In the smorgasbord of your startup’s growth strategy, email nurture campaigns are the secret sauce to supercharge your success. They help you stay top of mind, convert leads into loyal customers, and help you build strong relationships with your audience. They’re cost-effective, too: Email marketing campaigns have a potential ROI of $36 for every $1 spent. Now that’s a smart investment.

But creating an effective email nurture strategy can be challenging, especially when you’re an early-stage startup working on small margins and with limited resources. You’re occupied with perfecting your product, appeasing your investors, growing your team… we get it! That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to put together an effective email strategy, though.

Here at BxH, we’re all about working smarter, not harder. Below, check out our top tips for creating compelling email nurture campaigns that will drive real, sustainable results — that won’t take up all your time, energy, or bandwidth.

1. Map Out Your Audience’s Journeys

It’s important to remember that not one size fits all when it comes to your email audiences. A good rule of thumb for startups is to split your audience into at least three core segments and funnel them through your email campaigns accordingly — based on their needs and your startup’s goals:

  • Existing Customers: Show appreciation, offer exclusive rewards and perks, and keep them engaged with new updates and promotions.
  • Inbound Leads: Warmly welcome them, highlight your value proposition, and share success stories. Educate them, address pain points, and showcase your solution.
  • Cold Leads: Grab attention, share resonating stories, and offer valuable resources. Nurture with pain point solutions and showcase your startup’s value.

2. Crush It With Compelling Subject Line Hooks

Subject lines are the gateway to email success… or the roadblock that will keep you from getting where you need to be. That’s why we recommend using a compelling hook, aka something that “hooks” the reader’s attention so that they will keep on reading. Keep your hooks concise, clear, and personalized, experiment with questions, urgency, and exclusive teases — and like any good startup knows, A/B testing will help you refine your approach and get the best results possible.

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3. Tell A Story — A Real One, & A Good One

Everyone loves a good story, am I right? Your emails are a brilliant opportunity to tell your story: Share triumphs, spotlight customer experiences, and showcase the behind-the-scenes moments that make your brand, your brand. By weaving a compelling story throughout your emails, you’ll keep your audiences enthralled, forging a powerful bond that stands the test of time.

4. Become A Trusted Resource

You created your startup for a reason — you know your stuff. It’s time to share that knowledge with your target audience and establish your brand as the resource in your field. Consistently providing value positions your startup as the go-to authority and will make your brand indispensable to your audience as you establish brand awareness and form connections. This will not only keep you top of mind, but it will also help you build a community beyond your core product or service offering.

5. Create Tailored Email Experiences — AKA, Be HUMAN

Personalization can transform your emails to feel more relevant and special to your target audience. Don’t believe us? Check it out:

Impersonal Email:

“Dear Customer,

Your subscription is about to expire. Please click here to renew it.

Best regards,

Boring Business”

Human-Centric Email:

“Hi John,

All good things must come to an end, right? We noticed your subscription with us is about to run out, but we can keep this good thing going! Click here to renew your subscription, or check out some of the below offerings we picked out just for you!

We’re honored you chose to give us your business. As always, feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

All the best,

[Outstanding Org]”

See the difference? Addressing recipients by their first names, referencing their previous interactions, and recommending products or content based on their preferences make all the difference.

6. Refine Your Strategy For Better Results

For startups, email nurture campaigns are an ever-evolving journey, which means constant testing and analysis is key. Experiment with different email layouts, content formats, and calls-to-action to identify what resonates best with your audience. Dive into your analytics to gain insights into open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates — then, use this data to make informed decisions and continually refine your strategies for better results. Let your campaigns evolve with agility and watch your startup’s growth soar.

The Bottom Line

Email nurture campaigns are a valuable tool for startups seeking to forge strong connections with their leads. When you nail it, you can expect to see impressive results. Remember, building relationships takes time, so be sure to be patient — and persistent.

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About the Author: Jenny Farias

Meet Jenny — the founder and brand-alchemist-at-large here at BxH. She's an award-winning marketer and speaker dedicated to helping founders turn their unicorn dreams into reality. When she's not crushing it at work, you can find her jet-setting across the globe, supporting fellow female founders (hello, gWen!), or hitting up Charlotte's vibrant entrepreneurial scene with her boyfriend, Ben (#BenTheGem). Wherever she goes, Jenny brings her infectious energy and can-do attitude to the table — preferably alongside a spicy margarita.

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