#Microsoft365 – On the 10th of July Microsoft announced the addition of Connections, Listings and Invoicing to the already impressive stack of small business tools. Today we’ll take a look at Connections, a simple to use, contacts / email marketing service.

For previous posts in my #Microsoft365Challenge go to the index page.

It’s seldom that I’ll write a blog with so little information or first hand experience – but the new Microsoft Connections is worth the intro at least. I’ll return to this app as soon as available in my Office 365 tenant, for a more detailed write-up.

Connections will be available to Office 365 Business Premium Subscriptions under the new Business Center Dashboard. It will also be available on iPhone / Android and soon in Outlook too. Currently this is being rolled out in preview to US, UK and Canada subscribers. I don’t see Business Centre in my Office 365 yet – or the App on iPhone. We’ll have to be patient. 😦

What is Microsoft Connections?

Connections is an easy to use app to build customer loyalty, get new customers, and grow your business. Connections helps you create, send and track customer referrals in a few simple steps. In addition to referrals you can also use Connections to send newsletters, offers and other promotions to your customers.

Resource:  Grow your business with Microsoft Connections

Features:

  • Categorise contacts
  • Capture notes and reminders
  • Import contacts to your mailing lists
  • Templates for Newsletters
  • Create & Manage Promotional Campaigns
  • Detailed performance metrics (open rates, new customers and purchases generated)
  • Subscriber growth reporting
  • Campaign results

 

I found this short video clip to give you a peak. This video is over a year old and I suspect that the email campaigns was added later. Most of the older blogs also only refer to the contacts side. I’m excited to see what we end up with eventually.

Apps don’t fix broken processes right? So I really liked the fact that Microsoft spent some time on supplying readers with important need-to-know’s around permissions when sending marketing emails as well as the email marketing terminology as listed below. Well informed users make better decisions, which in turn leads to more efficient use of apps. I see what you did there Microsoft – I like it 🙂

Email marketing terminology

Term

Description
Campaign A campaign is an email sent to your subscribers or customers.

You can view your Connections campaign results to understand the metrics associated with them.

Unsubscribe When a subscriber clicks unsubscribe in a campaign you have sent, they will no longer show up in your segments and subscribers lists, but you can still view them in the unsubscribed list.
Mailing list The mailing list includes all of your segments and subscribers.
Subscriber Subscriber is an individual that you have added to your mailing list and has given you permissionto send him or her marketing emails.
Segment A segment is a collection of subscribers that you can create to pin point your marketing emails. For example, cat people, or dog people.
Sign-up form A web form that you can share with others to allow them to sign up and become a subscriber.
Open rate The percentage of marketing emails that were opened by a unique subscriber divided by the number of marketing emails delivered.
Click rate The percentage of marketing emails that were clicked by a unique subscriber divided by the number of marketing emails delivered (clicks on unsubscribe is not counted).
Subscriber growth Net growth/Total #subscribers 30 days ago.
Segment average or Subscriber average This average is specific to the type of campaign sent to that segment or subscriber, it’s calculated by Connections to help you compare your results to past performance.
Visits generated Total number of clicks from your campaigns excluding clicks on the unsubscribe link.
Offers redeemed Total number of offers marked as redeemed in the system.
Signed-up

Total number of subscribers who have signed up through the sign up form you created through Connections (including referrals sign-ups).

Other Resources:

Microsoft launches new email marketing and invoicing tools for small businesses
How to use Microsoft Connections app and never forget what you wanted to talk about
New business apps in Office 365 Business Premium help you run and grow your small business

Purpose of this blog challenge:

I will write 365 blogs in 365 days around Microsoft 365. I did a similar challenge with Office 365, blogs can be found here. I won’t just be talking about the new Microsoft 365 subscription model. I will be sharing any news, tips and tricks around Office / Office 365 / Windows / Mobility and Security. And let’s not forget all the great new Apps & services available.  A lot of what I’ll share on Office and SharePoint will also be applicable to none “Office 365” versions.

Feel free to #AskBraam if you have questions or would like me to write about a specific topic. I’ve created a Flow to monitor Twitter for the #AskBraam hashtag and will try my best to incorporate any questions into the blogs, or answer them directly on Twitter. This is a “Learning through Sharing” approach to teach my pet sheep about Microsoft – read more on this here.

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