Email marketing is one of the best tools a startup can use to build its business, stay in touch with its customers over time, as well as keep them updated on new products and services. This guide explains what email marketing is and provides practical steps startups can follow for developing and implementing a successful email marketing strategy.
What is email marketing?
Email activities which help your business gain brand awareness and customers fall under email marketing. The marketing emails your small business sends can be to inbound or outbound prospects. The content and goals of your marketing emails will vary based who your target audience and their stage within the marketing and sales funnel. For example, an inbound campaign to nurture new sign ups will highlight the benefits they can unlock by using your product and the call-to-action (CTA) will suggest purchasing an upgrade or logging back into the product whereas an outbound campaign to cold leads will explain the problem you are solving and the CTA might suggest booking a demo. Before doing any form of email marketing, it is important to define your ideal prospect’s buyer journey and to then identify the specific steps they’ll need to go through. Your email marketing strategy should then work with your digital marketing strategy to bring your prospect through the steps until they become a customer and engaged product user. To keep track on email campaigns, email monitoring software should be used.
How to create an email marketing campaign?
Once you have defined the buyer journey and stages, it is important to define email cadences which will aim to bring a prospect from one stage to the next. For each stage, you should define the landing pages each email will send a user who clicks on an email link to what success looks like so that you can establish the right metrics to track your performance. Whilst you can do A/B testing to optimise click-through and open rates, it is only effective if you have a large enough volume of qualified email prospects to start with.
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How to find the right email marketing tools for your startup?
To launch your startup email marketing efforts, you will need some basic automation tools which will help you manage email lists, unsubscribe links and actions as well as basic tracking of opens and clicks to monitor your progress and optimise your strategy. If you are launching an email newsletter to build a following and brand awareness then platforms like Substack or Mailchimp offer all the email templates and tracking functionality to get started cost-effectively. A CRM with email automation might be more appropriate if you are looking to reach potential customers via cold outreach. If you are looking to integrate transactional emails within your product then you can consider using an API first solution like Sendgrid. Connecting your email marketing tools to your google analytics account will allow you to monitor your website performance and compare email marketing with all your other marketing channels.
Email marketing tips for better results
Once you have email marketing systems and processes in your startup, you can start to make tactical improvements to optimise your results. For example, as a new company you may struggle with deliverability issues as email providers won’t know whether to trust your emails or not. If you are using a branded email to contact your email subscribers, ensure you have the right DMARC settings in place and consider obtaining a BIMI record. If you are not using a branded email then ensure the contents of your email don’t include spammy keywords. Since the majority of emails are opened on mobile devices, it is also important to ensure your email subject line, email template and email messages are responsive and mobile friendly. To ensure the effectiveness of your email marketing, your landing pages and website pages should be mobile friendly too which will also benefit your startup SEO efforts. Finally, to increase your likelihood of obtaining new customers and generate new business for your startup, ensure your emails are tailored to your contact list and that you have as few generic emails as possible. People are more likely to respond to an email addressed to them as opposed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This guide has shared an email marketing strategy which will allow entrepreneurs to send effective emails from day one. A holistic marketing strategy should also consider other channels such as SEO and social media which can also help startups build their subscriber lists. Finding a social media intern to help you with your email marketing can be a great option for early-stage founders. To ensure you have the right legals in place, create an internship agreement with Legislate by signing up today.
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