Targeted Marketing Campaigns using Microsoft CRM

One may ask “Why is it necessary to do targeted marketing, when I can target every Tom, Dick, Harry with what I have to offer?”. I could easily assume that longer my target list, more are the conversions…Right?. Well, does it really work that way? Marketing Gurus do not agree. It is a widely accepted fact that Target Marketing helps you reduce marketing expenditures and increase response rates as your products are pitched only to customers who are likely to buy.


Some of the benefits of Target Marketing are:

  • Higher response rate that is encouraging for marketing executives.
  • Respect for the brand and positive marketer-customer relationship as disinterested/irrelevant customers are not constantly bombarded with your offerings.
  • Better use of your most valuable resources i.e. time and money to generate additional revenue.
  • You can easily drill down to the features and benefits of your services and products that are most important to your target market. For example, as a Banking service provider, everyone who wants to perform financial transactions can benefit from your services. But the benefits and features most important to someone wanting a loan versus someone wanting a facility for international wire transfer will be very different.

How can MS CRM help you do Target Marketing?

Microsoft CRM provides marketing professionals with the ability to perform segmentation with the use of Marketing Lists. These marketing lists are of two types:

a. Static: Here we need to add the customers manually.

b. Dynamic: Here we need to define rules and then CRM automatically adds the customers to the list whenever the criteria is met. So when a new or an existing customer matches these set criteria, CRM will auto-update the marketing list with this customer. Isn’t that awesome. No more manual addition needed!!!


The above snapshot shows a Dynamic Marketing List which segments customer’s whose Correspondence City is “Dubai” and Net Worth is more than $1,000,000.

This way Microsoft CRM makes it very easy to slice huge lists of data into segments based on various aspects like Demographic details,  Geographic locations, behavioral patterns or any other custom criteria.

Now you can run highly Targeted Marketing Campaigns against these Marketing lists Smile

CRM Dynamics is a great platform to build CRM solutions for small business to the enterprise organization. However, to enhance the platform, add-ons from different partners provide a great way to improve the user experience and improve productivity.


MS CRM 2011 – Marketing Analytics, ROI & Best Practices

Marketing campaigns are investments that need to be measured and reviewed like one does with any other investments. There’s an old business adage that goes like this “You are wasting half of your marketing dollars, unfortunately, you don’t know which half”. What was true fifty years ago, holds true even now but partially…as technology is helping us closing this gap slowly & steadily…

For marketing ROI, the tricky part is determining what constitutes your “return” and what you’re true “investment” is.

Broadly, ROI can either be:

1. Number of leads or opportunities generated

2. Monetary returns, or revenue generation because of lead conversion

3. Brand awareness (generally from social media marketing campaigns)

With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, all the leads or opportunities that generate out of the campaigns are tagged with the specific campaign activity. Moreover, responses to email blast or any campaign activity can be logged in CRM and converted to leads with “just a single click”.

In order to understand the Marketing ROI and program effectiveness, Microsoft CRM provides Marketing Analytics in the form of Dynamic Dashboards and Reports:


Few interesting reports that Microsoft CRM provides for measuring ROI are:

1. Number of leads generated campaign wise

2. Campaign wise Lead conversion ratio

3. Actual budget VS Sales revenue campaign wise

4. Campaign Performance

Some of the best practices for measuring the Marketing ROI that we recommend to all our clients are:

1. Identify the target list for every campaign – It makes zero business sense for a bank to target and cross-sell their Portfolio Management Services to low-income group customers. Data in CRM can be segmented based on desired criteria such as interest or demographics via user-friendly tools.

2. Maintain planned budget and actual expenditure for each campaign.

3. Tag every lead and opportunity with a campaign.

Steps Ahead?

Lync to Phone capability coming soon to Microsoft Office 365

Lync to Phone capability will be coming to Microsoft Office 365 this summer. The Lync to Phone capability will enable Microsoft Office 365 users to make and receive phone calls from Lync online though calling services from Microsoft partners. This capability will initially be available for the US and the UK market and will be later rolled out to other markets.

