Content personalization in Dynamics 365 Marketing real-time

Personalizing emails to your contacts can make a difference.

Personalization in Dynamics 365 Marketing Outbound is done with field expressions. You can have, at most, two hops (periods) in your field expressions – meaning you can traverse the data model only so far (e.g. from contact to account to account name – but not from contact to account to owning user to owning user’s full name)

A common scenario is that you want emails to a contact signed by the owner of the account the contact belongs to. Different contacts belongs to different accounts, which in turn have different owners. This represents a personalization challenge in Dynamics 365 Marketing Outbound with only two hops available.

Luckily, we also have Dynamics 365 Marketing Real-time, in which up to six hops is possible. Dynamics 365 Marketing Real-time also supports tokens (aka field expression placeholders), as well as an asset library that supports public URLs. These three things combined opens up for a deeper as well as easier personalization.

We can now send emails to contacts that not only includes their name and company name, but also the name and picture of their account manager (‘owner’ of the account the contacts belong to.)

How to configure a dynamic image

The above mail is built using elements from the toolbox and the Personalization button. Nothing ‘new’ there. The image of the account manager in the ‘signature’ takes a little explaining though.

As seen in this blog post you can upload images to the asset library, and copy-paste the public URLs to e.g., the Nickname field of your users. The same blog post showed you how to add a field expression for a user’s Nickname field to the image URL.

We can do the same in Dynamics 365 Marketing Real-time, only here we must build a personalization token (aka a placeholder for a field expression), and then add that token to the image URL.

To build the token

Place the cursor in an empty line (1) and click the Personalization button to display the Pre-defined tokens dialog.

In the Pre-defined tokens dialog click New token to display the Personalization dialog

In the Personalization dialog click Select a data field to display the Select a field dialog

In the Select a field dialog select Contact

And then continue to traverse the datamodel from Contact to Account to Owning User to the Nickname field of the owning user

Change the Label of the newly created token from “Nickname” to something more relevant for this exercise (e.g. “ProfilePicURL”). Make a note of the label (maybe copy it to the clipboard – we will need it for the next steps.)

Finally save, name, and add the new token to the list of pre-defined tokens

To set the URL of picture to the new token

With this new token created, we are ready to set the URL of the ‘senders’ profile picture to the new token (which is a placeholder for the underlying field expression.)

Click the image and then Choose an image

Click Insert from URL to display the Insert image from URL dialog

In the Insert image from URL dialog type/paste the label of the new token, and surround it with double curly brackets – e.g. {{ProfilePicURL}} – and then click Insert


The image is now configured with the dynamic URL

If needed remove the field which was inserted in the body text during the creation of the token (1)

Optionally ensure the Img Src element of the image is set correct in the HTML

Decide for a test contact. The contact must belong to an account, which is owned by the user for which we inserted a public URL in the Nickname field.

Create a journey and send the mail.

Verify the recipient sees the profile picture.

Enjoy creating personalized emails!

See also

  • Create real-time marketing emails – link

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