Create an external subscription center plug-in


Updated: November 1, 2016

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.

All marketing emails sent with Microsoft Dynamics Marketing require a subscription center link. Many large email suppliers (including Hotmail and Gmail) require such links for all commercial emails, otherwise the emails will likely be labelled as spam and filtered away. The easiest way to create a subscription center is to use the built-in functionality in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing—see Create a subscription center for details about this option. However, you might instead like to create a custom page and manage this using an external system. If so, then follow the procedure provided here.

To set up an external subscription center plug-in:

  1. Go to Settings > Campaign Management > Email Marketing Plug-ins and do one of the following:

    • Open an existing plug-in of type “External Subscription Center”.

    • Choose the New button to open the Plug-in Type pop-up. Select “External Subscription Center” from the drop-down and choose OK.

  2. You should now see the maintain-external-subscription-center page. Make the following settings:

    • Active: Mark this box to make your subscription center available for use in marketing emails. Clear this box to hide it (this is actually the same as “deleting” the plug-in using the toolbar button on the list page).

    • Name: Enter a descriptive name for the subscription center. This is the name other users will see when selecting the plug-in for use in mails.

    • Created by: This is the user that “owns” the plug-in. By default, this will show your user name. You can change it if needed.

    • Company: Enter the name of the company for whom you are creating the plug-in. The plug-in will only be available for use with emails also designed for this company.

    • Base URL: Enter the absolute URL, path and page name where your external subscription center is set up. Include the protocol, e.g.,

  3. Depending on how your external system is designed, you will probably need to add some personalized parameters to the URL, for example, to uniquely identify the user and possibly other information. You can add as many parameters as needed using the table at the bottom of the page. Add and Delete buttons are provided for working with the list. Set up each parameter as follows:

    • Parameter Name: Enter the key name for the key/value pair. This must match the programming of the receiving page established by the Base URL.

    • Parameter Value: Enter a value for the key/value pair. You can enter either a constant or a variable here. Use variables to draw values from the contact records (such as email address); they look like this: “[-firstname-]”. To explore available variables, type “%%” in the Parameter Value field, which will open a drop-down list of possible variables; type-ahead assistance is also provided. The variable names are logical and indicate the type of value they will provide.

  4. Choose Save or Submit to save your settings. You will be asked to read and confirm a legal statement before your new plug-in is actually saved.