Email for Startups: Email Automation Without Customer Detonation

Lucid Content Team

Reading time: about 4 min


  • Business

email automation for startups


Startups often have a very limited marketing budget (if it exists at all) but still need to have killer marketing. Inbound marketing (bringing customers closer to your brand through blogs, videos, email, social-media, etc.) is a fantastic way to generate new business without breaking the bank. Done right, inbound marketing can be very good for your startup’s bottom line and your brand. For any company email is a very successful cost-effective inbound marketing solution to reach customers and generate a significant amount of revenue. This is especially true for start-ups trying to hit the $10 million ARR mark. According to one survey, marketing executives believe that email alone drives the same amount of revenue as their social media, website and display ad efforts combined.


Executing Successful Marketing Emails for Your Startup

According to Tracy Vides from, customized components such as segmenting your audience, personalizing the message and testing subject lines are all part of successful email marketing campaigns. Customizing email automation can be challenging. With 5 million customers (and 5 million inboxes), email is a customer loyalty program teams need to get right the first time, every time. Email workflows are an excellent way to organize your efforts. The marketing team at Lucid uses our own online diagramming software Lucidchart to map out multiple email workflows for customer acquisition, training and re-engagement. With Lucidchart, our marketing team can look at any point in the email workflow and even link from the flowchart directly to a specific email in our automation tool, HubSpot. We can coordinate with every team member, no matter where in the world they are at the moment, allowing everyone to be literally on the same page.

email automation tool

Through Lucidchart we manage customer emails: we track what we’re sending, when we're sending it and who we're sending it to. Using Lucidchart allows us to communicate effectively not only with our customers but also with other internal teams—such as engineering or customer success—by flowcharting first and then creating emails and groups in HubSpot. Our sales team builds out custom workflows for enterprise customers, and we can easily show sales team members exactly what emails are being sent, without having to search through mountains of data or needing to know specific names. Charting out email workflows also helps when on-ramping team members. Lucid is a rapidly growing startup, and we are constantly bringing new talent onboard. By diagramming out the process, a new team member can easily see and comprehend complicated processes like our email workflows. As a growing startup, it’s important to connect quickly with new clients. Mapping out new subscriber email workflows in Lucidchart allows us to ensure new customers aren’t falling through the cracks. When we first charted out our email workflows, we found gaps that we didn’t know existed, like a particular group wasn’t receiving the all-important “Day 1” email. By diagramming out our email automation process, we can quickly remedy any hiccups and not miss out on nurturing important relationships. We can also simultaneously track multiple “if/then” scenarios for new customers as well (e.g., subscribers who opened but didn’t click your call to action (CTA); opened multiple times but didn’t click your CTA; opened, clicked the CTA but didn’t convert, etc.). We also track our A/B testing—a process key to the success of any email marketing campaign—by using Hubspot groups to send different email versions to different customers based on our Lucidchart workflow.

email automation startups


Choosing the Right Email Automation Tool for Your Startup

Finding the right tools for scaling your business is essential. One of the simultaneous signs of success and growing pains for a startup is when it needs to find an outside marketing tool to augment its homegrown customer email system, but picking the right email processing system can be daunting. Neal Davey, editor at says, “Before you go external you really need to map out your own customer journey – how long is your sales process; how many products are you selling; what is the ROI of each product,” he explains. “You’d be surprised how many companies don’t do this and there’s often a very limited knowledge about how long it takes them from awareness to acquisition. But this really does determine the platform or vendor that you should be selecting.” Building email workflows in Lucidchart gave us the ability to scope out exactly what we needed from an email processing system, so we could quickly narrow down our choices and spend time comparing what really mattered, leading us to ultimately select HubSpot. HubSpot provides us with an easy and intuitive email editor, list builder, event creator and template builder. We wanted a marketing automation tool that worked quickly and correctly, and HubSpot offered the best value for our needs. Crafting and understanding the right email workflows to achieve effective email campaigns can be challenging for any company. When email workflows are visualized in a flowchart, it can help ensure that the your messages are getting to the right people at the right time.

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