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Avoid the DELETE: How to Do Email Marketing Effectively

4 Tips on How to Do Email Marketing for First-Time Startup Leaders

If your startup already knows how to do email marketing, then you know you’re in a competitive space. The average customer receives up to 78 emails everyday including but not limited to: advertising, personal emails, work emails, etc. We all know what happens to most of these emails: DELETE! So how do you make sure your startup’s emails are standing out from the crowd and getting noticed?  This blog post is designed to give you tips on some of the best practices to uphold when you are designing and writing your first startup emails.

1.    Set Goals

Before sending out your first email, it’s important to come up with a plan?  Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is this a single email or part of a larger set of emails or campaign?
  • Who am I sending this to? (Prospects, customers, investors?)
  • What is the purpose of this email or set of emails? Is it to keep my contacts engaged? Is it to bring on new leads? Is it to notify them of a change in the business?

By answering these questions and setting goals, you’ll be able to focus your efforts and make tweaks to future emails based on the results.

2.    Create Compelling Content

Your subject line is the main trigger for your prospects when deciding whether or not to open an email.  Therefore, it’s important to think through your subject line. You need to grab your contacts’ attention without being misleading about what is in the body of the email. If you have a couple ideas on subject lines and you’re not sure which will perform better, split your list in half and send the email once with each subject and look to see which had higher open rates.

When it comes to the body of your email, instead of short and sweet, you want it short and strong. People read their emails quickly (if it all), so if they open an email that looks like a long-winded essay, it will likely end up in the trash. Use links throughout your email instead of only in one place, so that if people do want more information, it is easily accessible.  Aside from content, design is another important aspect to your email marketing. Be sure to put your logo in the upper left corner. Research shows that people look their first. Always provide contact information for your business and make sure the look of your email corresponds with the look of your brand. This will give customers a sense of familiarity with your startup.

3.    Be Social

While email for personal use has been declining over the years, professional emails continue to thrive.  In fact, it has been studied that 74% of adults prefer email for use of communication with other businesses.  With that being said, there are ways to expand your network of contacts when sending out your campaigns. For one, you want to include social media sharing buttons. This encourages your target audience to spread the word about the email they just received from you and in turn, will attract more prospects to your company. In addition, your email signature or a side column is a great place to add a link to your startup’s company social pages.  This allows your contacts to connect with you beyond email and engage with you further to expand on the conversation.

4.    Don’t Send SPAM

The last place you want your startup’s emails to end up is in your contacts’ spam folders, and it’s surprisingly easy to land there.  One way to avoid this from happening is limiting your use of images. If an email server notices too many images it will flag your mail as spam. You also need to be mindful of avoiding the use of SPAM words.  There’s a surprisingly long list of words that email servers will flag as spam, so make sure to avoid as many of these as possible.  Some of the most surprising culprits, include:

  • Hello
  • Free
  • Visit our website
  • Click here

In addition to your email’s content, the lists you’re sending to also affect where your emails go. Having out of date contacts is a major red flag for SPAM filters. Update your contact list quarterly if not monthly to make sure you’re not sending to bad or old email addresses.

Aside from the email server flagging you as SPAM, you also want to avoid your contacts flagging you. This is even worse than being deleted, as it hurts your overall sender score, and you won’t be able to send them emails in the future. The best way to avoid this is to include the name of your business in the “from” line when sending to new contacts for the first time, so they recognize the sender.  Including a safe sender link at the top of your email will also give new contacts the opportunity to let their email servers know that future emails can go straight to their inboxes.

By following these best email practices, email marketing can help your startup achieve its long-term marketing goals. If you have any questions about email marketing, or are looking for help on getting started, contact us today.