Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations enables sending automated emails with printed business documents such as invoices, orders and statements to our customers and vendors. It is very important that these emails don’t end up in their spam folders. There are some general recommendations we can follow to prevent our emails going to spam, but there is also a faster way to check this – a free tool called Mail Tester.
In this article, we will use Mail Tester (www.mail-tester.com) to analyze Spam Score of the emails generated by D365FO. First, we will email an invoice using the built-in functionality, i.e. SSRS Email Print Destination and measure Spam Score of such an email message. Afterwards, we will email the same invoice using Docentric and see if there is any difference in Spam Score. Finally, we will be improving the score by following the recommendations of Mail Tester, for instance by adding the email body and changing its content, by changing the email subject and attachment name, etc.
Spam score of an invoice emailed using SSRS
Go to Mail Tester and copy the email address they provide. Then use it as the recipient address before emailing an invoice. It might be a good idea to include your own email address in the To or Cc field as well. Sometimes it is convenient to have a copy of the same message as a reference for testing purposes.
After printing the invoice, you can immediately go to the Mail tester website to check the results. Simply click the Check your score button and you will see your Spam Score.
As you already know, the standard SSRS Email Print Destination offers little more than the choice of format for your sent report (i.e. pdf, Excel, HTML, XML) together with the Subject, To, and Cc fields. We cannot add a body to the email message. But as far as Spam Score is concerned the result already looked good.
Spam Score of an invoice emailed using Docentric
Then we decided to test the same email format (i.e. without email body) with Docentric. The result? No wonder, we reached the same Spam Score.
Using Docentric advanced Email Print Destination we are able to send emails with body content, which should lead to a better rating. At least that's what we expected - but the first result hasn't really improved that much.
Improving Spam Score
Pay attention to phrases and length of your message
Mail Tester can check and test many important parameters. For example, it recognizes common and worn phrases such as "Dear Something", and suggestions about the length of our message are also quite common.
There seems to be a general rule: the more content in the email, the better. Since automated emails contain only limited content by default, there seemed to be little room for improvement at first. But thanks to the custom placeholders that Docentric introduces, we were able to add some dynamic data to both our email body and subject. You can read more about this here.
Use custom placeholders to insert dynamic content
If we now look at the text of our message, the changes we have made are obvious. We removed the static "Dear Madam/Sir" and added a recipient placeholder to the salutation. Thus the real name of our contact person appears in the body of the email.
Next, we continued to experiment with the rest of the custom placeholders in the email body. We reviewed and used all the custom and standard placeholders we could reasonably use, and took into account most of the Mail Tester's recommendations. Here is the result.
Download and edit your email before sending it
Another approach would be to download, preview and edit the email and its attachments before sending (you can learn this here). We only did this to see if there was room for further improvement. If additional personalized sentences were added to the message text, the score was immediately higher. Together with a legal disclaimer in the footer of the email body, this resulted in pure 10 out of 10!
It is well-known that emails containing an attachment and empty body are more likely to be identified as spam. Note that spammers often send empty emails to build lists of valid email addresses. For this reason it can even happen that an attachment is removed from such a blank email by a spam filter.
To prevent this, you can create highly personalized and dynamic emails using our reporting solution. We cannot influence Spam Score by using the built-in SSRS Email Print Destination. On the other hand, you have many possibilities to do so with Docentric - even when sending reports in batch.
In short, customers are more likely to receive your emails if you use Docentric Email Print Destination. And last but not least, you get all this free of charge as part of Docentric Free Edition for D365FO.