dotmailer for Microsoft Dynamics CRM - Frequently asked questions

Can we use an installation of Microsoft CRM Online?

Yes, Microsoft CRM Online is fully supported and the connector is provided as a 'managed' solution, enabling full control of the installation.

Can we use a Partner Hosted implementation of Dynamics CRM?

Yes, Partner Hosted Dynamics CRM solutions are already accessible from the internet and the technical approach we have taken with the connector means that only standard customisation changes are required. This should be supported by any Dynamics CRM Partner Host.

The connector is provided as a 'managed' solution, enabling full control of the installation.

A new user account will be required for use by the Connector and this must have access to the Dynamics CRM Web Services (CRM Service and Metadata Service).

For Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server 2011/2013 Partner Hosted, you must enable anonymous authentication for the 2007 SPLA CrmDiscoveryService on each server where Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server 2011/2013 is installed. For other requirements, please see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=210780 in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Planning Guide.

Can we use an on-premise installation of Dynamics CRM?

When hosting your own Dynamics CRM solution, there are three primary methods of providing connectivity between your Dynamics CRM implementation and the connector. The connector is provided as a 'managed' solution, enabling full control of the installation.

Internet-Facing Deployment (IFD) - best practice solution

Your CRM environment is configured for Internet-Facing Deployment (IFD) if it is accessible outside of your corporate network and you can login using a webpage from the internet. This is Microsoft’s recommended method for configuring secure external access to CRM and this requires Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS), which is a claims-based authentication service and is a free downloadable component from Microsoft. It is installed on a separate web server from CRM and then IFD is configured in the CRM Deployment Manager.

IFD allows Dynamics CRM customers to configure their CRM system to be reachable from outside the intranet (i.e. internet or outside of the firewall). The main difference when using IFD vs. typical on-premise deployment is how users are authenticated. When using the on-premise version, Internet Information Services (IIS) handles most of the authentication via integrated windows authentication. In IFD, the CRM website is opened for anonymous access and the authentication relies on claims-based authentication in CRM.

If you block or filter inbound traffic based on IP address, then please add the following IP addresses to your firewall rules:

For Europe (region 1)

  • 23.101.50.109
  • 23.102.11.18
  • 23.102.18.218
  • 40.85.101.127
  • 40.127.207.8

For North America (region 2)

  • 13.68.20.229
  • 13.68.22.210
  • 13.68.30.243
  • 40.79.40.67
  • 40.84.63.147
Read more about the IP addresses our application uses »

Use a reverse proxy

Your organisation may not have a public-facing IFD environment and may already use a reverse proxy solution to publish internal web sites to the Internet.

Using a reverse proxy implementation instead of straight port forwarding is generally more secure than standard port forwarding, as the reverse proxy sends requests on behalf of dotmailer for Dynamics and processes responses on behalf of your CRM server – the two solutions have no direct communication but the reverse proxy must be able to pass on the NTLM credentials to the CRM servers. All communication should be undertaken over HTTPS.

In this approach all communication is undertaken with an internet-exposed static IP address and accompanying Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) which can be resolved using public DNS systems. In this scenario, it is strongly recommended that all network traffic is encrypted and that HTTPS is used, which requires a valid SSL certification to be installed on your environment. 

Important

In CRM the address of the Organization Service web service must be updated in the Deployment Manager’s web address properties so that it uses an address that is reachable from the internet – not an internal server name. This means that for non-IFD systems the exact URL used by both internal users and external users such as dotmailer must be identical, including the port and protocol used, unless you have an appliance or reverse proxy that can conduct a complete content rewrite, replacing all references to your internal URL with that of the external URL.

If the full URL being used to access the CRM instance externally is not an exact match to the URL that is used internally by users this approach will fail.

Please note that dotmailer are unable to provide any advice or guidance on setting up a reverse proxy configuration within your environment.

Direct CRM web service connection via internet connection to public IP address (port forwarding)

This approach involves your Dynamics CRM Server being directly accessible from the Internet and will use standard Windows authentication to access the CRM system. This option is not usually recommended without secure firewalls being in place and SSL connectivity.

