Article first published October 2018, updated September 2019
Regardless of the size of the business, the way that marketing dollars are allocated is very important. This is especially true for small businesses that have smaller budgets and unique needs.
Every penny spent on marketing must be worth it, and small businesses especially need to ensure they’re seeing a number of benefits all at once. Unfortunately, most small businesses don’t have the budget or luxury to run several concurrent campaigns that cover all types of mediums. Return on investment is key.
Email marketing is an efficient way to ensure that small businesses can reach out to their customers, grow their customer base, and build their reputation.
Best of all, managing an email campaign is easier than most people imagine.
Read on to discover the top benefits of email marketing for small businesses as well as why email marketing is the right way to reach your goals.
Taking small business marketing to the next level
Email marketing is used by some of the largest businesses in the world. However, email marketing isn’t just for big brands with big budgets.
In fact, email marketing is one of the best marketing methods available for small businesses with strict budget considerations.
Ready to make the most of your small business marketing budget? Here are the top benefits of email marketing for small businesses.
1. Build strong customer relationships.
Your customers like to know that you’re thinking about them. They want to be made aware of the latest that’s happening in your business. Why wouldn’t you keep them up to date, if that’s what they want?
Obviously, it’s nearly impossible to reach out to all of your customers by phone. Not to mention that would be a very time-consuming task. Sending mailouts is costly and wasteful.
Email is the best way to reach out with an update for your customers quickly.
The latest product launch, your next big event, and any news about your business are all great topics for regular newsletters. If a customer has opted in to receive emails from you, then you shouldn’t be shy about actually sending out emails and making contact with them.
Still not convinced email marketing is one of the best ways to reach your customers?
Consider that most people check their phone to see their email updates before they even get out of bed. What if your business could be one of the first things someone thinks about tomorrow before they’ve rolled out of bed?
Email marketing can deliver that.
2. Develop your own unique brand.
Think about some of the most recognizable brands in the world. Some brand names have become so well known that they’re synonymous with the industry they operate in.
Kleenex is a great example of this. What if your small business could have a clearly identifiable brand like that?
Email marketing is a great way to develop your brand because it gives you a direct line to the email inboxes of your customers or potential customers. Regular updates give you a great opportunity to create a unique voice, style, and image for your subscribers.
What do you want your brand to be? Create a brand guide and follow it with each and every email you send. Not only is each email an opportunity to connect with your subscribers, but it’s also an opportunity to further cement your unique brand identity in their minds.
3. Become an expert with expert content.
As a small business owner, you’re likely seen as a local or regional expert when it comes to your area of business. One way to further cement this identity in the minds of consumers is to continue positioning yourself as an expert through the use of content.
Email marketing doesn’t have to just be about delivering coupons and sale information. In addition to emails designed to drive traffic to your business, you can use email marketing to deliver unique content that your subscribers will enjoy reading—or watching.
Videos are a great way to establish your brand as a thought leader in the industry. Just take a look at our example below:
When you use blogs or videos as a part of your email campaign, you’re adding value to each and every email you send.
Not only does this build your reputation as an expert, but it also builds the reputation of your business communications. People will be excited to receive emails from you because they know you deliver quality content regularly.
If you already offer expert content through a blog or YouTube channel, then you may want to consider offering exclusive, email-only content in order to convince people to subscribe to your email list.
Your content is one of your most valuable marketing tools, and you can use it to build other areas of your marketing strategy. If people love what you do, then they’ll sign up to see more great content. Best of all, that content gets delivered directly to them.
4. Email marketing is efficient with your time and budget.
Within a small business, there are time and budget constraints, and, in most cases, there’s simply no way around this. While buying an advertisement to play during the Super Bowl would be nice, it’s not an option for most small business marketing budgets.
Even targeted direct mail campaigns that deliver flyers to the mailboxes of people near you can be costly. Between designing, printing, and mailing costs, you could spend several dollars per flyer delivery. Send out flyers to a thousand people and, suddenly, you have a very expensive campaign on your hands, with no promise of results.
