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5 Powerful SFMC Email Marketing Strategies for Startups

5 Powerful SFMC Email Marketing Strategies for Startups

How can startups leverage SFMC to achieve email marketing success? This article reveals the secrets!...

Some 79% of small business owners say that email marketing is “very important” to their business strategy. At least 66% use it to promote their business and communicate with customers. And it’s well-known that email marketing yields the highest ROI of all marketing channels – $42 for every $1 spent.

These facts show that email marketing is an incredibly powerful strategy for all kinds of businesses – even small firms and startups. If implemented well, it can help your startup:

  • Connect with your audience
  • Acquire and retain more customers
  • Boost conversions and sales
  • Establish a positive reputation
  • Grow your brand

But to achieve these objectives, you need the right CRM – like Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC).

If you are a startup considering email marketing, this article is for you. Read on to learn some strategies to make the most of your SFMC investment, and achieve email marketing success. 

#1: Map Out Customer Journeys

Did you know you can send many kinds of emails via SFMC Email Studio?

  • Lead nurturing
  • Transactional

Trasactional Email Example

A simple email from Zappos to help customers easily change their password

  • Notifications
  • Promotional
  • Newsletters
  • Special occasions

Special Occasion Email Example

A well-designed email to make a subscriber feel special on their special day

  • Engagement and re-engagement,

and many more.

But which email should you send to which subscriber, when and why? This greatly depends on where that person is in their journey with your startup. And you can understand this by mapping this journey along various touchpoints and channels. Here’s where SFMC Journey Builder is very useful.

Journey mapping is not only for larger companies. Even startups should map their customers’ journeys to tell a visual story of the customers’ experiences as they engage with the company along many touchpoints over time. Journey mapping is also useful for deriving actionable customer insights that can then inform your sales, marketing, or customer support initiatives.

With Journey Builder, you can:

  • Craft customer personas to understand who they are
  • Create maps with timelines, stories, and relevant touchpoints
  • Identify where customers interact with your company as they move through the sales funnel
  • Understand the quality of their experience at each touchpoint

Ultimately, Journey Builder is a great tool to create personalized, targeted emails relevant to customers at any particular stage of their journey. So if they have just signed up on your website, you can send them a Welcome email. But if they are a loyal customer, deepen the connection through personalized content, offers, or greetings for special occasions. You can even test various  journey paths to identify the best way to reach customers using SFMC Journey Builder Path Optimizer.

Automated Email Example

Automated welcome email sent out to new Oberlo subscribers

Automated Email Example 2

A simple “steal this deal” email – ideal for loyal, long-term customers 

Automated Email Example 3

Everyone loves 4th of July sales – especially Joe Fresh customers when they receive such emails!

#2: Target the Right People Through Segmentation

Most startups typically have a small audience for their emails. So should you even bother to segment them? The answer is Yes.

By segmenting your subscriber base, you can:

  • Understand what your customers are looking for in your emails
  • Personalize emails to impress and delight them
  • Deliver better customer experiences
  • Create loyal fans and brand advocates

SFMC provides numerous tools to help you segment your audience and meet the above goals:

  • Data filters in Email Studio to create new segments
  • SQL filters in Automation Studio>Journey Builder to target very specific segments
  • Audience Builder to filter across data extensions, append data to segments, and build a single view of the customer
  • Einstein AI to target subscribers based on what they will probably do next

With SFMC, you can easily create multiple segments, and send hyper-personalized emails to each subscriber in that segment:

  • New users/Welcome emails
  • Converted users/Upsell emails

Personalized Email Example

A well-designed upsell email for existing Grammarly users

  • Loyal Customers/Referral emails

Referral Email Example

A great way to garner loyalty from existing customers and get more new customers

You can even automate customer segmentation in SFMC using data extensions.

#3: Implement Email Marketing Automation

With automation, you can set up an effective email marketing program for your startup quickly,  cost-effectively, and at scale. The CRM allows you to set up specific triggers or schedules in order to:

  • Automatically send emails
  • Create highly-segmented mailing lists
  • Maintain healthy subscriber engagement

SFMC is so flexible that you can automate many kinds of emails, such as:

  • Welcome
  • Abandoned cart

Abandoned Cart Email Example

Simple email with high-quality photos to encourage a cart abandoner to come back

  • Special occasions
  • Event promotions

Event Promotion Email Example

This email from EIQ is a great way to promote an upcoming event and boost attendance

  • Product recommendations
  • User-triggered emails

User Triggered Email Example

Automated email sent when the ordered product is dispatched. It features Nike’s easily-recognizable logo at the very top.

