26 Reasons to Use Email Marketing (As Told by Small Business Owners)

Deciding where to invest your marketing dollars isn’t a decision you take lightly.

You know you need to attract new customers and keep your existing clients coming back, but you can’t afford to invest time or resources into something that isn’t going to deliver the results you expect.

An email marketing campaign is a cost-effective solution that gives you the power to reach customers in a place most people visit every day — their inbox.

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There’s plenty of data to back up the benefits of email marketing campaigns. For example:

  • 91 percent of US adults like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with (MarketingSherpa)
  • Email is almost 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined in helping your business acquire new customers. (McKinsey)


But if you really want to find out how email can work for your business, why not ask other small business owners and see how it worked for them?


We’re constantly on the lookout for the exciting and innovative ways small business owners are using email marketing to build customer relationships and do more business.

Here are 29 of our favorite ways of how small businesses and organizations have benefited from email marketing:


1. Build credibility

People do business with people they know, like, and trust. Email gives you the ability to build credibility with your audience by sharing helpful and informative content.

“For years, in large part to the newsletter I think, I’ve never had trouble attracting new clients and the right kinds of clients. People will read my newsletter and be able to tell if I’m the right person for the project before they even call me.”

Tom Ahern, founder of Ahern Donor Communications

2. Generate calls

When done right, email marketing lets businesses reach the right person, with the right offer, at the right time. For a business like Rejuvenate Therapeutic Massage, a well-timed email results in a flood of calls each time they hit send.

“Email is our prime mode of communication. We rely really heavily on it because whenever I send something out, I’ll get a flood of telephone calls.”

Victor Terrazas, owner of Rejuvenate Therapeutic Massage


3. Increase donations

As fundraising efforts continue to move online, nonprofits need to adapt their outreach efforts as well. Texas-based nonprofit, Rescued Pets Movement, saw the benefit of using email campaigns to increase donations when they sent an email to raise emergency funds for a dog in need in March 2013.

“We sent a plea out to our database, explaining the situation and asking for help. Our audience knows that we only send these types of emails when we really need to, which is why these always get the most clicks and shares. The response was amazing; we raised over $10,000 from individual donors and were able to get her the help she needed.”

Laura Carlock, founder of Rescued Pets Movement


4. Strengthen relationships

If you want to build strong customer relationships, it’s important to have an effective tool to communicate with the people who matter most to your business. Email gives you the ability to stay top-of-mind and keep people engaged with your business during your busy season and the slower times of the year.

“Being able to get our message out there is important to us. It gives the members a feeling of being included. They know what’s going on with the gym and know that they aren’t just a number on a list.”

Nicole Sanders, founder of Ladimax Sports and Fitness


5. Improve communication

If your business depends on having a reliable way to communicate with your members and clients, you need to have a communication channel you can trust. For real estate management company, Buccini/Pollin Group, email has provided a reliable solution to keep tenants informed and up-to-date.

“We’ve had people say that they’ve really noticed that there’s more communication going on. It can be something small – maybe the garage doors aren’t going up or down – we try to send out an email right away letting our residents know that’s happening, and sometimes get an email right back saying thank you and that they appreciate it.”

Julia Mason, residential marketing manager for Buccini/Pollin Group

6. Build your brand

With email marketing, you can strengthen brand recognition with new and potential clients, and extend your reach when people forward or share your message with a friend.

“The emails are an important reinforcement of brand. I get calls from people I’ve never met all the time. They get the newsletter, or a friend of theirs gets the newsletter, and they know I’m the person to call. It really helps establish credibility upfront.”

Brandon Stewart, realtor at David Griffin & Company Realtors


7. Boost sales

When you have an audience of people who opt in to receiving updates from your business, you’ll be able to think differently about how you boost sales throughout the year. This has been especially valuable for a business like Colorado-based Allegria Spa, which communicates with local residents and visitors from around the country.

“It has definitely been the easiest way to reach people. If we have a slower day and know that we want to reach local people, we can create a quick email and will get at least a few calls right away. The response is immediate.”

Christine Copertino, spa director for Allegria Spa


8. Learn what works

Another benefit of email marketing is that it gives you the metrics you need to see how your campaign emails are performing. These insights help you market smarter, and also give you the advantage of better understanding the needs and interests of your customer base.

