You’re not the only one with an exploding inbox. This year, the total emails sent and received per day will total 269 billion, The Radicati Group predicts. By year-end 2021, expect 319.6 billion messages daily. And on average, every office worker receives 121 messages a day (another factoid from The Radicati Group).
Clearly, we’re all getting way too much email. More than we can possibly read. No wonder less than half of small businesses use email marketing, according to Infusionsoft’s 2017 Small Business Marketing Trends Report. After all, with so many messages clogging people’s inboxes, why bother?
But here’s the thing. Email marketing still works—like really works—especially for small businesses. In fact, marketers at companies of all sizes believe email marketing is the most effective tactic for increasing awareness as well as customer acquisition, conversion, and retention, according to Gigaom Research.
Here are seven reasons why your small business shouldn't give up on email marketing:
1. Email marketing can be automated
To be effective, your email offers, newsletters, or other content should be customized and personalized for your target audiences. While this sounds like a big job, it doesn’t have to be. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software that integrates marketing automation tools for small businesses, like Infusionsoft, can help. For example, you can build marketing campaign using a drag-and-drop interface and use campaign templates to automatically send personalized email to every contact in your CRM database. This personalized, automated follow up can greatly increase conversion rates and foster brand loyalty, all while you're working on other parts of your business that demand your attention.
2. Consumers actually prefer email
A Marketing Sherpa study found that 72 percent of Americans prefer that companies communicate with them via email versus other channels, such as text message and social media. And are you sitting down? Seventy-three percent of millennials say they’d rather get their communications from companies via email, according to research from Adestra.
3. Email marketing is inexpensive
“At a typical cost of only a few cents per message, email marketing is quite a bargain in terms of price and time when compared to direct mail,” notes the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Compared to other media, email is “dirt cheap” to send, adds Harvard Business Review. “With print ads, you are helping to keep newspapers and magazines alive. Direct mail costs more than $600 per thousand pieces. With email, there are almost no costs at all. But its low cost only makes the argument stronger that email marketing is the most cost-effective advertising method available today.”
And email isn't just cheap; it also provides a great return.
4. Email can deliver big ROI
“When executed well and delivered with relevance to engaged customers, email provides the highest ROI for modern marketers,” notes the Data & Marketing Association. The Direct Marketing Association estimates that email marketing can deliver an ROI of about 4,300 percent.
Yes. 4,300 percent.
5. Email marketing is easy to measure
With email marketing, you can easily see how messages fared with your target audiences. “With email, you know within 24 hours exactly which messages have been opened, by whom, what links the openers clicked on, and what part of your message was working,” notes Harvard Business Review.
Additionally, you can improve your email campaigns by employing A/B testing for a variety of factors such as subject lines, email length, CTAs, and more.
6. Consumers are highly mobile and so is email
It used to be that you only checked email on your computer. No longer. Today, about 77 percent of Americans own a smartphone, Pew Research Center reports. And because we can check email anywhere now, we do. In fact, 73 percent of smartphone-first consumers check email more than once daily, 19 percent higher than those who check email primarily on another device (like a computer), as reported by the Email Monday blog.
That means your target customers check email while out shopping or running errands. And if your email promotes a product they could use, they may be more receptive to it, versus when they’re reading email at their desks, busy with work.
7. Email marketing converts better than social media
Email marketing is 40 times better at converting prospects into customers than Facebook and Twitter, Entrepreneur magazine reports.
Of course, you don’t have to choose between email marketing and social media. As Adweek advises: “While it’s important to remember what each channel does best and to stay on message, integration holds the promise of big benefits for both email and social marketing. Email and social work best when not in competition with one another.”
Making your email marketing count
Winning at email marketing is another story. You need to be succinct and relevant. Offer the recipient something of value, whether it’s information or a discount. Personalize your email subject and content. And give the reader a call-to-action, whether it’s "contact us for more information" or "buy now." Follow best practices and you’ll see for yourself why email marketing still rocks.