SMB DIY: Small Firms Do Their Own Email Copy And Design, With Mixed Results

Small businesses are winging it with their email marketing.

Almost all — 94% — write their own copy, and 90% do their own design, according to the 2020 Small Business Email Marketing Statistic Report, a study by email software provider AWeber.

And while 60% say their email strategy is effective, 15% say it is very effective, while 26% admit it is ineffective. 

Of the 1,222 small firms surveyed by AWeber, 65.9% use email to promote their businesses or communicate with leads and/or customers. Of those, 79% say email is important. 

Moreover, 54% send emails at least once per week, and roughly 15% do so daily. Altogether, 86% email once per month or more.

This produces varied results. On the low side, 77% pull average open rates of 0% to 10%, while 12% achieve rates from 11% to 20% and only a few exceed 50%. 

The study shows a correlation between email list size and general effectiveness. Only 20% of companies with 500 or less subscribers have effective email strategies, while 42% of those with over 500 do.



Yet only 42% have over 500 subscribers. And less than 7% have over 50,000.

Despite their DIY approach to copywriting, 64% of small businesses say their email copy is effective, and 14% very much so. But 22% acknowledge their copy is ineffective

Yet 45% of small businesses with effective email copy have average open rates 26% or higher, and 61% score clickthrough rates of 6% and up. 

It is similar with design — 62% report their email design is effective. And of those, 60% generate average click-through rates of 6% or higher. But 21% admit it is not.

What kind of emails are they sending? Only 16% use plain-text, the remainder produce HTML emails.

In addition, most use images in their emails — 40.1% all of the time, 45.7% sometimes and 14.1% never. 

As a rule, 88% of firms with effective strategies use images. And 57% of those that always do enjoy click-through rates of 6% or higher.

Of the businesses polled, 38% use hyperlinked text for their email call-to-action links. And 47% use both hyperlinked text and buttons for their CTAs. 

But they’re not equally effective — 58% of firms that use buttons only have clickthroughs of 6% or higher. But 49% of the SMBs that use only hyperlinks can say the same. 



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