​Email marketing remains a priority for American SMBs, and quality branded content helps drive results.

​Marketers have a lot of promotional options today. They can build brand awareness through social media marketing or video content creation, direct mail or trade show events, but a new study commissioned by iContact shows email grabs the biggest slice of the pie. The researchers focused on small-to medium-sized businesses with annual revenues of between $1 million and $50 million, and with no more than 1,000 total employees.

Overall, the data showed that more than half of respondents dedicate up to 20 percent of their total marketing spend on email marketing. On average, email content garnered 15 percent of SMB marketing budgets. Other popular channels like social media marketing and content for SEO only earned 8 percent of the total budget.

Why do SMBs turn to email content for website conversions?

When asked why email earned top prize, 92 percent of surveyed respondents confirmed they send content to share news about new products or services. Well-written branded content can promote new offerings to new and existing customers, and daily or regular updates keep prospects in the sales cycle and on the cusp of conversion. Of course, frequency factors into how successful any internet marketing campaign fares, so brands must pay attention to how recipients respond to various engagements.

How frequent is too frequent?

Using content analytics, marketers can learn how to maintain relationships with their customers, no matter how fickle or needy they may be.

The study found that only 6 percent of marketers email their entire lead lists daily, and 39 percent contact their prospective and current customers weekly. However, even once a week can be too often for certain customers. Marketers should segment their leads into various lists and schedule emails based on gleaned insights from past interactions. Using content analytics, marketers can learn how to maintain relationships with their customers, no matter how fickle or needy they may be.

Digital wins again

Brafton recently reported that 41 percent of surveyed businesses indicate they save money by switching from traditional outreach methods to digital tactics. This transition also allows them to invest more resources in online campaigns. Therefore, SMBs looking to improve brand lift and expand their reach online should overlook offline practices in favor of digital methods and, according to iContact, custom content for email is a popular choice.

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.