Small Businesses Investing More in Email Marketing, Look to Integrate Social Media

Recently, we surveyed AWeber customers to see what small businesses are doing in their email marketing today, and what you’re planning to do in the future.

Turns out you’re doing a lot of really cool stuff (no surprise to us ;))!

Here are some findings and analysis from the survey:

  • Almost 70% of small businesses are employing some sort of social media tactics.
  • Small businesses find email marketing’s ROI more measurable, more quickly realized and greater than social media’s ROI.
  • Over 71% of small businesses plan to increase their focus on behavioral targeting in the coming year.

For more on this, see this article at eMarketer discussing some of the results, and the press release below. (The release is also available here.)

You can also grab a copy of the complete results and analysis.

Small Businesses Investing More in Email Marketing, Look to Integrate Social Media

Huntingdon Valley, Pa. (June 23, 2010) – AWeber Communications, a leading provider of web-based email marketing software for small businesses, today announced results from a survey of more than 2,500 small businesses regarding email marketing and social media marketing efforts. Email marketing continues to bring significant value to businesses with more than 82 percent of respondents planning to increase their email marketing efforts over the next year.

The survey, generated by AWeber and initially reported by eMarketer, indicates that the more social media grows in popularity among consumers, the more attention it will receive from marketers. While it may not be entirely clear how marketers are incorporating social media into their existing digital marketing efforts such as email marketing, almost 70 percent of small business marketers are employing some sort of social media tactics and a majority (77 percent) indicate that integrating email marketing and social media is either “very important” or “moderately important.”

The most popular tactics at the moment involve spreading content onto additional mediums such as sharing email newsletters on Twitter (36 percent) and delivering blog posts via email (35 percent). Small business marketers seem to recognize the value in driving social media followers and fans to their email lists and vice versa – allowing subscribers to access information from the medium they are most comfortable with.

“As the survey results indicate, email marketing continues to be a measurable, effective tool that brings significant value to small businesses, regardless of the nature of their business,” said Tom Kulzer, CEO and founder of AWeber. “It is also evident that marketers are continuing to realize the importance of integrating their email marketing campaigns with social media activities as a way to reach a broader audience, but are still learning how to do this effectively. We continue to provide our users with educational resources, including our blog and webinars to help them better understand how to engage with their customers.”

Another interesting finding from the survey centered on behavioral targeting, a method considered help deliver superior results. By specifically targeting email campaigns toward subscribers who have taken an action (opened a particular email, clicked on a link), nearly 50 percent of respondents indicated that behavioral targeting increases their conversion rates either significantly or moderately.

These responses also highlight a divide between email marketers who are testing behavioral targeting and those who are not. Nearly a quarter (24.8 percent) of respondents state that they have not tested behavioral targeting in their email marketing campaigns, while another 23 percent are not sure whether behavioral targeting increases conversion rates – a number which suggests that marketers may not be testing this thoroughly, if at all.

However, this divide may be shrinking, as an overwhelming majority of respondents (71.4 percent) plan to increase their focus on behavioral targeting in their email campaigns over the next year.

As the ongoing battle for subscribers’ attention escalates, relevance and value are at a premium making analytical date more valuable than ever. Nearly 70 percent of respondents indicate that analytical reports either significantly or moderately impact their email marketing strategies. Of the marketers who do not currently use these reports, more than one quarter are interested in using them.

Other key findings from the AWeber survey include:

  • More than 66 percent of respondents indicate they intend to use behavioral targeting as well as sales tracking in their campaigns over the next 12 months.
  • 54 percent of respondents indicate they intend to use Facebook as a tool to help build their email lists
  • Nearly 20 percent of respondents indicate that integrating email marketing and social media increased customer loyalty
  • Almost 12 times as many respondents said that email marketing ROI is more easily measured than social media ROI (61.46 percent versus 5.28 percent)

The AWeber survey was conducted over a five-day period from May 20-24. Responses were entered anonymously by 2,579 AWeber customers. Based on the population size and the number of respondents, responses can be reported with a 99% confidence level with a margin of error of +/- three percent.

For more information, including full survey results and the executive summary, contact Justin Premick, Director of Education Marketing at

About AWeber Communications
AWeber Communications helps businesses increase sales and profits through its suite of web-based email marketing software. The privately held, debt-free company was founded in 1998. For more information, visit


Thanks To Everyone Who Participated In The Survey!

To all of you who took a few minutes out of your day to answer our survey last month, thanks so much!

Hopefully it’s useful and motivating to see how your email marketing efforts and usage compare to those of other small businesses.

More on The Tactics Discussed in This Survey


  1. WC

    6/23/2010 10:42 am

    It is nice to see the opportunities email marketing and social media integration offers to small businesses. Utilizing both tools will help improve conversions and returns.

    This also gives ESPs a good direction in enabling and improving social integration as part of their services.

  2. Monique

    6/25/2010 2:11 am

    Interesting information to small business marketing.

  3. S. B. M.

    6/27/2010 5:37 pm

    I find it very interesting that the majority of small business owners don’t follow simple marketing principles and seem to think that simply having a website is all it takes to do business online.

    In my small business marketing services, I run across this everyday. I spend a lot of my time educating small business owners on how to market right and many small business owners simply don’t have the time or experience to do it right the first time.

    That’s why outsourcing to a consultant usually works best in most situations.

  4. Marty Diamond

    6/30/2010 9:34 am

    Thanks for the post!

    Businesses are using social media so much more. However, knowing the process is just as important.

    With more people and businesses using social media, small businesses need to plan how to best utilize these tools to be at the top.

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  7. Naviter

    8/20/2010 6:53 am

    I would say social media is not a tool anyone can manage. It is a double edged sword, if you use it wisely you will get good returns, otherwise you will loose reputation among your followers/fans.

  8. Sean Usher

    9/1/2010 12:40 pm

    Email is without doubt, the best way to communicate with clients and to build relationships with new leads as well.

    Facebook and Twitter have their place, but email remains KING

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  11. Don

    9/19/2011 2:13 am

    Google Plus is going to take over email for finding potential clients in the near future.