- Fri 04/08/2016 13:32

Nearly a century ago, a famous department store owner said that “half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is I don’t know which half.” Although we now have a wealth of tools for tracking advertising and marketing spend, pinpointing exact metrics can still be a very challenge. That is often especially true for startups who don’t already have a lot of proven internal data to rely on.

Whether you’re bootstrapping or have raised some funding for your startup, maximizing the ROI of your spend is vital for growth. That’s why the sooner you can know where to focus your resources, the better.

The 9 Main Channels for Startups

There are nine main channels that startups can use to reach potential user or customers. In alphabetical order, those channels are:

  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Mobile Marketing
  • Offline Direct Marketing
  • Online Display Advertising
  • Paid Search
  • SEO
  • Social Media

In an ideal world, startups would be able to simultaneously test all nine of those channels. But for most startups, there aren’t enough resources to make that happen. Instead, startups that try to attack all the channels at the same time end up failing to find traction with any. A much better approach is to narrow down those choices in advance and then focus on the single channel that’s most likely to lead to success. Once that channel is established (or in rare cases, ends up being a bust), the startup can add another channel to their mix.

Why Email Marketing Provides the Best ROI

The Direct Marketing Association did a study about the nine channels to determine which ones businesses view as delivering the best ROI. The three channels that came in last were affiliate marketing, mobile marketing and online display advertising. SEO and content marketing came in 2nd and 3rd place. Number one on the list was email marketing.

Why is email marketing able to deliver such an impressive ROI? In terms of the upfront investment, building an email list can be as simple as creating a single offer or lead magnet. Then once that offer or lead magnet is live, it will continue attracting email signups for as long as it remains on a startup’s website.

Another reason email marketing can deliver such an impressive return on investment is it provides a direct channel to build a relationship with a potential user or customer. Instead of only having one chance to convert a prospect, email makes it possible to gradually build trust and then ask the prospect to take a conversion action at the ideal time.

If you aren’t currently engaging in email marketing for your startup and want to stop missing out on this very valuable channel, be sure to take a look at our email marketing platform.