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Email marketing has proven to be the reigning champ of digital marketing. It’s been around for 40 years and is still one of the primary strategies utilized by marketers in virtually every industry.

What makes email marketing so special for small businesses is that it allows them to cultivate an audience they can reach at any given point with any message. There are several nuances that differentiate a good email marketing strategy from a bad one but, on average, a decent email marketing strategy will be beneficial to any small business.

To decide whether or not email marketing could work for your business, you must first decide what your business goals are. Marketing should be looked at as a means to an end and, often, business owners get so stuck on focusing on the marketing strategy that they start to neglect why they started using it in the first place.

That being said, email marketing is just one of many weapons in an arsenal of marketing strategies to help businesses meet their goals. Email marketing is a very powerful tool for small businesses because it is relatively inexpensive and usually does not require an extensive commitment of resources or time to manage once it has already been set up.

82% of B2B and B2C businesses use some sort of email marketing, and some are able to execute their marketing strategies to great success. Any business of any size could set up an email marketing strategy. The differentiating factor is the approach and strategy to how a business collects and utilizes their email list.

What Is Email Marketing?

Your initial response is probably something along the lines of “marketing with an email … duh.” While you are not mistaken, this definition provides a lot of room for error in messaging and strategy. Think of email marketing as essentially an ongoing conversation in which you, the provider of value, bring your audience something they want.

Email Marketing concept. Tablet computer in the hand. Old wooden background

Your content should focus on improving the overall user experience someone has with your business. Only after you have established a relationship with your audience should you be confidently able to insert a sporadic call to action to your site.

Email Marketing as Part of a Holistic Strategy

Let’s say you’ve collected an email list of 10,000 active emails. While you may be tempted to bombard it constantly with promotions and pitches, you would also run the risk of large chunks unsubscribing.

So, if you can’t immediately sell to them, is it worth it to keep sending emails with the hope of one day being able to make a sale? Yes. If done correctly, an email marketing strategy paired with a content marketing strategy will provide your email list with extremely useful and valuable content on your site, such as relevant blog posts.

Computer Monitor screen, concept of inbox email

The blessing of email marketing is that you can kill two birds with one stone. Your list gets nurtured with helpful, non-promotional content, and your site starts to see an influx of traffic through your blog and other pages. Your page will then rank more efficiently in search engines. If you’re creating really good content that your email list is finding useful, they might even be inclined to share it and give your site some more juice.

What Goals Can Email Marketing Hit?

What are some pain points your business has that you want to fix?

For example, for most small businesses, one of the most problematic areas is in generating traffic that will convert. Assuming you already have an email list or access to an email list, your short-term traffic woes could be solved in a series of emails.

Business hand touch Email Marketing Concept

If your view is more long-term, however, it is imperative you create and nurture your own email list. It may seem cumbersome to develop an email list from scratch, but a small business can steadily start to build an email list through a variety of strategies.


Small businesses rarely have the time or resources to devote to an extensive strategy, which is why effective email marketing is a necessity. Take advantage of timesaving tools at your disposal. One of the most notable is email automation software, as automation is key in hitting customers at the right moment. Automated messages are 133% more likely to reach customers at the appropriate part of their purchase cycle.

In short, the answer to whether or not email marketing works for small businesses is yes, but only if you want it to. Be sure to have clear goals in mind for your email marketing strategy and be patient enough to nurture and let your list grow.


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