Watching your startup grow and prosper is one of the most hectic, stressful, and rewarding experiences possible as an entrepreneur. However, failing to properly manage your organization’s presence in the inbox not only stymies the potential for growth and development of your company, it can also serve as the misstep that leads to the untimely demise of your business goals before they ever really get a chance to get going. If this doesn’t sound like the kind of future you want for your startup, let’s spend a few moments going over the “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of email marketing for this type of business venture.
The following “Do’s” should serve as the basis for your startup’s email marketing operations. While there are many other facets to this process, you’ll be hard pressed to go wrong if you build the foundation of your inbox outreach around these effective concepts and guidelines.
Do Start off with a Catchy Subject Line
As Larry Alton of Business 2 Community explains in his look at this piece of the startup puzzle, catchy subject lines offer a plethora of rewards for the entrepreneurs and brand managers who take the time to craft these “lead-off” inclusions within the email marketing process. A powerful subject line gets straight to the point by skipping over fluffy or needless wording and offering up a preview of what comes with an open of the message. Alliteration, humor, and other creative inclusions can help score some bonus points with your audience, so try to think outside of the box as you develop the subject lines that represent your email content.
Do Say “No Thanks” to Spam Tactics
In terms of sending out content to your contact list, be wary of the appeal of spam tactics. On the surface, bombarding your audience with incessant messages or firing off selections to users who may have already opted-out of your contact list seems like a free shot at conversions. However, adopting this mindset is an easy way to run afoul of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) and rack up steep fines and penalties.
Do Be Willing to Branch out into Multiple Types of Inbox Content
Once you start offering up content in the inbox, it’s important to understand that not everything has to be a sales pitch. In fact, your contact list will quickly tune you out if this is all your startup has to offer. Mixing in human interest stories, holiday-inspired emails, and other non-sales oriented messages helps endear your fledgling brand to these consumers that want to experience something more than just a thinly-veiled attempt at a conversion.
On the other side of the equation, the “Don’ts” are practices and methods that cause nothing but trouble for startups. Falling into any one of these traps is a quick way to turn off your email marketing audience and cause lasting damage to your base of potential future customers.
Don’t Forget the CTA
The call-to-action (CTA) is the centerpiece of any great email marketing campaign, yet plenty of newer players in the inbox scene forget to include this asset in their messages. A great CTA is easily identifiable, positioned in a place of prominence, and induces the viewer to click on a button, link, or other actionable inclusion within the email.
Don’t Assume You Know Everything about Your Audience
Failing to give data its due when it comes to email marketing – or any other form of digital outreach for that matter – is an online faux pas that’s not easily overcome. Fortunately, Lynn Baus of Marketing Land points out that with the influx of third-part data sets and the emergence of data harvesting tools on social media and other virtual channels, building a data-centric approach is easier than ever for startups. Having this kind of insight into your audience on your side ensures that you always provide relevant and impactful content in the inbox, even as the needs and desires of these individuals shift and change.
Don’t Buy into the “Set it and Forget it” Email Marketing Model
If there’s absolutely one “Don’t” that your startup needs to avoid at all costs, it comes in the form of falling prey to the assumption that email marketing is a static affair. Audiences change over time, as do best practices and cutting edge outreach methodology, so it’s imperative that your brand always keep a finger on the pulse of the latest news and developments within the email marketing world.
At the end of the day, email marketing – for startups and established brands alike – requires plenty of hard work and effort to pull off successfully. Thankfully, with these “Do’s” and “Don’ts” leading the way, you can rest easy knowing that your startup is getting off on the right foot as it builds lasting relationships with the people that matter most.