More than half of small businesses expect to see their holiday sales grow by double digits in 2014, according to a new survey of more than 1,000 U.S.-based businesses by MailChimp. 100% of respondents said they planned to use email marketing to increase holiday sales in 2014.
Key findings from the MailChimp Holiday Email Marketing survey:
- Holiday sales are trending upward. 78% of small businesses expect higher holiday sales revenue this year than in 2013. 57% expect their holiday sales to grow by double digits.
- Annual revenue will also grow. 75% of small businesses expect full-year revenues to grow in 2014–55% by double-digit percentages.
- Email is essential. 77% of small businesses rate email marketing as an important or very important marketing tactic.
- Most popular marketing tactics: email and social media. More small businesses (61%) plan to increase their use of email marketing this holiday season than any other tactic. Right behind email is Facebook (54%), followed by Twitter, Instagram (both 42%), and Pinterest (40%).
- Email drives revenue. 44% of businesses expect to get anywhere from 10% to 24% of their holiday revenue from email marketing, making email a critical promotional tactic. 16% of businesses anticipate getting 25% to 50% of their holiday revenue from email marketing, and 4% of businesses plan generate more than half of their holiday sales via email marketing.
- Most small businesses send special offers. 90% of small businesses email special offers to customers and prospects at the holidays, making that the most common form of holiday email promotion. 77% email new product announcements, followed by gift guides (46%) and shipping deadlines (33%).
- Businesses are prepared for the holidays. 50% of small businesses had already started their holiday season marketing planning by early October. Almost three out of four will develop marketing programs for the three “Thanksgiving weekend” sales days – Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Small Business Saturday.
- Email marketing is low effort, high return. Almost half (47%) of businesses spend less than three hours per month on email marketing. 35% send emails once a month, followed by weekly (31%) and “not on a regular schedule” (30%). However, 71% expect their email frequency to accelerate during the holiday season.