Many of our new small business clients come to us with a blank marketing canvas. Once their website is up to snuff (and speed), email marketing is one of the first marketing tactics we implement. It’s cost-effective, easy to use, and boasts a high return on investment (ROI), making it an excellent choice for small businesses looking to stretch their marketing dollars. We know, email has been around for decades, and there are plenty of shiny new channels out there. But, for small businesses in particular, the benefits of email marketing cannot be overstated.
Let’s start at the top with the bottom line. Email marketing returns exceptional ROI: on average, for every $1 invested, businesses reap an impressive $35, a feat other platforms struggle to match. And by implementing best practices like A/B testing, sticking to a regular schedule, and using a double opt-in, you can see this number soar even higher.
How to calculate the ROI of your email campaigns:
Net profit (gross profits from email marketing – email marketing costs) /Email marketing costs = ROI
Unlike many other marketing tactics, email marketing is user-friendly and doesn’t demand extensive preparation. You can craft, design, and dispatch campaigns to your entire email list in a matter of weeks—without much time or technical know-how. Sending campaigns to thousands of subscribers is also affordable, even on a small budget. Even if your small business only has a small list of subscribers, many email service providers (ESPs) offer a basic or free plan that you can use to start sending them marketing emails.
Email allows you to exercise complete control and own your assets. In contrast, think about social media—the platform owns everything you do on it. Every connection. Every post. Everything you do there. What happens if Facebook or X explodes tomorrow (not unlikely for the latter considering the latest state of affairs!)? What if one of them decides to de-platform you? What if your account gets hacked and you’re locked out for weeks? What an algorithm change means 90% of your followers stop seeing your posts? We may sound like Chicken Little here, but these are surprisingly real risks that harm small businesses regularly.
With email marketing, on the other hand, your email list and all your campaigns are assets that you own. Even if you switch to a new email service provider (ESP), you own the list of your contacts. Since you are the owner of your email list, you also have complete control over who sees your email and who doesn’t, eliminating reliance on platform algorithms. No one can take your contacts from you or keep you from reaching out to your customers; provided, of course, that your email content is legal and abides by relevant terms and conditions.
Emails are a great way to direct customers and prospects to your virtual doorstep (aka your website). You can embed links to your site in your emails, promoting blogs, products, landing pages, and services, increasing website traffic and engagement.
TOP TIP: Remember to include a call-to-action (CTA) in the email to direct people to the site.
In our Brighter Messaging email blast, we include teasers and links to blog posts to encourage readers to visit the website to learn more.
You can’t hit reply on a billboard. Email marketing allows you to communicate directly with your audience to establish relationships with both existing and future customers. Unlike many other marketing channels, email communication is a two-way street, helping you maintain relationships, improve revenue, and lower your churn rate.
Another way email marketing helps to build customer relationships is by providing them with helpful and valuable information. Whether it’s through your product or service, helpful tips, or even a happy birthday message, they will learn to appreciate and trust you.
TOP TIP: Not every email you send should involve selling them your products or service. Look to provide value in your emails so that recipients look forward to hearing from you.
Sure, Coca-Cola can afford to go all out and buy advertising space during the Super Bowl, but small businesses don’t have those kinds of budgets. Fortunately, an email marketing strategy is both cost-effective and time-efficient.
You can develop—and automate—a professional email campaign that gets sent to thousands of subscribers for a low cost. Most ESPs allow you to set up email automations that essentially put your marketing on autopilot, while still allowing your communications to stay personalized and target your subscribers individually. Although it’s not quite set-and-forget (as you’ll want to track your campaigns and tweak things occasionally), setting up email marketing funnels allows you to generate new business while going about your everyday business!
When you run your own business, one of your goals may be to be seen as an expert in your industry. Email is a great platform for establishing and demonstrating authority, as it allows you to share insightful content. You can send emails with relevant, useful information to develop trust among your readers and become the name they turn to.
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No one wants to read an email that sounds like it was just blasted out to a bunch of random people. Your customers aren’t clones, and one of the major advantages of email marketing is that it lets you leverage data about your email subscribers and tailor your messages accordingly. You can use recipients’ names, segment your audiences, and make each customer feel like a VIP.
DID YOU KNOW? Adding a subscriber’s first name to your email subject line can increase email opens by 26%.
Think of email marketing as your trusty sales sidekick. Here are some of the ways that email can help you increase sales:
DID YOU KNOW? 60% of consumers say they’ve purchased something due to a marketing email they received.
With most traditional marketing campaigns, the aim is to create general awareness around your brand, product, or service with the hope it’ll lead to sales later down the line. Think, for example, of an ad placed in a newspaper. Without some kind of conversion tracking mechanism, it could be weeks after the campaign launch, and you won’t always be able to determine if a sale was due to the campaign or some other reason. With email marketing, there’s no more guesswork—you’re in control. With easy tracking of key metrics, you gain immediate insights into email campaign performance, allowing you to measure results accurately and refine your strategies. You can also change elements of your campaign and A/B test to see which performs better.
You may also be interested in: Does email marketing work for small businesses?
We know that deciding where to put your hard-earned marketing dollars isn’t a choice you make over a game of rock-paper-scissors. You know you need to bring in new customers and keep them coming back, but you can’t afford to invest your time or resources into something that isn’t going to deliver a decent ROI. If you’ve read this list of email marketing benefits, you’ll see how email offers a good bang for your buck.
Don’t want to go it alone on your email marketing? At Brighter Messaging, we can help you measure your progress, track email leads, and help you create email campaigns that convert. Get in touch with the team to learn more.
Brighter Messaging is a digital marketing strategy company that specializes in supporting small, service-based businesses in their digital marketing efforts.
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