Email marketing is not dead – far from it. According to Forbes, email marketing generates $42 in ROI for every dollar spent. Not a bad return on your investment!
Before you can reap the rewards of a great email strategy, it’s good to learn a few things. In this post, I’ll tell you what makes email marketing so beneficial. Then, you’ll see my favorite email marketing tips that work well for startup companies.
Let Content Marketing Life teach you about email marketing for startups.
Table of Contents
What makes email marketing campaigns so beneficial?
Before you put in the time and energy that email marketing requires, it’s understandable to wonder if it’s all worth it. You might rethink these thoughts after learning the many benefits of email marketing.
According to HubSpot, 59% of those surveyed report that marketing emails influence their purchasing decisions. When the right email reaches someone at a time they’re ready to buy, magic happens for the company sending that digital message.
You can use an email strategy to introduce new products or services to your audience. Some startups use email marketing-related data to send personalized emails, knowing a customer recently visited a certain product or service page.
A channel you control
There’s almost nothing more frustrating for a marketer than algorithms. First, an algorithm is impossible for us to control. The algorithms change, and the world responds to said changes. Another reason algorithms suck (besides being hard to spell) is that they can and often do change.
Fortunately, utilizing email marketing strategies gives you a break from bending over backward for social media or search engine-related algorithms. Email campaigns don’t depend on algorithms.
With engaging content in emails, you don’t have to worry about losing an audience. You also won’t have to deal with reaching a big audience one day and barely anyone the next day.
Choose when you reach your audience
Another great benefit of email marketing is controlling when emails go out. If you believe that your readers are morning people, send it out in the morning. Do you have a lot of people reading emails during evening commutes? Start sending your newsletter in the evening hours.
At first, it will be tough to know when to send your relevant content. Fortunately, you can look at email-related data as you continue your email campaign. Soon, you should notice peak times or dates when your emails reach the most people.
Bring visitors to your website (or anywhere else)
Startups also like sending marketing emails because they can drive a lot of traffic. Let’s say that your startup published an interesting new blog post. Through the power of email marketing, you can send out a message that lets readers know about your new content.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
You can use emails to send readers to videos, product pages, social media posts, and anywhere else on the internet.
9 tips to form the perfect email marketing strategy
Setting up a great email marketing strategy is a process that involves getting several things right. Fortunately, Content Marketing Life has tips to help you get the most readers and revenue from your email marketing.
1. Using great opt-in forms
Before you can reach people in your target market, they’ll need to agree to receive your emails. That’s because of the CAN-SPAM Act (in the United States, anyway). Is it just me, or is it ironic that laws prohibiting spam have a name that sounds like it’s allowing spam?
Anyway, one of the CAN-SPAM Act’s rules states that someone must choose to receive emails from another party. Fortunately, you can build up your number of subscribers with a nice opt-in form.
If the name of this form doesn’t sound familiar, I can almost guarantee you’ve seen an opt-in form.
The goal of an opt-in form is to get someone’s email address. Other forms might also ask for a name, which is also a good idea. Unless you must have it, I recommend just getting a name and email address for now.
2. Giving value to your readers
If you only completed the previous step, you’re likely wondering why you’re not getting a lot of new subscribers. Your subscriber count could be low because these people aren’t incentivized enough.
One of the best ways to gain more email sign-ups is with a discount. You’ll see companies giving away discounts all the time. But what if your company can’t afford to or doesn’t want to offer discounts for email addresses?
Here are some other ways you can get people to sign up for your email newsletters:
- Have your startup begin a sweepstakes or giveaway that’s only for email subscribers.
- Gain more subscribers by giving away digital documents like a how-to guide or other helpful information about a topic your readers find relevant.
- Encourage people already receiving your emails to refer this newsletter to potentially interested friends, family members, or work colleagues.
3. Writing subject lines that get clicks
We now come to arguably the most important part of an email: the subject line. Think of an email’s subject line as the title of an article.
