark its Send externally checkbox right away. Once you save the message, you will no longer be able to change this setting.

  • The message must have a Designation of “Transaction” or “Commercial” (other designations are not available when the Send externally checkbox is marked).

  • Messages with a Designation of “Transaction” are intended to be highly personalized and should be sent to just one or very few contacts at a time. The API for triggering this type of email requires you to specify the ID of a valid email message together with the email address it should be sent to.

  • Messages with a Designation of “Commercial” are intended to be sent at higher volume than transactional messages. You must therefore configure each commercial email with one or more marketing lists or queries before you can send it from the API. For example, your external system might use the API to set a custom contact field called “MembershipExpired” to “yes” for each contact whose gym membership had just ended; at the end of the month, the external system would then trigger a commercial email addressed to a query that looks for contacts with this value. The result would be a renewal reminder sent to all recently expired gym members. The API for triggering this type of email requires you to specify the ID of a valid email message, but does not require (or accept) any email addresses.

See the Dynamics Marketing SDK documentation for complete details about how to work with the API.

System_CAPS_tipTip

To find the unique ID of each email message (required by the API):

  1. Go to Marketing Execution > Email Marketing > Email Marketing Messages. The Messages list page opens.

  2. Use the search and filter controls to find the message you are looking for, and then check the External ID column for the ID.

  3. If the External ID column is not shown, then use the Customize Columns toolbar button to turn it on.

Once you have sent or activated a mail, it becomes locked so you cannot edit or send it again (though it might get sent many times during a campaign). To resend an email marketing message you must create a copy, apply any modifications and then validate and activate/send it.

To copy a message:

  1. On the Messages list page, select the check box of the message you want to resend.

  2. Choose the Copy button Copy button.

  3. Make the changes needed.

  4. Choose the Send or Activate button.

You can cancel commercial and transaction emails scheduled for future delivery at any time before the delivery, but you can’t recall them. To cancel delivery of an email marketing message, choose Cancel.

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