Digital marketing is more important than ever for small business owners. While print marketing materials still have a place in an overall strategy, most customers are finding out about the products and services business offer through their phones. In this article, we’ll take a look at some digital marketing statistics that are must-knows for the small business advertising world.

Why Digital Marketing Matters

Effective small business marketing strategies have evolved over the last couple decades and it’s important to understand where to reach your customers. It used to be that a simple webpage was all you needed. Now, customers expect to learn about your services and products on clean, clear, and informative pages that are optimized for their iPhones and Android devices.

The great news is that there are many easy-to-use website builders that can produce pages that look great on both computer screens and mobile devices.

Email marketing has changed, too. Many customers want to find out about deals and promotions through email, but understanding how to make that happen is crucial for any small business. More customers are learning about small business through social media content and blogs, too, so you don’t want to ignore those channels.

These statistics should help you understand where to put your resources, so you get the most out of your advertising and marketing budget.

20 Digital Marketing Statistics

1. 54.4% of people access media on their smartphones

According to Statista, smartphones accounted for over half of worldwide web traffic as of 2021. This is hardly surprising, as over 3.5 billion people own mobile phones globally.

2. 72.9% of online sales are made on mobile

With the average American spending 232 minutes on their mobile device daily, eCommerce through mobile has shot up over the years. In 2016, mobile sales accounted for 52.4% of the market share, and in 2021 stood strong at 72.9%. Understanding this, it’s important to optimize your mobile site for easy use.

3. 57% of mobile users would not recommend a business if their mobile site isn’t optimized

This number is a big deal, especially as 87% of customers believe that a company’s mobile site should be as good or better than its desktop site. Expectations are high, and a company that isn’t focusing on an excellent mobile site will lose a large percentage of potential customers. 

4. 53% of emails are opened on mobile devices

According to Litmus, 53% of all emails received are opened on a mobile phone or tablet. Further, Pew Research Center found that 88% of mobile phone users opened email on their phone at least once per day. Emails that are optimized for mobile phones will perform better, and this should be a priority according to these numbers. 

5. 18% of email users have opted out of a company’s email marketing after opting in

What Forrester research found was that only 18% of customers respond to either opt-in or opt-out requests–no matter which was found on the form. It’s important to provide an opt-out ability for customers so they don’t feel locked into email marketing. In turn, ensuring your email marketing is high-value will ensure a minimum of customers choose to opt-out. 

6. 45% of emails are classified as spam

According to Dataprot, 45% of all emails are spam. This can be an issue when you’re trying to send emails that you want to be read. If you aren’t careful, an email will be instantly filtered into the spam folder or ignored/deleted by the recipient. Be careful to use excellent grammar and non-salesy language when writing your marketing emails.

7. 70% of marketers said that their highest performing emails were sent from a person, not a brand

According to DataBox, 70% of marketers said their emails performed better when from an actual person. This makes sense, as individuals tend to trust people over corporations. For small businesses, using your own name to send or sign off emails can be extremely helpful. It gives a personalized touch that can build trust with your consumer base. 

8. 49% of customers said that they would like to receive promotional emails at least once a week from their favorite brand

This is a pretty high number of people who would be willing to receive regular emails and is a market to take advantage of. Take some time to create interesting and engaging promotional emails for your brand-loyal customers.

9. The average open rate for welcome emails is 82%

This number is extremely high and would suggest that a best practice would be to make sure that your business sends out welcome emails. You can talk a bit about the brand, offer a discount code, and provide content related to your field or industry. Don’t just sell to a lead, make them come back for more. Repeat customers are the bedrock of a successful business. 

10. 47% of emails are opened or discarded based solely on their subject line

This statistic suggests that you (or your marketing team) should pay careful attention to how you word your email subject lines. It shouldn’t sound too salesy or have any misspelled words. This would indicate spam to most people, and these emails would likely be quickly discarded. Make your subject line engaging, informative, and even funny (if appropriate for your customer base).