The time involved with shooting television commercials or recording radio ads can also eat into your bottom line. Every moment you’re not focusing on your business is lost revenue or, at the very least, a lost opportunity to connect with people on a personal level.
One of the biggest benefits of email marketing for small businesses is the efficient use of time and budget.
Designing a professional email marketing campaign isn’t complicated or time-consuming. Sending emails to a large number of subscribers is also very cost-effective. You get direct access to the email inboxes of potential customers, without having to pay the costs of direct mail.
Dollar for dollar, email marketing is one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing available to your business.
5. Build credibility as a business.
One of the biggest hurdles a small business has to overcome is building credibility. Why should someone give their business to you when your name isn’t as recognizable as the big box store down the road?
The reason people trust big names largely boils down to marketing. They’re familiar with these names, so they allow these brands more trust.
By using email marketing, you’re able to build credibility by staying in contact with your customers and keeping them up to date about your business.
The more they learn about your business, and the more they hear about your business, the more they’ll trust your business.
Go above and beyond with a marketing strategy.
Aside from small business email marketing, you have endless tactics and technology at your fingertips in order to develop a robust and impactful strategy to convert prospects into loyal customers.
Between buzzwords like account-based-marketing and artificial intelligence, where do you start? What’s going to help increase your bottom line without breaking the budget? Consider these questions before moving on to your strategy:
- Who’s your target audience? What are the marketing segments?
- What are your competitors doing?
- What does your lead pipeline look like?
- How does your product/service provide value?
- What are your KPIs?
- What is your budget?
Once you have those questions nailed, you can move on to discovering the other small business marketing strategies that’ll drive the most results to match your determined goals.
The following are two ways you can drive more traffic to your business and get the most out of your marketing dollars when combined with small business email marketing.
Did you know that 69.6% of small businesses use Facebook as a way to build a brand presence and attract prospective leads? In fact, social media is one of the best ways to connect with fans and build your digital footprint. Depending on your audience, Facebook is far from your only choice—although there are still 2.27 billion active visitors. Consider using:
- Instagram: heavily focused on imagery and continues to grow. More popular among women between the ages of 13-29.
- Twitter: great for brands to display stellar customer service. Men and women in their 20s use this platform equally.
- LinkedIn: Largest professional social platform with 590 million users—most popular among those with a higher education degree.
You also have the opportunity to market on sites like Pinterest and Snapchat.
While social media can seem daunting, the right strategy can help you expand your audience and further your brand awareness through organic posts, Live videos, paid advertising opportunities, and more.
The key takeaway with social media is to be authentic and stay true to your brand. With the potential vast audience you can reach, it’s important to focus on content quality to attract leads.
Source: Really Good Emails
While it’s easy to get swept into digital tactics, 70% of customers would actually rather learn about a brand through an article than any kind of remarketing advertisement.
Content development will help establish your brand identity, build yourself as a thought leader, create a trustworthy relationship with customers and prospects, generate more website traffic, and even convert more sales. Why? Content helps self-nurture your audience during every stage of the customer journey, providing solutions to their questions at the right time and place.
However, there are about 100 different ways you can utilize content in your marketing strategy. A few successful implementations could include:
- Long-form blogs
- Video marketing
- Podcast segments
- Print material
Source: Really Good Emails
If you’re overwhelmed, read over the initial objectives you created to help form the right kind of content that’ll resonate with your audience. If you develop content with a customer-first mentality, you’re more likely to personalize your messaging to fit your audience’s needs, which will lead to greater returns in the future.
There are countless benefits of email marketing for small businesses. Mainly, it all boils down to the fact that email marketing is incredibly cost-effective, while still being able to deliver exceptional results. You can grow your business, build a brand, and set yourself up as an expert without breaking your marketing budget in one fell swoop.
Best of all, creating a stunning and effective email marketing campaign isn’t a time-consuming endeavor.
No matter your level of experience, you can create professional email marketing campaigns quickly, and that means less time spent worrying about marketing details and more time spent working on your business to ensure it’s successful.
Are you ready to kickstart your small business email marketing strategy? Get started with Campaign Monitor for free.