In this approach all communication is undertaken with an internet-exposed static IP address and accompanying Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) which can be resolved using public DNS systems. In this scenario, it is strongly recommended that all network traffic is encrypted and that HTTPS is used, which requires a valid SSL certification to be installed on your environment. 

If you block or filter inbound traffic based on IP address, then please add the following IP addresses to your firewall rules:

For EU (region 1)

  • 23.101.50.109
  • 23.102.11.18
  • 23.102.18.218
  • 40.85.101.127
  • 40.127.207.8

For US (region 2)

  • 13.68.20.229
  • 13.68.22.210
  • 13.68.30.243
  • 40.79.40.67
  • 40.84.63.147
Read more about the IP addresses our application uses »

To utilise this the internal CRM website must be made internet accessible through standard web publishing techniques, including opening the firewall to a public IP for the CRM server and permitting direct Windows authentication.

This approach is less complex to configure than IFD and both users and our service would be able to access CRM externally through standard Windows authentication. As stated above, you should configure your firewall to restrict access to only our IP addresses for better security, but traffic will not be encrypted if you don't use SSL, which is against best practice and would be at your own risk.

Important

In CRM the address of the Organization Service web service must be updated in the Deployment Manager’s web address properties so that it uses an address that is reachable from the internet – not an internal server name. This means that for non-IFD systems the exact URL used by both internal users and external users such as dotmailer must be identical, including the port and protocol used, unless you have an appliance or reverse proxy that can conduct a complete content rewrite, replacing all references to your internal URL with that of the external URL.

If the full URL being used to access the CRM instance externally is not an exact match to the URL that is used internally by users this approach will fail.

Please note that dotmailer are unable to provide any advice or guidance on setting up a direct access configuration within your environment.

What changes are made to Dynamics CRM?

All changes that are made are undertaken through the standard customisations ability of Dynamics CRM. Several new entities are created and some existing entities extended within your Dynamics CRM instance. There are also new security roles created to support access to the new functionality.

The connector is provided as a 'managed' solution.

The new roles created are:

  • Email Campaign Connector Service (system use only)
  • Email Marketing Manager
  • Email Marketing Professional
  • Email Marketing Viewer

A detailed list of customisations is available separately.

Extended CRM Entities

  • Marketing List (list) - The existing Marketing List entity is extended to support synchronisation with the dotmailer platform.

New CRM Entities

  • Crm Field (esc_crmfield) - Holds CRM metadata used by the connector
  • Email Account (esc_emailaccount)
  • Email Campaign (esc_emailcampaign) - Holds information about the email campaign, including aggregate statistics
  • Email Campaign Connector Configuration (esc_emailcampaignconfiguration) - Holds configuration information for use by the Email Service Connector
  • Email Click (esc_emailcampaigncontactclick) - Holds information about each click a recipient has made, including what, when and where
  • Email Send Summary (esc_emailcampaigncontactsummary) - Holds detailed information about the send made to each recipient, including individual send statistics for the Account, Contact or Lead.
  • Email Data Label (esc_emailcampaigncustomfields) - Holds the data labels that are used to pass recipient specific information between CRM and dotMailer. For example, First Name, Last Name, Gender or any other related CRM attribute.
  • Email Data Mapping (esc_emaildatamapping) - Holds the attribute mappings between CRM Fields and Email Data Labels for each entity type; Account, Contact and Lead.
  • Email Preference (esc_emailpreference)
  • Email ROI Detail (esc_emailroidetail)
  • Email Send (esc_emailsend)
  • Email Single Send (esc_emailsinglesend)
  • Email Subscription Group (esc_emailsubscriptiongroup)
  • Email Subscription Group Item (esc_emailsubscriptiongroupitem)
  • Email Suppression (esc_emailsupression) - This entity contains the email suppression list used by the Connector and dotMailer when synchronising.
  • Form (esc_form) - Holds summary details of each form synchronised from dotmailer
  • Form Answer (esc_formanswer) - Holds each answer submitted by every user of a submitted form
  • Form Question (esc_formquestion) - Holds each question associated to a form
  • Form Question Option (esc_formquestionoption)  - Holds multi-choice options associated to a question and form
  • Form Response (esc_response) - Holds summary details of each form response synchronised from dotmailer
  • Email List Unsubscriber (esc_listunsubscriber) - Holds details of Accounts, Contacts and Leads that have unsubscribed from a Marketing List / Address Book.
  • Email Message Queue (esc_messagequeue) - This entity is for future use.
  • Social Bookmark (esc_socialbookmark) - This holds a summary of each social bookmark shared within an email campaign
  • Email Account (esc_emailaccount) - This entity holds the details for each connected dotmailer account, including synchronisation settings.

