Contrary to what some predicted when social media arrived on the scene, email marketing is not dead. On the contrary, the use of email is in fact growing. According to Statista, there were 3.7 billion email users worldwide in 2017, and by 2022 that number is predicted to grow to 4.3 billion.
Email marketing is still a viable and highly effective tool in any digital marketer’s toolkit. When used properly, it is a fantastic way to connect with your prospects and customers in an increasingly personal way. But, how can you effectively leverage email marketing to drive results? Here, we dig into the nitty-gritty of email marketing for startups to guide you towards success.
What is email marketing?
Today, nearly every business uses a marketing automation (MA) solution for email marketing. These systems allow users to streamline the creation of emails using intuitive drag and drop email builders. They then let you filter out a distribution list based on desired criteria around a certain demographic. Once done, the email sending can be automated and sent to that group of recipients at a specified time, or right away.
Companies use email marketing to run lead generation and nurture campaigns; send email newsletters to their customers and prospects; get the word out about new products or special offers; and a lot more.
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Why is email marketing essential for growth?
Startups need to grow and scale rapidly. They have a small window of time in which to take off. Otherwise, they’ll be relegated to the annals of history. According to Forbes, nine of out every ten startups fail.
Email marketing helps you expand the reach of your brand quickly. All you need are names and email addresses in your database, and you can send emails on day one to promote and grow your business. There are many ways to grow your email list. Regardless of how you grow your list, it’s imperative that you do so if you’re going to be that one out of ten that succeed.
Mobile responsiveness is more important than ever
Email users increasingly access their accounts via mobile devices. It’s critically important that the MA solution you choose allows you to send mobile responsive emails that adapt to the screen on which the email is viewed. There are several types of mobile device, and your email should be easily legible on them all—as well as on laptops and desktops. If not, your email will be hard to read, recipients will have to zoom and scroll to view it, and will likely delete it out of frustration.
Consider these statistics around mobile email use:
- By 2019, 80% of those who use email are likely to access their accounts exclusively from mobile devices. (Source: The Radicati Group)
- 20% to 75% of marketing emails are now opened on mobile devices, depending on your audience, product, and the type of email you send. (Source: eMailmonday)
- At the end of 2017, it was calculated that 51% of emails were being read on mobile devices. (Source: Litmus)
How can startups generate ROI through email marketing?
In addition to helping a startup get off the ground, there are many benefits that produce ROI for startups using email marketing. Here, the numbers speak for themselves:
- On average, each dollar you spend on email marketing produces an ROI of $44. (Source: Campaign Monitor)
- Email marketing produces more conversions than any other digital marketing channel, including online search and social media. (Source: Monetate)
- When you automate your email sends, you see on average 70.5% higher open rates and 152% higher click-through rates than one-off email messages. (Source: Epsilon Email Institute)
- Email marketing produces 174% more conversions than social media marketing. (Campaign Monitor)
- 85% of retailers in the US say email marketing is among their most successful strategies for customer acquisition. (Forrester Research)
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Automation streamlines your process
You can send segmented and personalized emails to your customers and prospects in large batches using an MA solution. A new email can be formatted, set up, and triggered to send to a specific list of recipients in a matter of minutes. Then you can go back to your day and focus on higher-value tasks.
This automation saves immense amounts of time that startups need to devote to more important things, such as forming a strategy and nurturing relationships with prospects and new customers. Automated email marketing lets you spend more time growing your business and less on routine, time-consuming administration.
Email contact list management
All of the contacts who you will be sending emails to are stored in a central database. Normally, that database is contained within a customer relationship management (CRM) system, which is integrated with your MA solution. Other vendors offer all-in-one CRMs that include a CRM and an entire marketing automation solution on the same platform.
Over time, you gather immense amounts of data about each contact, starting with basic contact info, and eventually including buying patterns, interests, etc. With all this information, you can create highly segmented email lists that enable you to very accurately target your email message to the recipient’s demographics, interests, needs, etc. Data collection is all automated as well, with the landing pages and web forms that your MA solution should provide.
Metrics and measurement
Any email marketing platform worth its salt will provide you with metrics that allow you to see how your email marketing efforts are performing over time. You should have access to email open and click-through rates, deliverability rates, unsubscribe rates, bounce rates, and more. These metrics let you quickly identify when a subject line isn’t working (i.e., when open rates are low), or your email body needs work (i.e., when click-through rates are low).
Startups don’t have much room for error, and measurement helps you see how you’re moving the needle on a daily basis. Plus, most systems will provide a dashboard where you can get at-a-glance views into email performance whenever you need.
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Email marketing, as mentioned above, is very much alive and well. Indeed, it continues to drive incredible ROI for digital marketers around the globe. There are over 5 billion email accounts in existence, which is up from 4.1 billion in 2014. That’s a billion new email accounts created in under four years.
Email isn’t going anywhere. So, startups need to take the art and science of email marketing quite seriously if they are to survive the initial shock of “starting up.” Just as a fraction of baby sea turtles actually makes it to the water without being eaten alive, new startups must surpass major initial hurdles to get up and running. Email marketing should be part of the core of efforts to surpass those hurdles. Once they are surpassed, there is a great big ocean out there ripe for the taking.
This article is written by Gabriel Swain. Gabriel has over eight years of content marketing experience in the software and technology space. He also has over 12 years of professional writing experience, both in the nonprofit and corporate contexts. His work has been widely published in industry blogs, as well as academic, government and nonprofit publications. Follow him on LinkedIn.