vistaprint-small-business-surveyVISTAPRINT, December 10, 2009 – The Netherlands based company, Vistaprint, has published a recent survey of 300 small businesses on their marketing methods and outlook. The survey is available online at the Vistaprint Small Business Blog.

Focus on Small Businesses

The survey was conducted on small businesses where the respondents were self-reporters. Respondents had to be either a sole proprietor, independent contractor, owner or general manager of a business with less than 100 full or part-time employees. The purpose of the survey was to get some insight into the kinds of things that small businesses were focusing on from a marketing perspective and what they might be willing to try in 2010. The survey was also geared to find out where small businesses turned to for marketing knowledge, and the considerations small businesses held as to what some of the perceived barriers were in trying new marketing methods like social media.

Survey objectives

Survey Findings

Some of the key findings of the survey were:

Caveats

While the survey made it clear that email marketing was one of the most common marketing methods used by small businesses, no details were provided as to the kind of email marketing employed. Small businesses reading this survey should understand that there is a big difference between email marketing to cold mailing lists vs direct marketing to existing customers and qualified prospects.

Quality Mailing Lists are Essential to Marketing Success

A qualified prospect would be someone who has shown some initial interst in the products or services offered. Whether a prospect shows some interest by responding to a website contact form or print ad or trade show or customer referral or from a field sales call, if there is not some initial interest by the prospect, the likelihood of a decent response rate to an email campaign will be very low. For email campaigns to be successful, the offer has to be good, the presentation has to be good and the mailing list has to be good.

Direct Mail Marketing and Small Business

The recession has led small businesses to increase their use of the marketing technique they see as most important. Although the survey shows that 21% of small businesses have used email marketing more than other methods, still 9% see traditional marketing via direct mail (postcards and catalogs) as the most important and are planning increases in their direct mail marketing efforts. Over 20% of respondents are increasing their use of direct mail marketing campaigns. This is a significant finding and makes it clear that direct mail marketing is not only viable, it is essential to small business success.

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