11 Great Alternatives to Email Marketing for SMBs

What is one great alternative strategy to email marketing for a small business

To help you with alternative strategies to email marketing, we asked marketing professionals and business leaders this question for their insights. From leveraging boosted posts on social media to using search engine marketing, there are several diverse marketing strategies small businesses can adopt.

Here are 11 great alternatives to email marketing:

  • Leverage Boosted Posts on Social Media
  • Use Search Engine Marketing
  • Send Postcards
  • Increase Digital PR Efforts
  • Customize Your Abandon Cart Approach
  • Turn to Facebook Messenger
  • Utilize Slack Channels
  • Focus on SMS Marketing
  • Partner With Social Media Influencers
  • Optimize Your Website
  • Consider PPC Advertising


Leverage Boosted Posts on Social Media

Social media marketing is an ideal, free alternative to email marketing. With emails, your messages can get sent to a spam or junk folder, or simply get overlooked. After all, many people’s inboxes are filled with marketing emails from other companies.

Utilize social media instead, as it’s basically a captive audience you’re able to reach. Boosted posts can appear organically in potential customers’ news feeds, meaning there’s more of a chance people will see them.

Henry Babichenko, Stomadent


Use Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing is far superior to email marketing. Email marketers succeed in reaching the people on their email list but that’s all. Search engine marketers reach search engine users. Google has 63,000 search queries per second

Use keyword tools to ensure there is interest in your content. Optimize your content with those keywords, and you can hope to see boatloads of traffic coming for Google, possibly for years to come. This massive potential of marketing to search engine users far exceeds the potential of marketing to your email list.

Janice Wald, Mostly Blogging


Send Postcards

I own a medical tourism business, and one of our big draws is the exotic destinations where we help patients. One great alternative we have experimented with is sending personalized handwritten postcards bought in bulk at the destination.

People may delete their email or unsubscribe from your newsletter, but everyone loves a handwritten postcard.

Pro tip: it is better to send postcards domestically because international postage adds up quickly and the mail may take weeks to arrive!

Wesley Jacobs, Apollo Medical Travel LLC


Increase Digital PR Efforts

With the lack of trade shows and live events during the pandemic, it quickly became obvious that companies were going to have to find alternative ways to build the connections that they once found at these events. This also meant that various alternatives to marketing were sure to begin taking precedence. One of those was the rise of Digital PR.

Chats, webinars, and virtual conferences began popping up all over. In fact, it actually became a little difficult to decide which ones to take part in.

Additionally, podcasts and live interviews became much trendier again, and the benefits of participation were numerous. Today, in a time when the future is still uncertain, remaining visible in the face of unexpected environments is extremely important. So, be sure to hop on every opportunity available to you.

Lindsay McCormick, Bite


Customize Your Abandon Cart approach

Take advantage of abandoned carts. Use this chance to automate messages that are direct and customized to the user. With the specific data, enticing with a discount for return can prove invaluable. 

When a buyer abandons their cart, they are essentially leaving valuable data once they have filled out a portion of the information needed to complete a purchase, which will help your business in the future, regardless. 

Through Shopify and other commerce apps, you can send follow-up emails that are automated to let customers know they’ve abandoned their cart and often bring customers back if they failed to complete a transaction for reasons other than simply changing their minds.

Nick Shackelford, Structured Agency


Turn to Facebook Messenger

Small businesses can provide important news and updates to their followers through Facebook Messenger. This will keep your followers informed quickly and efficiently. Most people are often on Facebook as it is, so getting in front of these people can be a more effective way to get their attention rather than having them read through long emails.

Mike Clare, Mood Health


Utilize Slack Channels

Marketing on Slack is one alternative that is growing in popularity. There are different channels on Slack that an increasing number of marketers are joining. 

In addition, plenty of prospective customers are on Slack. Networking on the app is a great way to promote your products or the services your company offers as well as any company news you might have.

Adam Reed, Crown & Paw


Focus on SMS Marketing

Customers are five times more likely to open up a text than an email. One of the greatest marketing strategies we’ve employed has been SMS marketing. Our website’s landing page makes it easy to sign up for our texts which allow customers to subscribe to our product, select their flavor and frequency, and then either swap, pause, or cancel their next order. 

It’s easy and effective. Consumers are on their phones, so companies need to reach them where they’re at. Send a text over an email, and you’re more likely to drive engagement and gain a higher conversion rate.

Melanie Bedwell, Olipop


Partner With Social Media Influencers

A majority of small and mid-sized businesses have latched on to the many advantages of social media. Partnering with social media influencers has helped many brands gain further traction.

Getting influencers — individuals and groups who have a large following on a social media channel and hold power to sway the buying habits of their fans — on board is a great alternative strategy to email marketing, provided you team up with an influencer who aligns with your brand’s philosophies and connects with the right audience.

Influencers are directly in touch with your target audience. They can impress their views and suggestions upon potential buyers, and as a part of your brand, also offer you access to their entire clan of social media followers.

Putting to work the influencer solution helps you do away with the need to bombard the masses with your emails. With influencers, you enjoy a personal touch that offers way more marketing and advertising leverage than an impersonal email.

Jerry Ford, 4WD Life


Optimize Your Website

Diverting funds from email marketing to optimizing your website is a great strategy for small businesses who are looking to make their website do more.

What good is a marketing campaign when it directs people to a website with a terrible user experience? By doubling down on improving the UX of your site, you can ensure that those who do visit it will find what they’re looking for.

And, once you have a solid website in place, optimizing it for search will make sure it gets in front of your target audience. By understanding the pain points of your clients, translating those into keywords, and then optimizing your site to suit, you’re opening yourself up to a limitless number of potential customers who are searching for solutions to the same challenges.

Chris Thompson, Backdoor Survival


Consider PPC Advertising

While the marketing dollars behind an email campaign might end up wasted in the spam folders of your mailing list, a PPC campaign ensures you’re getting more bang for your advertising buck — paying only when people click on your ads.

Furthermore, by targeting the relevant keywords specific to your audience, you know you’re getting your message in front of the right people at the right time. By aligning the intent of search queries with the messaging of your ads, you are communicating that your small business has what the person searching needs

Sam Santa, Zeitholz


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