Email marketing is an important marketing tool for any small business. Let’s get that on the table up front. Although it may not be as glamorous as social media marketing platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram, it has proven to be more effective for delivering conversions and higher ROI. When small businesses are looking for a cost effective, shareable, measurable form of marketing, the benefits of email marketing place it right at the top of the list.
Although social media marketing continues to generate an ongoing buzz, it is easy for small business owners to become bogged down with a wide range of social media tasks. This raises questions about whether these time consuming tasks yield real or measurable results. Social media ROI is often difficult to quantify.
If your business does not currently have an active email marketing effort it’s time to give this area some serious focus. If you have done email marketing on an occasional, sporadic basis it’s time to implement a more consistent, focused email marketing strategy.
People sometimes wonder why they get so many emails on a regular basis. The answer: Because email marketing works. Here are nine benefits of email marketing for small business:
Benefit #1 – Email is A Direct Connection
Email allows a business to connect with people that want to hear from you and have given you permission to connect with them via their inbox. Email marketing provides a direct connection with customers, sales prospects and business partners. Unlike social media platforms or various advertising strategies that function as more of a broadcast medium, email can be personalized and very targeted.
Benefit #2 – Email Builds Brand Awareness
Your brand is your business’ promise to your customers to deliver a consistent product or service. Creating a voice for your brand and delivering it to your prospective customers on a regular basis is an important first step in establishing your business in their minds. Although there has been some debate about the rule of seven, general consensus is clear that when the right people see your brand multiple times, they are more likely to convert from prospects to customers.
Email marketing is an effective solution for delivering your brand directly to the in-boxes of prospective clients that have been identified as having an interest in your product. Even the percentage of recipients who have not opened the email have still seen your brand name and subject line, which makes an impression.
Benefit #3 – Higher Conversion Rates
The pervasive nature of email is clear. 91% of Americans use email every day, so there is a 91% chance that your email will be seen in some form. Social media marketing does not provide that rate of exposure to a target market. Email conversion rates are three times higher than social media according to McKinsey & Company. Since the end goal is to convert into sales, this number is meaningful.
Surveys have shown that as many as 70% of people who receive email marketing enjoy the marketing from their favorite brands and feel that the content is useful. When the email list has been created using “opt ins,” this number rises significantly.
Benefit # 4 – Direct to a Landing Page
Your small business website is optimized for search engines, but there is still a margin of error for delivering the perfect information to the existing or prospective client. When links are provided within the email marketing material, businesses have the opportunity to send the consumer directly to the ideal landing page.
Creating landing pages that will support your email marketing efforts and keep the customer engaged longer is one way to maximize the benefits of email marketing strategies.
Benefit #5 – Getting Personal
Social media marketing and advertising reaches the masses, but in a very impersonal way. Email marketing offers a number of opportunities to personalize an email, its messaging and its call to action:
- Including the subscriber’s name in email communications.
- Sending additional emails based on previous buying habits, website interactions, information requests or sign up location.
- Using life cycle events, such as birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions to trigger personalized messages or special offers.
Williams-Sonoma, a prominent home goods retailer, reported response rate improvements by a factor of ten from adopting personalized email marketing based on individuals’ shopping behavior.
Benefit #6 – Availability of High Quality, Low Cost Tools
One element that continues to drive the effectiveness of email marketing is the availability of high quality, relatively low cost tools and service providers. Services such as MailChimp, Get Response, Aweber, iContact, Constant Contact and other quality service providers offer a wide range of email capabilities and pricing options. This is a very competitive market and small businesses are the beneficiaries of a growing list of new features and capabilities offered by email service providers.
Benefit #7 – Email Content is Shareable
Few other forms of marketing are as simple to share as email marketing content. Email marketing offers the option to forward the email or to share through social media. Allowing marketing materials to be easily shareable helps to create brand advocates, gaining your brand additional exposure.
In addition to content being shared by recipients, businesses may easily share their own content, in an effort to follow up the campaign with content that may be viewed in different formats. When the send button has been pressed, the content can also be easily delivered to Facebook, LinkedIn, and any other medium where the business has a presence.
Benefit #8 – Email is Cost Effective
One of the most attractive advantages to small businesses is the cost effectiveness of email marketing. Unlike direct marketing, there are no print costs, no mailing fees, no advertising rates, and virtually no hassle.
According to research conducted by Direct Marketing Association, email marketing has an average return on investment of $38 for each $1 spent, which is a significant increase over 2013 results. One in five companies surveyed reported an ROI of over 70:1. These numbers represent a clear advantage of email marketing over display ads or social media.
Benefit #9 – Email Marketing is Measurable
Virtually every email marketing platform offers the opportunity to view an abundance of statistics on each campaign. By analyzing individual campaigns as well as the overall performance of your collective strategy, patterns and behavior will emerge which will effectively guide the future of your email marketing.
Most other marketing channels present ambiguous statistics and analysis, but email marketing campaigns are relatively straight forward. By tying your campaigns into your Google Analytics, it is also possible to observe the behavior that occurs on your website as the result of the email marketing campaign. Understanding these numbers will lead to more effective targeting and higher conversions.
Be sure that your business is using and leveraging the benefits of email marketing effectively. Email is a communication channel that allows your business to speak directly to customers, prospects, partners and suppliers. When utilized as part of an overall web-based marketing strategy it is a powerful tool that provides a wide range of benefits for businesses of all sizes.
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Small Business Email Marketing – 5 Steps to Get Started