Does Email Marketing Still Work?
Why it’s still a top tool for small businesses
Email has been around for years—one might say since the beginning of the internet—and many small businesses still use email marketing as an important part of their success strategy. Many businesses can gain leverage with email and use it to develop relationships with prospects, sell to existing customers, and offer specials. However, with email inboxes becoming more and more crowded, it’s important to understand what features of email marketing still make it work well for small business.
Email Has Great ROI
One of the biggest reasons to use email as a marketing channel for your small business is the ROI. According to a recent study, email’s ROI is 42-to-1. So, ideally, for every $1 spent, email returns about $42. For context, businesses who use Google Adwords to market their products and services may only earn $2 for every $1 spent. Even though people get a lot of emails, it remains one of the most profitable marketing channels.
Email Marketing Can Be Automated
One of the best features of email is its ability to be automated. Most major email providers, like AWeber, Constant Contact, and ActiveCampaign have automation features that allow you to set up email sequences once and then let them run based on where the prospect signed up and what action they can take.
This level of automation can be as simple or as complicated as you want. You can even split test your automated messages to see what works better. This allows you to refine your automated sequences over time.
Automation can be very helpful because it allows busy small business owners to leverage their time better. If you are a small business owner, then you can use an automated email sequence to engage your customers and prospects while you work on other parts of your business.
Email Develops Relationships
When you first make contact with someone who is interested in your product or service, there’s a chance they may not be quite convinced or ready to buy. The reality is that asking people to exchange their hard-earned money for a good or service that you are providing is an act of trust.
Since people generally buy from those they like and trust, it’s important to develop a relationship with your prospects. Email can help you do that by communicating your story about who you are and what you stand for to prospective customers.
Once the prospective customers trust you and your business, you can develop automated email sequences that take email subscribers through a customer journey that hopefully leads them to the decision to buy from you. You can personalize this experience even further by setting up an email sequence that asks your email subscribers to respond to specific questions. If and when they write back, you can take the time to personally respond.
This personal touch can go a long way in building connections with customers, especially if you sell a higher-end product, and it can all be done through email marketing.
Email Integrates With Other Channels
Experts say that most Americans see around 4,000 to 10,000 advertisements per day. So if you want your ads to reach people in ways they actually notice so they buy your product or service, you have to cut through the clutter.
The email service provider, ActiveCampaign, has a feature that helps you get noticed more easily. You can set up any of your email segments and create Facebook Custom Audiences from them. This is far more powerful than it looks on the surface and is a leverage point that many small businesses may not be aware of.
How it works is deceptively simple. When you set up an automated segment in your ActiveCampaign account, you can tell it to also put all those contacts into a Facebook Custom Audience. Then, you can run retargeting ads on Facebook to reinforce the message you’re sending via email.
The best part is that once this is set up, it all will work automatically in the background while you do other tasks in your business. By creating a messaging and advertising sequence that your customers will see at the exact same time, you dramatically amplify your message and may be able to increase your conversion rates.
The Bottom Line
Email marketing still works and is particularly helpful for small business owners. But like any other marketing channel, it takes time and effort to learn and set up properly.
Leveraging automations and marketing integrations can help you take your email marketing to new levels and your business to new heights of profitability.
The Radicati Group, Inc. "Email Statistics Report, 2014-2018," Accessed Nov. 27, 2019.
Google Economic Impact. "Methodology," Accessed Nov. 27, 2019.
Litmus. "The CMO's Guide to Email Marketing, Email Marketing ROI: What Leads To Better Returns?" Accessed Nov. 27, 2019.
Semantic Scholar. "Consumers Trust in the Global Brands: Empirical Analysis in the Context of Consumer Perspective," Accessed Nov. 27, 2019.
Ron Marshall. "Marketing Survival in a Digital World," Big RAM Publishig LLC, 2014.