E-Mail Briefs: Survey: Small Businesses To Use E-Mail Marketing for Mother’s Day

Eighty-one percent of small business respondents plan to use e-mail marketing promotions for Mother’s Day, according to a survey released last week by Constant Contact, an e-mail marketing service provider targeting small businesses, associations and nonprofits.

According to “Constant Contact’s 2006 Mother’s Day Outlook” survey, 66 percent of U.S. small business owners are anticipating strong Mother’s Day sales this year. Broken down by top industries in terms of anticipated holiday sales: hospitality (restaurant, travel, and lodging) led with 87 percent of expecting strong sales, followed by consumer services (i.e. jewelers, spas, beauty salons, fitness and photography) at 69 percent and Retail (specialty shop, clothing store, florist) at 67 percent.

Seventy-six percent surveyed said Mother’s Day sales are important to their yearly earnings, which is why 75 percent are planning special promotions around the event. Because 78 percent expect more online shopping this year, the majority of small businesses are using online marketing to capture a greater share of sales.

The Waltham, MA-based company found that online methods such as e-mail marketing and online marketing are more popular with small businesses than traditional marketing tactics.

According to the survey, when asked to reveal the various methods they will use to promote Mother’s Day offerings, e-mail marketing prevailed at 81 percent; online marketing was second at 42 percent; followed by fliers (25 percent), direct mail (23 percent), and print/broadcasting/radio advertising (21 percent).

Fifty-four percent of small business owners expect customers to spend $25 to $75 on Mother’s Day gifts, with 30 percent predicting the average consumer to spend more than $75. Husbands and daughters comprise 72 percent of those making the purchases, reservations and appointments (37 percent and 35 percent, respectively), followed by the mothers themselves at 20 percent and sons at 8 percent.

SkyList Launches SkyList StormPost 2.5

SkyList Inc. debuted StormPost 2.5, the latest version of its flagship e-mail marketing automation system, last week.

The Austin, TX-based e-mail service provider and deliverability leader also announced that Boston.com, the online home of The Boston Globe, will be the first licensed customer to use the tool to maximize member and advertiser loyalty.

Boston.com is an online source for news and information for Boston and throughout New England with 4.1 million monthly unique visitors and more than 168 million monthly pageviews. Last year, Boston.com began using SkyList to execute a sophisticated e-mail marketing plan to support both member retention and advertiser needs.

With StormPost 2.5, Boston.com will gain access to a suite of new features including advanced content management tools, flexible and sophisticated reporting capabilities and the ability to reach customers through emerging digital channels, StormPost said.

Other features of StormPost 2.5 include: a reputation tab that delivers reputation report cards for AOL, Juno, NetZero, Hotmail and SpamCop; seamless integration with IronPort, Port25 PowerMTA, Return Path, LashBack and UnsubCentral for deliverability and advanced OLAP reporting.

The Gospel Music Association Selects Emma to Power E-mail Newsletters

The Gospel Music Association said last week it chose Emma, a Web-based e-mail marketing and communications service, to power its e-mail newsletters and updates.

Founded in 1964, the GMA serves the Christian music community, providing programs and events for artists, industry leaders, retail stores, radio stations, concert promoters and churches.

The association has 4,000 members and uses e-mail regularly to keep them informed about the industry news, sales, resources and events. The GMA also sends a monthly newsletter called the GMA Update that is distributed to non-members who sign up through its Web site.

Emma is a Nashville, TN, Web-based service launched in 2002. It is used by 3,000 organizations in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

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