The Importance of Email Marketing for Startups

Melanie Balke
October 31, 2023

Owning a business is rough, but owning a new business is beyond stressful! You’re already battling a wildly crowded marketplace, and finding the right marketing channels may seem impossible!

Beyond those worries, you must contend with your duty as a leader. Your business needs you! You don’t have time to jet about and promote things while running the company. So, what do you do?

Worry not, entrepreneurs! There’s a simple solution…

Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective digital strategies. It’s wildly accessible, simple to set up, and (seemingly) easy to learn. However, we can’t get too far ahead of ourselves! Even the best-laid plans can go awry. It takes more than an email marketing platform and some generic flows to reap the benefits of this marketing strategy.

So, get ready to learn about the wild world of email marketing for startups!

Why Have Email Marketing for Startups?

Let’s start with the benefits of this marketing channel.

Of the many digital marketing strategies, email remains one of the most enduring, cost-effective ways to reach your audience. It’s an on-demand and on-the-go way to connect with customers, and its flexibility makes it the perfect vector for your campaign ideas.

Email Marketing by Numbers

On its own, email marketing has a remarkable 4,400% average ROI. That means most campaigns earn an average of $44 for every dollar spent! But the fun doesn’t stop there. Take a look at these mind-boggling facts about online shopping and email marketing efforts:

  • 72% of consumers prefer email marketing compared to other marketing channels. Within the same group, only 17% ranked social media as their preferred communication channel.
  • 42% of consumers research products online before purchasing them. And guess what email marketing strategies deliver? (Spoiler: Information. The answer is information.)
  • 21% of consumers prefer online shopping over brick-and-mortar experiences. Notably, modern advances in email technology make it easy to embed purchase options within an email, making it easier than ever to buy that eye-catching item.
  • 14.1% of all third-quarter purchases in 2022 came from e-commerce, a source that owes much of its success to marketing emails.

And let’s not forget the 4 billion email users of the world! Yes, over half the global population has and uses email in their daily lives. That’s a lot of potential customers, and — unlike social media — they’re in a central place.

Nonetheless, numbers can’t tell the whole story. Email marketing software has grown tremendously since the 1980s. It’s even unrecognizable from its early 2000s iterations. Now, your email marketing campaigns are backed by the latest and greatest tech. Even the simplest email marketing platform boasts internal capabilities we wouldn’t have dreamed of a decade ago!

Summarily, your digital marketing strategy needs email marketing. And I’ll tell you why!

The Basic Benefits of Email Marketing

Regardless of your industry or status, your business gains plenty of “generic” perks from email marketing. These out-of-the-box benefits are near-universal, relying on little more than understanding the cornerstones of this marketing strategy.

(Of course, you can’t expect these results a day or two after your first welcome emails! Marketing takes time, and you must give your promotional offers ample time to “warm up,” so speak.)

Your first signs of success will be improved key metrics, such as:

  • Brand Recognition: While there are many ways to measure this metric, brand recognition indicates potential customers’ familiarity with your business. As a small business, one of your biggest goals should be improving this metric!
  • Conversion Rates: A proportional measurement of how many subscribers “convert” by performing the desired action. Conversions may include purchases, recommendations, or subscriptions.
  • Customer Lifetime Value: The amount of money an average customer spends during their relationship with your brand.
  • Engagement Rates: The number of people who read and interact with your email marketing.
  • Open Rates: How many people open and read your email campaigns?
  • Return on Investment: How much money are you earning for every dollar spent?

However, you’ll also see plenty of benefits that directly impact your small business’ success!

Improve Customer Retention

Small businesses owe much of their success to their audience. Regardless of the specifics, your target audience forms the foundation of your brand. These loyal consumers are some of your most valuable assets, and well-planned email marketing techniques can keep them actively engaged for as long as necessary.

Boost Customer Satisfaction

And how do you retain customers?

One of the best ways to keep that target audience engaged is top-tier service. No amount of targeted emails and customer data matches the value of exceptional customer service.

