Square brings data-driven marketing to small business

Small businesses need big data too. On Tuesday, popular point-of-sale provider Square announced the new email marketing tool Square Marketing that will help small brick-and-mortar businesses track customer data, send emails, and track sales results. Square Marketing gives small businesses an edge that even most larger retailers are still trying to figure out – how to close the loop between email campaigns and ROI.

Square Marketing’s suite of tools includes matching customer emails to in-store payment, and segmenting customers into loyal, casual, and lapsed customers. This makes it easier for small businesses to send event invitations, email promotions, and special offers to each type of customer. Clients can also create their own customer segments and create additional groups. Customer emails and credit cards are linked to make it possible to track which customers come into the store to shop because of an email, and which customers have lapsed.

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Square has clearly caught on to the fact that their clients need to leverage email marketing to increase customer retention. Small businesses like cafes, coffee shops, and local boutiques rely on repeat customers to stay in business. With Square, it’ll be easier than ever for brick- and-mortar businesses to track if a Yelp promotion or local Groupon or LivingSocial campaign translates into increased revenues and more loyal customers.

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Customer retention and omnichannel marketing doesn’t apply only to ecommerce and large retailers. In fact, if small and mid-sized brick-and-mortar stores don’t leverage customer data, they risk being left out of a rapidly evolving retail experience. As ecommerce moves from clicks-to-bricks, physical stores have to expand more aggressively into email marketing. And unsegmented, batch-and-blast emails is not enough.

Square Marketing seems to be the next big leap forward for Square as it solidifies its reputation as the go-to resource for small business. It’ll be interesting to see if other point-of-sale systems will follow suit.