By Business Wire, March 05, 2013, 09:00:00 AM EDT
Daily deals viewed as top technology tool to attract new customers
WALTHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
The importance of customer engagement to small businesses has grown as
the economy continues to struggle to recover and, according to new
survey data from Constant
Contact®, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTCT), small business owners are evaluating
their technology tools through an engagement lens. Sixty percent of
respondents said online survey tools were the most effective at engaging
existing customers, followed closely by digital loyalty/frequent shopper
tracking systems (56 percent), with customer relationship management
systems (46 percent), email marketing (45 percent), and contact
management tools (38 percent ) rounding out the top five responses.
"Eighty-two percent of small business owners have said their main source
of new business is referrals, so it's no surprise they're taking a hard
look at technologies that boost social visibility and feed the referral
engine," said Joel Hughes, senior vice president, strategy and corporate
development, Constant Contact. "To succeed, small business owners have
the difficult task of keeping pace with a rapidly evolving technology
landscape. When you consider that they now see digital loyalty, which
was not even on the horizon a few years ago, as the second most
effective way to engage customers, I think they're up to the challenge."
The Art of Attraction
Another newcomer to the scene is the daily deal, which has already made
a big impression on small business. Though sometimes viewed as
controversial, when small business owners were asked which technology
tools they see as most effective in attracting new customers:
53 percent said daily deals.
51 percent said Internet ads.
38 percent said web listing sites.
37 percent said social media ads.
29 percent said online coupons.
"Deals can be a powerful tool," said Dave Gilbertson, vice president and
general manager, SaveLocal™
from Constant Contact. "But perhaps more than any other tool, they need
to be done right or they can be highly detrimental to a small business
owner. That means giving small businesses greater control. SaveLocal
from Constant Contact has found success by structuring deals so that the
merchant controls the discount and volume, an important differentiator
because of the tight margins small businesses operate on."
The intersection of attracting new customers and engaging existing
customers is the critical crossroads for small businesses. When asked
which tools are effective at both attracting and engaging customers:
77 percent said websites.
69 percent said blogs.
60 percent said social media.
59 percent said video hosting sites, like YouTube.
52 percent said event management tools.
50 percent said email marketing.
This fairly even distribution of marketing tools indicates that a
complement of in-person and online interactions, supported by the
foundation of email, and amplified by social media, creates effective
customer awareness and sustainable connections. "Email consistently
ranks high as an effective marketing tool for small businesses," said
Hughes, "and it's interesting to see how small businesses are now
successfully integrating it with emerging social platforms to strengthen
About the Survey
This Constant Contact-sponsored survey was administered to 1,305
participants in the Constant Contact Small Biz Council - a research
panel of US small businesses and nonprofits recruited from the Constant
Contact customer base. This is the second installment of an ongoing
study about the state of small businesses and the ways they connect
with, and grow, their audiences. Results include responses from
respondents across a range of business-to-business and
About Constant Contact®, Inc.
Contact wrote the book on Engagement Marketing™ - the new marketing
success formula that helps small organizations create and grow customer
relationships in today's socially connected world. More than half a
million small businesses, nonprofits and associations worldwide use the
company's online marketing tools to generate new customers, repeat
business, and referrals through email marketing, social media marketing,
event marketing, local deals, digital storefronts, and online surveys.
Only Constant Contact offers the proven combination of affordable tools
and free KnowHow®, including local seminars, personal coaching and
award-winning product support. The company further supports small
organizations through its extensive network of consultants/resellers,
technology providers, franchises and national associations.
Constant Contact and the Constant Contact Logo are registered
trademarks of Constant Contact, Inc. All Constant Contact product names
and other brand names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered
trademarks of Constant Contact, Inc. All other company and product names
may be trademarks or service marks of their respective owners.
Source: Constant Contact