Microsoft Announces Office 365 for Government

Yesterday Microsoft announced the launch of a separate office 365 services called Office 365 for Government. Office 365 for Government is a segregated community cloud where US government data can reside. Government agencies typically have strict data security and privacy requirements. With this new Microsoft Office 365 offering along with the several standards and certifications that Office 365 supports will certainly lure several Government agencies to Microsoft Office 365.

Office 365 Sharepoint Online Partner Access Licenses Limit has been Increased

We are glad to share the news that Microsoft has increased the limits for Office 365 Sharepoint online Partner Access Licenses (PAL).  Partner Access License allows Office 365 customers to invite external partners to their Sharepoint site collections.

The new increased limits are

Office 365 Plan

No of PAL licenses

Small business plan P


Enterprise Plan E



IOTAP has helped several customers realize the capabilities of Sharepoint online. If you want help with setting up and configuring external partner access for your Sharepoint online site contact us at [email protected]

Change Partner of Record (POR) for Office 365 Subscription

IOTAP a Microsoft Cloud Accelerate partner provides you with the sales, support, and technical expertise to help you set up and implement Office 365 subscription. IOTAP has a range Office 365 implementation services that will enable you to maximize the benefits available in Microsoft Office 365.

Change IOTAP as a partner to an existing Office 365 subscription

1. Logon on the Microsoft Online Subscription portal as an administrative user

2. On the Admin page, in the left pane, select licensing link

3. Under the subscription tab- Click the name of the subscription for which you want to set  IOTAP as the partner e.g. “Office 365 Midsize Business ”

4. You will now see the subscription details. Towards the bottom of the page On the right corner, you see partner information.

5. Click Add Partner and Enter IOTAP’s Microsoft Partner ID 1470733 and click OK. You can choose to check ID.

6. Once you confirm – IOTAP will now be added as a partner for your Office 365 subscription.

Office 365 Partner Edit

Once you have set IOTAP as a partner of record for your Office 365 subscription we will work with you to make the best use Office 365 for your business needs.

Adding Partner of Record (POR) to Office 365 Subscriptions

IOTAP a Microsoft Cloud Accelerate partner provides you with the sales, support, and technical expertise to help you set up and implement Office 365 subscription. IOTAP has a range Office 365 implementation services that will enable you to maximize the benefits available in Microsoft Office 365. You can add IOTAP as your Office 365 services partner at the time of purchasing Office 365 subscription or at a later date.

Adding IOTAP as the Partner of Record at the time of Office 365 subscription purchase

1. Logon on the Microsoft Online Subscription portal as an administrative user

2. On the Admin page, in the left pane, under Subscriptions, click Purchase.

Office 365 Subscriptions

3. On the Purchase subscriptions page, click Add next to each service that you would like to purchase.

4. In the Order details popup enter the number of licenses you want to purchase and Click Add to cart.

Office 365 Plan E2 1 year term

5. When your cart includes all of the subscriptions that you want to purchase, click Check out.

Office 365 Shopping

7. In the first step of the Check out the wizard, in the right pane, under Partner information, click Add.

Office 365 Review Order

8. Enter IOTAP’s Microsoft Partner ID 1470733 and click OK.

Office 365 Partner information

9. IOTAP will now be added as a partner for your Office 365 subscription

Office 365 Partner Edit

10. Complete the rest of the wizard to finish buying your subscriptions.

Add IOTAP as a partner to an existing Office 365 subscription

1. Logon on the Microsoft Online Subscription portal as an administrative user

2. On the Admin page, in the left pane, under Subscriptions, click Manage.

Office 365 Subscriptions Manage

3. Click the name of the subscription for which you want to add IOTAP as the partner

Office 365 Plan

4. On the Subscription details page, in the right pane under Partner information, click Add.

Office 365 Partner Add

5. Enter IOTAP’s Microsoft Partner ID 1470733 and click OK.

6. IOTAP will now be added as a partner for your Office 365 subscription

Office 365 Partner Edit

Is Migration from Office Live to Office 365 the Right Choice?

