Dynamics 365 Marketing : What’s New – April 2021

During April and May 2021 Microsoft begin rolling out updates to Dynamics 365 Marketing. This is part of their regular release cycle – this is Dynamics 365 Marketing 2021 release wave 1

The most interesting updates are

  • Personalised customer journeys – a move away from prescriptive journeys to reactive, individually tailored journeys
  • An industry leading email builder – an editor that can compete with the likes of MailChimp and Campaign Monitor
  • Improved integration with Microsoft Teams – including new virtual events

Personalised Customer Journeys

The updated customer journey editor uses a wider range of personalised triggers to allow individualised customer interactions, rather than prescribed journeys, such as

  • Connecting to a store’s Wi-Fi
  • Visiting a web site
  • Setting up an account
  • Actions on a web site – link click, registration, form submission
  • More complex triggers like purchasing goods over a particular value, or repeat purchasing

The events are triggered in real time, so you can respond and make decisions instantly. So, for example, when a customer enters a store and connects to Wi-Fi, they immediately get sent a discount offer.

Customer journey editor
Customer journey editor

Message relevance improvements

Also there are improvements to help eliminate irrelevant communication

  • Individual suppression of messages based on criteria – for example don’t send a email about a scheme which a customer is already part of
  • Use profile data to personalise emails
  • Fine tune messaging based on customer attributes – for example send different emails to customers with large lifetimes spends
  • Use AI to learn customers preferences to send messages by the best channel for them

Natural language processing

This update includes natural language processing for customer journey conditions. This allows users to send emails using natural language like “Customers with VIP status” or “People with president in their job title” all without any coding.

An industry leading email builder

Microsoft have vastly improved the email editing experience in Dynamics 365 Marketing to streamline creating emails and offer many more design options

They’ve built a completely new new editor which addresses many of the shortcomings of the previous version

  • A modern look and feel
  • Less visual clutter
  • Simple toolbox area with the most commonly used elements
  • Improved personalisation
  • Greater layout control over sizing and positioning of elements
    • more fonts and styles
    • image editing tools
    • retaining full HTML editing for expert users
  • Better email previews
new email editor
new email editor
Improved control over layout and properties
Improved control over layout and properties

Improved Microsoft Teams Integration

Deep integration of Teams (in particular Teams Live Events) with Dynamics 365 for Marketing

  • Create online Teams events from within Dynamics 365 Marketing
  • Auto send invites through your preferred channels
  • All registration and attendance data is stored in Dynamics against the attendees, giving you powerful insights
    • length of visit
    • which events attended
    • whether they cancelled
  • Create specific messaging based on registration and attendance data with pre-built segments and email templates
attendance data customer journey
attendance data segment

And some smaller updates

  • New SMS channel for transactional and marketing messages
  • Push notifications to Android or iOS apps
  • New asset library across Dynamics 365
  • AI driven media searches and suggestions
  • New dedicated Instagram channel
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