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How to successfully publish your app on AppSource for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management: Top marketing recommendations

We sometimes receive questions from our Dynamics Partners such as how to meet all the requirements and successfully publish their ISV solutions to AppSource. You can find out about Microsoft recommendations and marketing best practices in Microsoft documentation.

We have compiled a list of the main marketing requirements and recommendations in one place, and we’re sharing it with you here!

Language requirements

English is the only supported language in AppSource.  Your app can be in any language, but if your main language is not English, documents with English translation are required. This includes your solution description, videos, and documentation. Offer name, summary, screenshots can be in any language. Videos can be in any language, but if the audio is not in English, English captioning is required.

Note: if you are targeting an international audience, we recommend you use English on AppSource.

Branding requirements

Branding is important and choosing a name for your product is a key decision. Be consistent with branding throughout your communications. All references (spoken and written in videos, docs, app landing page, screenshots, title bars, etc.) must refer to the correct branding and UI, either Microsoft Dynamics 365 or Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management.

Make sure to make the right reference throughout your content:

  • Based on the “new” branding guidelines, the full name “Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Supply Chain Management” must be used in its entirety at first mention on the page, and at all prominent locations such as titles, headings, etc. (unless the Microsoft brand is already clearly established).
  • Subsequent mentions can drop “Microsoft” and simply just reference Dynamics 365 or Dynamics 365 for Finance and Supply Chain Management, as long as Microsoft has been established on that given page or content.
  • Don’t make any references in any text, screenshots, title bars, Web client, spoken language in videos, documentation to acronyms (such as D365, AX), or old brand names such as (“for financials” or “for Finance & Operations”).
  • Don’t include Microsoft names, logos, or trademarks in your offering.

The following section walks you through the marketing-related components which you need to fill out in the Partner Center before submitting your app to AppSource. The following tables outline the requirements and best practices for completing offer information.

Offer Setup

Item Requirements Best practices / Recommendations
App type

Must be labeled as one of the following types:

  • Add-on app
  • Connect app
List status (listing options)

Must be labeled as one of the following types:

  • Contact Me
  • Trial/Get Trial Now/Start Trial/Test Drive
  • Buy Now/Get It Now

Customers can readily understand what the next steps are:

  • Try the Trial.
  • Buy Now.
  • Contact via email or phone number to arrange for Proof of Concept (POC), Assessment, or Briefing.
Customer leads
Select the system where your leads will be stored.

Properties

Item Requirements Best practices / Recommendations
Categories
  • Choose a primary, a secondary, and up to four subcategories.
  • Categories and subcategories must match offer capabilities.
  • Do not select categories/subcategories that do not fit with your offer capabilities.
  • Optimal industry, or all industries selected (if not optimal industries).
  • Select up to two categories, including a primary and a secondary category (optional).
  • Select up to two subcategories for each primary and/or secondary category. If no subcategory is selected, your offer will still be discoverable in the selected category.
  • Choose carefully because customers can search on AppSource based on the categories.
  • Max. 3 categories were selected, if applicable.
Industries
Choose up to two industries for your offer.
Select the industries that your app is best aligned and applicable to.
Publisher
The company name must be the same company as the one that requested the object range. If not, you need to contact email Microsoft.
App version
Specify the version number of your offer.
Provide the latest version.
Terms and conditions
  • Outline the terms and conditions that the customer must accept before they can use your offer.
  • Policies or terms should be available via a public URL.
Solution pricing
Must have solution pricing tab/details, and pricing must be in the local currency of the partner solution offering.
Multiple billing options should be available with tier pricing to give customers options.

Offer details

Item Requirements Best practices / Recommendations
Offer name
  • Briefly describe the solution offering.
  • Matches the online promotion of the solution on the Partner's website.
  • For apps, provide a clear title that includes search keywords to help customers discover your offer.

    Do’s:

    • Benefit-based names are always more effective than descriptive names.
    • Your app name should communicate the core value customers will receive, not be tied to a specific product.
    • Use industry-specific vocabulary or benefit-based wording in your product name if possible. Adding an industry-specific reference or indicator can increase relevance as well as conversion rates.


    Don’ts:

    • Avoid using technology-specific terms in your product name or acronyms that are emotionally meaningless.
    • Don’t include Microsoft names and/or trademarks, such as Dynamics or Dynamics 365 in your offering names, URLs, company names, social media account names or any other names you might use.


