June 11, 2020
Email Marketing for Startups: 5 Things to Consider Before You Hit Send
When it comes to email marketing for startups, there are five things we recommend considering before hitting that send button. These ideas might help free up time, resources, and money by being more effective and efficient in your email marketing strategies:
Laser Focus Your Lists
You don’t want to send your emails to just anyone and not just anyone wants to receive your emails. The saying “quality vs. quantity” rings true here. Focusing your email marketing efforts and curating a select list of people will help with overall performance. Not all buyers are the same nor are they all in the same place in the sales cycle.
List segmentation allows you to pull contacts that meet certain criteria based on the information that’s in your database. According to HubSpot and the Lyris Annual Email Optimizer Report, 39% of marketers who segmented their email lists experienced higher open rates, 28% experienced lower unsubscribe rates and 24% experienced greater revenue.
To make this critical step even easier, when you utilize marketing automation software, list segmentation can be done automatically. If you aren’t currently utilizing marketing automaton, we recommend it. Especially if you have a large list of contacts, combing through them manually to create your lists can take a lot of time you may not have.
Now that you’ve got your carefully crafted email and targeted list, you need to make sure that you’re personalizing your email marketing efforts. Don’t just write to your “list”. Write to Joe Anderson or whatever individuals are on your list. This should be a human-to-human experience. We’ve all been on the receiving end of an impersonal, maybe even spammy email… did you read it? And if you did, did you feel valued or motivated to engage with the sender at all? I’m guessing not.
Here are a few examples of how to personalize email marketing for your startup:
- Address your recipient by name in the greeting
- Reference their company name
- Reference their role or job title
- Reference product or product category of interest
- Note mutual connections
- Reference the last piece of content they downloaded
- Acknowledge seasonality
- Send by timezone
- Include personalization tokens in the subject line
All that said, there’s such a thing as a diminishing return when it comes to personalizing your communications. In a study conducted by HubSpot, they found that personalization drives more replies, only up to a certain point. Once someone altered 50% or more of their email marketing template, the impact on the reply rate was negligible. Create your email templates and work to customize the important pieces that will drive results, but personalizing more than half of your template will not provide more replies. So save your time and energy for other efforts in your startup.
Make It Mobile-Friendly
Admit it. One of the first things you do when you wake up in the morning is check your phone. I wonder if your buyers are doing the same thing? With 68% of email campaigns being opened on a mobile device, they probably are. That’s why it’s important to ensure your emails are readable and ready to go for mobile.
When doing email marketing for your startup, how can you ensure your emails are mobile-friendly? Campaign Monitor suggests:
- Watch your subject line length to make sure it’s not too long
- Use pre-header text to add support to your subject line
- Keep your copy short and sweet to engage with buyers efficiently
- Give thought to your images as they won’t all show up on mobile devices
- Keep your CTAs front and center to get to the point quickly
- Make it click-friendly by leaving white space around links and CTAs
- Test your emails across multiple devices and email clients
In today’s digital age, customers expect emails to be mobile-friendly. If you’re not meeting that expectation, you’ll quickly find your emails in the trash or worse, viewers will unsubscribe.
Focus on Lead Nurturing
Sending one email does not an email marketing campaign make. To seriously make an impact with your email efforts, you need to focus on nurturing leads and not just spamming them with emails.
For a valuable, long-term nurturing strategy that allows you to move leads through the sales funnel at their own pace, we suggest an email drip campaign for lead nurturing, or as we refer to them as, nurture sequences. A drip campaign is a series of marketing emails that work together to move consumers toward a final conversion point. (Just don’t make these mistakes!)
These sequences should consist of helpful information, updates, products, services, and notifications spread out over time, meant to educate and engage your leads. The keyword here is “drip.” This is not an all at once blast of information; they should be sent slowly, providing ongoing value to readers.
Pro Tip: To ensure lead nurturing is most effective, we recommend having a lead scoring system in place. What this does is pinpoint where a lead is within the buyer’s journey and can provide you direction on how to best communicate with them going forward. To learn more about lead scoring, click here.
Take Advantage of Technology
As we mentioned above, one benefit of using marketing automation when it comes to email marketing is that you can automate your list segmentation. But that’s just the start. When you take advantage of automation software, you’re allowing the tool to work smarter and harder for you. Given the fact that none of us has an unlimited amount of time and money to dedicate to email marketing, we recommend this route.
Related Reading: 5 Fundamental Marketing Automation Tasks To Fuel Startup Growth
So, what other ways can marketing automation help with email marketing for startups?
- Segment and automatically pull lists
- Implement drip campaigns
- Schedule emails and campaigns in advance
- Personalize communications by including personalization “tokens” in your templates
- Create and save email templates
- Allows you to easily A/B test your campaigns
- Better reporting on what’s working and what’s not
- Automatically follow up with leads
- And more!
TL;DR (Also Known as Key Takeaways):
- Segment your lists. Casting a wide net might get you a lot of fish, but they probably aren’t all the fish you want to catch. Be specific and targeted with who you’re emailing and nurturing.
- Get personal. Personalize your communications, whether it’s a promotional email, a drip campaign, a thank you email, and beyond. This is true for leads and current customers. You’re emailing more than just an inbox, you’re emailing a person.
- Make your email mobile-friendly. 78% of people use their smartphones most often for email. Your buyers are reading your emails on their phones, so make sure they can actually read your emails on their phones.
- Be intentional with your emails and focus on lead nurturing. Set up drip campaigns and spread out the communications to leads. Allow them to move through the sales funnel at their own pace while engaging and educating them.
- If you can, use marketing automation. Make your life easier by putting technology to the test when it comes to email marketing. By automating some of the more time-intensive and manual tasks, this will free up your time and talents for other things.