Small business owners gearing up for the holiday season are turning to email marketing to pull them through as consumer spending continues to fall. The U.S. Commerce Department reported that American expenditures by individuals shrank 0.3 per cent in September compared to August – the biggest fall in the category since June 2004.
According to the Annual Small Business Holiday Outlook released by email marketing company, Constant Contact, eighty-six per cent of small businesses worry that the decline in the economy will harm their holiday sales which, for some, account for up to half of their annual income. As a result, many small businesses will be giving fewer holiday bonuses and hiring fewer seasonal employees to make up for this predicted loss.
The recession has triggered a boost in email marketing as companies are increasing their investments in lower cost marketing mediums. Small business owners are more likely to use email marketing this holiday season than direct mail to inform their potential customers of promotions or sales. If they are going to send their target audience a piece of direct mail, doing so either right before or right after an email hits inboxes could lead both mediums to be more effective than if sent independently of each other.
Gail Goodman, CEO of Constant Contact, says “Email marketing and online surveys are catalysts to the success of small businesses in any economic environment, but they can make the critical difference in trying times. History shows that small businesses have led the way to better economic times in the past, and we are confident that today’s small businesses will do so again.”