How can I create a new email campaign?

You must create new campaigns in dotmailer, and then use the synchronisation feature in Microsoft Dynamics CRM to bring campaign data across.

Step 1: Create your Email Campaign in dotmailer.

Step 2: Within Microsoft Dynamics CRM, click Marketing then Email Campaigns to access the Email Campaigns screen.

i) If your Email Campaign is displayed, click on the Campaign Name to display the Email Campaign Information screen. See Email Campaign Information Screen for more.

ii) If your Email Campaign is not displayed you need to synchronise Microsoft Dynamics CRM with dotmailer. Click “Synchronise”.

Step 3: A pop-up window is displayed.

i) If you do not have appropriate access rights, a pop-up window shall appear advising you that you are unable to complete synchronisation. You should contact your Systems Administrator if you think you should be able to perform this task.

ii) If you do have the appropriate access rights, a pop-up window shall appear advising that ‘Email Campaigns have successfully been added to the synchronisation queue.’ You should allow several minutes or longer depending on the amount of data to be copied before you refresh your screen. When the synchronisation process is complete, your Email Campaign shall appear in the table.

Step 4: Click on the Campaign Name to display the Campaign Information screen.

Why is my new email campaign not displayed on the Email Campaign List?

You need to synchronise with dotmailer to copy your Email Campaign over to Microsoft Dynamics CRM. On the Email Campaigns screen, click the Synchronise button. Allow time for the synchronisation process to take place then refresh your screen. Your Email Campaign should now be displayed in the table.

How do I synchronise my email campaign?

On the Email Campaign Information screen, click the Synchronise button. A pop-up window is displayed advising that the synchronisation request has been added to the queue. Click Close.

Tip: You should allow several minutes depending on the amount of data to be copied before you refresh your screen. The Administration tab displays the date and time of the last synchronisation.

How do I create a Marketing List?

You can use the standard functionality in Microsoft Dynamics CRM to create a Marketing List, adding members to it using the search feature or Advanced Find. Before you use the list with an Email Campaign, it must be email activated.

How do I create a Marketing List for use with an email campaign?

Create a marketing list using standard Microsoft Dynamics CRM functionality. Click the Email Activated button in the main toolbar on the Marketing List Information screen to email activate your list.

How can I tell which Marketing Lists are email activated?

Access the Marketing Lists screen by selecting Marketing Lists from the menu bar. Change the View filter by selecting Email Activated Marketing Lists. All lists which have been email activated are displayed in the table. It is also possible to see which have been synchronised to dotmailer and when they were last synchronised. From the Marketing List Information screen you can see if the list is activated by looking at the ‘Email Activated’ button. If it is highlighted the list is activated.

How can I activate my Marketing List when the Email Activated button is greyed out?

First, check that your user account has been assigned the role of ‘Email Marketing Manager’, or ‘Email Marketing Professional’. If you have already been assigned this role then check the selected form view towards the top left hand corner of the screen. If it is set to Information then use the drop down function to change it to the Email Marketing view. This should enable the Email Activated button.

How do I add a Marketing List to my email campaign?

Access the Email Campaign you wish to process by clicking Marketing then Email Campaigns. Locate the Email Campaign you are working with and click it to open the Email Campaign Information screen.

From the menu bar, click Target Marketing Lists. The Marketing Lists screen is displayed. Click Add Existing Marketing List. A pop-up window is displayed. Highlight the list(s) you wish to add and click Add. The selected lists appear in the lower part of the screen. You can remove lists from your selection using the ‘Remove’ button. When you have selected the list(s) you require, click OK. The list(s) appear in the table.

