Small businesses to use e-mail for Mother's Day

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Seventy-three percent of U.S. small business owners anticipate strong Mother's Day holiday sales and are using e-mail to drive business, according to e-mail marketing firm Constant Contact's second annual Mother's Day Outlook survey.

This prediction is a significant rise over last year's survey results, in which 66 percent of small business owners anticipated strong sales. The optimism for the Mother's Day shopping season likely signals good news for U.S. small businesses, of which 83 percent deem Mother's Day important to their yearly earnings. This is up from 76 percent in 2006.

According to the study, U.S. small business owners rate Mother's Day as having a greater impact on sales than Valentine's Day, Easter, Father's Day, Fourth of July, Halloween, Labor Day and St. Patrick's Day.

Seventy-four percent of U.S. small business owners expect consumers to make more purchases online for Mother's Day this year compared to past years. Given this trend, 74 percent of respondents plan to send out Mother's Day promotions, the majority of which will be delivered online.

Eighty-six percent of small businesses will use e-mail marketing to promote Mother's Day sales and events to customers; 42 percent plan to use other forms of online marketing such as banner ads and paid search; 26 percent will send direct mail; 25 percent will use flyers; and 20 percent will advertise in traditional media.

When asked which method is most effective driving sales, 53 percent of small business owners said that e-mail marketing yields the best results, followed by online marketing, which 17 percent of small business owners said drive sales. Television, radio and newspaper advertising garnered a 13 percent response, as did direct mail, while only 3 percent of small business owners reported driving sales by using fliers.

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