Create a Forward-to-a-Friend plug-in


Updated: May 3, 2017

Applies To: Dynamics Marketing


Microsoft Dynamics Marketing is scheduled to be retired on May 15, 2018. After that date the service will no longer be available. Please plan accordingly. For details, see the blog post Microsoft Dynamics Marketing service will be discontinued, and learn what’s coming next.

The Forward-to-a-Friend plug-in creates a forwarding form that your contacts can use to forward your marketing emails to their friends and colleagues. The plug-in also creates a link to the forwarding form, which you can add to a marketing email messages using the Insert Plug-In drop-down list (More information: Design message content using the graphical editor). Your email performance statistics will be more accurate if contacts forward messages using this feature rather than using their email client's built in forward feature.

When a recipient clicks a Forward-to-a-Friend link, their browser opens and displays the forwarding page created by the associated plug-in. When the recipient enters an address and clicks Submit, the plug-in then displays an acknowledgment page.

The forwarded emails are sent as if they were part of the original mass emails with the exception that Microsoft Dynamics Marketing doesn’t track the individual forwards separately for behavioral analysis.

There are several benefits of using the Forward-to-a-Friend function:

  • The feature makes it easy for your contacts' friends to opt-in.

  • Dynamics Marketing tracks the number of forwards for each message sent.

  • Dynamics Marketing doesn't track clicks or opens by recipients of the forwarded messages, which helps preserve the accuracy of your email results.

Dynamics Marketing enables you to create any number of Forward-to-a-Friend pages, each with different layouts and designs.

  1. Go to Settings > Campaign Management > Email Marketing Plug-ins.

    The Plug-ins page opens.

  2. Click the New button.

  3. From the Select the Type drop-down list, select Forward to a Friend.

    The Forward to a Friend maintenance page opens.

  4. Enter the information.




    Select the Active check box to make the plug-in available to marketing email message designers. Deactivated plug-ins can no longer be used in new email marketing messages, but the forwarding form itself remains available to recipients of previous messages.


    Specify a name for the plug-in.


    Specify the company that will use the plug-in.

    Created By

    Specify the contact who created the plug-in.


    Enter the header to be displayed on the forwarding form. The header for the page and the acknowledgment page are the same.


    Input the greeting to be displayed on the forwarding form.


    Input the acknowledgment that you want to display on the Forward-to-a-Friend acknowledgment page.

  5. Click Submit.

Use CSS styles to customize the layout of the forwarding page created by the Forward-to-a-Friend plug-in.

The CSS classes associated with the forwarding page are:

  • ForwardToAFriendHeader

  • ForwardToAFriendGreeting

  • ForwardToAFriendAcknowledgement

  • ForwardToAFriendEmailInformation

  1. Open the maintenance page for your Forward to Friend plug-in.

  2. Click the Header button to open the page editor in full screen mode.

  3. Click the HTML tab at the bottom of the page.

Specify the formatting you want to use to format each element of the Forward-to-a-Friend plug-in. For example, you could specify something like this:

<STYLE type="text/css">

<Insert your styles here>


When you save the Forward-to-a-Friend page, users will see the changes you have made.


If you click the Design or Preview tab, the code disappears, but it is encoded in HTML behind the scenes. 

To see a preview of the forwarding page created by your plug-in:

  1. Open the Forward to Friend plug-in that you want to preview.

  2. Click the Preview button at the top-right corner of the page.

  1. Open the email marketing message.

  2. Go to the message's Edit Content tab.

  3. Position your cursor where you want to insert the Forward-to-a-Friend link.

  4. From the Insert Plug-in drop-down list, select the Forward to a Friend plug-in.

    Dynamics Marketing inserts the hyperlink.

  5. Format the link as needed.

More information: Design message content using the graphical editor

The forwarding page that the plug-in creates includes both custom and standard texts. The custom texts are those that you add to the form yourself using the plug-in settings, as described earlier in this topic; for these you can use any language you want. But the standard text, which includes headings, alert messages, and button labels, are permanently stored on the bulk-messaging server, so you can't edit them from the Dynamics Marketing user interface.

When mail recipients open a forwarding page, they automatically see the standard display texts that match the language preference set in their browser. Dynamics Marketing also adds a standard note to the top of each forwarded message that uses this same language, telling the new recipient who forwarded the message. For each of these, only the standard languages provided with Dynamics Marketing are supported (plus Norwegian). (The language defaults to English for unknown languages.) For a complete list of the standard languages, see Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Translation Guide. A special case is Norwegian, which is not fully supported as a standard language, but is available for use on forwarding pages and subscription centers (More information:  Customize and translate text shown in a subscription center).

Customer shall not use email marketing features in violation of applicable laws.

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