small business

getresponse-list-building-strategies.jpgAlthough roughly 3 in 4 SMBs use email marketing tactics such as organic list growth and web-based sign-up forms to generate leads, just 41% include a sign-up form on their Facebook fan pages, according to a survey released in February 2012 by GetResponse. And while a majority optimize their newsletters with clear, recognizable, branded from field names and addresses, less than half include social sharing icons in their newsletters.
SMBs appear to be behind the curve in this regard: according to a survey released in February 2012 by Econsultancy, in partnership with the Email Experience Council of the DMA, 69% of US organizations are including social sharing icons in their emails, while a further 13% have a plan in place to do so.

Segmentation Also Not Widespread

getresponse-smb-email-segmentation-list-hygiene.jpgData from GetResponse’s “The State of Email Marketing in SMBs” indicates that only 42% of the SMBs surveyed segment their lists based on either subscriber personal data or subscriber actions, such as opens and clicks. List hygiene is poor, too: just 38% report removing inactive contacts, and only 36% try to re-engage them through re-activation campaigns. SMBs also seem to be ignoring the risks posed by bad addresses: only 53% use mailing systems that automatically process soft and hard bounces and take appropriate actions to the addresses.

Legal Compliance Better, Though

72% of respondents indicate that they use a confirmed opt-in email model, and 71% provide unsubscribe links in their emails. Overall, the marketers surveyed cited an average deliverability rate of about 97%, with the vast majority reporting no problems with delivery to most major client inboxes.

Largest SMBs Not as Socially Integrated

SMBs with more than 500 employees tended to report higher adoption of various list building and sign-up form optimization strategies, such as using sign-up forms to grow lists, collecting contacts offline using paper sign-up forms, and telling subscribers specifically what they will receive. However, these larger companies were far less likely than companies with 11-250 employees to run a Facebook page with a newsletter sign-up form (57% vs. 82%), indicating that they may be underestimating the power of social media integration. Similarly, they were less likely than companies with 11-250 employees or 251-500 employees to use social sharing icons.

Other Findings:

  • Most SMBs have adopted measures such as regular mailings (70%), personalization (58%), compelling subject line (68%), and stats analysis (61%).
  • 69% of respondents indicated that they have a complaint ratio below 0.2%.

For more on email and social integration, visit MarketingVox.

About the Data: The GetResponse data was collected from November 14-28, 2011 from approximately 600 respondents classified in 4 groups based on the business unit size.

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