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Small Businesses Have Advantage in Facebook and Email Marketing

April 11th, 2012 ::

By Rieva Lesonsky

Do you think your small business is at a disadvantage compared to big, national companies when it comes to getting “likes” on Facebook? Well, think again. A new study conducted by Constant Contact and Chadwick Martin Bailey found that consumers are more likely to opt in to receive communications from local businesses than national businesses on Facebook, as well as on email.

The study surveyed consumers nationwide about why they liked businesses on Facebook and opted in or out to email newsletters. “Both are forms of permission marketing,” explains Mark Schmulen, general manager of social media at Constant Contact.

The study found consumers like businesses on Facebook or opt into their newsletters for similar reasons: to receive discounts and special offers. “Regardless of whether it comes through email or on Facebook, a great offer can be a front door to new business, and a really good opportunity to begin to build a long-term relationship with new customers,” says Kristen Garvey, vice president of marketing at Chadwick Martin Bailey.

People unsubscribe or stop liking businesses for similar reasons, too. “The main reasons people unlike or unsubscribe have to do with relevancy and frequency,” says Schmulen. “Content isn’t king.  Relevant content is king.  Effective marketing is about earning your audience’s permission and delivering relevant and actionable content without being overly intrusive. This data shows the importance of not just producing great, engaging content, but following best practices and finding the right balance between overdoing it and not communicating enough.”

Here are some more findings:

  • Despite the widespread use of mobile devices, 84 percent of consumers primarily access email from their computers.
  • While 30 percent of consumers access Facebook from a mobile device, 82 percent prefer their computers.
  • The organization it is from and the subject line are the top reasons consumers open emails from a business.
  • Lack of interest and over-sending are the top two reasons consumers do not open emails from a business.
  • Over-emailing and irrelevant content are the top reasons consumers unsubscribe from email lists.

When it comes to both Facebook and email, Schmulen says, “Small businesses clearly have the edge over larger organizations. Relationships are the cornerstone of any business, and they are one of the top reasons that emails get opened. A quarter of respondents indicated that they prefer to opt in to local businesses via email and Facebook over national businesses because of the personal relationships that they have with the organization.”

Image by Flickr user owenwbrown (Creative Commons)

The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

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Posted in Email Marketing, Marketing, Small Business, small business, Social Media, social media, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

  • http://www.tomadams.com/ Tom Adams

    Great points. I also feel that small businesses have leverage in these mediums due to the ‘small town’ effect. People want to have that relationship with the people or person they are doing business with.