Remember in the ancient days of AOL dial-up when you had to call the internet to connect? And, if you were lucky enough to “sign on” with no issues, your email was announced to you like a modern day hype man? (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, here you go.)

Email (and our notification sounds) have come a long way since then. While the way we market to customers and the platforms we choose to use have evolved, one platform is often neglected by small businesses.

Email.

The first social media platform. Email is 40 times better than Facebook and Twitter at acquiring new customers, according to McKinsey and Co., and 20 percent of marketers say their business’ primary revenue source is linked to email operations.

If you’re still not convinced, here are 5 other ways that your email campaigns can boost your small business’ revenue, visibility and lead generation.

1.) Brand Building

Your brand is the most important factor when you’re looking to grow your business. Beyond the visual branding, the way your company carries itself through email can yield positive effects on your sales and ROI.

Consistency and trust are the keys here. If you promised your new sign-ups that they would receive a weekly email, or that they wouldn’t get bombarded with spam, keep those promises. If your customers signed up to learn about product deals, discounts, etc. Don’t send consistent emails about your CEO. It may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised! Having people trust you is important, and using email can bulk up that credibility.

2.) Increased Sales

You’ve already seen a statistic about how Email is 40 times better at gaining new customers, and the same is true for generating sales. Customers tend to spend 83% more when they shop, and they order 28% more often after reading an email tempting them to do it. It’s important to note that mobile ranks #1 when it comes to online and email shopping. Making sure those emails are optimized for mobile devices is something you should look into if you haven’t already.

3.) Increase your ROI

The return on investment is how much money you get back for every dollar you spend on marketing your goods and services. Companies want to know if what they’re spending is actually making them money. With email, the statistics seem to vary, but the ROI averages to from $38/1 – $45/1 depending on the industry. So for every dollar you spend on your email team, they’re making $38 – $45 back! I’d say that’s pretty decent. For the superstars, 1 in 5 companies can even stretch it to $70/1. And, If you’re looking for measurability, email marketing is by far the easiest, most transparent.

4.) Improve Your Visibility and Generate Leads

People lead busy daily lives. Chances are on a Tuesday morning they’re plugging away at work, wanting to take a break, have some coffee, or kill time before lunch. So what do we do? Check our phones. This is where having your newsletter optimized for mobile devices will be useful because consumers read email for 6 hours a day. 6. Hours. A. Day. That’s 6 hours you have to convert them from a reader to a customer.

Sending a well-timed email reminds them “Hey. We’re here. We know you haven’t been to the website in a while, because, you know, you’re at work. But you could click here on the down-low and find out what you’ve been missing the last few weeks. We’re having a sale.” Boom. You are now refreshed in the minds of your readers. If you’re good, they’ll tell their friends about you and not only do you have a sale, but you have new followers.

5.) Strengthen Relationships

Talking about ROI and sales is a great thing, but for companies who might not be peddling wares, email is the doorway to telling your company’s story. Who you are, what you do, and what’s going on is like telling your best friends all your secrets. Have a new blog post? Let them know. Opened a new facility in another state? Let them know!

It’s possible that they don’t need your services, but they know someone who does. Having an email to forward on generates those leads you might be looking for. It also has 5 times more shelf life than the average social media post!

Have you had success with email marketing? Tell us in the comments!