Running a start-up and successfully navigating the early stages of growth can be a daunting task. There are a million things to think about and a million more things that you don’t even know you should be thinking about. From managing relationships with investors to product development, it’s easy to see how some things can fall through the cracks.
One of the areas that many start-ups struggle with is marketing. Not only do they have to worry about generating buzz for their product or service, but they also have to find ways to reach their target audience.
With so many different channels and marketing methods available, it’s easy for start-ups to overcomplicate things or, even worse, to overlook some of the most effective marketing tools available.
One of those tools is email.
The underappreciated power of email
In a world where social media and paid advertising seem to dominate the marketing landscape, email can often be overlooked. But the truth is, email is still one of the most effective marketing channels available, especially for start-ups.
Depending on the industry your start-up operates in, email can yield up to a staggering 4,500% return (45:1 ROI). Considering the fact that most start-ups have a limited budget to work with, it would be borderline foolish to overlook such a high return on investment opportunity.
But that’s not all. Email offers companies far more than just a high ROI. Here are some of the main reasons why start-ups should make email a key part of their marketing strategy:
Email is personal
One of the things that set email apart from other marketing channels is the fact that it’s personal. When someone subscribes to your email list, they’re essentially giving you permission to contact them directly. This is a level of permission that’s very hard to come by on other channels.
What’s more, when you send an email to someone, you have their undivided attention. Unlike social media, where your message is competing with a million other things for people’s attention, email ensures that your message is front and center.
This personalization and attention-grabbing power give start-ups a unique opportunity to build relationships with their customers and create a strong bond that can lead to loyalty and advocacy.
Email is measurable
In contrast to some marketing channels, there’s no guesswork involved in figuring out whether or not your email marketing campaign was successful.
With email, you can track things like open rates, click-through rates, unsubscribe rates, and more. This data gives you a clear picture of what’s working and what’s not so you can make the necessary adjustments to improve your results.
Email is flexible
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to email marketing. You can tailor your emails to fit any need or purpose. Whether you want to promote a new product, announce a sale, or simply share some news with your subscribers, email provides you with the perfect platform to do it. And, if you need help getting started, there are plenty of email templates and designs to choose from.
Email is affordable
Last but not least, email is a very affordable marketing solution, especially for start-ups. In most cases, all you need is an email service provider (ESP) and a list of subscribers. There are a number of great ESPs out there that offer free plans for small businesses, so cost shouldn’t be an issue.
Tips on how to make the most out of email marketing
Now that we’ve gone over some of the reasons why start-ups should be using email marketing, let’s take a look at some tips on how to make the most out of this channel.
1. Build your list from the ground up
One of the most important things you can do to ensure the success of your email marketing campaign is to build your list from scratch. In other words, don’t buy lists of email addresses or add people to your list without their permission.
The people on your list should be people who have actively signed up to receive emails from you. These are the people who are most likely to engage with your emails and, as a result, make up the core of your target audience.
2. Keep your emails short and sweet
When it comes to email, less is definitely more. In general, people prefer shorter emails that get straight to the point. This is especially true when it comes to promotional emails.
If you’re promoting a sale or special offer, make sure your email is clear and concise so people can easily see what’s being offered and take advantage of it. The last thing you want is for people to feel like they’re being bombarded with information and click away before they even get to the good stuff.
3. Build trust as a priority
When it comes to email marketing, trust is everything. If your subscribers don’t trust you, they’re not going to engage with your emails.
One of the best ways to do this is by staying consistent with your branding and getting across all of the important information about who you are, what you do, and why people should care.
Typically, it’s advised to always use a professional email signature that covers all of your basic details, such as your name, job title, social media links, and website. You can even include testimonials and other forms of social proof to help build trust with your subscribers.
Whether you are trying to set up a Gmail, Apple, or Outlook signature, there are plenty of email signature generators out there that can help you create a professional signature in just a few minutes – and the best part is that you can set them up for all employees across your start-up.
4. Include a strong call to action (CTA)
If you want people to take action after reading your email, you need to include a strong call to action (CTA). A CTA is simply an instruction telling the reader what you want them to do next.
Some examples of CTAs include “click here,” “sign up now,” or “learn more.” Your CTA should be clear and easy to understand so that people know exactly what you want them to do.
5. Include images and videos
Another great way to make your email more engaging is to include images and videos. People are visual creatures and, as such, are more likely to engage with emails that include visuals.
Including a few images or even a short video in your email can be a great way to grab people’s attention and get them interested in what you have to say.
6. Test, test, test
Last but not least, one of the most important things you can do to ensure the success of your email marketing campaign is to test, test, test. Try different things and see what works best for your business.
There’s no magic formula for email marketing success. The best way to find out what works is to experiment and see what gets the best results. So, don’t be afraid to try new things and see what works for you.
Email marketing is a powerful tool that every start-up should be utilizing. If you’re not already using email to reach your target audience, now is the time to start. With its low cost and high potential return on investment, email marketing is too good of an opportunity to pass up.