Email Marketing Is Great for Small Businesses--But It's Not the Only Game in Town

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Spoiler alert:  email marketing is popular—and with good reason. Using email to communicate with customers and prospective customers and to nurture leads is an extremely effective, cost-effective and popular marketing strategy for companies or all sizes, from small businesses to large enterprise organizations. Consider for example these head-turning metrics from HubSpot:

  • Email marketing generates among the strongest returns on investment (ROI), generating on average $38 for every dollar spent
  • Almost 95% of marketers use email as part of their content marketing strategy
  • 40% of B2B marketers say email marketing is the most important aspect of content marketing strategy
  • 73% of Millennials prefer that businesses communicate with them via email
  • Almost 60% of consumers say emails influence their purchasing decisions

Email Marketing Isn't the Only Game in Town

Those are some pretty impressive numbers—so impressive, in fact, that many small business marketers think email marketing is all they need to effectively communicate with their customers. But think about this.

Let's say someone downloads important content on your website or buys one of your products. That's a great time to send them an email. How long does it take your business to get back to them?

That's an important question, because the longer it takes you to respond to consumers, the worse your conversion rate and sales will be. It's one of the reasons an increasing number of marketers are adding marketing automation to bolster their email marketing campaigns and send out instantaneous, targeted and personalized email responses.

And marketing automation can dramatically improve your email marketing performance. For example (according to Campaign Monitor), automated emails on average have a 70.5% higher open rate and a 152% higher click-through rate than conventional, non-automated ones.

Of course, marketing automation isn't just for email marketing. Automation can vastly improve the performance of every aspect of your marketing campaigns. 

What Is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation does more than simply speed up your transactions with customers and prospective customers—it can make your communications more targeted and more personalized, and that means building more trust over time. Here's how HubSpot defines marketing automation:

"Marketing automation is all about using software to automate marketing activities. Many marketing departments automate repetitive tasks such as email marketing, social media posting, and even ad campaigns -- not just for the sake of efficiency, but so they can provide a more personalized experience for their customers. The technology of marketing automation makes these tasks easier."

How Effective Is Marketing Automation?

One of your goals as a business owner is to achieve your principal marketing goals, and to do so in a cost-effective manner. This is particularly important for small businesses with limited marketing dollars. Marketing automation will help you do that. For example, marketing automation on average:

  • Increases sales productivity by 14.5%
  • Cuts marketing overhead by 12.2%
  • Increases conversions by a head-turning 77% (for 4 in 5 marketers)
  • Generates more (and better) leads for 80% of marketers
  • Is "very important" to the overall success of marketing campaigns for 91% of users
  • Saves time for 74% of users

Automation Can Take Your Marketing to the Next Level

Every business is different, with different challenges and different marketing priorities. The metrics listed above are admittedly persuasive, but only you can decide if marketing automation represents a sound investment and whether it's right for your business.

That said, in general (and when well executed), marketing automation will help you:

  • Leverage complex marketing strategies more effectively and, equally important, in less time;
  • Improve customer experience, making the content you send more timely, relevant, valuable and personal;
  • Help you more effectively nurture your leads before you send them to your sales team;
  • Boost conversions and sales opportunities; and
  • Optimize the performance of your marketing team

It's All About Execution

If you are considering adding marketing automation to your marketing and sales strategies, make sure you do it right. Admittedly, some of the nuances of marketing automation can be complicated and a bit confusing—but we can help. To learn more about the ways our marketing automation services can help your small business grow—and help your marketing team achieve its major objectives—start your free trial of Act! Growth Suite today.