Why an Email Database is Crucial for SMBs

by Emily Thousand Second Street

However, many small business owners may not understand the full power of a database. So here’s why small businesses should care about growing their email lists:

  • Email is something THEY own. Unlike Facebook Likes or Twitter followers, the email addresses in an advertiser’s database are not owned and mediated by a third party. That means no one can ever take them away. Plus this database is an ongoing treasure-trove for the advertiser, allowing them to understand each customer and what their preferences are. Their ability to target relevant messages to the right people is virtually unmatched with email marketing, if they take the time to gather the data first.
  • Email is very effective at reaching customers. Organic reach on Facebook (the number of fans who actually see posts from a certain Page in their News Feed) is on average only 6%. That doesn’t quite measure up to email open rates for email marketing messages, which are typically in the 20-30% range. This means an advertiser’s message is 5 times more likely to be seen via email than on Facebook!
  • Email drives sales. Did you know that 66% of online customers made a purchase as a result of an email? We have consistently seen that our partners across all media types and market sizes receive the majority of contest entries on the day they send out a promotional email, and 66% of all ecommerce revenue on our platform can be traced directly back to the promotional emails. Overall, people prefer email for promotional communications.

    Entries on Day Email Was Sent
  • Email marketing is easily achievable. It’s relatively inexpensive for advertisers to design and send out emails, meaning they receive lots of bang for their buck. Direct Marketing found that email marketing has an average ROI of 4,300%! Email is the #1 driver of digital conversions, more than other marketing channels, including social. Like the graph above shows, this is due to the fact that 91% of US consumers use email daily, and the rate at which email prompts purchases is not only estimated to be at least 3 times that of social, but the average order value is also 17% higher.

Here’s how you can help your advertisers build their email databases – and make the most of them once they exist:

  • Design promotions to help them build their database. If your advertiser’s goal is to collect email addresses, make sure that the promotion you choose for them is designed to do just that. Here are a few steps for picking the right promotion to meet your advertiser’s goals – including database growth.
  • Educate them about how to make their marketing better. Your advertisers shouldn’t send too many emails (they don’t want to overwhelm their customers), and the emails they do send should always be valuable. Take a look at this guide to creating emails people will actually want to open to get some more tips.
  • Run their email marketing program for them. Once you have collected email addresses for your advertiser, and then make it even easier for them by offering to manage their new database. An easy foray into this might be something like what WEZB-FM is doing. They are using data from the lead-generation survey questions to segment the list and send different, targeted special offers to leads on behalf of the advertiser. Another flavor of this would be something like what Quad-City Times is doing. They sell contests to advertisers, then for an additional fee works with them to implement an ongoing email strategy afterwards to ensure that the advertiser gets the most value from the email addresses they’ve collected.

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