COVID-19 crashed through the startup economy like a rock through a plate-glass window. The pandemic has dried up available funding as investors pivot to focus on existing portfolios. It has also evaporated demand as businesses and consumers alike tighten their budgets and close their wallets.
The statistics are sobering. So far, 18% of startups who already had term sheets have seen funding rounds canceled or delayed, while 54% have had a funding round delayed or found their lead investor became unresponsive. Overall, VC funding has dropped dramatically.
Also, revenue dropped an average of 32% for most startups, while almost 40% of businesses saw it sink by 40+%. A scant 12% of startups have experienced significant growth this year.
Hence, it isn't surprising that half of all startups only had a cash runway for just 6 months by May 2020. By June, 40% were down to 3 months or less. Businesses have been cutting costs and laying off staff, but that isn't enough to compensate for the losses.
Startups need to double down on marketing and sales efforts to bring in as much revenue as possible, both to help them survive until VC funds return to normal function, and to prove their viability to investors, who are investigating potential startups even more thoroughly today. Startups that can show positive revenue despite the crisis will be better placed to secure funding, both now and after the recovery.
Now more than ever, startups need to apply the best email marketing strategies and tactics to attract, convert, and retain customers.
Think about your goals
When you send out marketing emails, you should have a deeper goal than simply to hit a good open rate. Before you start crafting content or creating an email marketing strategy, you have to decide what you want to achieve.
For example, do you want this campaign to raise your brand recognition among your target market, or to drive sales? Are you looking to convert recipients to click through to a landing page, request a demo, or redeem a discount coupon? You’ll need to vary your content and format according to your goal.
Personalize your emails
Personalization is a key tool for success in every type of marketing campaign, especially email marketing. Including your target’s name in the opening section of your email is a good start, but it’s just the beginning. Advanced email marketing platforms like Wix help you to use dynamic values to send personalized content that goes beyond just a simple name inclusion.
Use these capabilities to send personalized offers to your recipients. Perhaps offer your SMB leads 10% off your small business package, but send a code for 15% off your top tier package to enterprise leads. You can also personalize the content you include, like pulling the most relevant statistics for your recipient’s niche when you email leads about your latest research.
You can also leverage your team’s email signature by setting the right info, messaging and CTA for the right team and it’s specific goals. So you could use a CTA like “Get 15% off” for your Sales team, while using a CTA like “Hiring! Apply now” to your HR team. To do this efficiently you’ll need to use an email signature manager. Most are not costly.
Clean your (email) house
It’s important to regularly schedule time to review your email list for duplicates, abandoned email accounts, unresponsive accounts, etc. These details can skew your email marketing data, plus leads get annoyed if they receive the same email twice over.
Neil Patel’s review of the best email marketing services shows that most platforms automatically remove duplicates. You can set automated workflows to identify and delete accounts that haven’t opened an email lately. However, it’s wise to occasionally manually review these decisions to check that your policies are still relevant. You should also review the “goodbye” email that’s sent before deleting the account, and how many criteria need to be fulfilled to qualify an account for removal.
Dive into data
Your email marketing platform probably has built-in data analytics to collect and analyze your data all in one place. If not, or if you want a more powerful tool, you can use standalone email analytics tools like EmailAnalytics.
Email analytics platforms help you gather your data and mine it for insights like open rates and click-through rates for different subject lines and audience segments, and help you compare the impact of emails of different lengths.
But don’t stop the data trail at the click; look further along the sales and marketing funnel on a granular level, to examine the outcomes for leads who convert through different emails. You might find that some email types have a lower CTR, but much higher conversion rate down the line.
Think outside the content box
It’s crucial to think about unique themes and topics, especially when everybody's talking about the ongoing crisis. Consider mixing up different content types in your email marketing, like images and video as well as text. Seek out creative ways to express a generic “happy holidays” message by, for example, linking it with your core business brand.
You can also include exclusive content and early access to new features or product lines in your emails. This gives the recipients an interesting and interactive reason to open it.
Integrate emails with landing pages
Effective email marketing is an important first step, but to make the most of it, you need to follow through. Well-designed landing pages can seamlessly continue the messaging of your email. This, in turn, effortlessly leads prospective consumers to the next stage of your marketing funnel. This is how you hold onto the momentum. To take things a step further, use dynamic content to personalize these landing pages according to the role, interests, or demographic profile of each individual.
Exploding your email marketing could be your key to recovery
In a challenging business environment, startups need to ramp up their marketing and sales efforts by any means possible. With email still performing high as a marketing tool, it’s time to tweak your tactics by sending creative, personalized content that leads smoothly into relevant landing pages. Learn from your data insights, tidy your email lists, and rethink your email marketing goals to guide your business into a strong recovery in 2021.