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5 Reasons Why Small Businesses Should Invest in Email Marketing

email-marketingConsumers have more choices than ever when buying goods and services. Small and medium business owners need to work smarter, not harder, to compete with all the advertising clutter in the marketplace. Marketing leader, ExactTarget, notes that nearly 50% of consumers bought something as a result of an email advertising campaign, making it one of the most effective outreach channels available. If that isn’t enough to get your attention, here are our top five reasons small and medium business owners should invest in email marketing:

Little Effort, Big Return On Investment

Email marketing campaigns give business owners the power to reach a wide audience with just a few clicks. Experian calculates the return on investment for email campaigns at $44.25 per $1.00 spent thanks to email’s wide reach and easy implementation. Most email marketing platforms let business owners personalize their messaging by adding customers’ names and tailoring content to specific audience segments. Tracking clicks, open rate, and conversion allows business owners to determine what content is most compelling to their audience and adapt emails to address their customers’ real-time needs. Email marketing has defended its value over other forms of digital outreach, such as web banners and retargeting, thanks to its ability to quickly go to market with highly personalized content. No other channel is as effective in reaching your audience with timely and engaging content.

Deep Customer Insights

Knowledge is power, and email marketing provides small business owners with a wealth of information. Each time a customer opts into an email list, they self-identify and allow you to track what they click and interact with most. By analyzing customers’ behavior, marketers can present new products or tweak offerings that will drive sales by targeting those interests. It also gives business owners a snapshot into their target audience’s personality, which can be used to guide strategic, marketing decisions. For example, if customers are clicking more lighthearted material, refreshing your website with a more casual tone may increase engagement on the site. Similarly, if most of your conversions come from business email addresses corresponding to a specific industry, you can build complementary digital banners, print ads, website and blog content, or mail pieces around these insights. This allows small business owners to focus their precious recourses on their most valuable clients rather than casting a wide net.

Lowers Marketing Costs

Because small and medium business owners are often competing against large organizations with big budgets and deep pockets, any opportunity to cut back on costs can help drive a competitive and successful business strategy. Email marketing is said to be 20 times more cost-effective than other forms of campaigns because there is very little overhead associated with creating and sending emails. There are a wide range of email marketing platforms, ranging from premium enterprise solutions such as Strongmail, to low-cost, but highly effective services such as MailChimp. No matter what type of platform you choose, you can save money on designers and web analysts by using the built-in templates and tracking features that come with almost every package. Unlike digital media campaigns that charge marketers per click or impression, and traditional mail campaigns that cost money to print and send, email marketing is often free to send to your existing customer base. These low costs make email marketing as attractive as it is effective.

Creates a Value Exchange

Many marketers believe that you should not ask a customer for something unless you give them something of equal value in return. When you ask a customer for their email address, you have the opportunity to gain deep customer insights and receive a potential sale. On the flip side, customers expect to receive something of value from you in return. This often takes the form of a product discount, but can also include sharing valuable information or content of interest. Sharing engaging content, in addition to promotional messaging, is a highly effective way to build a relationship between your brand and your customers. Newsletters and blog posts that speak to your audience’s interests drive engagement and trust, reassuring customers that they are not getting spammed and that they will continue to receive value from your company’s emails. Creating a value exchange in addition to customers’ transactional relationship will build brand loyalty and affinity, keeping customers coming back to your product again and again.

Sharability

shareEmails are easy to forward and share, making them an ideal way to get free advertising from your customer base. When customers find something of value, they often post it to social media or share it with their friends. Email marketing gives small business owners the chance to reach a new audience simply by appealing to their existing customers. This can increase your email distribution list and authority within the market. Additionally, OutboundEngine estimates that over 22% of customers who receive a promotional email will visit that site without even opening the email. The brand exposure and possibility for customers to organically discuss or share content increases your reach even beyond the email content itself. Crafting interesting emails filled with infographics, trending topics, and emotionally-driven messaging can increase the likelihood that your customers will share your content.

Overall, email marketing gives small and medium business owners greater power over how frequently they communicate with their customers and how best to communicate with them than other forms of marketing.

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