Email Marketing: a useful strategy for startups

email marketing

Table of Contents

Email Marketing is the most powerful form of direct marketing because through emails we can establish a relationship with potential and actual customers destined to last over time.

With the advent of social media, the false belief that emails are an outdated channel has also spread. Nothing could be more wrong! This type of marketing remains the most used and effective to create conversions and establish relationships with customers, in a short time and with a limited budget.

Keep reading this article to find out how to create a contact list, how to write a persuasive email, how to manage the creation of an email campaign, and much more.

What are Email Marketing and campaigns

As we anticipated, Email Marketing is a type of direct marketing; in fact, its definition comes from the acronym DEM, or Direct Email Marketing. Thanks to this strategy, you can create direct contact with your customer, using electronic mail to send informative and commercial messages to promote products, services, offers and much more.

For many, it can be defined as the most effective strategy to sell online, and it is no coincidence that all large multinationals use it to create ongoing relationships with their customers. But don’t worry, this tool is suitable for startups and businesses of all sizes and types.

Thanks to this marketing tool, you can attract new customers, retain existing ones, and therefore establish stable relationships with your target audience and increasing loyalty towards your business in a simple and fast way.

By Email Marketing campaigns, or DEM campaigns, we mean the automated sending of newsletters and personalized emails, which are useful to convey targeted advertising or informational messages, created ad hoc for the different segments of the audience.

The benefits of Email Marketing for your strategy

Email Marketing is a real source of opportunities for every startups and company and allows you to achieve excellent results thanks to the many advantages it offers.

Are you still not sure to use it in your strategy? Read the main benefits it can give to your company or startup below:

  • Reduced costs: starting a DEM campaign and relying on one of the many tools for automating the sending of promotional messages allows you to achieve high-performance results with a limited budget compared to other advertising methods.
  • Speed: this form of direct marketing is practically immediate, the times for receiving and reading emails are almost zero and within a few seconds you can reach a large number of potential and actual customers.
  • Simplicity: preparing a DEM campaign and including it into your strategy is simple both in terms of graphics and in terms of management, so you don’t need to have specific skills to get good results.
  • Personalization: you can customize your emails by entering the addressee’s name and building the content based on your needs, thus, to create a personal bond with the customer and increase engagement.
  • Push messages: with DEM campaigns you can ensure that the message is pushed to your target audience, therefore you don’t have to wait for users to find you.
  • Brand Awareness: with DEM campaigns you can provide your audience with targeted, quality, and valuable content, creating a real opportunity to increase the brand awareness of your business.
  • Web Reputation: sending quality and well-structured emails makes the corporate brand reliable and professional, increasing trust and loyalty.
  • ROI (Return on Investment): various market research show that Email Marketing is one of the most effective and fastest direct marketing tools in terms of ROI. The average return on investment is estimated at around 122%.
  • Segmentation: Email Marketing allows you to convey messages in a targeted and individual way. With the related tools, in fact, you can segment your target, creating different groups based on characteristics such as gender, age or location.
  • Measurement: thanks to Email Marketing tools you can monitor and analyse the results of your campaigns in a simple way. You will then be able to understand what works and what needs to be changed, to create better and better content and optimize performances.

How Email Marketing works

Do you want to use emails to present your products and services and bring more visitors to your website? Do you want to use them to achieve commercial results? 

Regardless of your goals, it is always a good idea to start by creating a list of people who have expressed interest in your business. How can you do it? When talking to customers, kindly ask them to give you their email address to send them discounts and special offers. Otherwise, if you have a website, enter a form, and invite visitors to sign up online. Remember that people need to authorize you to send them commercial emails and that in many countries there are laws that require explicit consent. On this topic please read also GDPR tools: more than 30 platforms for your business and Privacy Policy generators: review of Iubenda tool on our blog.

Once you have obtained your list of contacts, you can start building an Email Marketing strategy and the first step should be setting your goals. For example, your goals could be:

  • Introduce yourself and your activity: start by saying hello and introducing yourself in a friendly way and then submit information about your store and products.
  • Find out the interests of your customers: it will allow you to send them specific offers or content that they may find interesting.
  • Find out how your customers prefer to be contacted: you can also write down what you have discovered in your contact database for future email campaigns.
  • Request feedbacks: knowing what worked or what went wrong, you can propose solutions to their problems or simply thank them for being your customers.

