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Email marketing is now a well-established way for businesses to promote their goods and services in the marketplace. Despite its familiarity, many small businesses are not taking full advantage of the potential that email marketing offers. In this article we look at the reasons why and we also take a fresh look at the advantages email marketing can offer the small business owner.

Why small business are not using email marketing

For some small business owners it’s a lack of knowledge. Not all business owners are technologically savvy and setting up and maintaining an email marketing campaign often ends up in the ‘too hard’ basket.

For other business owners it is a question of time. Designing and writing a marketing campaign, let alone monitoring its impact, requires a commitment and investment of time that, because of competing demands, some business owners just never get round to.

Even those small businesses that are aware of the many companies that can take control of a company’s email marketing for a fee, are often put off by the perceived costs. Keeping operating costs as lean as possible is an overriding consideration for many business owners, but often this is at the expense of the return on investment that a successful email marketing campaign can deliver a small business.

So now that we’ve looked at some of the perceived obstacles, it’s worthwhile taking a fresh look at what email marketing can offer a small business. It may be that the perceived obstacles are not as great as you first thought.

Advantages of email marketing

Reduced costs: many small businesses still rely on physical mailings to provide exposure for their product and brand. These types of mailings usually take the form of a flyer and involve a number of costs including the design and printing and distribution costs. There is also a time lag involved between creating the mailings and potential customers receiving them. Email marketing, by comparison, cuts out much of the costs that go with a physical mailing. In addition, with an email marketing campaign, information is being received by the client or potential client as it’s been created.

More impact: the email marketing campaign lends itself to testing the waters. Unlike physical campaigns, it’s easy to send out a test email campaign and assess its response rate with a minimal time and cost investment. This type of experimentation allows you to improve your targeted marketing strategy.

Personalisation: email marketing is often more successful than generic physical mailings because it can be personalised. When clients or potential clients sign up for company newsletters or more  information, they often share additional information such as their interests or business needs which enables you to send out more targeted information that is directly relevant to that client.

Easily shared: with so much information being shared on the internet and social media, one great advantage of an email campaign is that it can be easily shared with friends, family or website readers. Your potential viewing audience can be expanded enormously with just a few shares on Facebook alone.

Email marketing may not entirely replace more traditional forms of physical marketing, but if you’re looking to refresh your current practices then it’s worthwhile including an email campaign as part of your overall strategy. You’ll find that the return on investment is well worth the effort.