Tip #1110: Don’t let your workflow emails go to waste

What is your first reaction when you receive email like this one

Let’s see. Comes from someone with the name “Workflow”, has attachment and no body text, and refers to financial matters (payment advice/invoice/quote). Delete? Delete!

Out of curiosity I did peek into the email just to see what kind of nasty attachment they sent this time and turns out, it was a legitimate notification from the customer’s accounts payable.

Sending emails is one of the most common uses of the workflow engine in Dynamics 365. But if you are not careful you’ll end up sending something that most likely will end up in a junk, either automatically or as deleted by the recipient.

What can you do?

  • Disclose the sender. Either give the sender a meaningful name, e.g. Contoso Accounts Payable, or don’t give any name at all leaving a raw email address, e.g. accounts-payable@contoso.com. Latter is not impossible to do out of the box in Dynamics 365 but could be challenging.
  • Have the body. Make sure your email contains body text. Heck, anything is better than none at all. But your chances of getting in front of the user’s eyes are much improved the more eloquent and relevant you are.
  • Stay on topic. It might be tempting to shove your monthly special offer into the payment advice email, that’s a sure fire way to end up in a rubbish bin.
  • Be personal. Dynamics 365 workflow makes it very easy to insert some information that makes the email unique, personal, and relevant. How about starting with “Dear Joe Bloggs”?
  • Don’t make me to open the attachment. Include enough information in the email so that the recipient does not even need to open the attachments to figure out what this email is about. “The payment of $42 for your invoice XYZ has been made into the nominated bank account on 26-Apr-2018”. Something like this is easy enough to build in Dynamics 365 workflow and it would do nicely.

I’m sure there are other tips to ensure that your email is delivered and read but even following the simple points above will get the job done more often than not.

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