  • Newsletters
  • Unsubscribes

Unsubscribe Email Example

A simple notification from Hulu to inform the customer about subscription cancellation. Simple, personalized and timely.

SFMC email automation best practices to follow:

  • Leverage built-in templates for each email type
  • Customize templates with your startup’s colors, logo, custom fonts, and content blocks
  • Create mobile-friendly, responsive email templates

Responsive Email Template

Great layout and content blocks ensure that the message will render correctly on mobile devices

  • Use compelling subject lines and CTAs
  • A/B test emails before sends
  • Regularly measure results to improve email performance and results (e.g. opens, click-throughs, etc.)
  • Gather customer feedback through survey emails

Survey Email Example

Casper’s uncomplicated message encourages user feedback in a simple format.

#4: Enhance Customer Experiences Through Personalization and Dynamic Content

With SFMC Email Studio, you can effortlessly send hyper-personalized emails to an “audience of one” to enhance their experiences with your startup right from the get-go. Moreover, you can do this at scale, and for virtually any kind of email.

Personalization is a great way to grab subscribers’ attention. Moreover, brands using email personalization generate 17% more revenue compared to other brands. Startups also benefit from email personalization, so do incorporate this strategy into your email marketing program.

Leverage SFMC to create customer personas, understand individual preferences, and review previous purchases. You can easily do this by asking for their name, gender and interests in your website’s signup forms. Use this information to:

  • Create personalized content that delights them
  • Include personalization in multiple elements, such as pre-header, header, subject line, greeting, and offers
  • Send out custom re-engagement emails to subscribers who haven’t opened your emails in a while
  • Send engagement-boosting polls, surveys, competition invites, promo codes, etc.

Leverage SFMC Content Builder to engage with subscribers through personalization. With this tool, you can:

  • Segment your email list by various parameters, e.g. gender, age, location, transactional data, etc.
  • Personalize the “from” name
  • Personalize different types of emails
  • Keep spammy words out to improve email deliverability with Email Studio Content Detective
  • Create impressive interactive emails with quizzes, maps, product carousels, etc.

Interactive Email Example

Amazing interactive elements in this BBC email are sure to boost viewership numbers!

  • Create dynamic content that changes in real-time based on the subscriber’s demographic or other factors

In this email, numbers and data will change and display depending on the user

Also take advantage of SFMC Einstein AI to further optimize your startup’s personalization strategy:

  • Einstein Copy Insights to craft personalized subject lines that resonate with your audience
  • Einstein Content Selection to create personalized content for each subscriber
  • Einstein Send Time Optimization to optimize send times and volumes

#5: Leverage Analytics to Improve Email Marketing Performance

Ideally, you should test all campaigns before sends. For this, you can perform A/B testing to compare different versions of an email and leverage Einstein Engagement Scoring to assess how each subscriber reacts to your emails.

SFMC also provides many metrics, dashboards, and reports, so your startup can gauge email performance and take the right steps if there are gaps. You can test multiple metrics, including: 

  • Open rates
  • Click-through rates
  • Conversions
  • Bounces
  • Spam complaints

With real-time tracking and graphical reporting, you can also perform detailed campaign analyses to understand whether your subscribers are clicking on your emails more (or less) than the industry average, which content or design pieces they engage with the most, and which links or buttons do better than others.

Wrap Up

For startups looking to build a captive audience and grow their nascent brand, email marketing can be hugely valuable. It’s easy to implement, scalable, and does not cost a bomb. Further, with a full-featured CRM like SFMC, you can send the right email to the right person at the right time to grab their attention and garner their loyalty.

The Email Uplers team has worked with startups worldwide to set up successful email marketing programs. Tell us how we can help your startup by clicking here.

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Chintan Doshi

Chintan is the Sr. Manager Email Marketing & CRM at Email Uplers. He loves email marketing and has been in the industry from last seven years. His track record of email marketing success covers building email programs from scratch and using data-driven strategies to turn around underperforming accounts.



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