By Herb Jackman
Small business owners may feel pressured to keep up with the latest trends in social media and marketing and basically doing whatever's necessary to stand out from competitors and attract the most customers possible. Does it take time? Sure. Can time be wasted on strategies and tactics that aren't quite worth it? You bet. Email marketing for small business, which was once known as a newfangled marketing tactic compared to direct mail and telemarketing strategies, may still be the key to really great marketing that sticks in people's brains.
According to a fancy new infographic by Business 2 Community featured after the jump, email isn't going anywhere. Why mess with a good thing, right? Recent data shows that 92 percent of adult internet users have at least one email account, and 72 percent of email users check their inboxes at least six times every day. This can probably be attributed to smartphone users getting bored, refreshing their inbox, checking social media sites, then repeating the process multiple times every day.
The future of email
Remember how we said email isn't going anywhere? That's a fact that can be taken to the bank. There are an estimated 3.38 billion email accounts in the world - that probably explains why it's so hard to find an available name for a new address - but the numbers are expected to increase by almost 1 million accounts in the next four years.
Same goes for email account traffic, but on a much larger level. Today, there are 144.8 billion email hits, but that number is expected to skyrocket to - are you ready for this? - more than 192 billion hits by 2016.
Join the club
Research has shown that 59 percent of retailers think email is the best form of marketing, bar none. The global average open rate is more than 20 percent and click-through rates are 5.2 percent, which may sound low until you realize the global average unsubscribe rate is just 0.31 percent. When global retailers create an effective email marketing campaign then stick with it - maybe don't send 534 emails in one year, though - there is more of a chance to get noticed in recipients' cluttered inboxes. Sending one measly email to random recipients every so often isn't going to cut it.
Black Friday is just around the corner
All marketers know that the holiday season is coming up, specifically Black Friday, and it's not wise to run a campaign sans email. Thankfully, promotion pros have a few tricks up their sleeves that small business owners can learn from and implement in email marketing before sleigh bells start ringing:
1. Create a game plan and set reasonable, high goals. What's the point in striving for mediocre sales, anyway?
2. Clean up the email lists and plan to send different messages to different target groups. This should include test emails (just to make sure those Black Friday deals end up in the right inboxes) and demographic-specific messages that appeal to just the right consumers.
Do you have any email tips to add to the list? What other email benefits can you think of? Check out Infusionsoft's newest e book, "Anatomy of an Email."