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Why email marketing is important for small business

There are several reasons why email marketing is important for small businesses. As a small business owner deciding where to invest your marketing money isn’t a decision, you joke with. You will need to attract new customers and keep your already existing clients coming back, and as a start-up or small business owner, you can’t afford to invest your time and resources into a marketing strategy that will not yield results. This is why email marketing is important for small businesses. This marketing strategy is cost-effective and has some benefits that will be further discussed in this article.

Of all forms of marketing, email marketing has the highest ROI (return on investment) with an average of about $36 in return for every $1 spent (you can also check out this article on how to improve ROI in digital marketing). Nevertheless, ROI isn’t the only reason why email marketing is important for small businesses. This form of digital marketing is definitely worth your time and investment because it is an effective way to reach customers in a place they visit virtually every day- their inbox.

The reason why email marketing is important to small businesses is that it is capable of launching them ahead of their competitors
Email marketing is important to small businesses

What is email marketing?

Email marketing is a kind of marketing approach that involves sending emails to your target audience. This marketing strategy is one of the best ways to turn prospects into buyers and convert one-off customers into engaged and loyal customers.

In business, an email marketing strategy can encompass sending promotional emails, weekly newsletters, and special deals for customers. By doing this, the brand creates a relationship with its target audience and steadily builds loyalty to the brand. Email marketing is important for small businesses because it will help you to keep in touch with those that want to hear from you, keeping you top of mind. It also allows you to educate your readers, conduct surveys, drive traffic, share updates, as well as make announcements, etc.

With email marketing, which has the highest ROI of any marketing strategy or channel, small businesses can do lots of different things within one channel. Hence, knowing the benefits of email marketing will help you decide whether it is important for your business.

Here are some basic facts you should know about email marketing:

  • Email is almost 40 times more effective than Twitter and Facebook combined in helping your business acquire new customers (McKinsey).
  • According to 80% of professionals, email marketing drives customer acquisition and retention (eMarketer).
  • 91% of U.S adults like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with (MarketingSherpa).
  • Email marketing is more likely to drive sales than social media marketing (Optinmonster).

The reason why email marketing works compared to other marketing strategies is that it allows you to keep in touch with your customers on a consistent basis. You can always let your customers know you value them with a simple “Thank you for subscribing”, or a cheery, “Welcome on board” or even a sincere “Happy Birthday” email. Customers love to be treated and interacted with on a personal level and not just like everyone else. The more value your email provides to your target audience, the more they look forward to hearing from you.

Reasons why email marketing is important for small business

  1. Email marketing gives you a reach
  2. Emailing is a great way to inform your customers
  3. It enables you to create personalized content
  4. Increase traffic to your website
  5. It increases brand recognition
  6. Email marketing is easy to adjust
  7. It improves sales
  8. Email marketing helps to build credibility and stronger customer relationships
  9. With email marketing, small businesses can optimize their time and budget
  10. Email inspires action
  11. Build excitement within customers
  12. Email is scalable and measurable
  13. Email is an asset you own
  14. It is cost-effective and versatile

Email marketing gives you a reach

As a small business owner, email marketing gives you an unprecedented reach, compared to social media channels. It fills up the cup where social media falls short and gives you a reach because everyone uses email. Because of the mass adoption of email around the world now, email marketing is the perfect channel for your marketing.

In today’s hyper-digital environment, you can be certain that everyone you come across and everyone in your target audience has and uses email. As a small business owner, you will probably be on a tight budget. Thus, compared to other marketing channels like broadcasting or print, emailing gives you a direct line of two-way communication with your target audience.

Since virtually everyone uses mobile devices, email marketing gives you a reach as people can instantly check their emails with their mobile devices. The combination of email marketing and mobile devices gives you the unprecedented advantage of speed and reach in carrying out your marketing strategy. As soon as you send an email to hundreds and thousands of people, they instantly get notified through their electronic devices. This is why as a small business owner you should utilize email marketing to expand your reach.

Emailing is a great way to inform your customers

In business, there will be times you would need to inform your customers about new development in your brand, be it an increase in prices, introduction of new products, discounts on products, detailed information about your product, etc. In such instances, emailing is a great way to inform your customers.

Once you’ve grown your email list to a sizeable number, you can deliver messages at the click of a few buttons with no costs apart from what you will be paying the email marketing provider. For instance, imagine you’ve just given your product a major overhaul and you want to deliver the benefits to target customers. You may choose to run digital ads or publish a release in a newspaper in order to inform your customers.

However, as a small business owner, these two methods may take a huge toll on your budget and may end up attracting lukewarm leads. Now, consider if you utilize email marketing and you have a juicy email list of people who voluntarily opted to receive messages from your brand. You can deliver the same message to this enthusiastic email list on a budget wat cheaper than the cost of digital ads or prints.

