Several new features are coming in 2019 for Dynamics 365 for Marketing with a focus on the areas of intelligence and extensibility. Most of these features will be available on the April 2019 release and some are coming available for public preview or in later months. Here we’ll take a quick look at each.
|Integration with content management systems||General Availability||April 2019|
|Easy Onboarding||General Availability||April 2019|
|Lifecycle Enhancements and Deeper Insights||General Availability||April 2019|
|Sales Integration Enhancements||General Availability||April 2019|
|Social Posting||General Availability||April 2019|
|Enhanced Event Registration Experience||General Availability||April 2019|
|Smart Scheduling||Public Preview||April 2019|
|Segment Boost||Public Preview||June 2019|
|Spam Score Prediction for Emails||Public Preview||April 2019|
|Website Personalization||General Availability||April 2019|
|Mixed Reality Content||Public Preview||June 2019|
Integration with Content Management Systems
To maintain consistency with content and branding, many organizations use a content management system (CMS) to manage and host online content. Prior to the April 2019 release, it was required to use Dynamics 365 portals to host features such as events and the subscription center. Enhancements to the April 2019 release of Dynamics 365 for Marketing remove this requirement and allow integration with thirty party content management systems and still maintain the same level of capabilities and insights.
Easy onboard is the name given to enhancements to the onboarding experience for new customers. This helps new customers get signed up quickly and gets Dynamics 365 for Marketing users started faster.
For Dynamics 365 for Marketing users, a new “get started” dashboard helps identify key areas for getting started with tasks.
Figure 2 – Get Started Dashboard
Guided task enhancements add information to help users through features and scenarios in a step-by-step manner.
Figure 3 – Guided Tasks
For customers, the new simplified trial sign-up allows customers to complete the sign-up process in just a few steps.
Figure 4 – Simplified Sign-Up
Lifecycle Enhancements and Deeper Insights
Email messages and other entities go through a lifecycle process such as draft creation, publishing to live, editing, etc. Improvements to lifecycle management provides an experience that is consistent across all parts of the campaign and with how records are published, deactivated, or deleted. These improvements are visible through the built-in insight pages, so Marketer’s better understand if a communication was delivered and why.
Figure 5- Consistent Lifecycle
Sales Integration Enhancements
Enhancements to sales integration breaks down silos between marketing and sales by allowing salespeople to add contents to marketing journeys and to influence marketing.
Figure 6 – Add to journeys
The April 2019 release adds new outbound activity to generate and post social media content. This is posted to the web at key points in the marketing campaign in order to synchronize communications across channels. The April 2019 release will initially support Facebook and Twitter with additional social media platforms planned for future releases.
Figure 7 – Social Posting
Enhanced Event Registration Experience
The April 2019 release provides three enhancements to event registration to improve the experience. The first enhancement allows session registration for free events so marketers can best plan room sizes, seating availability, and indicate when capacity is full. A second new feature allows for embedding of QR codes in email notifications. This allows event participants to check in using mobile devices. With the new features, now you have the ability to have waitlists for individual sessions, including free events, to allow better planning of capacities and better measure session interest.
Figure 8 – Waitlist for sessions
Studies of email reading patterns have found that people tend to read emails at specific times of the day and messages that arrive close to these times often get the most attention. These reading times are influenced by numerous factors such as types of work, demographics, time of year, etc. all of which make it very difficult to manually determine a schedule for emails. The Smart Scheduling feature tracks patterns over time to build a profile of email reading times for each email recipient. Then it automatically calculates a preferred time for each and schedules campaign emails accordingly. This feature will be available for public preview only in the April 2019 release.
Figure 9 – Smart Scheduling
The segment boost enhancement is used to help find more prospects whose profile resembles the best contacts in a segment to increase the segment size. The process works by first generating a list of “most successful” contacts in the segment, then creating a list of contacts most likely to yield business returns because their behavior and profile is similar to the most successful contacts. These contacts are then added to the segment and the process repeats. Segment Boost will be available for public preview in June 2019.
Spam Score Prediction for Emails
The new spam score prediction feature will analyze marketing content to create a predicted spam score. This score will help with crafting marking email content that is less likely to be filtered into the spam folder. The scoring takes into account subject lines, content text, and works as an AI-based enhancement by examining external data or past campaigns to predict deliverability. Spam score will be available for public preview in April 2019.
Figure 10 – Spam Score
For marketing emails, the use of landing pages continues to be a popular approach to draw in recipients. The April 2019 release adds the ability to personalize the landing page to the recipient based on their profile and past behaviors. These customizations can be done to virtually any part of the page, including layouts and generating dynamic content, to allow you to present a landing page that better appeals to the recipient.
Figure 11- Example of personalization for two types of customers
Mixed Reality Content
Mixed reality is a concept of blending the physical and virtual world for a 3D experience which can include the use of mixed reality headsets. The April 2019 update includes mixed reality content into your marketing content for specialized or high-end luxury goods that require a more hands-on examination. Even if this is outside your score, it’s worth keeping an eye on new developments as it is likely that mixed reality will become less expensive and more widely used in the near future. Mixed reality content features are still under development with a public preview expected for the June 2019 release.
To find out more about how this works and the hardware available visit: https://dynamics.microsoft.com/en-gb/mixed-reality/overview/
To learn more about Dynamics 365 for Marketing please visit this page:
A video demonstration on Dynamics 365 for Marketing is available here:
For more on the April 2019 Microsoft business applications release visit:
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