With so many online avenues to consider when it comes to promoting your business online, email is often left in the dust. Social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn often top conversations when it comes to identifying best practices for gaining online visibility. Yet email – as old fashioned as it may seem nowadays – still tops the list of best practices when it comes to marketing online.
Gail Goodman, the CEO of email and online marketing company Constant Contact, believes that one of the main reasons email is so important for small businesses in particular is because of the relationship they have with their customers.
Small businesses have close relationships with their customers – which offers a huge advantage in email marketing. Email continues to be one of the best tools available to reengage or continue to engage customers and bring them back to your business,” explains Goodman.
Engaging customers and making them want to return to your store or other small business is certainly a goal any brand, retailer or other business aims to achieve. The question, however, is what value does email truly bring small businesses?
The Value of Email
To start, consider the economic value email offers budget strapped small businesses and quite frankly, all businesses. Sending an email doesn’t cost anything unless you are using a subscriber such as Constant Contact, SnapRetail or Mail Chimp – however even then the costs are minimal compared to printed goods and other marketing strategies that may include snail mail or advertising. And since these companies and others offer templates to create your emails, time is also saved when creating and sending emails versus other marketing strategies. Ultimately, the cost becomes very minimal – and the management of creating and sending emails becomes time well spent.
Low cost and easy to implement are certainly perks of email marketing, but the data generated from emails sent are possibly even more valuable. When using companies like Constant Contact or SnapRetail to send out your emails, you gain data that allows you to target the right audience and accurately analyze responses to your emails sent. Among them include open rates, clicked links, conversion details and subscriber information. These details are often provided within 3 days or less after your email is sent, which is a considerably short turn-around time to help small businesses better manage their marketing efforts.
A marketer can also easily see what action emails inspire – including who opened it, who forwarded it to others and who clicked through to their website,” shares Constant Contact CEO Gail Goodman. “For small business owners, the control and affordability of email are really unmatched, which is why it remains so valuable even as other marketing technologies pop up around it,” Goodman further explains.
Saving time, spending less and reaching customers are certainly good reasons to keep email marketing on your to-do-list. Together with other online marketing strategies that include social media, small businesses can confidently feel that they are reaching customers in an effective manner without breaking the bank… but more importantly, with efforts that help them bring more money to the bank.