Moreso, email and marketing automation work together in email marketing for smooth and efficient communication. As a small business owner, you can use automated emails to reduce manual workload. You can also satisfy your customers via sending automated emails such as:

  • Autoresponder emails for frequently asked questions
  • Order fulfillment and tracking emails
  • Welcome emails
  • Thank you emails
  • Onboarding emails
  • Discount coupon emails to frequent customers

It enables you to create personalized content

There are many businesses and brands out there competing for customers. Hence, as a small business owner, you need to go the extra mile to make your customer feel valued and thought of. Compared to other marketing approaches, with email marketing, you can create personalized content for your customers. Personalization is one of the major benefits of email marketing because no customer wants to read a message or email that sound like it was just sent out to a bunch of people. This inbound email marketing strategy is very helpful and productive for businesses.

With email marketing, you can group your customers into different lists based on their preferences and send highly personalized content. Email is the ideal channel to deliver personal feelings messages. It allows you to craft the perfect subject lines, and images that resonate with your customer as well as valuable content that helps them. Emails are perfect for personalized, targeting messaging. For instance, if you’re a clothing brand, you can segment your customers by the kind of clothes they like and buy. This way you can inform your female wear fans about your new evening dress collection while not disturbing the male fashion aficionado who are probably only signed up for shirts, jeans, jackets, and the likes.

Ever heard the saying “content is king, marketing is queen“? This literally means content and marketing strategies go hand in hand and so your content should be exceptional when marketing. As a small business owner thriving to stay relevant in the market, it’s advisable that you have a unique personalized value proposition for every single potential customer. Thus, personalizing your content would be an effective marketing tool.

Generally, marketing has a reputation for being impersonal but emails alleviate that concern. With email marketing, even if you are emailing thousands of people, you can address each recipient by name and company, or job title. These small additions can really make a difference in how people perceive your business or brand. In fact, this is one of the main reasons why email marketing is important for small businesses.

Increase traffic to your website

With emails you can get your customers to visit your website, which can increase traffic to your website. In your email content, you can include relevant links to your site. Using your email campaigns, you can get customers to engage with other great pieces of content available on your website or blog.

For instance, imagine you’ve grown your email list to 100,000 contacts and you have an average click-through rate of 5%. Then, you publish an article that announces your latest product launch and you share this with your email list. You can probably get up to 5000 people that immediately know about your new product if at least 5% of the recipients click and visit your article.

It increases brand recognition

As a small business, do people recognize your business or brand? How can you build your brand awareness and appeal? Think email marketing!

Brand awareness is a very crucial activity for any start-up or business looking to grow. It is the intangible quality of your brand that makes customers choose you over other brands. The better your audience knows you, the more likely they are to patronize you. Awareness comes from attracting attention and with emails, you can build your brand awareness and appeal. You may be wondering, how?

The fact is, people, learn more about you when you make yourself visible. Hence, you can use emails in a few ways to hold your recipient’s attention. You can brand your emails, even though brand recognition goes beyond design. When you are consistently providing valuable content to your audience they will begin to recognize you and even look forward to your emails.

After seeking permission, you can send your subscribers industry updates, expert advice, market news, blog updates, and many other examples. Such examples should relate to your domain business but should not directly address your business. That way you’re building awareness about your brand and at the same time showing your customers you care about more than just your own name. Then, you can also send emails about your product when needed to keep your brand top of mind.

More so, with email marketing, you can even create a brand identity survey to get useful feedback on your brand. You can use a survey or start a discussion on social media to get them involved in order to know exactly how to provide valuable content in your emails.

Email marketing is easy to adjust

One of the reasons why email marketing is important for small businesses is that it is easy to adjust. For a small business working on a tight marketing budget, email marketing is recommendable. Take, for instance, if you run a print ad and you later find a typo/omission or you probably run a tv advert and get a negative response from the public, it’s going to be difficult if not downright impossible to adjust or correct your message. The changes can even cause a huge dent in your marketing budget.

With email marketing, on the other hand, you can always resend a follow-up mail to acknowledge your mistakes. You can easily rectify mistakes in emails without additional cost.

Another major advantage is that with email marketing you can A/B test your subject lines. You can always access which subject line variants bring in the most click-rate and you can use this knowledge to devise future campaigns.

It improves sales

As a business, promoting your business through email marketing gives your audience a chance to patronize you right from their phone or laptop. 60% of customers say they have made a purchase due to a marketing email they received. Hence, small businesses can make good use of email marketing to sell to prospects, upsell to current customers, boost referrals, and even re-engage customers that have not patronized them in a while. The more relevant and targeted you coin your email content, the more likely it is for the reader to take an action. Therefore, with email marketing, you can increase sales, acquire customers and drive people to your website where they can browse your products or services

Email marketing helps to build credibility and stronger customer relationships

When your brand provides your customers with the information they want directly into their inbox on a consistent basis, it helps to build customer relationships and credibility. As customers realize that your brand makes their lives better whether, with your product or services, helpful tips, or just a “happy birthday” gift coupon, they learn to trust and appreciate your brand. They begin to look up to your business or brand for the information and value you provide them with and when they need a service, they think of you first.

