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Email Preferences in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

Email Preferences in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 allows you to automatically restrict Leads, Contacts, and/or Accounts from being sent emails. Each lead, contact and account record comes with standard fields to let you track if that record should receive emails and/or bulk emails.

The Preferences/Contact Methods section of the Lead, Contact or Account form presents two standard options for email preferences. What's the difference between them?

Email Preferences in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

The E-mail field restricts ALL types of emails being sent from CRM, no matter how they are sent from CRM. If Do Not Allow is selected for E-Mail, you cannot send an individual email from activities or bulk emails via Campaign activities or Direct E-mail. CRM will not allow any emails to be sent to these records, even if you try to send.

The Bulk E-mail field restricts the sending of only bulk emails. If Do Not Allow is selected for Bulk E-Mail, you cannot send emails that are considered to be bulk emails. Bulk E-mails include emails sent via the Direct E-mail button on the ribbon and emails sent via Quick Campaigns or Campaign Activities. CRM will not allow bulk emails to be sent to these records, but will allow you to send an individual email to this record.

That's how CRM uses these fields, but how does your organization use them? There are some things you need to consider to best maintain this data in your CRM.

A best practice would be to implement business rules that define how your organization deals with requests for no email. The key to tracking these emails preferences is consistency, so that any user viewing your CRM data understands the intent. Different users may define these fields differently in their minds, depending on various factors. If you clearly define the rules about what Email and Bulk Email mean to your organization, you do not allow personal interpretation of the data to cause problems.

While CRM will do the thinking for you and not allow you to send a bulk email to a record marked as Do Not Allow Bulk E-mail, additional steps should be taken to manage your distribution lists. Another best practice would be to only include records where the Bulk E-mail preference = Allow when creating your Marketing lists. Why not just let CRM do all the thinking for you? Well, if you start with an accurate number of records that were actually sent an email campaign activity, you will have a more reliable ROI calculation once the campaign responses are received.

Using this already built-in CRM functionality of allowing/not allowing emails will help you to better manage email communication with your customers and clients. Implementing business rules to define how your organization uses this functionality will ensure that you are all maintaining accurate and meaningful data.

Happy CRM'ing!

By Joe D365
Joe D365 is a Microsoft Dynamics 365 superhero who runs on pure Dynamics adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe D365’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics 365 and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.

12 comments on “Email Preferences in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011”

  1. What is exactly the beahviour with the "do not send bulk e-mail" flag?
    It seems that the flag is ignored by the system!

    1. Hi Berkid - The 'do not send bulk email' will enable the lead/contact/account to be skipped when dealing with bulk email operations. So we can still send individual emails, but a bulk email such as a campaign or quick campaign that record will be skipped.

      1. The 'do not send bulk email/mail' settings only apply to Direct Email and Mail Merge. Quick Campaigns and Campaigns instead look at the 'Send Marketing Materials' flag to determine if the activity can be generated. Very confusing to have 2 different settings for mass communications!

    2. The "Send Marketing Material" controls campaign and quick campaign options.

      I just did a quick test. Bulk E-Mail only controls the "Direct E-Mail" button

      1. The observation is incorrect. I selected one contact with "do not send bulk e-mail" to true, added to a marketing list and executed a quick campaign. Dynamics CRM excluded that customer, so Bulk email does seem to do the trick.

  2. Does anyone know where to find the "do not send bulk email" field when creating an advanced find. I'm under the contact entity in advanced find and I can build "do not allow marketing materials - equals - allow" into the find, but "do not send bulk email" isn't available to select. Unless I'm looking in the wrong place. Anyone know?

    1. Hi Cathie - the easiest way to find a field name is to open the form, customize the form, then double click on the field. You will then see the actual field name which shld correspond to the advanced find field. Also - in the field list, make sure the field is 'searchable'. You will only see 'searcheable' fields in the advanced find query editor.

      1. Hi Joe,

        Does CRM send the same email address on differing Organisations numerous times or recognise the
        email address and only send once?

        1. Hi - If you have multiple contacts or leads with the same email address, the recipient will receive multiple email messages. There is no out of the box deduping when sending out bound emails from crm.

      2. What if you would like to search for contacts with the field "do not send bulk emails" ?
        we don't have a form for it

  3. Contact preferences: 1. If Marketing Materials = Do not send and Email = Allow, can we still send email to that particular contact/account/lead? 2. When a user clicks on unsubscribe link from an email, which field gets updated in contact preferences - Marketing Materials or Email ?

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