Email marketing for small businesses

Email marketing for small businesses remains at damn effective tool

Email marketing remains a highly beneficial marketing tool for businesses.  Email marketing might not be the ‘sexiest’ or ‘on trend’ but it has a track record of being super effective.

For example, if you use twitter or facebook you will get engagement emails from them as they know this channel works!

For this post we’ve collaborated with our good friend, fellow DMA Email Council member and email expert the illuminating Kate Barrett from Shine A Light Media

Small businesses can benefit enormously from email marketing but many are still not using it, or not using it to its full advantage. Kate Barrett from Shine a Light Media has managed to squeeze these benefits into a handy list of ten benefits of email marketing for small businesses. So off we go…


1. A targeted, direct way to contact your subscribers

Email marketing allows small businesses to cheaply and easily communicate directly with subscribers (including current and previous customers as well as prospects) with relevant targeted communications.


2. Build a special relationship with your database.

Small businesses can use email marketing through marketing automation platforms such as Websand to target subscribers at different stages of the each customer lifecycle. This offers a direct way to build a special relationship with your audience, speak to them with relevance rather than a scattergun approach to telling everyone, everything about your business and products.


3. Generate incremental spend

Prompt sales from new customers, encourage repeat purchases, increase sales conversion and to up-sell or cross-sell other products or services.

Email Marketing allows you to highlight your key products, services and offers and drive targeted traffic back to your website to convert.  Using marketing automation software such as Websand, you can create a series of automated campaigns can even be created to optimise conversions and send emails about related products or services based on previous purchase and behavioural data.

You could even use email marketing to highlight location specific offers and drive people offline to your shop!


4. Increase brand awareness

Keep your brand fresh in your subscribers’ minds and drive targeted traffic to your website.

By regularly communicating with customers and prospects via email you are keeping your brand fresh in their mind and offering them valuable content so that when they do require your product or service, you are first in their mind.

Just remember you need to protect your brand as well as generate awareness, so to be as relevant as possible with your message and look to match your message to your audience.


5. Trackable, measurable results from campaigns.

Online marketing in general offers a highly measurable form of marketing with statistics available to delve into every part of what happened during your campaign, when it happened and how often it happened. By using all the data available campaign can be monitored, tested and optimised to ensure the highest result possible is achieved.


6. Fast delivery allowing you to reach customers quickly with offers and information.

Email marketing is perfect for communicating with customers for limited time or availability offers. Where direct mail can take days to deliver to subscribers, email marketing technologies can deliver your emails to thousands (and in some cases millions) of subscribers within minutes.


7. High ROI channel.

It might not be as sexy as it once was, however when used effectively email marketing really works. In 2014, email marketing brought in £24.93 for every £1 spent on it, according to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA).

DMA value of an email infographic

To put this in context. If you gave me a £1 and I gave you £24.93 – how many pounds would you give me?

So why would you not want to use the marketing channel that offers the most bang for your buck when used well?

Update: it’s continued to increase year on year ever since.


8. Catch people on the move consuming email on their mobile devices.

More and more subscribers are opening their email on mobile devices as can be seen from this chart by Return Path.

How the day of the week affects email viewing.

Mobile. Webmail, Desktops: Where are we viewing email now? Return Path Inc, 2011

This gives an increased opportunity for interaction with your emails, but does mean that the design of your emails needs to be considered closely to provide for this increasing trend.

Did you know that ‘Mail’ is one of the most used APP’s on every smart phone.  When you think about it, you probably use that Mail APP more than making calls.


9. Personalised communications using the data collected in your database.

By using the data you have collected about your subscribers and additional purchase and behavioural data from within your business, you can send highly personalised emails.

Personalisation isn’t about ‘just using addressing the individual’ Hello [first]. It becomes really effective when personalisation is also incontext to the behaviour of the addressee. Personalising email content based on specific information related to their relationship with your business.

This could be information such as previous purchases they have made, products they have looked at, when they have abandoned their shopping basket online, when they last logged into your site and much more.


10. Gain feedback from your customers

Email marketing offers a direct and fast route to gain feedback from your customers and subscribers by continuously monitoring, testing and optimising your campaigns based on previous results.

Product reviews can be directly asked for through your emails, as well as giving you the opportunity to deliver online surveys to subscribers and increase the amount of data you hold about them; enabling you to personalise your campaigns further with this information in the future.


Post was written in collaboration with Kate Barrett of Shine a Light Media.

Kate loves email as much as we do. She has over 10 years experience working directly on client email marketing programs with a proven track record of increasing results; from opens and clicks to conversions. Speaking, blogging, research and DMA membership mean that she is always up to date with the latest email marketing news and to feed her passion.

Since Websand is marketing automation software that makes email marketing easier and more effective, I’m happy to add that Kate agrees with us and has signed up as a registered Websand partner.

websand email marketing signup

Also published on Medium.