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The Startup’s Guide to Email Marketing

Anyone in the process of starting their own company is fully aware of the myriad of expenses tied to the endeavor. Even basic business plans require significant funds in order to get the operation off the ground. By covering only the basics, odds are that the business could always benefit from a little more. Startups with the budget to spare might opt to contract PR firms in order to drive some attention to their business. This might be effective, or it might not; either way, it requires some investment, thus inviting the risk of loss. Entrepreneurs can avoid the danger altogether by opting to arrange an in-house email campaign. This is an advisable business tactic, but only if the startup is going about the marketing process effectively. Emailing is an entire field in and of itself, and it demands proper knowledge and the application of the most optimal techniques. Experimentation and personalization will come eventually, but startups looking to carry out their own email marketing campaign should first heed the following four pointers:

Be Genuine in Your Emails

People can sniff out insincerity from a mile away. Just because your interaction with consumers is done through a virtual medium, does not mean that they won’t be able to pick up robotic conversational tendencies through email. “Let your personality show. It will make your message more engaging for readers — unless that message is self-centered, long-winded or confusing. Your emails should be clear, concise and focused on your audience’s needs,” offers Phong Ly of Entrepreneur.

Keep Track of Your Data

By working through email, you have the advantage of having access to all of your past work records and all of the patterns that come with it. Pay attention to the ebbs and flows of your marketing, and make adjustments accordingly. As claimed by Ly: “One of the ways we keep improving results for similar content and smaller, repeatedly used lists is to manually track key data. If you don’t use email software or you’re a fellow data nerd, you may already do this. If not, then consider creating a simple Excel spreadsheet or another format for record keeping.”

Refine Your Method

To go with our last point, it’s important for marketers to learn from their past mis-steps or imperfections. Email marketing provides a consistent window to reinvention. It’s only through adapting from prior mistakes that we learn how to establish an effective marketing strategy. “You should always be optimizing and retesting your various email campaigns,” writes Forbes contributor AJ Agrawal. “A/B testing campaigns are easily run from your mailing list provider. You can harvest detailed stats and begin to refine your future campaigns.”

Map out Your Customer’s Journey

The type of experience your consumers have is directly in your hands. You can decide whether your readers are genuinely captivated and intrigued by your messages, or if they feel the urge to hit the opt-out button. Avoid the risk of your subscribers slipping into a field of boredom by using proper research tactics. “The customer journey is becoming more important within the field of marketing. Mapping out the customer journey is about charting the various touch points you’ll come up against. The way customers behave will tell you what content they are looking for,” writes Agrawal. “Combine this with demographical information to customize the sales funnel based on the type of customer you have.”

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