Fortunately, modern email marketing platforms make it easy to create and maintain automated workflows. Once established, these hands-off solutions tackle common problems and issues. Anything that cannot be handled by automation can easily be kicked up the chain, keeping your web traffic running smoothly.

What Makes a Successful Email Marketing Strategy?

Of course, you can’t just snag any old email marketing software off the Staples shelf and call it a day! It’s not enough to make email marketing campaigns; you need a cohesive, compelling email marketing strategy. You need an overarching goal, a showstopping voice, and an intimate understanding of your customer journeys.

Yes, anyone can make a sales email, but it takes insight and planning to produce consistent, successful email communications.

The Behind-the-Scenes Knowledge Powering Modern Email Marketing

While most email marketing software comes with built-in filters to reduce so-called “spammy words” and illegal practices, marketers must still understand the cornerstones of the industry. Regardless of your brand’s size, status, or sector, the success of your email marketing strategies boils down to five essential factors:

  • Budget: This one’s obvious, but it’s still important. More money doesn’t guarantee better email content. Balance your monetary investment with your expectations and needs.
  • Customer Acquisition: Where will you get your customer data? How will you grow your list?
  • Customer Journeys: Where will customers go? What are they doing? Perhaps more importantly, how will your call-to-action (CTA) reflect this?
  • Internal Goals: What are your desired results?
  • Target Market: Who are you selling to, and why?

Together, these email marketing concepts form the bulk of your overall strategy. They can be sculpted to fit any need, but they’re the basis of every strong relationship.

Your First Email Marketing Campaigns

Next, you need a way to reach those prospective customers.

Armed with your email marketing software and a dream, it’s time for you to take those first steps! Many early marketing campaigns utilize basic email templates. These may not be flashy, but their lack of dynamic content is easily masked with eye-popping visuals and clever copywriting.

Your first campaigns will be automated flows and transactional emails, such as…

  • Automated campaigns (e.g., abandoned cart flows and onboarding emails)
  • Email alerts
  • Post-purchase flows (considered part of the umbrella of “transactional emails”)
  • Welcome emails and similarly triggered responses to subscription forms

Only after you’ve refined these flows should you begin your one-off emails!

Building Your Email Marketing Campaign

Here’s the bad news: It takes a lot of work to create delightful email marketing. Moreover, even the best marketing strategy can’t salvage lackluster content. Email marketing software can help, but it won’t build your emails for you, nor will it be able to write compelling subject lines.

For this, you need a marketing partner.

You also need content and a vision.

Breaking these into their essential parts, you may become overwhelmed! Simply fulfilling the first of these requirements is a daunting task. Truly engaging content requires a holistic understanding of your email marketing tool. You must also know a variety of skills, such as…

  • A/B testing to supercharge your ROI
  • Coding tricks to meld your email marketing strategy with your website
  • Data analysis (closely related to A/B testing)
  • Implementation of dynamic content, personalized emails, scheduled campaigns, and more
  • Psychological tricks to drive conversions
  • Website management, especially within the realm of landing pages

And that’s not even touching the visual aspect of email marketing because…

Email Marketing Software Can’t Do Everything

Even the trustiest tools have their limits.

Many email marketing platforms require extra help to make an email campaign shine. On a visual level, marketing pros often struggle against various mobile devices. Your email subject line may look great on your desktop, but how does it appear on a mobile device? What about email subscribers with older phones — can they still read your content?

Find Marketing Pros

Ultimately, it’s not enough to have an email list. And you need more than the ability to send emails.

Startups build incredibly unique relationships with each customer, and your email marketing strategy plays a huge role in maintaining those bonds. Are you willing to leave that to chance?

While you can manage your own email marketing strategy, maintaining the necessary services can become a burden on your brand’s overall infrastructure. Fortunately, there’s a solution.

My hand-picked team of pros at The Email Marketers knows the ins and outs of this unique industry. They know how to deliver consistent, relevant content to your customers. More importantly, they’ll help your startup create the hype and trust it needs to succeed.

If you’re ready to take full advantage of email marketing’s power as a direct link to your brand, schedule a free strategy session today. We can discuss your brand’s needs, and I’ll show you how an individualized email marketing strategy can take your business to the next level!