The functions of Email Marketing

You probably think that an email is just a message that you send to your customers, but it is much more. In fact, they allow to do multiple things, such as:

  • Use email templates: you can reuse the same template multiple times for similar email campaigns or use different templates according to the interests of your customers.
  • Make your emails mobile-proof: many Email Marketing tools allow you to preview the message on different devices before sending.
  • Schedule your emails: you can send an email right away or choose another time or day.
  • Track your customers’ behaviour: an Email Marketing tool can also be used to check what users do once they receive the email.

How to write a persuasive email

To get customers to read your newsletter, you first need to get them to open the email. It is all about making a good first impression. Think about what customers see when they check their inbox. Will your email make them want to open it?

Here are some hints to make your Email Marketing campaigns more effective:

  • Use a name and an email address that clearly identify your business. People are more likely to open an email sent from someone they know and trust. 
  • Your subject should be simple and short. You can try to enclose the most valuable and relevant information contained in the email and, if possible, customize or locate the object.
  • Terms such as “free”, “discount”, “reminder” and “special offers”, as well as symbols such as euros and exclamation points, should be avoided as they activate spam filters. 
  • Write concise content and get straight to the point. In fact, paragraphs should be short (three sentences maximum) and focused on a single idea. You can always place a link to an article or additional information on your website.
  • Use a style that is as persuasive and engaging as possible. 
  • Use the tone that best suits your audience but remember that newsletters give you the opportunity to take on a slightly more informal tone.
  • Use graphics and bold to highlight important contents and offers. 
  • Add a link at the bottom of the email that allows customers to unsubscribe, change their email preferences or update their contact information. This is not only a sign of great customer service but is also a legal requirement in many countries.

How to manage the creation of an email campaign

There are various aspects to manage in the creation of an email campaign. First, let’s talk about how you can leverage A/B testing, or Split Testing, to increase the number of people who open your emails and click to visit your website.

A/B testing consists of creating two versions of the same email to see which one gets the best results. You can use it to test different objects, frequencies, content, and images. Let’s say that you want to send an email to launch a new product, but you are unsure about the best item to use. You can send half of your customers version A of the item and the other half version B. At this point, check which email has registered the highest “open rate”: how many people have opened your email compared to the number of messages delivered? The version with the highest open rate wins!

Then, remember to choose or create specific landing pages for your email campaigns because it is the first page your customers see when they land on your website. In this way, the customer who clicks on a link in the email will be directed to a relevant web page. In addition, keep in mind that people may be reading your emails on their smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop. The landing pages must therefore function correctly on all these devices.

Finally, like any type of online marketing, Email Marketing is easy to measure. In fact, email services usually also include analysis tools, to allow you to monitor and measure the progress of your campaigns. Reports can show you interesting data, such as “open rates” to help you understand which objects are the most compelling, or “click-through rate“, which indicates how many people click on a link in the email.

How to measure the results of an Email Marketing campaign

With your email platform analytics tool, you can find out how many users access your website by clicking on your email or how many complete a call to action you define, such as making an online purchase with a discount code. This informed decision-making can improve conversion rates and help you optimize future campaigns.

The benefits of analysing email metrics are therefore obvious. But what information or suggestions can each single metric give you? Let’s look at five useful Email Marketing metrics:

  1. Open Rate: it is the ratio between the users who opened the email and the total number of people who received it.
  2. Click-to-Open Rate: it reports total clicks against opened emails.
  3. Conversion Rate: it indicates the ratio between the recipients of the email and the number of users who registered for the event.
  4. Soft bouncing: the email is rejected by the user’s server because the mailbox is full or has size limits.
  5. Hard bouncing: emails are blocked, or the address used is incorrect.

Thanks to the information provided by the metrics you can understand what works and what needs to be improved. The next move will be to modify future campaigns by improving the subject, changing the type of content published or updating the subscriber list.

Conclusions on Email Marketing

Have we convinced you about the usefulness of Email Marketing for your strategy? In this article, we provided you with all the necessary information on this topic and we hope that we made the functioning of email campaigns clearer and more appealing for you. 

If you are interested in Email Marketing, please read also: Email Marketing Tools: the best 20 platforms and Email Marketing: review of Mailchimp tool

For more information read also the related white paper that you find on this page Digital Marketing for Startups