The first thing someone will see before deciding whether or not to read your email is its subject line. So, it’s important that your subject makes a great first impression.
My best tip for writing great subject lines is to put the most important information first. Before smartphones and tablets were available, an email marketer had quite a bit of room with their subject lines.
The average mobile user email program will only display the first 36-42 characters of an email’s subject line. If you put the important information in the second half of your title, your mobile audience could miss it.
4. Creating a series of welcome emails
There are probably lots of things you’d like new customers or leads to know about your business. However, you don’t want to overwhelm these people with too much information at once. Fortunately, a welcome email or series of onboarding emails eliminates confusion for potential customers.
You can use a welcome email to introduce your business or yourself. It’s also good to include genuine thanks for this person choosing to give you their email address.
If your startup offers a complex product or service, you can use onboarding emails to walk readers through everything your company offers.
Tip: Include a place for readers to leave their questions or comments. The data you get from your readers could provide valuable help in fine-tuning your emails and other marketing channels.
5. Including call to action statements
It’s important for every piece of content to have some kind of goal. A great way to encourage someone to take the next step is by creating a call to action (CTA).
A CTA is typically two to four words and is typically some kind of command.
Here are several examples of common CTAs you might see around the web:
- Sign up now
- Attend the webinar
- Buy now
I could go on, but I think you get the idea.
Your business can also put CTAs in the body of its emails. I also recommend using your email marketing software of choice to see how your CTAs perform over time.
6. Avoiding the use of spammy words
Being new to the world of email marketing (at the time), I included two simple words somewhere in the body of this email: click here. Right away, I get a message requesting a quick video chat. From her urgency, you’d have thought I walked into this lady’s office and set it on fire.
During our video chat, she reminded me that email programs recognize certain words as spam, especially words like “click here.” While I think her “help” was a little much, this story’s point is to avoid using words in your emails that might set off spam filters.
You can see HubSpot’s full list of email spam trigger words here.
Don’t let the fear of spammy phrases or words stop you from creating emails. You’ll learn what content email list subscribers read and what isn’t getting opened.
7. Choosing the right message with A/B testing
One of the best ways to offer a great experience to your customer base is by split or A/B testing the emails it sends.
Do you have the perfect image to use in an email, but you’re unsure about what words to use? Split-test different messages, send them out to segments of your list and find out which version performs best.
Don’t worry about needing coding knowledge to split test emails. Most email marketing software and programs make it easy to set up the email variations you want to send.
8. Avoiding going overboard
Sometimes, marketers go overboard. I’ve done it. I’ve seen many others come on a little too strong with email frequency.
Yes, essentially, someone filling out an opt-in form wants to receive emails from your business. That doesn’t give you a license to blast out unlimited emails into their inbox around the clock.
Some startups send out email newsletters once a week or once a month. If you have enough high-quality email content, there’s nothing wrong with sharing. But, generally speaking, aim to send emails once every few days or a few weeks.
9. Giving readers an easy way to unsubscribe
Hey – don’t leave just yet. I haven’t lost my mind – no business can avoid dealing with people who want to unsubscribe from future emails. And, when some of them do, make sure it’s easy to unsubscribe.
First, making it hard or impossible to unsubscribe can get your business in legal hot water. Second, don’t take a few people unsubscribing from your email personally. You can keep this list of emails for a potential re-engagement campaign.
I hope that this look at email marketing helps your startup gain lots of new readers (and customers). If you’d like more free content to help you out, check out Content Marketing Life’s Build a Better Startup blog. This blog features information about content marketing, social media campaigns, SEO tips, and much more.
Alex Eagleton is a copywriter and digital marketer passionate about helping companies connect with customers. Throughout the past decade, he’s worked with companies including Referral Rock, Connecteam, and Ramsey Solutions. He’s a versatile writer who understands how to align with companies, truly matching their voices and tones.
When he’s not writing, he enjoys spending time with his dogs, reading, and playing guitar.
You can reach him by emailing email@example.com.