Businesses will rely on email marketing over Christmas, according to a survey.

Constant Contact’s Fourth Annual Small Business Holiday Outlook’s poll found that almost a third (60 per cent) of small businesses say they rely on email advertising as part of their online marketing strategy during the festive season.

This in turn beats direct mail, flyers and advertising, with more than half of the respondents (53 per cent) beginning their online marketing campaigns earlier this year.

Co-founder of online retailer Bella of Cape Cod, Megan Murphy, said: "Our overall … strategy has always included email marketing to our existing customers, as they are most likely to shop with us again. Dollar for dollar, it is by far our best method of communication."

Meanwhile, email marketing has seen a rise of four per cent, with Friday now being the most popular day to send marketing messages, according to a blog.

Writing on the Retail Email Blog, Chad White, director of retail insights at the Email Experience Council, attributed Friday’s popularity in email marketing to Halloween falling on a weekday, meaning holiday references are leading "all season references".

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