If you’re not too familiar with email marketing, you might be asking yourself what it even is and what the big deal about it is.
Well, it turns out email marketing is a fairly big deal indeed. Email marketing is basically just an ad campaign that is done through email. You collect email addresses from customers, and then periodically send out promotional content, newsletters, or whatever else you want to send.
And the best part is, email marketing has consistently shown to be able to deliver huge returns on your original investment. In fact, email marketing campaigns are typically able to generate a return on investment of something like 4400%.
Obviously, not all email marketing campaigns will cost exactly the same, but in this article, we will highlight some of the things you will have to spend some money on in order for your campaign to be successful.
Finding the Right ESP
Before you can even consider sending out any emails at all, you will need to select an ESP (email service provider). Selecting the right ESP can make a huge difference in the success and efficiency of your campaign.
A good ESP offers you far more than just the ability to send bulk emails to customers. You’ll also get things like templates to use when creating emails, tools to help you manage your ever-growing list of email addresses, and features that help you see who is opening your emails and engaging with your content.
Finding a really good ESP might make it possible for you to run your email marketing campaign totally in-house. Doing so can be hugely beneficial to your company, as outsourcing the email marketing process can get prohibitively expensive.
A good ESP will also make it easier for you to automate large parts of the campaign, which can help increase the level of productivity in your workplace. It can also help you with your post-campaign analytics to figure out where your campaign was successful and where it could have done better.
Running your own campaign can potentially save you hundreds of dollars an hour, as opposed to outsourcing it.
Planning Your Content
Once you’ve figured out how you’re going to send out emails, the next step is planning the type of content you want to send to customers.
To do this, you need to figure out what the main objectives of your campaign are. Are you trying to sell products to customers directly? Are you trying to build brand awareness? Are you just going to publish an informational newsletter?
The objective of your campaign will directly affect the type of content you should be producing. But it goes further than that. Once you’ve figured out the general objective of your campaign, you need to start planning out how your content will actually look.
You may want to use images, embedded videos, or plain text. If you use visual aids, you will likely have to hire a graphic designer to make everything look good if your company doesn’t already have an in-house graphic designer. A top-notch graphic designer may charge you upwards of $100/hour for their work, so this can be a hefty expense.
Gathering Email Addresses
Obviously, to send out emails to customers, you need addresses to send these emails to. But what is less obvious is where exactly you find these emails to begin with.
One of the best ways to do this is to have an opt-in on your company’s official website. An opt-in is a system that allows customers to provide your company with their email address and “opt-in” to receiving promotional content.
You’ll want to provide customers with some kind of bonus that will entice them to sign up to receive emails. This can be anything from an infographic to a store coupon. Basically, you want to give customers an incentive to give you their email address other than that you will regularly send content to them.
If your company doesn’t have any in-house web designers, you can purchase pre-made apps for your website that enable you to collect customers’ emails this way.
Sending Out Emails
Now comes the important bit: actually sending out emails. But as you may have guessed at this point, there’s more to this process than just typing out an email and hitting “send.”
If you have many customers, you’ll almost certainly need to automate a large part of the emailing process, so that you’re not swamped with work. Some ESPs allow you to schedule a bunch of emails to be sent out over a period of time, so you don’t need to waste time sporadically sending out emails.
The features that some ESPs provide also allow you to automate other processes involved in your campaign. You can automatically remove people from your campaign if they fulfill some kind of criteria like purchasing the product, or you can set up your ESP to automatically resend emails if a customer doesn’t open an email after a certain length of time.
The cost of this will likely be related to the ESP you’ve picked and how functional it is overall. If your ESP doesn’t come with a very high level of functionality, expect to pay even more for these extra services.
In general, you should try and outsource as little as possible, especially if your company is small. Not only is outsourcing your work typically expensive, but it’s worth it for you to figure out how exactly the process of email marketing works.
Besides, if it’s your own company, running the campaign yourself will help you find out what marketing strategies will be the most helpful for your business specifically.
The cost of outsourcing will vary depending on how much of your campaign you actually outsource to other companies. A simple consultation can be as much as $5000 depending on who is doing the consulting, so the cost of outsourcing really adds up.
In short, there’s no way to say for sure how much an email marketing campaign is going to cost you. We only really know the different factors that affect how much it will cost in the end.
But to put it simply, a lot of it depends on how much work you’re able to do yourself. If you are capable of creating and managing a campaign largely on your own, it will no doubt cost you far less than it would to outsource the work.
Still, the great this about email marketing campaigns is that even if they are sometimes expensive to produce, the return on investment is often quite high. So if you’re a new or even an established company looking to drum up some new business, don’t sleep on email marketing!