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Today’s guest blogger, CRM MVP Frank Lee,  provides tips and tricks for bulk emailing with pictures that he found to be very useful.

A common CRM task during Holiday Seasons is to send out personalized Email greetings with images to customers.  With features like Bulk email Blast and Field Merge "Mail Merge", emailing with Microsoft CRM is an easier and greener way to spread the holiday greetings. Here are the steps to easily accomplish this with Microsoft Dynamics CRM v4.0 or Microsoft CRM Online.

1. Host any email content picture(s) or image(s) on a publicly accessible website.  You will copy the displayed images from the Internet Explorer (IE) browser into your email template in a later step.  This approach helps keep your email size small for faster processing.

For example, here is a "Happy New Year" picture hosted on our Workopia website:  http://www.workopia.com/images/happynewyear.jpg

Note: If you don’t have access to your company’s public website, then I would suggest hosting your image(s) on one of the many popular internet file storage sites such as Windows Live SkyDrive.

2. Create a new Microsoft CRM Email Template.  From the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Client >> Tools >> Options >> E-mail Templates tab >> Click on the New E-mail Template button >> select "Contact" for Template Type

Microsoft CRM Web Client:

Or Microsoft CRM Outlook Client:

3. Construct the personalized greeting content with merge fields "mail merge", pictures and images.

To insert personalized merge fields such as "Hello <Contact’s First Name>". click on the "Insert/Update" button and select the Contact’s First Name field:

Note: The Email’s subject line supports merge fields

To insert pictures and images, copy them from an Internet Explorer (IE) browser (step 1) and paste them (Ctrl-V or right mouse button click and select “Paste”) into the message area:

Note: Click "No" if the Security message appears so it can display the picture(s) you had pasted:

Here is a link to a good video on how to create and apply Microsoft CRM’s e-mail templates

4. Find the list of CRM Contacts to send this greeting to.  Now that you have the email content ready, we just need to select some CRM Contacts you wish to send this email to.

To easily lookup CRM Contacts, I prefer using the Microsoft CRM Advanced Find feature. 

Here is a link to a great video on how to use Microsoft CRM’s Advanced Find

5. Send the Emails.   Now that you have your template greeting message and your list of contacts ready, it is time for the Bulk Email Blast.  From the Advanced Find result view >> click on the "Send Direct E-mail" button on the tool bar >> select the Contact Email Template created above >> select "All records on all pages" >> click on the "Send" button.  That is all there is to it.  Enjoy!

General Notes:

– Check if your Microsoft CRM email settings are working properly.  Microsoft CRM sends out emails via the Microsoft CRM Outlook Client (Outbox) or the CRM Email Router (SMTP/Exchange)

Always test out the email message first before Bulk Email Blast to all the Contacts, i.e. test it out by sending it to yourself and/or co-workers/friends first to minimize any surprises

– The sent Emails are linked "Regarding" to their respective CRM Contacts and are stored in the Contact’s History area for reference

– Always review the CRM Email Activities that were generated from the Bulk Email Blast to ensure they are sent.  Check them via CRM Client >> Workplace >>  Activities >> select Type: "E-mail" >> select View: "My Sent E-mails"

– This Microsoft CRM Bulk Email Blast method works with the Contact’s Contact Methods.  It will only email the greeting to Contacts with both the "E-mail" and "Bulk E-mail" options set to "Allow".  This is a very nice built-in safety function!

– You can also use this Bulk Email Merge approach for Microsoft CRM Leads.  Caution: Be mindful about and avoid SPAM email blasting to Leads that are "Suspects"

Cheers,

CRM MVP Frank Lee


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