Sending HTML Emails in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

One of the questions I’ve been getting about Dynamics CRM a lot lately is “Why can’t you create and send HTML based emails with images and other pretty stuff”? 

Well, you can. It’s just not obvious. When you go to create an email template or just send a web form email through Dynamics CRM you won’t see anything that says “add image” or “upload HTML file”.  It looks like the only options are simple stuff like changing font color and creating bullet lists.  If you try to copy and paste HTML code you just end up with HTML code. 

There’s a “hidden feature” of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0. It’s called Copy and Paste. That’s right. You can copy and paste a webpage into a Dynamics CRM email form or template and it should show up perfectly (unless the HTML code is crappy). 

Perform the following steps to get the hang of how to do it:

  1. Open Internet Explorer (I’m using version 7.0) and go to your favorite website (yes, any website)
  2. Somewhere in the webpage click the right button on your mouse and click “Select all” from the option list
  3. Click the right button on your mouse again and click “Copy”
  4. Open Microsoft Dynamics CRM
    1. If you’re using CRM for Microsoft Outlook, open Outlook, go to the top menu area where it says “File, Edit, View, etc) and click CRM, and click “Options” from the list
    2. If you’re using the web based version of CRM, go the top menu area, click “Tools” and select “Options” from the list
  5. On the Set Personal Options window that opens, click the “Email Templates” tab, click the “New” icon, choose a Template Type
  6. On the Email Template form that opens, place your mouse cursor in the large text area and do a Ctrl-V paste with your keyboard (press and hold the “Ctrl” key while simultaneously pressing the “V” key)
  7. Ta-da! You should see the exact webpage with images, colors, and links

So you’re thinking “that’s great but how the heck do I get the marketing newsletter from my HTML editor into CRM”? Here are a couple more things to note:

  1. Most popular HTML editors, such as good ole’ Microsoft Frontpage, have a few different editing modes like “code” and “design”. In the design mode, copy the webpage (not the HTML code) and paste it into the CRM email.
  2. The email images must be stored somewhere where your email recipients can have access to view them. Since most people that receive your email won’t have security permission to access the images on your computer you’ll need to transfer them somewhere accessible. One option would be to talk to your website administrator about putting them on your company’s website server (e.g. yourcompany.com/newsletterimages). You’ll just need to make sure your HTML code path matches the location of the images.

 After you get the hang of this it’s pretty easy.

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