11. 11% of recipients are more likely to open an email if it’s part of a campaign rather than a traditional email

The low number here indicates that customers are less likely to open an email if they think they are simply part of some sort of email blast. Even if you are running a campaign, keep your emails personal and individualize the language as much as possible.

12. 55% percent of companies that blog get more web traffic

In addition to this, 69% of businesses say that blogging is what leads to their success in lead generation. People love content. By running a blog and sharing articles on social media, you can get a lot of eyes on your product.

13. 20% of businesses have acquired a customer through their company blog

Company blogs are an excellent space to earn customers through high-value content and worthwhile call-to-actions. Developing a blog strategy to offer regular content will earn you customers if you choose the right topics and ensure they’re well-written. 

14. 72% of marketers describe content creation as their most effective SEO tactic

Search engines are an integral part of consumer information. Most customers will research brands themselves before ever making a purchase. By creating targeted content, your business will rise in the search engine ranks and be seen by those looking for your product. 

15. Global digital ads spent $389 billion dollars in 2021

Companies are spending a lot of money on digital advertising—and for good reason. More and more people are buying online, and in essence, selling themselves online. Getting eyes on digital ads and content drives sales, and that market will only become stronger as the younger generation starts spending.

16. 83% of people are looking for a seamless web experience while using their smartphones, laptops, etc. 

How many times can we reiterate the importance of a solid mobile site? It doesn’t take much for a potential buyer to click out of your site and go somewhere else. In an increasingly digital world with seamless content and social media, expectations are high. It is imperative that your mobile site be visually pleasing and work without a hitch.

17. 68% of marketers feel like their marketing strategy is effective

A little over two-thirds of marketers feel like they’re effective. That’s great, but that also means that about a third of marketers don’t believe that they’re effective. Talk to your team, and find out whether training is in order. The best way to ensure that the job is getting done is to be a present, active, and encouraging member of your marketing team. 

18. 22% of businesses are content with their conversion rates

This number isn’t terribly encouraging. Leads don’t mean much if they aren’t converting into actual sales. So, what if you have eyes on your brand? What’s next? Try building a sales pipeline to determine the trajectory of your potential customers and find out where you can improve.

19. 60% of customers subscribe to a brand’s email list to get promotional messages and deals

This is a solid number. But to achieve it, your business needs to provide value through subscription discounts and deals. Developing your email content strategy to turn subscribers into loyal brand customers should be a next step for promotion-minded subscribers.One sale doesn’t make much of a difference when compared to a sale that keeps coming back and sending their friends. 93% of new customers are gained through word of mouth… so build that trust and keep your base interested. 

20. 63% of marketers say that their biggest content challenge is driving traffic and generating leads

This is where excellent writing comes in. If you’re looking to pull people in, you need content that’s exciting, engaging, and relevant. If you don’t have staff within the company that can create quality content, then hire someone on a consulting basis to do it for you. Creating content that moves to the top of search engines and brings in leads to your website is an art form. 

Digital marketing is a must for a thriving small business

The opportunities presented by online marketing are too good for any business to pass up. Phones, computers, and social media are the best place to engage customers and keep them informed about your newest products and offerings. These statistics show how important it is to invest both time and money in crafting a digital marketing strategy. 

Now that you have an idea of where and how today’s customers are finding out about products and services, you’ll be in a much better position to create targeted content that reaches more customers, builds enthusiasm, and improves your bottom line.


  1. Statista: Percentage of mobile device website traffic worldwide from 1st quarter 2015 to 4th quarter 2021
  3. Pewresearch: U.S. Smartphone Use in 2015
  4. Data prot: What’s On the Other Side of Your Inbox – 20 SPAM Statistics for 2022
  5. Databox: Email Subject Line Examples: 42 Marketers Share Their Very Best
Free insights to help you take control of business finances.
Discover the best tips, tricks, and tools for better money management.