Office live has served the small business community extremely well with its simple and easy to use website and communication tools designed for convenience at an extremely attractive price of zero dollars. With just days left for Office Live Small Business (OLSB) services to be shut down, many customers are wondering if migration to Microsoft Office 365 is the right choice. The transition involves a whole set of challenges that small businesses are not ready for and more importantly do not have the time or bandwidth to undertake.   Though Microsoft has provided steps and transition guide small business users are having a hard time understanding and executing them

For those who are at crossroads and deciding whether they should migrate to Microsoft Office 365 or look out for another service, Microsoft created an article in the community site that will help you to take a decision.

Below are some pointers that business should be aware of before taking a decision on migrating to Office 365

  • Office 365 is not free forever. After the trial period of 6 months, the charges are $6 per user per month plus the additional domain cost per year.
  • Your domain will not be hosted with Office 365 it has to be hosted with the default OLSB hosting provider Melbourne IT or another domain hosting provider such as GoDaddy
  • Office 365 website designer does not include all the features of Office Live website designer. Form designer, blog module, analytics are some of the features that are missing.
  • There is alternate website hosting providers that are worth taking a look at.

As Small Business solution specialist and Microsoft Cloud Accelerate partner our suggestion to these customers is that if you are looking at more than just website and want to improve your productivity and collaboration tools then Office 365 is the right choice for you.  Below are some of the highlights of Office 365 when compared with OLSB

  • Email services in Office 365 are provided by Exchange Server 2010 an enterprise leading email service
  • You Get 25 GB of space per mailbox with enterprise anti-spam and antivirus protection
  • No Advertisements which means you stay focused
  • Outlook Web App a rich web-based version of Microsoft Outlook
  • Office Web Apps to access MS Office documents from a browser
  • Multiple email aliases per user
  • You can design your website using Sharepoint Designer 2010 a free tool from Microsoft
  • Complete synchronization of your emails, outlook folders, contacts and calendars on your mobile devices like iPhone, Android, Windows Phones

Apart from the above features Office 365 also provides you with

Sharepoint Online: For sharing and managing all your documents and information

Lync Online: For Instant Messaging, Audio and video conferencing and screen sharing. You don’t have to have goto meeting or webex accounts.

OLSB customers have 6 months of the free trial period during which they can evaluate Office 365 and then decide if it is a correct fit for their business.

IOTAP a Microsoft preferred transition partner from Office Live Small Business to Office 365 has been helping a lot of small business understand the value provided by Office 365 and perform a seamless migration from OLSB to office 365. Visit our Office Live to Office 365 migration page to know more about our services.

Microsoft announces Office 365 Prices for Education

Microsoft recently announced the pricing for Office 365 for Education plans also known as A plans. Microsoft Office 365education plans are aimed at providing enterprise-class email and collaboration solutions for students and faculties at a free/cheaper price.

Office 365 for education is expected to become available in Summer 2012.

Below is the Office 365 Education plan pricing details

Office 365 for Education

For more information on  Office 365 for Education, or other  Office 365 plans please visit our Office 365 page or email us  [email protected].

Second Set of Service Updates for Sharepoint Online – Office 365

The second set of service updates for SharePoint online – Office 365 has started to roll out yesterday. This service updates includes several new features and fixes. The most useful feature is the ability for external invitees to use their business email address to access SharePoint online.

Below are the high level features that are available as part of the service update

Increased Scalability – SharePoint Online till now can accommodate 20,000 active directory user objects.  With this service update SharePoint Online can scale up to 500,000 active directory user objects.

Enhancements to Recycle Bin – SharePoint online now has several levels of recoverability from accidental deletion right from particular list item to site collection.

Directly Open PDF Files – The service update enables users to directly open PDF files from a SharePoint online document library without having to download them.

External users can sign in with their business email – External users who are invited to SharePoint Online site collection can now use their business email address to authenticate themselves. All they have to do is associate their business email address with Windows Live ID.

The new features that are made available in SharePoint Online make it a more viable option for building out any company’s intranet and extranet portal. Contact Us to know more about SharePoint Online and how it can improve collaboration.