“Email has definitely helped us with web traffic and attendance at our events. I like that after I send an email out, I can go back and see how many people clicked through on which links. That way I can tell people are interacting with our content and click through to our website.”

Ally Whittaker, public relations manager for The Local Good


9. Reach people on any device

With nearly two-thirds of all emails being opened on a mobile device, email marketing is one of the best tools you can use to take advantage of the growing popularity of mobile technology.

“We are definitely focused on mobile devices now. I want to know that if someone gets our email, no matter where they are, they can look at it. In fact, when I sent our last flyer I got three phone calls! That’s big! And I am almost positive that all of those people were on their phones, not in an office.”

Carol Singer, owner of Arlington Promotional Products


10. Increase website traffic

Whether you’re an e-commerce business that sells products online, or a retail store that wants to increase traffic to your website so that you can bring more people into your store — email marketing campaigns can help.

“Email definitely works. We see people clicking through to our website and we have people coming into the shop telling us that they saw our newsletter.”

Dawn Noble, owner, La Provence


11. Market with a personal touch

Unlike other marketing channels that often limit your ability to customize your message for the different audiences you communicate with, email marketing gives you the ability to organize your audience into lists and communicate with people based on interest, purchase behavior, location, and more.

This has proven especially useful for someone like Courtney Hendricson, who manages the communication between the local government and business community of Enfield, Connecticut.

“I do the best I can to put all my contacts in separate lists so I can email just the development community, or just businesses, or elected officials, depending on what kind of event announcement or email I’m sending.”

Courtney Hendricson, assistant town manager, Town of Enflield, Connecticut


12. Get immediate results

When you run a small business, every sale, order, or appointment can have a significant impact. With email, you’re able to get the results you’re looking for right away and easily track how your different email marketing campaigns are performing.

“It’s rewarding because we always get an immediate response through orders. Whenever we need to trigger sales, we’ll think of a great special to put out there.”

Karen Kowal, founder, Mother Earth Pillows


13. Generate leads

Not everyone who joins your email list will be ready to make a purchase or sign up for a service. Email gives you the opportunity to capture new visitor’s attention and nurture the relationship with helpful and informative content.

“It’s been great for generating leads. People that are thinking about using our service will usually sign up for the newsletter. I’ll see them pop up for a couple of weeks in my reader-base, and then they’ll call and make an appointment. It’s not long until we pull them in as a customer.”

Meghan Blair-Valero, owner, Fogged in Bookkeeping, Inc.


14. Build excitement

You want your marketing message to be something that people look forward to seeing. Email lets you keep track of which messages are generating the most opens and clicks, so you know which messages will get people excited to hear from your business.

“It’s always nice to hear someone tell us how much they enjoyed reading our newsletter and thanking us for reminding them to come visit the store or give us a call. The personal touch really makes the difference.”

Sue Bedell, owner, Second Bloom Design


15. Start a conversation

Email marketing lets you start a two-way conversation that will benefit you and your readers. Don’t just push your message out to them; encourage them to share their feedback and ideas. This approach has worked well for a company like WH Cornerstone Investments, which relies on email to share helpful advice, news, and education with clients.

“After each email, I get three to five calls. Some people see my email and get reminded they want a consultation, others will just want to talk about a news article.”

Paula Harris, co-owner, WH Cornerstone Investments


16. Promote services

Service businesses face the difficult challenge of keeping clients interested in their business, even when they aren’t looking for services at different times of the year. Email gives you the opportunity to keep your client’s attention without overwhelming them with unwanted information.

“Our email marketing started off as an experiment. But our open rates are usually higher than 50 percent and we get service calls every time we send a newsletter out, so I think it’s working.”

Matthew Taylor, co-owner, Green Solutions Lawn Care & Pest Control


17. Grow your audience

As a small business, it’s not always easy to stand out in a crowded market. Email marketing allows you to build an audience that is interested in hearing from you, without having to pay for other advertising channels.

“Five years ago, we started with about zero contacts, but we have a great database now – we have 7,000 email addresses. That means I can push out a social event or a holiday and let 7,000 people know instead of advertising  it for $500 in a newspaper.”

