Microsoft introduces email marketing and invoice tools for small businesses
As the needs for digital marketing grow in the never-ending race for those businesses trying to improve and grow their online presence, the biggest players in the industry have started to introduce new tools to the market, in order to catch up with the demand. One of those giants is Microsoft, which recently released a proprietary email marketing extension of Office 365
Any Email Marketing Agency can now benefit from this cloud-based subscription service that allows users to leverage the classic Microsoft Office tools such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access. The name of this new extension is Microsoft Connections and it features templates for a wide variety of email marketing related purposes like:
- Customer referral
- Subscription sign-up pages
- Various reports on open rates, clicks, unsubscribes and many more.
While solutions like MailChimp and ConstantContact offer a wider variety of functions and perks, Microsoft Connection is completely for companies that are already paying for Office 365, unlike the former solutions that might not be affordable for everyone.
This release has uncovered for many email marketing providers that have come to realize how unsustainable their business model is, considering the prices they handle. Now, it’s more than evident that the pricing rates in most of these companies do not necessarily reflect actual costs, and in this price war is Microsoft the one with a massive leverage. For a company with $126 billion in cash, providing free perks like these doesn’t make a notable difference.
Microsoft Connections offers not only a free email marketing software but also contact storage, and mass emailing, which also puts it ahead of Amazon and a similar solution currently being offered by the latter, although its capabilities are not comparable.
Microsoft’s long history of undercutting the business models of certain companies that make revenue through “horizontal” or cross-industry software applications should be in no way an indicator for small business owners to make the switch and drop their current email marketing provider in favor of Microsoft Connections. Instead, they should be asking themselves if this new extension will be similar to the cumbersome Microsoft Money that ended up cancelled or on the other hand, more like the Microsoft Media Player that was useful enough to smash RealNetworks.
Although it’s too early to tell right now, Microsoft Connections is far from a booming initial launch, and it is well known that Microsoft does not necessarily holds a flawless record when it comes to business applications. So, unless your company is already subscribed to Office 365 and your team has the time to perform at least a small test run, the wisest approach is probably to hold off for now and continue to work with your platform of choice. Later down the road, you can change platforms. After all, once you have a solid subscriber database changing platforms is a piece of cake.
If you’re looking for advice about email marketing strategies or a Email Marketing Agency that offers solutions that adapt to your business needs. Call Solutions for Growth at 888-840-2595