When you ask about the best ways to market a business nowadays, you will likely hear small business mavens talk up the influence of social media and industry pioneers praise the power of content marketing. Of course, these two elements can have a profound impact in increasing brand awareness, generating leads, and improving sales.

However, the hurdles a startup has to overcome are unique in the sense that it doesn’t have the clout to gain immediate and wide-reaching attention from social media channels and convince people to check out the content it creates.

It then becomes a necessity to start practicing the time-tested method of engaging consumers on a platform that is still an integral part to just about every person’s life – email.

Everyone with a desk job or a social media account has to have one, and it’s still one of the better ways to have a private conversation across great distances that don’t cost a cent. Online shopping has become the norm, and email traffic is only second to search engine traffic when it comes to directing people to ecommerce websites.

As a startup company, the best thing to do is to establish those personal connections while offering value in an easily digestible but content-packed message. That’s what email marketing does, and that’s the underlying reason startups should implement it in their overall marketing strategies.

To clarify though, social media and content marketing should not be neglected. In fact, these two should complement your email marketing to get the most successful results.

The Role of Social Media

Email marketing is not the kick-off campaign for promoting your startup business for obvious reasons – no email list to send to and “cold” emailing is perceived as spam. Email marketing is supposed to be permission based, not intrusive, so you cannot force your business onto an uninterested audience.

Social media does not cost much which is a boon for startups, and people are willing to accept businesses promoting on such channels. Social media is where you first ignite the interest.

With Facebook and Twitter’s gigantic user base, you have prime opportunities to reach out and talk to people. Include an opt-in option on your company’s Facebook page. Tweet a link to a landing page offering the subscription to your email list. Put up free incentives for doing so to sweeten the offer.

Social media also helps email marketing when you’ve established a good list by reminding your fans and followers about incoming messages and special promotions within.

The Role of Content Marketing

Content is one of the main things you will be offering within the emails. It’s tempting to want to put all your best content in your emails, but you need to be stricter with what you include in them. Getting people to read the entirety of a marketing email is a balancing act; one mistake and the email will fall into the spam or trash bin and out of the prospect’s mind.

You need to keep the contents of your email focused with only the most essential information and a good hook to lure people into checking the rest out on your website. Use bullet points or excerpts for the content you want to highlight. Design is a critical aspect in convincing readers to check out everything and click on what you’re offering.

The content you ought to promote should be timely, helpful, or informational when it comes to new products or changes in your business. Another good practice is to give your email subscribers exclusive content, nurturing a special relationship with them and attracting those who have yet to sign up.

Closing everything out, you need to have clear and specific calls-to-action within the email to drive the point home for the readers. Email is already the tool considered as second only to SEO when it comes to ROI. So capitalize on that advantage by bringing the conversions with directed messaging that provides solutions to people’s pain points, and tells them exactly how to get to those solutions.

Startups have a tough road ahead to establish a foothold in whatever industry they are in. With the help of social media savvy and quality content, email marketing carves out a niche for startups wherein they can engage fully with their target audience to build lasting relationships and nurture leads.