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?
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.