Outlook Email Integration
The Outlook Client for Dynamics 365 CRM provides an integration between your email inbox and CRM that makes managing email inboxes, responding to email inquiries, and recording correspondence seamless.
*The steps below assume that Dynamics CRM for Microsoft Outlook has been properly installed.
Outlook Client Configuration
Before we dig into these features, we need to make sure that we have properly configured the Outlook Client to achieve our goal: Email Integration. To navigate to these options within Outlook, select File and then select CRM, and then Options.
In the window that displays, click on the Email tab. Check the box that will check email in Outlook and an and determine that the email should be linked and saved as a CRM record.
With this option selected, the system will automatically track and record any future correspondence in the email thread.
For on-premise installs of CRM, data encryption will need to be configured. This task must be performed by a user in the PrivUserGroup Active Directory group. To navigate to this setting within CRM, go to Settings -> Data Management -> Data Encryption.
The encryption key is automatically set in Dynamics 365 Online. It is worth noting however, that with Dynamics 365 an Office 365 administrator needs to approve, test, and enable all users’ email addresses.
Email Integration Features
The three main features found within the Outlook Client are the ability to: Set Regarding; Track; and Convert To.
To access these features you can either select an email from within your inbox or you can open the email. Once you have the email either selected or open, the CRM section of the ribbon will display the CRM related options.
The Set Regarding feature associates an email to a record in CRM. Clicking this button presents you with a lookup dialog similar to what you would see inside of CRM. The Look for drop down provides the ability to specify which type of record you want to associate this email to.
Further filtering of the list of available records is done by using the Look in drop down and the Search box. The Look in drop down displays a list of the pre-filtered views for the record type selected. The search box uses the quick find search options available for the selected record type.
When you set the regarding of an email, it will automatically track it within CRM and, because we selected the option in the email settings of the previous step, it only needs to be set once per email chain for CRM to track all correspondence from that email chain. Additionally, if you have the email open in a separate window, you will be presented with an additional feature for the Set Regarding button in the CRM options of the ribbon.
In the first section of the Set Regarding drop down you can select from a list of recently selected records. The second section, Find, displays the recently searched and selected record types. Selecting the record type from this drop down automatically changes the Look for selection of the lookup window that displays.
After setting the regarding of this email, you will notice that it also automatically tracks that record within CRM as an Email activity. You can now go to the regarding record and view it from the activities tab from inside CRM.
*Note that this warning message is normal. Emails are imported into CRM as HTML; the script message will be shown if there is any formatting within them.
The track feature will add the email to your CRM system without associating it to a particular record. When you track an email, it is recorded and saved in CRM as an activity. This record is then synchronized between Outlook and CRM.
Once tracked, you will see a window at the bottom of the email indicating that this email is being tracked.
You will also see an icon beside the tracked emails in your inbox. This allows you to see, at a glance, which emails have been tracked.
The Convert To feature is available as soon as an email has been tracked. This feature allows you to quickly create an opportunity, lead, or case record in CRM from an email.
When you select the Convert To drop-down button and select the particular record you want to create, you will then see a window displaying the new record with some of the data populated for you.
The system will automatically set the regarding field in the original email to point at newly created record.
Some of the advantages of using the Outlook Client for CRM are:
- Keep a record of all correspondence between a user and a contact/client.
- Reduce redundant business process steps by reducing the need of updating records in CRM after communicating with leads and customers.
An example use case is:
- Your sales team receives an email inquiring about the costs for services.
- The sales team then creates a contact, lead, or account, and enables future correspondence to be tracked with the record.
- Finally, the email is converted into a new case or opportunity and connections are added to product materials.
This is all done right from the Outlook Client.