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Why email marketing is key for any small business

When you're starting your small business it's not unusual to be counting the pennies so it might feel like investing in marketing is a luxury you can't afford. Without marketing, however, any business, no matter what size, will struggle to grow their customers and ultimately their revenue.

As a small business owner, unless you have a multi-talented team in place, you will have to conduct a lot of different roles. One of these will be the marketing lead. But where to start?

Marketing comes in many different forms called "marketing channels", The marketing channels that you activate will differ depending on who your audience is. One marketing channel that every business should use is email. This article will look at the opportunities that email marketing offers and how you can start using it immediately.

What is email marketing?

Email marketing is a key marketing channel used by businesses selling both to consumers (B2C) and to other businesses (B2B). Email marketing is also one of the most personalisable marketing channels available to use with opportunities to change the content, imagery and even your products based on who your recipient is. Having the ability to customise the content of a campaign is proven to increase customer interaction. We will come on shortly to talk about how email marketing is measured.

Why is email marketing so popular with small businesses?

Email marketing is so popular because the cost of activating this channel is nearly or almost free for small businesses. For example, Design 49 build websites for our clients on the WIX platform. One key benefit of this is that WIX provides an email marketing function as part of their website packages meaning the email costs absolutely nothing.

If you're communicating to more than a few hundred customers every month, you may look towards a dedicated email marketing platform such as Mailchimp. These platforms tend to charge based on the overall number of sends in a set period (e.g. a year) or the total number of customers that you want to communicate to. The cost is still highly affordable and is fixed compared to other direct marketing channels where each campaign is charged on a cost-per-send basis

How can you use email marketing to promote your small business?

Email marketing can be used to share a range of different messages to promote your small business to your customers;

Drive new customers

When a prospective customer lands on your website once, the chances of converting them into a sale is very low and typically they will leave. Email marketing is a key way in which you can get that prospect to return to your website multiple times and increase the chance of achieving a sale.

It can be challenging to get prospects to hand over their email address to a business they know nothing about. A great way to overcome this is to offer the customer something in return. What you offer should differ depending on whether your customer is a consumer or a business.

If you are a B2C business, you can use a discount as an incentive to capture new email addresses. You can even embed the discount code into their first email which can help increase the quality of the email addresses you capture.

If you are a B2B business, a really effective way to capture customer data is by offering quality content which your customer will benefit from. These can take many different forms including ebooks or downloadable templates but whatever you offer, you want to ensure that there is a link back to the services you offer and it is well branded so that you can keep your brand front of mind.

Engage with inactive customers

So you have done the hard work and your customer has purchased your product but then they don't come back. Email is a great way to re-engage with your previous customers and remind them why they chose your business in the first place, or even encourage them to refer you to a friend.

Email marketing can be used to present a range of different messages to your existing customers including special offers, customer reviews, new products and even bespoke "come-back" incentives all of which will hopefully drive that customer back to start shopping with you again.


Email marketing is a great tool for small businesses to communicate with their customers. It's highly affordable, personalisable and is a channel that can be used by both B2B and B2C businesses. Email can help you convert new customers, build relationships with your existing base and re-engage with those previous purchasers who now no longer rely on your services.

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