    When choosing a new app name, key questions to ask include:

    • Does my product name convey something meaningful to my prospects?
    • Does it capture the essence of the product and indicate the value it delivers?
    • Is it appropriate and appealing to my target audience?
    • Is it short and memorable?
    • Does it convey something relevant to my target customer’s business?
    • Does my app name reflect what my business is about?
    • Does it limit us in any way? How easily will it translate into other languages/cultures?
    • Is it too similar to another product name, thereby potentially causing market confusion?
Offer summary
  • The summary is the first paragraph that the prospect reads, as it will appear on your app’s search page. Make sure that it is clear and concise.
  • The summary should be max. 25 words or 100 characters including spaces, or less.
  • The summary should summarize the value proposition of your offer in one concise sentence. (The value proposition is a statement of the unique benefits your product delivers to the customer).
  • Consider whether or not is relevant (or valuable) to include your product’s name in the summary.
  • Don’t just state the product name as an attempt to make it more memorable (names rarely give away any clues to the prospect about the value they will receive by starting to use your offer).
  • Pain is the most compelling motivator of action. If you state your benefit in a negative way (pain) vs positive (benefit) it will more effectively drive prospects into action. Avoid describing how your product does it unless it is core to your differentiation.
Offer description
  • Simple HTML is allowed, including <p>, <em>, <ul>, <li>, <ol>, and header tags. Max. 3000 characters.
  • Contains 2-3 paragraphs.
  • Solution offering is easily understood at a glance.
  • Is free of spelling and grammar mistakes.
  • Is comprehensive and captures the target audience, type of user, and why it’s valuable (value proposition).
  • Is in paragraph narrative form with short sentences that are easy to understand.

Provide a clear description that describes your offer’s value proposition in the first few sentences. These sentences may be used in search engine results. Core components of your value proposition should include:

  • Description of the product or solution.
  • User persona that benefits from the product or solution.
  • Customer need or pain the product or solution addresses.

Use industry-standard vocabulary or benefit-based wording when possible. Do not rely on features and functionality to sell your product. Instead, focus on the value your offer delivers.

  • The target industry is outlined (if relevant).
  • Good style formatting, with each paragraph heading having a single sentence or phrase summarizing the content that follows, and using bullet points, when appropriate, to emphasize key benefits. The objective is for the reader to understand the offering at a glance in an easy-to-view format and not have to read long paragraphs.
  • There is the spacing between each paragraph. It reads like a car brochure. That is, it is comprehensive and describes the offering simply, without technical jargon.
  • It is best practice to use simple HTML tags to make your description more appealing.
  • Please be aware that you have a limited amount of characters. Recommendation: Less than 200 words or 1,200 characters.
Search keywords
Add search keywords to help users find your offer when they search in the marketplace.
Products your app work with
Specific products that your app works with.
You do not have to select anything – this field is completed automatically because you are developing an app for Finance and Supply Chain Management.
Solution support and help

There must be a specific support page that provides customers with different contact options.

Link to at least one of the following:

  • Telephone numbers
  • Email support
  • Chat agents
  • Community forums
  • Include support via phone, email message, web (knowledge base, questions, and answers), and ideally live chat, if possible.
  • It is best practice to add service-level agreement (SLA) information on your support page.
  • All support methods are listed.
  • Paid support is offered free during the Trial or Test Drive period.
Supporting documents (Learn more documents)
  • There must be an active help link that guides customers to online product help. It is best practice to include instructions about setup, links to existing videos and documentation, and the most frequently asked questions.
  • A minimum of one document is required (up to a maximum of 3 are permitted).
  • All docs must be written in English and are formatted as PDF files.

Your goal here should be to educate customers, not sell to them.

Include supporting sales and marketing assets under ‘Learn More’; Examples include:

  • white papers
  • brochures
  • checklists
  • PowerPoint presentations

Save all files in PDF format.

Microsoft recommends adding a link to your app landing page to all your documents and adding URL parameters to help you track visitors and trials.

Links to specific items (for example, spec pages on the partner site) and not just the partner home page.

Offer logo

You are required to provide two offer logos:

  • PNG format, from 216×216 to 350x350 px: app details page
  • PNG format, 48×48 px: search page
Design and optimize your logo for a digital medium, not a traditional print-based logo. Upload the logo in PNG format to the app details listing page of your offer. The Partner Center will resize it to the required logo sizes.
Images/screenshots
  • Requires a PNG image with a resolution of 1280x720 pixels.
  • Text included in the screenshot is legible, and the image is clear.
Add up to five screenshots. Incorporate key search words in the file names.
Videos (AppSource, consulting services, and SaaS offers only)
No video is required but, if provided, it must play without any errors. Videos may not refer to competitor companies unless it is demonstrating a migration solution.
  • Recommended length: 60-90 seconds.
  • The solution offered is easily understood through video content.
  • Provides demo of solution capabilities.
  • Incorporate key search words that use the name of the videos.
  • Make your customer, not your company, the hero of the story.
  • Your video should address the principal challenges and goals of your target customer.
  • Consider adding additional videos, such as a how-to, getting started, or customer testimonials.

Availability

Item Requirements Best practices / Recommendations
Markets (countries)
Choose the markets that your app is available in (make sure that it resembles the supported countries paragraph in the description text).
Hide key
The hidden key is a token that is used to view the preview of your offer in AppSource before going live.
Note: this isn’t a password and can only contain alphanumeric characters.

We hope that this blog provided some interesting and relevant information to help you prepare the marketing information for your Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management solution, as you are getting it ready for upload on AppSource!

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at service@companial.com

Also, don’t forget to check out what we offer to our Dynamics Partners – we’re confident that you’ll find what fits your customer’s needs!