Small Business Email Marketing Works
Psst... want to know one of the biggest secrets in small business marketing? Keeping in touch with your customers. Too often small businesses will focus their marketing efforts on obtaining new customers and they ignore their current ones. But it is MUCH easier to sell to existing customers than to get new ones. Don't get me wrong, you absolutely should be targeting new customers, but don't take your current customers for granted.
Another mistake that small business owners can make is thinking that they are covered because they participate in various forms of social media. But as it turns out, consumers actually prefer email. A 2012 survey that was performed by ExactTarget which shows that 66% of Americans have made a purchase resulting from an email marketing. This email marketing statistic is prettty impressive when compared to facebook at 20% (email is more than 3 times as effective) and 16% for text messaging (email is more than 4 times as effective). In terms of purely consumer preference for types of communication, email is the preferred channel. Email was chosen by 45% of respondents compared to 36% for text and 13% for all other social channels.
What is a small business owner to conclude from this? When you are developing your marketing strategy, email should certainly be at the top of your list. Email marketing is not only one of the most effective tools that business owners can use to market to consumers, it is also one of the most cost-effective tools at their disposal.
Your Email Marketing Advantage
Email marketing is a must use tool for small businesses for many reasons. Not only are email marketing efforts cost effective, but if you implement and execute them properly, they will help your business build brand awareness and increase customer loyalty. Email marketing, even when outsourced to a company such as mine, will only cost pennies per message. Compare this to the cost of direct mail and you will see what a bargain it actually can be for your business.
Direct mail with design, printing, and postage can cost well over $1 and up to $2 per message sent depending on the number of units sent and the size of the mail. Also, studies show that the response rates on email messages are quite good ranging anywhere from 5 to 35 percent depending opon your industry and the message format (nice HTML emails convert much better than plain text). Whereas the response rate regular mail advertisements are a huge success when they get over 2 percent.
The benefits of email marketing
If you still are not convinced that email marketing is right for your business, you are not alone. While it is in use by literally thousands of companies all over the world, many companies don't understand how important important it can be or they misunderstand just how easy it is to implement, or outsource.
Here are a few ways that email marketing can help your business be more successful:
- Let me reiterate the main point - it works! As mentioned above, email is a consumer's preferred channel for receiving communications from businesses as well as being 3 times more effective than facebook and 4 times more effective than text messaging.
- It’s one of the most affordable and effective marketing tools available to small businesses. According to the Direct Marketing Association, businesses generated $40.56 in revenue for every $1 they invested. While being a blended average across a wide range of businesses, it is clearly effective. Also, given that the cost is mere pennies per message and response rates are magnitudes higher than direct mail, it is an inexpensive way of marketing your products and services.
- Another powerful benefit is your ability to grow your customer relationship while building greater loyalty and trust. By sending out well written and engaging newsletters, you will be building a relationship with your customers that will let them get to know you and your business better. This in turn will build trust. And we know that when consumers trust you, they will buy from you. Your customer retention and loyalty will strengthen and grow as long as you continue your efforts.
- Businesses can build greater brand awareness. Every communication you send will build awareness of your business and brand. You will be keeping your business and products or services in the minds of your customers. When it comes time to buy a product or service, people tend to buy from people they know!
- It is convenient for your customers. Businesses can place links to products and services allowing convenient access to information for your customers. The easier it is for customers to get information, the more likely your customers will actually read the information which allows you to boost sales.
- Another very compelling advantage provided by email marketing is that it allows businesses to market in a format that is likely to be read and noticed. People ignore billboards, we know from experience that direct mail gets thrown away with hardly a glance, and the same holds true for newspaper ads. But send out a well designed and engaging email newsletter and people pay attention.
- Another benefit, which may not seem so obvious at first glance, it the power of word-of-mouth advertising that a business can receive. Nobody denies that the most powerful ad is the referral from someone that the customer knows and trusts. Your email marketing campaign can result in these referrals as your customers forward your compelling offers and informative information to their friends and family members.
- Finally, it is one of the easiest types of marketing to track results and calculate the return on your investment. When running a business, tracking what works and what doesn't is crucial to your success and profitability. Your email service provider, whether you hire someone or you do it yourself, can provide statistics which show open rates and the number of clicked links. But beyond that, if you put in a compelling offer with a code that the customer has to give you to receive the offer, you will know right away if your campaign is a success.
While facebook, Twitter, and other social media may be getting all the buzz these days (and they can be a valuable part of your marketing arsenal) do not ignore this proven marketing channel. With all these benefits and many more not listed, you should be seeing the value of a consistent and well-planned email marketing strategy. Don’t let your business miss out on such a compelling tool for driving business growth, give us a call today!