This blog post is part of a new series based on our newly published guide for being effective in “Going to Market” with your Office add-in or service. We’ll follow up in later blogs with a deep dive on different campaign types, how to best upsell to a new add-in user, how to encourage them to deploy that add-in to others within that user’s organisation and more. This blog series is targeted for people developing add-ins and apps for Office.
Search, web, social and email campaigns are a standard part of how all software companies drive users to discover their new apps or services. This blog describes how regardless of the size of your company, you can build campaigns to effectively drive users to try your Office add-in, including how to target users effectively and how to track campaign success.
Why run campaigns?
The Office Store that is embedded within the Microsoft Office apps like Excel or Outlook has many visitors each day. Simply listing your app in the Store and waiting for “organic” visitors will yield some new customers each day. However there are many competing available services within categories such as CRM or data visualisation, and it can be hard to attract a user’s attention so they can understand why your service is better than that of the competitors. The bottom-line is, waiting for organic visitors will only get you a certain level of success.
Also many of your customers have a “set way” of achieving important tasks within Microsoft Office, and don’t go out of their way to fundamentally change how they complete those tasks, even though they may benefit by doing so. There is huge opportunity for you to reach these users by using standard web marketing mediums – search, web, social and email campaigns. By not relying solely on ‘organic visitors’, you can take back control of your add-in’s success by running your own marketing and winning more users for your add-in’s and apps.
Step 1: Plan your campaign end to end and identify the right audience
Before rushing into channels, ads and budgets, you should outline the goals for your campaigns. In addition to expanding your user base, do you plan to target users who work in a specific field or organisations? Will you be generating leads within your add-in? Are you planning to upsell users once they have become engaged with your solution? And will these users be potential candidates to share your solution within their organisation?
Based on these answers you can move forward to plan the best marketing activities fitting to your goals.
Step 2: Focus on right channels and optimize for success
Invest in channels that yield the best results – you may have historical data from previous campaigns you have run what works, but do expect a period of learning and trying variations, as you explore multiple strategies to see how best your customers respond.
SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING
If you don’t have an existing customer base, it’s good to start building awareness by running campaigns that allow you to learn about the audience, messaging and creatives with low cost. SEM is a good place to start since it allows you to easily set keywords and control your budget.
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
Once you have a good understanding of your audience, you can expand your marketing to include different social media channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Those platforms allow you to do specific targeting beyond geo-location, device and age. You can target users who have interests related to your add-in or who work in a field that is relevant to the core use-case of your add-in.
Engaging and re-engaging with your users is commonly done using direct email marketing. Setting up email campaigns is fast and cheap, but stay mindful of not overly spamming your users. Keeping your style and messaging consistent and relevant is key, otherwise you’ll see users opting out from the email list.
A blog can be a perfect place to let people know about your add-in and all the great capabilities it has. You can highlight specific features and give tips on getting the most out of your solution and share news and updates. Your blog, landing page or web page is also a great place to get people to try your add-in. The pages you host yourself will also enable you to collect more insights on visitors who have expressed interest towards your solution.
We will do a deeper dive into different marketing channels and share more insights & best practices in our later posts.
Step 3: Track success of your efforts with Campaign Tracking
Whatever channels you choose to use, tracking your marketing efforts will help you understand what works or doesn’t work about a campaign, and evaluate the return on investment for the campaign cost.
Use a unique Campaign ID to allow you to better understand the impact of your individual marketing efforts. When you link from your promotional campaigns to your add-in page in the Office Store, include the following query parameters at the end of the URL:
- mktcmpid=Your marketing campaign ID, which can include up to 16 characters (any letter, number, _ , and -). For example, blogpost_12. This is a parameter you can design based on your campaign sources.
- mktvid=Your Store Provider ID, which is included in the URL of your Store Provider page. For example, PN102957641. (To find your Store Provider page, go to the Add-in details page on Store.Office.Com and click on your company/provider name. It always begins with the letters PN.)
Find the Provider ID by selecting the link from your listing’s ‘Details’ section
The following example shows a URL that includes the two query parameters:
Adding these parameters to your campaign URL, will enable insights into your campaign's user funnel. You will have access to the number of users who visited your add-in page in the Office Store, number of users who clicked to acquire the add-in and finally the number of users who successfully installed and launched the add-in inside Office.
Tip: Bookmark this guidance page on how to create links with Campaign ID!
(NOTE: this campaign tracking capability is currently available for FREE Word, Excel and PowerPoint add-ins listed in Store.Office.Com.)
Step 4: Monitor success
Coming soon, we will share campaign insights with you on Seller Dashboard. This will give you the tools needed to analyse the success of each campaign and focus your efforts on channels and messaging that works. Until this is available, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get your campaign tracking analytics from the campaign tracking URL’s.
Call to action
To gain more customers for your add-in, plan your campaigns today and leverage campaign tracking URL’s. See the Go to Market Guide for more strategies.