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6 Reasons Email Marketing Is a Must for Small Businesses

Drake Duenwald, CEH
Drake Duenwald, CEH

Here's why you can't afford to ignore email as a promotional tool.

The average person today has an attention span of eight seconds or less when processing new information.


You might create award-winning content. You could spend thousands on graphics and video production. None of that matters if the person reading or viewing your content becomes bored with it.

You must be interesting. Your brand must sell itself. That is why email marketing is so important.

People will only sign up for your email list if you've passed the eight-second test and they're interested in what you have. Email marketing efforts will help them to remember why they love what you are offering.

Here are six reasons why email marketing is necessary for a small business.

1. It effectively acquires customers.

Email marketing is four times more effective than social media for acquiring new customers, and the acquisition rates are climbing. From 2009 to 2013, for example, customer acquisition through email marketing quadrupled. That means email marketing, not social media, is the best option for your initial brand contact.

2. It is affordable.

Email marketing is one of the cheapest forms of outreach available to a small business today. It also has one of the best ROIs available for brands of any size. For every $1 spent on email marketing in the United States, the average return is $44.

The advantage of email marketing is that you can include the same elements of direct mail, including its interruptive effect with send time optimization, without the printing and postage cost. Sending out an email blast to an entire list often costs less than the price of lunch.


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3. It is personal.

When you address an email marketing effort in a personable way in a subject line, you have a 20 percent better chance of the recipient opening the email.

That's just the first step toward making the email feel like a personal message instead of spam. These are some other ways your small business can encourage a click-thru:

  • By sending out a specific email to subscribers on their birthday or anniversary date with your company
  • Through a product offer or discount related to their previous purchases with your business
  • With topics that cover items of interest for your subscribers

With a well-constructed email, you can automate this process to benefit your brand without a large time investment.

4. It creates a call to action.

People are more likely to purchase something when they feel like they've invested themselves in a product or service. By encouraging a click to open an email, you begin that investment process. Encouraging another click after reading the email is the next step on the path toward a conversion.

Even if a click doesn't happen, continued emails to interested subscribers create a drip campaign that can lead to success. That is why you'll see some results immediately, while other results happen over time.

5. It gives your brand access to mobile users.

The average person checks their phone 80 times per day. Three out of every 5 people will use their mobile device to read and respond to emails, 44 percent of people check their inbox up to three times per day, and 18 percent of email users say they check their inbox for new messages up to nine times per day. This is why email marketing is such an important component of a small business growth strategy. It puts your message right where your prospects happen to be.

6. It provides measurable results.

Unlike other forms of marketing, you gather measurable results with email marketing. You can see which campaigns are effective and which are not. You can even test different email outreach efforts to determine which one will make the greatest impact. 

Other forms of paid marketing cost more and do not offer these advantages. Tailoring your message to each consumer may be the greatest advantage that email marketing provides to small businesses.

How are you using email marketing today?

Many small businesses avoid email marketing because they fear it will be too expensive. You don't need to pay someone $200 to write an email or $1,000 to design graphic-based content for your brand. You can accomplish many of the tasks that a good email requires from the comfort of your own computer.

Embrace your creative side. Call your subscribers to discover the strengths of your brand. Offer a strong value proposition. When you can embrace the reasons why email marketing works for small businesses, then you'll be able to pass the eight-second attention span test.

Image Credit: ESB Professional/Shutterstock
Drake Duenwald, CEH
Drake Duenwald, CEH Member
I'm dedicated to providing excellent products to my clients that will grow their business. Whether it's by marketing solutions or custom web/mobile applications, I make sure I add value to your company.