Email marketing is one of the most valuable digital marketing tools available for a small business owner. An effective email marketing campaign allows you to build stronger relationships with your customers, promote new products or services, increase sales, and increase brand awareness.
An effective email marketing campaign is a great way to make the most of your marketing dollars, and small business owners are catching on - 64% of small businesses report using email marketing to reach customers. In this blog post, we will discuss the top 8 benefits of email marketing and why it's a crucial component of digital marketing for small businesses:
What Is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is a marketing channel that allows a business to communicate with customers via email. It's a cost effective way for small businesses to reach their target audience to share information, drive website traffic, and keep themselves in the minds of the customer.
Given that 3.9 billion people are using email these days, email marketing is a vital part of any company's digital marketing strategy.
People tend to equate email marketing with an inbox overflowing with emails announcing a LIMITED TIME OFFER. While promotional content is a great way to improve sales, it's one of many tools in the toolbox of email marketing.
You can also use email marketing campaigns to to share interesting articles, helpful tips, educational information, or links to blog posts with your customers.
So, now that you know what it is, let's see what email marketing can do for you!
1. Build Credibility & Brand Awareness
By using email marketing to provide consistent, high quality content, small businesses can build credibility and recognition as an expert in their field. People become increasingly used to seeing your business's name, which builds brand recognition and trust.
Studies have shown that it takes 5-7 impressions for people to recognize a company logo and that 80% of males and 76% of females prefer to buy from brands they recognize. Small businesses can use email marketing campaigns to breed familiarity and turn one time customers into returning customers.
2. Build & Maintain Relationships With Loyal Customers
Email marketing is also a great way to let customers know you're thinking of them and to keep them thinking about you. Even if your customer isn't actively looking to make a purchase, you can use email marketing to keep them engaged with your website and business.
For example, if your business involves promoting events, shopping, and dining in your area like Love Burlington, one segment of your target audience is likely to be tourists. By definition, tourists are not always shopping, dining, or attending events in your area, but they could very well be in the future. What better way to stay top of mind with these folks than sending a monthly newsletter announcing upcoming events?
If you own a flour company or a specialty food store, consider sending your customers monthly recipes featuring your products. Everybody eats and many people cook - nurture your relationship with your customers by helping them discover a new dish!
For a business whose customers are other businesses, you can establish authority as an expert in your field by sending industry specific tips and news. Small business owners are busy, and providing them valuable information is a great way to strengthen relationships.
3. The Opportunity For Personalization
One of the benefits of email marketing is that you can personalize the content in the emails to suit your target audience.
By segmenting your customers into different lists based on their interests, you can make sure that you're reaching the right audience and sending your customers valuable, personalized content specifically intended for them - people are far more likely to open an email if they feel it is truly meant for them.
Another advantage of email marketing for small businesses is that it allows you to be creative. Unlike other marketing channels, there is no limit to the space or characters, so you are free to take as much space as you'd like (although easily scannable emails do tend to perform better overall).
As the business owner, you know what your current customers are like, and you have a good idea of who your potential clients are too. You can use this knowledge to craft valuable content that is especially relevant to them, designing your emails specifically directed at the pain points, interests and needs of your target market.
4. Reach a Wider Audience - Wherever They are
In these digital times, you have a good chance of reaching current or potential customers on one of the many social media channels out there. Many people have Twitter or Instagram accounts, but one of the top benefits of email campaigns is that almost EVERYONE has an email.
And not only do they have email, they have it on their mobile devices, meaning they get a notification every time a new email hits their inbox, even if they're not at a computer.
People are checking that email at least once a day, and oftentimes more. And they want to hear from you - 72% of adults in the US prefer to receive email communications from a business.
5. Increased Sales & ROI
One of the biggest benefits of email marketing for small businesses is the high return on investment (ROI).
The average ROI for an email campaign is 3600% , and for some industries, that number is even higher. And no, that's not a typo - on average, spending $1 will bring in $36 in profit. It's no wonder that 37% of companies report that they are increasing their email marketing budget - they can spend very little money and see significant returns!
A well done email campaign is going to boost sales either directly or indirectly. Promotional emails are likely to immediately increase website traffic and drive sales - either by resulting in an immediate sale or by generating leads for future business. In fact, 60% of consumers report making a purchase because of a marketing email.
6. Works Well with Other Marketing Channels
One of the many benefits of email marketing is how well it integrates with social media marketing and other aspects of a small business marketing strategy.
You can easily use your social media platform to gain email subscribers, and you can include social media links in your email marketing message to build your following.
You can easily make your email content shareable too. This is another great reason to make sure you are sending high quality, relevant content. Shared content means you're very likely reaching an untapped customer base, and this is your chance to make a memorable impression.
Your email campaign will increase relevant traffic to your website, which is super helpful for your SEO ranking and for helping your business show up when potential new customers are conducting a search.
7. Easily Measure Results
One important benefit of email marketing is that it's measurable - you can instantly see the impact your email marketing efforts are having.
Whichever email marketing software you use is going to provide you with detailed reports about your campaign's performance. These will include detailed metrics for how many emails were sent and opened, as well as click through rates to the links included in your email.
These reports will also tell you how many people unsubscribe, and if at any point this number is higher than you want it to be, it's a sign that you need to include more valuable content for your customers.
8. Use A/B Testing To See What Works Best
It's important to test your emails simply to make the most of your money - according to Litmus, businesses who run A/B Testing on their email marketing campaigns have an ROI of 4200%!
One of the most common things businesses test is subject lines - do more people open an email with their name in the subject line? What about emojis - if you include one in your subject line, does it increase your open rate?
There are plenty of other valuable things small businesses can test to see what works best.
Try sending your emails at different times of the day or on different days of the week. See if sending a weekly newsletter yields a higher click through rate than a monthly one.
Test different types of offers (or whether an offer helps you perform better at all).
Test your audience segments - longtime customers vs. more recent subscribers. Or test to see if a certain demographic is more likely to share your content.
Test the format and style of your email. Do emails with images perform well? What if you include a video? (Spoiler alert, adding videos to email marketing can increase engagement by 300%).
There are almost endless ways to test your email marketing content, but the key takeaway here is that testing is one of the important benefits of email marketing that shouldn't be overlooked.
Now That We Have Your Attention...
Would you like to exceed your marketing goals in a super cost effective way? Ready for more sales, more leads and more customers? Would you like help crafting a professional email campaign for your small business? Do you have a question or a comment about something you read above? Awesome, let's connect!