You can also complete this process by selecting the Marketing List from the menu bar (Marketing>Marketing Lists). Select the list you wish to work with and click on Email Campaigns in the menu bar on the Marketing List Information screen. Use the ‘Add Existing Email Campaign’ button to search for a campaign(s) to associate with your list.

How do I tell which Marketing Lists are associated with my email campaign?

Access the Email Campaign Information screen by clicking Marketing then Email Campaigns. Locate the Email Campaign you are working with and click it to open the Email Campaign Information screen. From the menu bar, select Target Marketing Lists. The Marketing Lists which are associated with your Email Campaign are displayed in the table.

How do I synchronise a Marketing List to dotmailer?

You must synchronise your list with dotmailer before using it for an Email Campaign. This synchronisation will be triggered when you send an Email Campaign but you can manually complete it from the following places:

  • From the Marketing Lists screen, select the lists you wish to synchronise by highlighting them and click Synchronise. Click OK when the pop up message appears.
  • From the Marketing List detail screen, click Email Activated in the main toolbar (if not already highlighted), then select Synchronise.

When I create a new Marketing list in Dynamics CRM, there is an option ‘Synchronisation Order’ (default 1000). What does this mean?

The default processing order for synchronisation is 1000. If you want to give priority to a list, enter a number lower than 1000. The lower the number, the greater priority it is given in the synchronisation process. Typically, this is left as the default setting.

How do I send my campaign?

You can use the Send Email Campaign Wizard to process your campaign. Select the campaign that you wish to send and click the Send Email Campaign button from the main toolbar on the Email Campaign Information screen.

The wizard will guide you through the sending process. For more details of each screen, see Sending an Email Campaign.

How do I know if the statistics for my email campaign are up to date?

Access the Email Campaigns screen by clicking Marketing then Email Campaigns. Locate the Email Campaign you are working with then scroll across the columns to find Last Synchronised. This tells you the date and time of the last synchronisation with dotmailer when updated data relating to opens, clicks, bounces etc was received into Microsoft Dynamics CRM. If you require more recent information, see ‘How do I synchronise my Email Campaign?'

I want to send an Email Campaign from the CRM but I can’t see the ‘Send Email Campaign’ button. Where is it?

It is on the Email Campaign main screen. If it is not visible, ensure that you have been assigned the role of ‘Email Marketing Manager’.

How do I create a data label?

Step 1: Click on the Add New Email Data Label button on the Email Data Labels screen. A blank Email Data Label Information screen is displayed.

Step 2: Complete the fields on the screen, giving the new data label an appropriate and unique name.

i) ‘Is Private’ - New labels are always created as ‘Private’ in Microsoft Dynamics CRM – you can change this to ‘Public’ if you wish using dotmailer.

ii) ‘Default value’ - You can enter a default value for the data field in the event that it is not populated as a result of the uploading of your data. For example, if this was a Salutation data label where the First Name would usually be entered you might default the value to “Customer”. If some of your records do not have first names held, “Customer” will then be automatically entered rather than leaving a blank field.

iii) ‘Description/Purpose’ - If you wish, add some notes to the Description/Purpose field to explain the intended usage of the data label.

iv) ‘Email Account’ - The Email Account field will show the email account that you originally navigated from but can be edited.

Step 3: Click Save and Close. The Email Data Labels screen is displayed and the new label appears in the table.

How do I assign the appropriate privileges to the users who will need to use dotmailer for Microsoft Dynamics?

For a user to use the dotmailer integration they must be a member of one of the following roles:

(1) The ‘Email Marketing Manager’ role enables a user full access to manage and send campaigns from CRM.

(2) The ‘Email Marketing Professional’ role is the same as the Email Campaign Manager role with the exception that this role cannot execute an Email Campaign from within CRM.

(3) The ‘Email Marketing Viewer’ role can view Email Campaigns and related information but cannot change settings or execute Email Campaigns from within CRM.

Please note that these roles are required in addition to the basic security roles, so the user must also have an existing CRM role with access to Contacts, Leads, Accounts, Marketing Lists and Campaigns such as Marketing Manager, Sales Person, etc.

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