Book a free consultation to discover the skills you need to create your marketing strategy

Explore our Digital Marketing Strategy and Planning Toolkit

Why Email Marketing Is Smart for Small Businesses

Author's avatar By Robert Allen 01 Aug, 2017
Essential Essential topic

Email Marketing is a must-use marketing channel even for the smallest of businesses

Are you a small business owner? There is a big chance that you have many daily responsibilities. In addition to managing a company, you are the visionary, the motivating force, the expert, and most importantly the one that calls the shots. Entrepreneurs have many tasks that are calling for their attention. They also are the individuals that are responsible for mapping out the road for success ahead of their endeavor. So, what is a small business owner to do with so little time?


It is true that there are various needs that must be met within a business, however, have you considered that you might be spending time on efforts that are not urgent?

Are You Running Around in Circles?

Think about your current marketing efforts. What are you doing to advertise your business service? Are you relying on word-of-mouth? Have you exhausted your budget on flyers that often end up in the trash? Most likely you have even tried paid advertising. While all these methods are good, they are not helping you unleash your true potential.

By now you may be scratching your head wondering, “Well where should I aim? I have already tried everything I could. What should I do?” Thankfully you have landed on the right article.

If you are the average business owner you might have dabbled in social media for your business, but how many of your social media followers become paying customers?

In order that you may truly convert your social media followers, or any other individuals that are exposed to your business, you must implement a “tried and true” method that has helped thousands of small businesses worldwide.

What Is This Effective Method? Email Marketing

In case you have never heard of the phrase, email marketing is a digital advertising strategy that connects with millions of internet users through a channel that is often used which is email delivery. Just think about it. Where is your phone at this very moment? There is a huge chance that your smart device is within your immediate reach.

How many times do you browse through your emails? As a business owner, you are probably always checking for new inquiries in your inbox. The same is true for the average internet user. In fact, according to an article on Business Insider, individuals check their email one to three times a day minimum while others check all throughout the day. Now imagine if it were your emails they were reading.

Here are more reasons why email marketing is your best solution for your small business:

1. You Can Afford It!

If you have ever tried printing advertisements, online ads, or telemarketing, you know that these tactics could be quite expensive. You could be spending up to thousands of dollars each month running campaigns where people may not appreciate your hard efforts. They may throw away your printed flyers, browse past your online advertisement, or even hang up on you the moment they hear you pitch your business over the phone. However, email marketing effectively targets the same individuals with more cash left over in your pocket.

Services like MailChimp and AWeber allow you to communicate with 2,000 contacts for a small fee. MailChimp is completely free however AWeber requires a small fee of $19 a month. Another service called Constant Contact charges only $20 each month. This is nothing compared to thousands of dollars down the drain using non effective traditional methods. Try these or the many other services on the web and see which one fits your business personality.

2. It's not complicated!

While marketing may not be your forte, you certainly do not have to hire a professional if you do not wish to. Whether you graduated business school or not, anyone with a computer could try their hand at email marketing. It does not have to be an expensive effort, nor does it have to be elaborate.

What are the most recent emails sent to you? If you take a good look at them you will realize that you can create the same beautiful advertisements on a budget. Email marketing services like MailChimp, AWeber, and Constant Contact provide templates that set the foundation to an attractive campaign. You could even include extra widgets that are so easy to comprehend. Always remember to get help proofreading marks and symbols, it pays off to direct your attention to such details.

Recently Ascend2 conducted a research that included 333 digital marketers to pick their brains about their various marketing efforts. According to this survey, the impressive statistic of 54% business owners saw incredible profit with email marketing while other strategies like websites, blogs, and search engine optimization followed closely behind in productivity. The least effective tactics included paid search, mobile, and ecommerce.

3. Quick to Start Up

Email marketing certainly does not have to take up the majority of your time. As a small business owner, you have better use for your day than sending emails. In as little as 90 minutes, you could compose an impressive email for thousands of internet users worldwide.

This is made possible by Email Service Providers that provide plenty of templates to drag, drop, and customize with your choice of images and information to input. You can easily create free banners for emails online. You are even given the option to send test emails in order to be confident about your campaign. If your small business has a blog, many providers offer formatting and automated email marketing according to the set time you wish to send. This is convenient so that you can focus on other tasks while getting the work done with little effort.

4. Keep Your Customers Attention

In case you do not know, internet users have very little attention span. With the large amounts of information flooding the web all day there is not enough time to spend on every content. This is more than enough reason to get creative with your marketing tactics in order that you might keep the attention of your potential customers for a long time.

According to a popular study by Gigaom Research called “Workhorses and Dark Horses”, email marketing outshines the competition with 56 effective digital programs to retain respondents. Other programs included social media marketing, content marketing, and digital video advertising. Needless to say, email marketing is the way to stop users in their tracks and pay attention to your business.

5. Most Preferred Contact Option

What was your answer the last time a company or individual asked “In what way would you prefer to be contacted?” Most likely you chose your business or personal email address over other contact solutions like mail, text messaging, or phone calls. This is the same discovery a case study by Marketing Sherpa found.

When 2,057 Americans were asked how they suggested to keep contact with other companies, email reached the highest at 70%, while postal mail remained at 49%, television advertisements 34%, text messaging 19% and the lowest method online video ads left at 8%.

How to Build Your Mailing List

We've dabbled into email marketing, but there is one thing you should know before proceeding. You need to build a mailing list, essentially a list of subscribers whom you can contact and interact with. Aside from your website, the email list is the only thing you actually have control over, and email subscribers are more likely to be product buyers.

Business is trust and you need an email list to interact with your subscribers in order to build trust. How do you start building it?

Firstly, you need good email list software. A simple Google search will give you tons of options for all pockets. Secondly, you need to grow the email list and you can do this by various means: give away free ebooks, discounts, coupons and do this by being genuinely interested in your customers' needs. They will simply know it otherwise.

Furthermore, put the email list form on your website, tweak it, and start sending emails. Come up with a long-term content creation strategy and be persistent.

Email is basically the most powerful marketing tool on planet Earth, with more than 3.7 billion people using it. On the same note, Facebook has "only" 1.9 billion users.

Final Thoughts

If you are a small business owner and have not considered email marketing, you may be missing out on millions of prospective clients. Everyone is browsing the internet in some shape or form whether they are updating a status, ordering a lunch, or browsing their emails. This is your opportunity to expose your business to a wide range of internet users all around the world.

When we started our small business, we knew that we wanted to offer our web design skills to small businesses in the area. However, it always seemed overwhelming when we thought of the hundreds of businesses we have not yet communicated with and that have never heard of us. After setting up a great website and a blog, printing out a few advertisements, and maintaining our social media daily, we were still not seeing the results we knew we could have.

That is when we decided to step out of our comfort zone and connect with local businesses through email. Thankfully this did not dig deep into our pockets. So far, we have experienced increased traffic to our website and more client booking each month.

It worked for many business owners so why wouldn’t it work for you?

Author's avatar

By Robert Allen

I was the Editor of Smart Insights between 2015-2017. I managed the blog and you will find blog articles on a range of subjects- Marketing Technology trends and latest tech developments are a regular focus, as well as exploring key marketing concepts. You can get in touch with me on Twitter and connect with me on LinkedIn. The new Editor is Carolanne Mangles.

Recommended Blog Posts