First impressions of the 2019 Wave 2 Marketing Email Designer and the new Multi-Column Layout functionality

We just upgraded our Test Environment and opted in for early access to the 2019 Release Wave 2 (October Release) features.

If you want to know more about what’s in the release, have a look at my blog 

So let’s go on the journey together ..

 

Marketing App Update

The first thing to remember is the extra step. When upgrading Marketing, it’s a 2-step process:

  1. As usual you need to upgrade the environment, but you also need to..
  2. Run the marketing setup wizard.

If you skip the second step, you will get some of the changes like the new Do you want to save your changes pop up, but you won’t get any of the new marketing features.

After the upgrade completed, the first thing we were most excited to try was the email layout designer.

A few things to remember –

  • If you have any existing emails using custom HTML or emails you have migrated from your previous system (lift-and-shift the mark up), you cannot apply the multi-column layout feature on them.
  • You cannot use the feature on any of the D365 OOTB email templates.

Where to start –

To use the multi-column layout, start off with the blank template or a custom template based on the blank template.

The first thing to notice was the extra click introduced when we changing the email’s name.

After Wave 2 the Name field in the new header section is read-only –

To change it, click on the chevron and this displays an editable text box.

For comparison, previously the Name field was edit-able onEntry to the same screen.

The next thing to do is, click on Marketing Email and New, select Blank as a template (or as in our case, we will use Wave 2 custom Template, which we created and styled based on the Blank one).

 

In the toolbox section on the right, you get 5 layout options. Microsoft has been generous for choice, you get to choose between 1,2,3 or mixed column layouts.

 

It is very user- friendly and quite easy to use. To insert your content, all you need to do is click on one of the layout options and paste it any where on your email canvas. For our example we used 2:1.

Custom code experience

Next, we wanted to try adding a custom code and compare the experience to before. The scenario is show a different image based on a flag set on the customer record, to whom we are sending the email. In our case, this will be the preferred title.

That’s the custom code we used in our 3 custom code blocks. As you can see it is quite simple and you don’t really need any coding experience to make it work, which is good news.

{{#if (eq contact.title ‘Miss’)}}

Show Image 1

{{else}}

Show Image 2

{{/if}}

Preview

When testing our example, clicking Preview gives us the option to choose a test contact. We will test with both Miss Maria or Mr Jose.  The email changes dynamically based on their preferred title.

Preview now evaluates dynamic custom code, which means you no longer need to send the email in a test customer journey to see the result.

This is what we previewed as Miss Maria.

And this is the preview for Mr Jose

Check For Errors

The notifications have now changed, as it seem to be more descriptive and more comprehensive. The first time on validation of the email, I got a warning to do with spam filtering, which I hadn’t seen before.

Lookups

This is not specifically relevant to marketing emails, but more the Wave 2 updates in general. After updating, all of the lookup fields behave consistently, but in an unexpected way.  If you haven’t typed in anything in the text box, clicking the magnifying glass doesn’t search and doesn’t bring back any results. Clicking Enter performs the search as expected. Microsoft are aware and have promised to release a fix by October.

Overall

Very positive experience, the layout functionality is very intuitive, easy to use and easy to configure. We were really impressed by the improvements to the preview functionality, the fact it evaluates custom code as well as showing the appropriate image dynamically.

The multi column layouts make the custom code experience really easier to work with.


This blog is part of the Early Access 2019 Wave 2 Dynamics 365 for Marketing series. Also, in the series:

You might also want to have a look at this great article from Richard Britton:


If you want to know more or have a chat around our experience, do get in touch.

More About This Author

Dilyana Radulova
Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert and experienced Technical CRM Consultant with demonstrable experience as the functional lead in numerous projects throughout their full life-cycle. A highly ambitious, competitive and creative individual, who is analytical, proactive and has strong interpersonal skills.
Passionate about D365 for Marketing.

Author: Dilyana Radulova

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert and experienced Technical CRM Consultant with demonstrable experience as the functional lead in numerous projects throughout their full life-cycle. A highly ambitious, competitive and creative individual, who is analytical, proactive and has strong interpersonal skills. Passionate about D365 for Marketing.

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