It’s what keeps a business going — and it’s also what drives any small business owner a little crazy.
Particularly small business owners.
Whenever I talk to new clients, they inevitably ask me about social media marketing. And almost every time, I do my best to steer them away from focusing on it.
Not because social media marketing is bad — it’s not. On the contrary, it can give your business a great boost, increase visibility, and create a community where your customers can interact with you. But there’s something else even more useful that every small business should take advantage of first.
An email list.
Email marketing is hugely effective. First, it connects you with customers — and potential customers — who have expressed interest in your business. It gives you control over who sees your marketing materials. Finally, it gives you the holy grail of marketing: direct access to people who have specifically invited you into their homes. (Ahem, their inbox.)
If you’re not taking advantage of email marketing to grow your small business, you’re missing out. Here are 11 reasons why.
#1. Email marketing has a high return on investment.
How high? The average company sees a $44 return for every $1 invested in email marketing. That’s a seriously awesome return. If you’re struggling to figure out how to make social media marketing work for you or shelling out hundreds of dollars every month for pay-per-click and banner ads, consider stepping up your email marketing game.
#2. Lead conversion rates from emails are three times higher than social media marketing.
That means that when you nurture customers (and potential customers) through email, they are three times more likely to purchase your products or services than if they see a post or ad through social media.
#3. Email marketing is nearly 40 times more effective than marketing on Facebook or Twitter.
Forty times! That is INCREDIBLE. Now, Facebook and Twitter are wonderful for creating a community, sharing news, and giving your customers a way to interact with you. But when it comes to conversion, email wins.
#4. Nearly 95% of customers expect a brand to pursue them.
Are you worried that email marketing will annoy your customers? Unless you’re sending multiple emails every day, you don’t need to be. Customers want to be courted. They expect you to reach out to them with news and deals. So go for it!
#5. A further 95% of customers who elect to receive emails from companies find these emails somewhat very useful.
The key there is useful — send them real, valuable information (and the occasional promo), and they will love you for it.
#6. Nearly 50% of emails are opened on mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets, and 64% of decision-makers open their email on smartphones.
That means one thing: your emails need to be optimized for mobile. 64% of mobile users report deleting emails that aren’t mobile-friendly. You could be losing out on a huge marketing opportunity simple because of bad formatting! Don’t let that happen. Go mobile — or at least mobile-friendly.
#7. Two-thirds of consumers have made an online purchase because of their email.
And over 70% of purchases made on mobile devices are influenced by promotional emails. That means yes! It is okay to have promotional emails with sales alerts, promo codes, and product features. If you’re not doing that, you’re missing out. Just make sure that’s not all you’re pushing — your customers want to know that you care about value, not just sales.
#8. You only have 3-4 seconds to convince readers to open your email.
People get a lot of emails in the day. You have a very limited window to make sure they open yours instead of deleting it. The best way to do that? With an awesome subject line.
#9. Over 60% of consumers say they open an email because of the subject line.
Subject lines should be snappy and compelling, telling the reader exactly why they should open that email. One of the best words to include? “Secrets.” Also, “Limited Time” and “Special.” Tell them why they should open your message! If you collect first names along with email addresses, don’t be afraid to use them!
#10. But, 70% of consumers always open an email from their favorite companies.
If you have a loyal following, these people will open your emails pretty much no matter the subject line. So how do you build that? By forming a relationship, sharing valuable information, and always delivering what you promise. Trust is important to relationships, and the relationship you have with your customers is no different.
#11. Only 8% of companies have a dedicated email marketing team.
As a small business owner, you probably don’t have the resources for an email marketing team. That’s completely understandable. But are you putting any thought into email marketing at all?
Do you have an opt-in on your website?
Do you offer an incentive to persuade visitors to sign up?
Do you send out regular emails to your list?
Are those emails thoughtful, interesting, and helpful?
You don’t need a dedicated email marketing team, but you need dedication and a plan. If you’re failing to invest time in email marketing, you’re losing out on a huge opportunity.
Email marketing gives you the chance to connect with your audience, boost sales, and increase customer loyalty — something every small business needs!