Like any other business, your startup needs to establish a customer base and build relationships. What better way to do this than through email marketing!
Email marketing can help you generate leads for your company, increase brand awareness, and even land the sale of a product or service. While some may believe that email marketing is an outdated method, the stats continue to prove that email marketing works – and works well!
Why should your startup care?
Before we dive in, let’s discuss why email marketing is an important tool for your startup growth. There are many benefits that email marketing can provide for your startup, depending on what you’re looking to accomplish.
For instance, if customer acquisition is your goal, you would focus on sending emails that generate interest in your product or service. If lead generation interests you, then the email should be more informational and encourage potential customers to sign up for a newsletter or other offer from your company.
However, email marketing can be a double-edged sword. When not executed properly, it can be a waste of time, money, and potentially your business’s brand reputation! So let’s break down 7 email marketing mistakes that your startup venture or small business should avoid at all costs.
Mistake #1: Creating email campaigns with no purpose or strategy
An effective startup email campaign should be designed with the specific goal of meeting your company’s needs. A marketing plan tailored to meet these needs will provide value for your startup and ensure you accomplish what you set out to do efficiently.
Unfortunately, too many email marketing campaigns are built and launched without a well-designed purpose. Emails are written and sent in a shotgun fashion without a purpose or solutions.
The more focused the effort, the better chance for effective results; without specific goals, you’ll never know if your email campaign was successful.
Here are a few goals that can help you ensure your email marketing is hitting the right benchmarks:
- Lead generation
- Generating sales or revenue
- Increasing social media engagement
- Improving brand awareness
- Liking your Facebook page or following you on Twitter, etc.
Mistake #2: You haven’t built a strong email list
One of the most important components of any email marketing campaign is building a list of recipients. Without a well-built email list, you are essentially throwing your time and money away, as there is no guarantee that your emails will land in any inboxes.
Startups thrive on leads. Without the ability to reach anyone with your startup’s information, you will lack the ability to build a following that can help you grow and scale.
It is possible to create a list from scratch by obtaining addresses and emails manually through different avenues such as social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter or even old-fashioned offline marketing methods like flyers in the nearest coffee shop. However, this can be a lengthy and difficult process that requires significant time.
A more practical approach is to use email marketing tools to provide you with an existing list of emails from your previous campaigns and tools to help individuals easily sign up or unsubscribe from your email list with a single click.
Mistake #3: You are reinventing the wheel and not using existing templates
With email marketing, you have the option of using an existing template or creating your own. Email templates are a powerful tool that can be used to save time and money while still providing quality content for potential customers.
Templates created by other successful companies provide proven strategies for success and can help avoid common mistakes when designing your campaign from scratch. They can also save you time from having to “reinvent the wheel” and create your own templates.
Mistake #4: You aren’t testing and optimising your emails for effectiveness
Too many startups don’t test their emails to see if they are effective. They send out a campaign without knowing who is opening the email, what happens when people click on links in the email, or how long recipients view the content for.
Analytics and optimisation are the lifeblood of a successful and innovative startup. Make sure you apply the same amount of experimentation and testing to your email marketing efforts as you do with other aspects of the business. This will help you create high-value email content that your subscribers actually read – and click-through for further calls to action.
Speaking of CTAs…
Mistake #5: Your emails don’t have a clear call to action
By not providing a clear call to action in your email, you are essentially shooting yourself in the foot. Remember that your goal as a startup is to build interest, momentum, and potential client or investor engagement. Make sure they have a way to do so clearly with a single call to action that is easy to find and to click.
There is a cause-and-effect relationship between emails and clicks. When potential customers see something they want or need, they are more inclined to click on that link and take further action.
When people know what actions can be taken from reading an email, they are more likely to take that action. Whether your CTA is to sign up for your newsletter, purchase a product or service, read more about your startup – make sure it’s clear and easy to understand.
Mistake #6: Not inviting customer feedback in emails
Email marketing is a great way to get customer feedback, which is vital for building your startup. You may have a great idea that you think will change the market forever, but do your potential customers or stakeholders share the same feelings?
Use your emails to invite customer feedback, and make the process easy. You can utilise your email marketing to invite customer reviews or testimonials, survey recipients about how the email made them feel, and ask if there are any features to your product that would make your emails more appealing.
You can take your customer feedback process further with analytics and feedback from tools such as Userback, which allows startups to engage with customers or clients with high-quality visual feedback in real-time.
Customers will not only be happy with the opportunity to provide feedback, but you will also learn what they like and dislike about your product before it launches.
Mistake #7: Not scaling your emails alongside your startup
Your startup is likely growing and changing, so it’s important to make sure your email marketing strategy evolves as well. Always analyse the success of your email marketing process, asking yourself questions such as:
- Are my email goals still relevant to our current situation?
- Are we seeing continued success with our email marketing?
- Can we provide different resources or value-added benefits to our emails?
- Do we need to switch up our CTAs or boost our list with new lead generation?
It’s important not only to grow your customer base but also to retain them. Your startup may be growing, but your emails need to as well to maintain engagement.
Scale your startup for success
As a startup founder, you wear many hats. Trying to maintain your digital marketing strategy can almost feel like another full-time role!
Fortunately, by avoiding these seven mistakes and setting up a consistent methodology, you can continue growing your business and focus on what really matters – your startup’s future.