How to Fully Automate Email Tracking Through Your D365 Outlook App

Technical Workaround for Your Workforce

Author: Alex Walters | Software Consultant | Formus Professional Software | April 2020

Firstly we’d like to thank Mohamed Mostafa, for his insights into this workaround.

For the original information that makes up a large part of this article please see Mohamed Mostafa's Blog: Automatically Track All Incoming and Outgoing Email Messages in Dynamics 365 with Exchange Online Rules.

Sometimes, removing even the smallest of tasks can really save you time and effort.

One of our favourite, simple features of Dynamics 365 is the Outlook app that tracks and connects all your email communications to your customer relationship management system.

Chalk picture, send mail, envelope

However, as standard, Microsoft developed the app to only begin tracking communications with a lead, opportunity or a contact when you, the user tells it to. You are responsible for identifying and applying the tracking in the first instance and the latest version of this app doesn’t automatically deal with emails you send from outside of Dynamics.

But what if there were a way for the system to identify lead, opportunity or contact communications itself and to automatically trigger this tracking without you having to lift a finger?

It is Possible! Your software support partner or IT department will need to implement the workaround, but the below walkthrough should prove a helpful guide.

Workaround For Users With a Dynamics License – Outbound Emails

To track all outbound emails sent by users to contacts, leads and accounts there are two scenarios here to consider:

  1. Email is sent from Dynamics directly – this will be tracked automatically.
  2. Email is not sent from Dynamics directly.

The supported method of achieving this via the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook from Microsoft is for the user to click the track button on the email they are composing within Outlook. This is a manual task needed on every email they send they wish to track.

There is an alternative way to achieve this by having the Email server automatically BCC the sending user into their own mail, then moving this BCC’d email to a hidden folder which the Dynamics App can track (the BCC’d email is now incoming). This little trick lets us receive a copy of the sent email, which the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook is then able to track.

 

To achieve this a number of steps are needed:

  1. Configure Server Side Synchronisation on Dynamics
  2. Enabling and approving dynamics users mailboxes
  3. Create a new folder within Outlook on each user’s machine (name isn’t important).
    screen cap of Automate Email Tracking
  4. Within Personalisation settings for each user within Dynamics, on the Email Tab, make sure Track is set to “All email messages”, then click on Configure Folder Tracking Rules.
    screen cap of Automate Email Tracking 2
  5. Within the Folder-Level Tracking box, under Exchange folder, click +New Folder Mapping and choose the folder within the inbox created on step 3.
    Screen Cap of Automate Email Tracking 3
  6. Login to Exchange Online Admin Centre
  7. Click on Mail Flow
    Screen cap of Automate Email Tracking 4
  8. Click the + to create a new rule that is set to:
    1. BCC every email message sent by the user you are configuring to themselves
    2. Set a message header on each of these sent messages with a key value
    3. Save the rule
      Screen Cap of Automate Email Tracking 5
  1. Back on the users Outlook create a mail rule to:
    1. Apply this rule after the message arrives
    2. If the email has whatever key was set in step 8b in the header
    3. Move it to the folder created in step 3
      Screen Cap of Automate Email Tracking 5

This now means the user hits reply in Outlook or on the mobile email client and types their message, the Email server automatically BCCs them to the email, which will then be moved into the folder being tracked by Dynamics so the sent email can be tracked.

Workaround for Users With a Dynamics License – Inbound Emails

The Dynamics 365 App for Outlook can already track all inbound emails coming into a licenced Dynamics Outlook app from contacts, leads or accounts – however if the above method is implemented we need to limit this.

The steps needed are as follows (assumes the above workaround has been implemented).

Within the users Outlook create a mail rule to:

    1. Apply this rule after the message arrives
    2. Move a copy to the folder created in step 3 of Outgoing mail process
    3. Except if the message header contains the header key defined in step 8b of the Outgoing mail process
      Screen cap of Automate Email Tracking 7

This now means Dynamics is moving a copy of genuine inbound mail to the new folder and tracking based on the contents of there (but making sure to ignore the emails you already BCC’d to yourself for tracking purposes) – the users can continue to file their inbox mail into other folders if they wish as long as they don’t delete the new tracking folder or either mail rules.

Workaround for Users Without a Dynamics License

To track all emails sent out/received to/from Dynamics contacts, leads or accounts by non-dynamics users against a single dynamics account (e.g. admin)

This is going to involve BCCing every email sent or received by any non-dynamics user to the mailbox of a single centralised dynamics user.

The steps to achieve this would be as follows (assumes the above two steps have been implemented):

  1. Enable and approve the mailbox for the centralised dynamics account to be used
  2. Within Personalisation settings for the single centralised user within Dynamics, on the Email Tab, make sure Track is set to “All email messages”

    Screen cap of Automate Email Tracking 8

  3. Login to Exchange Online Admin Centre
  4. Click on Mail Flow
    screen cap of Automate Email Tracking 9
  5. Click the + to create a new rule that is set to:
    1. BCC every email message sent to the centralised mailbox
    2. With a condition of if the sender is equal to any of the non-dynamics users
    3. Save the Rule
  1. Click the + to create a new rule that is set to:
    1. BCC every email message received to the centralised mailbox
    2. With conditions of if the receiver is equal to any of the non-dynamics users
    3. Save the Rule

Please note that the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook can only be installed on Outlook 2013 or Outlook 2016.

The older Dynamics 365 for outlook can be used for Outlook 2010 users and does have the native ability to track outgoing mail in the settings however, has been deprecated by Microsoft which is why we have recommended not using it for all users.

The recommended approach for users on older versions is to upgrade them to later versions of Outlook and deploy this solution.

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