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Microsoft Office 365 Gains Email Marketing, Billing Management, SEO Features

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) apparently wants to be your one-stop shop for business applications. The company has now increased the value of its Office 365 Business Premium subscription by adding applications to help businesses with marketing and finances. If your company already has an Office 365 Business Premium subscription, you could consolidate some of the applications you have been paying for separately by using these new offerings from Microsoft.

Many of the enhancements surfaced at the Microsoft Inspire conference this week in Washington, D.C.

Microsoft Connections Addresses Email Marketing

Email is still quite a big player in the marketing game. Most companies pay a service to help them manage and send out emails to their lists. If you are already an Office 365 Business Premium subscriber, this looks like a great option to save a little money and still have powerful email marketing tools. With Microsoft Connections, you can create email marketing campaigns with pre-designed templates for newsletters, announcements or customer referrals. You can also create

You can also create sign-up forms within the application to make it easy for customers to join your lists. Creating segments to target specific groups of customers can also be easily managed. There is also analytics that will show you performance charts and subscriber activity updates such as track open rates, clicks, new sign-ups, new customers, offer redemptions and unsubscribed numbers for each email campaign, so you can see what is and is not working, Microsoft claims.

Microsoft Listings: SEO Features

Keeping up with your business listing on Bing, Facebook, Google and Yelp can be a time-consuming task. Each platform has its own settings and logins. You can manage them all together in one place with Microsoft Listings. When you update your business profile in Microsoft Listings, the changes automatically populate across Facebook, Google and Bing. Then monitor online views and reviews of your listings across sites from a single dashboard. Microsoft states that this makes it easier to understand feedback from your customers and strengthen your online reputation.

Microsoft Invoicing

For businesses that don’t need a full accounting suite like Quickbooks, the new Microsoft Invoicing might be extremely beneficial. You are able to create, edit, send invoices, and accept payments while on the go. Microsoft Invoicing works with PayPal, so you can accept credit and debit cards online. The ability to create and send invoices in the moment from your smartphone can help your business keep track of work performed at clients to ensure correct billing every time.

Office 365 Business Center

You can manage all of these applications through the new Office 365 Business Center. The unified dashboard will show you key metrics from all the business apps, including total outstanding invoices, the number of appointments scheduled, the impressions across Facebook, Google, Bing and Yelp, and the number of new subscribers and sent campaigns, if you are utilizing all of the above applications.

These new business apps are built to work together, so you don’t have to build complicated connections between the applications. A contact in one business app is automatically recognized in another, so you don’t have to input data multiple times. As a business owner, you also have full control over who on your team gets access to which business apps and related information.

MileIQ

Additionally, Microsoft has released a standalone app for tracking mileage called MileIQ. This app is also included with your Office 365 Business Premium subscription but is not managed through the new Business Center. MileIQ offers a simple way to track your miles—with automatic drive detection and mileage logging from your smartphone. Once the mileage has been tracked you can classify the trip as business or personal, and export the data in a comprehensive report.

Some of these apps are available now, while others are still in preview in the US, UK and Canada.

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