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Liz McMillan

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News Item

Online Marketing Taking Hold Among Small Businesses

Small business survey shows many likely to adopt email marketing and social media options in 2010

New Media on Ulitzer

Vistaprint recently conducted a comprehensive survey that unearthed interesting trends in small business marketing. According to the survey results, small businesses are likely to increase their use of online forms of marketing including email marketing, paid and organic search, and custom websites over the next 12 months. As small businesses have more time and money to focus on marketing, many indicated that they are considering testing online programs, among other areas.

"It's apparent from the results of our survey that small businesses are adapting to market changes and are considering trying other methods, including online initiatives," said Trynka Shineman, chief marketing officer for Vistaprint North America. "Not only are online options like email marketing, local search and unique websites cost efficient, especially in a recession, but the Internet is where potential small business customers are moving. This survey has confirmed that small businesses will start to try and incorporate online options as part of their overall marketing plan. Of course they are still using tried and true methods like direct mail, but it seems they are more willing to diversify than ever before."

Vistaprint's survey was an in-depth look at marketing avenues that small businesses are currently embracing. After analyzing the results of the survey, Vistaprint expects the following small business behaviors in the next year:

--  Email marketing will continue to be a very important marketing tactic,
    as small businesses cited it as one method that they have most commonly
    used or would be likely to try moving forward.
--  Social media avenues like Twitter and Facebook are an area many small
    businesses will look to explore and capitalize on in the next 12 months.
    Time is the biggest perceived barrier to these efforts.
--  Despite time and money being perceived barriers to starting websites
    for small businesses, it's clear that their adoption rate will continue to
    increase, especially amongst micro and single proprietor businesses.
    Currently only 38 percent of small businesses have a website.
--  YellowPage ads and listings continue to be frequently used, indicating
    that local search is very much an area of focus for small businesses,
    especially online.

The survey also found that small businesses might need more education when it comes to marketing, including resources they can tap into. Almost 50 percent of the survey respondents don't regularly seek any type of advice or counsel with regard to their marketing efforts. When they do, they typically look online for resources. Only four percent took advantage of their local Small Business Administration office, and only eight percent actively participated in their local chambers of commerce. Finally, many small businesses are interested in testing and tracking their marketing campaigns, but only 50 percent are currently doing so to ensure success.

Done in conjunction with Hawk Partners the survey was conducted over a one week period and looked at 300 various employers, including businesses with a sole proprietor, businesses with two-10 employees, and over 10 employees for a true sampling of small business behavior.

The entire study can be found at the Vistaprint Small Business Blog.

Vistaprint offers small businesses peace of mind by providing everything they need to market their business. The company continues to diversify its marketing products and services, both online and off, recognizing that customers continue to need many different avenues to reach customers. Recently the company announced the unveiling of a local search option for small businesses, and also offers email marketing services, website hosting and design services, and postcard marketing services. Products include high-quality business cards and postcards and promotional apparel including hats and T-shirts, to name just a few.

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