Over the years, email marketing has gotten a bad rap. This may be due to information overload, the backlog of email messages that can occur, or the constant maintenance that must be done to an email account. After doing some research, however, I have become convinced that email marketing is crucial for small businesses who want to expand their reach.
For starters, the average open rate across all industries is 18.0%. Of these, government & politics has the highest open rate (26.7%), followed by nonprofits (25.5%), and education (24.9%). While these numbers may look small, email still does better than social media when it comes to attracting customers. In fact, email is about 40% more effective at customer acquisition than Twitter and Facebook combined.
Perhaps that’s why 47% of marketers say it’s an effective part of their digital marketing strategy.
With that said, let’s look at 3 benefits email marketing offers small businesses.
1. Email isn’t going anywhere
Accessing and sending email messages is simple and accessible throughout the world. Perhaps this is why there are now more than 3 billion email users, and why an estimated 91% of US consumers use email every day. With a massive number like this, it’s safe to say that email is here to stay. And since it’s not going away, you can utilize email marketing to widen your reach.
2. Email allows small business owners to tell stories
People connect with stories, so why not consider telling a story in your email messages? These stories shouldn’t be long (I recommend around 150 words), and they should be accompanied by an image.
Customer success stories may be the best route to take, since these can often be told in few words, and they demonstrate the benefits of using your product. You can develop entire email marketing campaigns centered around telling stories, such as those of your customers and of your team.
3. Email messages can be automatically scheduled (but don’t use this as an excuse to spam others)
You may want to consider creating a backlog of email content that you can dispense automatically on a schedule. Gmail now allows you to do this for free. This means you can do some initial writing work and reap the benefits of having email messages go out automatically on a regular basis.
Please do not use automated, scheduled email as an excuse to spam your email list. You don’t want subscribers blocking you or unsubscribing because they perceive you are spamming them. If that happens, they will likely never unblock/resubscribe to you, and therefore, will never see another email message you send.
Use your best judgment, or better yet, talk to email recipients who will be honest with you, and ask them if they ever feel like you are spamming them. If the consensus is “Yes,” then cut back on how frequently you send email messages.
Email is still a useful marketing tactic. It’s a good way to connect with your audience through stories, and since you can schedule email messages to go out at set times, you can create your messages in bulk at the beginning of the month.
If you want start or improve your email marketing strategy, I hope you’ll let me know.
Thanks to Inspirely Media for allowing me to create a revised version of this post I wrote for them.