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Email Marketing For Small Local Businesses

Small local businesses need to plan their marketing strategy carefully to insure that they are maximizing return on theor marketing dollar investment.  Email marketing is a proven means of communication that can be one of the most cost effective means of getting your message out and driving customers to your small local business.

Why Email Marketing?

Research conducted by leading marketing provider Exact Target shows that consumers of all demographics have readily adopted email with over 93% having provided their email address to one ormore businesses.  Market studies have shown that 94% of consumers use email at least once a week and 88% on a daily basis.  And even more promising is that more than 50% have made a purchase as a direct result of email marketing.

Too many small local business owners feel that their product or service doesn’t market well online or that their customers are not email users.  The reality is that while each of our inboxes may fill up daily with junk that we don’t want most of us are willing of not eager to scan our inbox for a small gem or nugget from a trusted business.  Marketing with email drives a higher conversion rate than any other channel and on a dollar for dollar basis can easily be one of the best investments in your marketing budget.

Email Marketing Acceptance

The average consumer receives 44 email messages per day and half of consumers receive less than 25 emails per day.  While marketers themselves tend to have a much higher volume of inbox activity and are growing more irritated with the size of their unread list the average consumer is not being as inundated with junk email as they were prior to CANSPAM, the legislation that provides stiff penalties for sending unauthorized or unsolicited marketing email.

For the average consumer those 44 messages in their inbox consist of 25% permission based commercial email marketing messages with the other 75% being personal messages and a transactional messages along with a smattering of spam (even though it has been outlawed, it is still practiced!).

Consumers are generally accepting of value-added email marketing communications from brands they like and trust but in a CMO Council study 41% responded that they had threatened to stop buying from a business that sent irrelevant messages.  The critical element here is the relevance of your email marketing message not the frequency.

Email Marketing Relevance

So how do consumers measure relevance and what can a small local business owner do to insure that their email marketing efforts are viewed are relevant?  Personalizing an email marketing message is one of the best means of gaining consumer acceptance.  Anything that reeks of a generic or “Dear valued customer” type of message will be quickly disregarded as consumers know that savvy markets target them with relevant messages and spammers blast them with generic messages.  So next time, keep it personal.

One of the best things you can do to reward consumers who opt-in to your list is to provide them with special offers and promotions that are only available to those on your list.    Do not lie to them and give these benefits to others, develop other promotions for the mass market and provide value to your subscribers by giving them something relevant that can only be had with an opt-in.  Relevance can often be determined by looking at what they opted into and providing something related to insure that they do not view your offer as one more for the trashcan.

Email marketing for small local businesses remains one of the most underutilized means of marketing communication.  As Those small local business owners that venture forth and develop an email marketing strategy will be rewarded with a loyal consumer base that is ready to act on relevant timely promotions from a trusted partner – you.

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