7 email marketing tips for start-ups

By Tom Welbourne, Founder/director

The Good Marketer


The Drum Network article

This content is produced by The Drum Network, a paid-for membership club for CEOs and their agencies who want to share their expertise and grow their business.

Find out more

March 16, 2022 | 7 min read

For start-ups, email marketing can seem a little daunting. Email is an expansive marketing tool in terms of design, content and strategy. The Good Marketer's found Tom Welbourne explains how marketers can optimize their emails.

The Good Marketer on how to optimise your email marketing strategy.

The Good Marketer on how to optimise your email marketing strategy.

The complexities of email marketing mean that many choose to get support from an email marketing company or agency - especially when they're starting out. But perhaps you want to make some headway on your own. In that case, here are a few top tips on how to leverage email marketing as a start-up.

Add a personal touch to your emails

Whenever you send an email, you should always aim to add a personal touch. The great thing about email marketing is that it allows you to nurture your customer base, and sending highly personalized content is a great way to do so. From adding a first name into the subject line to creating emails with content based on the recipient's position in the sales funnel, the options are endless.

Boost engagement with interactive emails

When you make emails interactive, you increase your chances of getting recipients to engage. From polls and surveys to live shopping carts, you can encourage customer engagement with a range of interactive features. In more sophisticated instances, interactive features can even help you gain important customer data such as preferences or profile features which can be later used to segment your audience and refine your email strategy.

Optimize your email strategy

When it comes to optimizing your email strategy, recipient data is crucial. When building your strategy, you should be considering the wants and needs of your customers. Could they be upsold a new product? Could they be enticed to repurchase with a discount?

If your email strategy is generic, it will show up in your key metrics. People will ignore further emails that do not resonate with them and likely think about unsubscribing from the email list. So, it’s essential to know the needs of your customers.

Always include user-generated content

User-generated content (UGC) is exactly what it says on the tin - the content users create when they utilize services or purchase products. Most of the time, it features reviews of the experience of using a product or the results after doing so.

If you’re able to incorporate such content, it can enhance trust with your prospective customers, increasing the likelihood of purchase. Email is a chance for you to utilize UGC, but also a chance for you to request it. Think about running a competition in exchange for a customer review.

Be concise and to the point

When it comes to email content, it’s best to keep things short and sweet. Instead of defaulting to large paragraphs of text, break things up. You can even consider bullet points to improve readability - something which is especially important if you consider most people will be viewing your emails on mobile. A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to squint at an email and still get a solid idea of what the email is about.

Write catchy subject lines

Subject lines are one of the main factors in influencing the open rates of your emails. While it’s best practice to keep the subject line short, it must also convey what the email is about or hint to it to create a sense of intrigue. If a subject line is boring, nobody will open your email - even if it contains your biggest sale of the year. So, use your subject line as a way to tease people as to what the email includes and encourage them to open.

Suggested newsletters for you

Daily Briefing


Catch up on the most important stories of the day, curated by our editorial team.

Ads of the Week


See the best ads of the last week - all in one place.

The Drum Insider

Once a month

Learn how to pitch to our editors and get published on The Drum.

Remember to include images

Emails are a great opportunity to be visual. A picture is worth a thousand words, and when it comes to email this is absolutely the case. Tons of text is never appealing - especially on mobile - so break up your content and capture the attention of your recipient with high-quality images or even embed a video.

Email is an incredibly expansive platform for businesses. The creative scope you have is far more than let’s say Google or Facebook ads - as is the personalization. From interactive features to highly sophisticated segmentation, there's far more to email than there once was, and for this reason, it can be overwhelming. But with the help of a professional agency or even just with the top tips we have explored here, you can leverage email marketing to help grow your business and nurture your customers.


Content by The Drum Network member:

The Good Marketer

Flexible. Transparent. Affordable.

We’re a small but perfectly assembled team of expert marketers that have come together through a common desire to defy...

Find out more

More from Marketing

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +