Use your data and your common sense

If you knew a friend of yours has a family arrangement every Wednesday night, you wouldn’t continuously phone them in the middle of it and then get upset when they don’t pick up, would you? So why not be just as considerate with your marketing campaigns. Especially considering you already have all the data to make more informed decision and choices.

AI Smart Scheduling – what is it?

It is an algorithm that applies AI and using all your previously collected data and identifies the best days and times when each contact is most likely to be reading their emails.

How to enable AI in D365 for Marketing?

When you set up a new Dynamics 365 for Marketing environment, all AI features are disabled by default. To enable them, go to: Settings > Advanced settings > Machine learning > Basic feature configuration.

Flick the switch, specify a minimum consent level and click Save. Choosing a level, covers all higher level as well (if you selected consent level 3, the AI algorithm, would be allowed to process contacts with consent levels of 3,4, or 5.)

*Keep in mind*

The consent level you choose, should depend on your corporate GDPR policy and in the way, you have decided to use the Marketing consent level options. This is extremely important for your compliance with GDPR, as this feature makes use of an algorithm that processes personal data behind the scenes. This means that when obtaining consent from your customers, the ethical thing to do is make it as explicit and as transparent as possible how and what for you are intending to use their data. 

Auto scheduler for customer journeys in action

Once enabled, to make use of the functionality,

click on Customer journeys > build one as you normally would > add a Scheduler tile just before any Marketing email message tile > click on the Scheduler Tile > click Properties > flick the Smart Scheduling switch >   configure the Optimize sending window slider.

 

Normal scheduling vs smart scheduling

Let’s say we have a scheduler with a duration of 1 hour. As shown on the screenshots, a contact entering this tile on 07/09 at 18:26 will be held here for 1 hour, until 07/09 at 19:26.

With smart scheduling and a sliding window of 12 hours after they enter the tile, the contact under the same conditions will be held here until their personal optimal time between 07/09 18:26 and 08/09 07:26 (which is at most 12 hours after the normal exit time.

 

Permitted times

Both options respect the permitted times configuration, where you have the option to specify times when you don’t want a contact to be sent emails.

*Note*

User-friendly instructions and suggestion messages follow you throughout the entire process.

 

Be patient

This feature learns and gets better with time, so give it a chance. For the algorithm to kick in, you need to have sent a certain amount of emails to that person previously. 

**As per Microsoft – This is a preview feature. A preview feature is a feature that is not complete but is made available before it’s officially in a release so customers can get early access and provide feedback. Preview features aren’t meant for production use and may have limited or restricted functionality.

This blog is part of the Early Access 2019 Wave 2 Dynamics 365 for Marketing series. Also, in the series:

 

You might also want to have a look at this great article from Richard Britton:

If you want to know more, do get in touch.