As your email brings a touch of personalization and you tend to understand your audience, this goes a long way in building relationships with your customers. Email marketing gives you the opportunity to proactively reach out to leads and clients to show your enthusiasm and interest. With personalization and proactiveness combined, you have the ingredient for building stronger customer relationships.

You can build the credibility of your brand with emails. In order to do this, you just have to keep your communication authentic and honest while showing your expertise in your domain. This credibility is a badge of authority and trust given to you by people that will help you stand out from other competitors.

With email marketing, small businesses can optimize their time and budget

There are always time and budget constraints when it comes to any business most especially within a small business. Small businesses may not have the luxury of affording to go all out and buy advertising space like big businesses and that is why email marketing is an effective tool for them.

The cost associated with email marketing generally starts out very low and the majority of providers offer affordable marketing plans that scale as the business and their email list grows. For time commitment, email marketing can be put on autopilot with email marketing automation. Even with this, the emails can stay personalized and targeted toward subscribers on an individual level.

Email inspires action

Every marketing message carries a call to action. It’s either you’re asking someone to sign-up, acknowledge your brand, learn about your new product, visit your website, make a purchase, etc. Emailing is definitely a great way to inspire action. In your emails, you can easily embed call-to-action buttons. These call-to-action buttons can do many things and can be used to :

  • Nudge people towards a sale
  • Direct them to your blog/website
  • Ask people to sign-up for your latest course
  • Ask to share content on social network
  • Offer discounts and many more

Build excitement within customers

Since your customers aren’t all the same, the one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work. You can use your email campaigns to drive home the message that your customers are unique and important to your business. This will build excitement within your customers. As a small business, you can ensure your email subscribers receive exclusive perks. For instance, Volkswagen offers email subscribers free movie tickets several times a year. Rewarding your customers is a nice gesture and a great way to accelerate your marketing goals. Such gestures build excitement among customers.

Email is scalable and measurable

One of the reasons why email marketing is important for small businesses is that emails are scalable and measurable. Scalability directly relates to your growth and with email, scaling is very simple. You can scale as your subscribers increase and the good thing about email is that you don’t need sophisticated measures in place before your email list starts to grow.

Virtually every email marketing software provides plans that scale as the email list grows. Thus, you don’t pay unnecessary fees in anticipation. Another benefit of email is that you can scale the actions you take for 10 people, to perform them for 100,000 people without a hassle.

Furthermore, as a marketer or business owner, you will need to keep track of numbers. The good thing is email marketing makes accounting and measuring quite easy. Most email marketing services give you access to important numbers such as:

  • Click rates
  • Percentage of clicks
  • Email open rates
  • Delivery reports
  • Emails opened by geography
  • Emails opened by device/browser

These quality pieces of information make it easy for you as a business to justify your marketing activities and also gives you access to valuable, and actionable data.

Email is an asset you own

As a business owner or marketer, the fact that email is an asset you own is probably the most important benefit of email marketing to know. With email marketing, your email list and all your campaigns (sent or not) are assets that you own compared with social media which owns everything (every post and connection) you do on it. This means with email marketing, no one can take your email list or campaigns from you or even keep you from reaching out to your customers. The only precautionary warning is, of course, that your email content is legal and abides by the terms and conditions of that provider.

Search engines and social media networks usually update their algorithms to improve user experience and in the process your search results ranking and social visibility can be affected. In such instances, having a strong email list will be a lifesaver as you will have a direct line of communication with your leads and customers, keeping them informed with news and updates about your brand or business.

It is cost-effective and versatile

In comparison to other marketing methods, it is cheaper to use email. With email marketing, you can reach a large number of consumers for less than pennies per message. Also, most email marketing providers will cover you with their free plans if you have a small mailing list. You can easily rectify mistakes in emails without additional cost. With email marketing, you cut out the middle man and in essence become your own media company as email lists are your own private and direct source of communication with customers.

Furthermore, email marketing is versatile as it allows you to incorporate a broad scope of media in your messaging. You can always choose to include text, videos, images, gifs, or embedded content, and use them in any combination you deem fit for your business.


As a small business, you should know that you’re in a more unique position to benefit from email marketing. With your local clout, you can use your regional expertise to promote your brand as an expert in the area. This can be achieved, both efficiently and conservatively, through the strategic use of email marketing.

One of the most important practices to remember with email marketing today is to be as transparent, honest, and open as possible with your customers. Try as much as possible to avoid unsolicited or generic emails as such emails are losing ground and falling out of favor. The modern consumer has come to respond better to more organic approaches.