Email Marketing and Social Marketing Are Key Focus Areas for Small Businesses in 2012

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A study by Elite Email of small businesses in North America revealed that email marketing and social marketing are key marketing focus areas in 2012. Overall, 63% of small business owners plan on increasing their email marketing budgets, while 58% plan on increasing their social marketing budget with primary goals of building a larger opt-in mailing list and increasing the number of likes/followers.

Elite Email

Elite Email

63% of small businesses plan on increasing their email marketing budget

Email marketing and social media are amongst the key marketing focus areas in 2012, according to a study by Elite Email of 1,000 small business owners in North America. Although many business owners report to be optimistic about the year ahead, they are also trying to cut costs while increasing awareness, which makes email marketing and social marketing on networks such as Facebook and Twitter the ideal candidates for their marketing spend.

Some of the highlights of the study are that 63% of small businesses plan on increasing their email marketing budget, and 58% plan on increasing their social media budget in 2012. With stronger acceptance by consumers to join a business’s mailing list, 86% of respondents reported that the ROI from email marketing activities during 2011 “exceeded expectations”. There is clearly a strong linkage between email and social media, with 60% of respondents saying their content strategy on social networks is often driven by the content of their email marketing campaigns.

The study also identified recent adopters of email marketing programs to analyze the primary reasons for adding email into the marketing mix. A “recent adopter” was defined as anyone who started using email marketing solutions within the past 3 months.

Of the business owners who qualified as recent adopters, 81% cited the cost benefit over printed flyers as a key reason to shift dollars from print to online direct marketing media. With an email solution, there are no expensive printing fees, postage fees or design fees, which makes it far more appealing than traditional printed flyers.

Twenty nine percent of recent adopters cited the environmental benefit of not wasting paper as a reason they moved to a digital advertising medium. In an effort to make their small business appear more “green” and “eco-friendly”, these businesses wanted to stop sending paper-based advertisements to their customers and, instead, send more environmentally conscious email campaigns or social network updates.

The reporting and analytics available when doing small business email marketing was also listed as a reason for adopting email by 34% of small business owners. The trend appears to be that businesses want to spend their money wiser to maximize ROI, and when they can see a detailed report listing what is working well and what is not working at all, they can better tailor their marketing message for the future. This is a big advantage that marketing by email has over other traditional methods.

The item listed as the top priority in 2012 by the majority of the 1,000 small business owners in the study with regards to email was to grow their opt-in mailing list, whereas the goal on social networks was to increase the amount of likes and followers. The larger an organization’s permission-based mailing list, the better it can utilize email marketing software to launch promotions and drive sales or achieve business goals. In much the same fashion, the more likes and followers an organization has, the more it is able to post quick status updates and engage a mass amount of people.

About Elite Email

Elite Email is a leading North American email marketing service provider (ESP) that has been helping customers achieve greater email marketing results for almost 10 years. The Elite Email cloud-based (software-as-a-service) platform allows organizations of all sizes to build and grow their mailing list, create eye-catching emails, and track results with detailed reports and analytics. All services are backed by Elite Email's outstanding support and customer care.

Elite Email has been featured on TV, radio and print media and is a member of the Email Experience Council, eMarketing Association, Better Business Bureau, Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Vaughan Chamber of Commerce and Toronto Board of Trade. Elite Email is the only Canadian company listed by the Utah and Michigan Child Protection Agency as a compliant sender. Elite Email recently won the Business of the Year award at the Toronto Board of Trade Business Excellence Awards.

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Matthew Georgiadis
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