SMBs And The Email Spend: It's First Among Bigger Firms

Email marketing requires a certain sophistication. Thus, small businesses with revenue of $10 million to $20 million invest more on it than on other channels, according to 300 Marketers Reveal Disruptive Switch in Digital Strategy, a recent study by Ignite Visibility.  

In contrast, businesses with under $1 million spend the most on social media, as do those in the $5 million to $10 million categories. Companies in the $50 million range invest evenly in all the channels.

Email places among all businesses because it is first in return on investment (ROI).

Of the 300 marketers polled, 27% say email produces the highest ROI. Tied for second, with 23% apiece are conversion rate optimization (CRO) and social media.

In the $1 million-and-under category, 13% plan to spend the most on email marketing over the next two years. In contrast, 21.% will budget the most for social media and 16% for online advertising. And 12% will do the same for search engine optimization. 



Not that this involves big money — of those polled, 37% plan to spend less than $2,000 on email, roughly the same as on social media and SEO. 

Moving up the revenue ladder to $5 million to $10 million range, 27% expect to spend over $30,000 on email. In this, it is second to online advertising, with 36%. 

Email scores even better among businesses in the $10 million to $20 million range. Of this group, 31% say they will invest the most in email, versus 23% who will spend in all the marketing channels. 

However, the sums look a little disappointing — 46% expect to spend from $5,000 to $15,000 on email.

In the $20 million-plus group, email is tied with CEO, with 20% apiece planning to invest in evenly in both. And 40% say they will invest in all marketing channels.

Of those polled in this group, 10% expect to spend $30,000 on email, vs. 20% who will lay out between $15,000 and $30,000 and 10% who say they will spend between $5,000 and $10,000. In addition, 20% will spend $2,000 to $5,000 a month, and 40% plan to spend $2,000 or under.

Yet 60% of these group say email is the most challenging channel to manage — by far. SEO, PPC, CRO and social media are tied for a distant second place — at 10% apiece.

In general, the study finds that most businesses will be shifting marketing dollars to digital. The most popular type of content will be video. 

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