Think Beyond Social: Why You Should Use Email Marketing to Grow Your Business

January 18, 2017


As small business owners, we work really hard to put our business in front of as many potential clients and customers as possible. But the real challenge is turning that first time buyer into a loyal customer who comes back time and time again. That’s where email marketing can help.

Indeed, email marketing should be an essential tool in every small business owner’s toolkit. It’s the most powerful yet affordable way to connect with your potential customers, deliver value and drive repeat business. In fact, 56% of online marketers say email marketing is the most effective way of marketing their business.

Need more convincing? Here are 6 reasons why email marketing is the most effective form of marketing for any small business owners:

1. Email Messages Have Much Better Visibility than Social Media Posts

With all of the Instagram posts, Facebook status updates, tweets, Snapchats and LinkedIn updates posted on a daily basis, it’s really hard to make sure your messages are actually being seen.

As a matter of fact, if we’re looking at Facebook in particular, only 6% of your fans will actually see your message, let alone engage with it. Compare this to email marketing where the average open rate is 21.73%, almost triple that of Facebook.

Subscribe to the FreshBooks Weekly Blog Newsletter

Let’s put this into perspective: Say you have 500 email subscribers and 500 Facebook fans, this means that 109 of your email subscribers would see your message in comparison to only 30 of your Facebook fans.

Breaking through the clutter online is really difficult when it comes to marketing your small business. Start focusing more of your efforts on delivering your message straight to your customer’s inbox and get the visibility you deserve.

2. No Pesky Algorithms To Hold You Back: Email Marketing Puts You in Control

Just when you think you’ve adapted your marketing strategy to the latest Facebook or Instagram algorithm, it changes again. Facebook changed its newsfeed algorithm 11 times in 2016 alone, making it more and more difficult for users messages to be seen by their audience. This is one of the downsides of marketing your business on someone else’s turf.
When it comes to email marketing, you’re 100% in control. You own your subscriber list and you can control the who, what and when:

  • Who: What subscribers you want to communicate with
  • What: What important and relevant messages you want to send
  • When: When the optimal time to schedule that message is and how often you need to send it

3. All About Results: Email Marketing has the Highest ROI

When it comes to running a small business, every penny counts. You want to ensure that the money you invest in your business will provide you with a return. The high costs associated with advertising, both online and traditional forms, can leave you feeling defeated as a small business owner.



While email marketing isn’t free, the costs are nowhere near as astronomical as paid advertising. Plus, the ROI is like no other form of marketing out there. Email Marketing has an ROI of 3800% (yes, you read that right). That means for every $1 you spend on your email marketing, you’ll make $38 back in revenue.

4. There Are Few Creative Limits When it Comes to Email Marketing

As a business owner trying to market your product or service, there’s nothing worse than trying to get your message across in a limited space — like 140 characters or less, a 10 second video clip or a small square image with no linking capabilities.

When it comes to email, there are far fewer creative limitations: You can customize your message in seemingly unlimited ways like changing the text, images, adding video, animated gifs, buttons, customizing design, fonts and colours… you name it! Email marketing gives you the freedom to deliver your message in the way you best capture your brand and connect effectively with your customer.

5. With Email Marketing, You Can Measure Exactly What Works… And What Doesn’t

Some forms of marketing can be a bit of a guessing game. You think you have an idea of what your customers want to hear and see from you but you don’t always have clear indicators of what’s working and what’s not.



One of my favourite things about email marketing is the ability to see exactly how a message resonates with your audience from the second you hit that ‘send’ button. With email, you can instantly see how many people have opened your email, clicked a link in your email and exactly what link they clicked. You can even track the performance of your email all the way down to who made a purchase and what it is that they bought.

Having complete visibility into how your subscribers are reacting to the message you’ve just sent them gives you a lot of power. As a business owner, this information helps guide you on what to do more of and what to do less of… no more guessing games.

6. Crunched For Time? Put Your Email Marketing on Autopilot

Once you have a few email campaigns under your belt, you’ll start to see what’s working and what’s not. Email marketing platforms (like MailChimp, ConvertKit, AWeber, etc.), generally come with a built in automation feature that allows you to take your best performing email campaigns and put them on autopilot. Automating the deployment of your emails will not only save you time but also allow you to deliver email communications to your subscribers in a more efficient and timely manner.

In short, email marketing should be an essential tool in every small business owner’s toolkit. It’s the most efficient way to encourage repeat visits to your website/store, build strong and personal relationships with your audience and break through the clutter to ensure your messages are being seen.

Now that you have the full picture on why email marketing is so important for small business owners, it’s time to take action. Start by building your email list and delivering value to your subscribers on a regular basis. Your future self will thank you.


about the author

Email Marketing Manager, FreshBooks Nicole Murphy is an email marketing expert, entrepreneur and podcaster. As the Email Marketing Manager for FreshBooks and Founder of Learn To Love Email, Nicole is on a mission to help as many small business owners as possible learn how to love email marketing and everything it can do for their business. To learn more about how you can incorporate email marketing into your business, tune into her podcast or check out her blog over at LearntoLoveEmail.com.