Grant Galuppi, owner, Galuppi’s Restaurant


18. Stay organized

Reaching out to clients on an individual basis can be a costly and time consuming process. Email helps you save time by reaching out to your wider audience, while still delivering a message that’s personal and relevant to them.

“Before , we were manually keeping track of everyone we had reached out to — it was crazy, the amount of time it took. Now, I can send out an email to about 300 people in less than five minutes.”

Ruth Weening, catering manager, Basil Tree Catering


19. Increase your value

When you adopt a communication strategy that fits your audience’s needs, you’ll have more people paying attention to your message and get a higher return overall.

For a business like Cotton Clouds, making the switch from print to email newsletters doubled the amount of sales they were able to generate each time they reached out to clients.

“Every time I send out an email, I get a sale in 15 minutes. Overall, I get up to four times as many sales with these newsletters than I did with my old ones, and they’ve gone from about $50 per order to $100.”

Irene Schmoller, founder Cotton Clouds


20. Attract new clients

In addition to connecting with the people on your email list, you can also share your newsletters and announcements on your own social media networks to bring new people to your business.

“People get to see my work, which is great, and these are often people who I never get to meet with one-on-one. The timing of each newsletter is going to be right for somebody, and having the opportunity to show people what I’m doing has just been a great way to grow my business and my reach.”

Jill Singer, owner Jill Singer Graphics


21. Save time

Once you learn the basics, you’ll be able to put together a plan to get your emails out to your audience of subscribers in less time.

“The biggest benefit of email marketing, from a staff perspective, is efficiency. I have a template made so it’s easy to pull together an email quickly. I think the rest of my staff thinks it takes me a lot longer to create an email than it actually does!”

Kayla Peck, FAO Schwarz foundation fellow at Strong Women, Strong Girls


22. You’re not alone

If you’ve tried other marketing activities, it can sometimes feel like you’re completely on your own. Here at TheBankMakers, we believe you shouldn’t have to do it alone. You’ll have everything done for you, If you are accepted to work with us, you even get a 10 day Free Trial


23. Stay top-of-mind

By sharing relevant content with your audience throughout the year, you’ll be able to stay top-of-mind and build credibility. While they may not be ready to act right away, when your audience knows you have something that can help them solve a problem they’ll be more likely to take action when the time is right.

“Almost all of our donations, around 95%, come through our email newsletters. Using email marketing to maintain relationships and build personal connections has been a key to our success. And the biggest part of that has been staying in touch and top of mind throughout the year.”

Julie Taulman, executive director, Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports (STARS)


24. Improve visibility

As much as you’d like to think customers know about all of the different products and services you have to offer, there’s a good chance that many of them don’t. This was a problem the McDonald Wildlife Photography faced when they first got started with email marketing for their travel business.

Taking a more pro-active approach to their marketing proved to be exactly what they needed to improve exposure of the services they offer.

“Our problem in the past would be when people were not aware of all the trips we had available. Up until we started using Constant Contact we just had everything on our website. From a marketing sense, that’s the wrong approach because it puts the burden on our customers.”

Joe McDonald, co-founder, McDonald Wildlife Photography


25. Book more classes

Whether you need to get the word out about a class weeks in advance or want to make up for some last-minute cancellations, email marketing can help you get the word out about all of your activities in a way that’s convenient for you.

This is especially important for a yoga studio like extendYoga, which hosts a full schedule of classes every day.

“We make it easy for our customers to book classes right online through our emails. Once an email goes out, we see the sign-ups come in shortly after.”

Arlet Koseian, founder of extendYoga


26. Maintain vendor relationships

You’re probably already investing time and resources into marketing to potential customers. But are you also thinking carefully about how you build relationships with vendors and partnering businesses? Email gives you the ability to maintain communication with all of your different audiences so that you can build the relationships you need to be successful.

“If you don’t have a plan for reaching out to vendors on a regular basis, it’s easy to let some people fall through the cracks. You want to make sure you’re maintaining relationships with both your core vendors and any of the smaller ones you may be working with.”

Lee Klacher, founder of Octane Press

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