Email marketing agencies – how to find the right email marketing agency for your business

13 minutes to read • Published 23 August 2021 • Marketing

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      Email marketing has been banished to the back of the minds of many businesses in 2021. Rumours of the death of email have been greatly exaggerated, though. Email marketing forms an important part of the marketing plan for many businesses.

      The truth is, email marketing is as reputable as ever, if done correctly. To ensure success, the services of an email marketing agency are advisable. But how do you choose a marketing agency? What’s best for your business, and how much is it going to cost?

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      Contents

      What is an email marketing agency?

      The Occam’s razor principle dictates that the simplest explanation is often the likeliest. That certainly applies here. An email marketing agency is an agency that will market your business through email.

      Why should a business hire an email marketing agency?

      As a marketing technique, email offers one of the highest returns on investment in the game. Think about it; once a message has been crafted, you can send it to hundreds of thousands of email addresses in one fell swoop. 

      What services does an email marketing agency offer?

      Any email marketing agency worthy of the name will offer the following: advice on an email strategy, crafting email copy, and managing email campaigns.

      How much does an email marketing agency cost?

      Overall, monthly email marketing services could cost anywhere from £50 to £3000.

      How do you know which email marketing agency is the best fit for your business?

      The ideal email marketing agency for your business will have an innate understanding of your business model, customer base and niche, and understand how to make your target audience feel understood.

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      How to choose an email marketing agency?

      If you’re ready to take the plunge and seek out an email marketing agency, follow these seven steps to ensure you make the right decision.

      What makes a good email marketing agency?

      A good email marketing agency will have a cost the suits your budget, will have evidence of their experience and expertise in your industry, and will help you to feel supported and valued as a client.

      What makes a bad email marketing agency?

      No marketing approach is entirely foolproof, and email marketing is no exception. There are risks and pitfalls to any procedure. Be prepared for unwelcome impacts of hiring an email marketing agency.

      What is an email marketing agency?

      The Occam’s razor principle dictates that the simplest explanation is often the likeliest. That certainly applies here. An email marketing agency is an agency that will market your business through email.

      Now, stop that guffawing at the back. Some of you may be thinking, “email marketing? Have I stepped back in time to 2004?” 

      While it’s undeniably true that PPC advertising and SEO have overtaken email in terms of popularity, there is still a place for a humble email campaign in the modern era. Email marketing can still lead to sales and conversions when managed by a skilled hand.

      Why should a business hire an email marketing agency?

      As a marketing technique, email offers one of the highest returns on investment in the game. Think about it; once a message has been crafted, you can send it to hundreds of thousands of email addresses in one fell swoop. 

      That’s much less work than cold calling, and it’s less time-consuming than launching an inbound lead generation campaign. Perhaps best of all, sending those emails will not cost your business a penny.

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      You may still be wondering why your business should even consider hiring an email marketing agency. Why attract expense if the profit margins can be so rich when you DIY? The short answer is that these soaring profits rely on superior, well-crafted email campaigns – something that is surprisingly hard to get right.

      The truth is, building the perfect email marketing strategy takes a lot of effort. Things to bear in mind include:

      FeatureGood to know…
      Securityjust reaching an inbox can be challenging, with so many email providers filtering unpromoted messages into spam or promo folders
      Copythe subject heading and body text need to be compelling enough to attract attention, convincing a recipient to open the message
      Compatibilitydifferent potential clients may be using a range of email platforms, from Outlook to Gmail via Lotus Notes. Can you be sure that any HTML code will work on all these computers?
      Timingwhen is the best time to send an email to ensure it does not get lost in the shuffle?
      Frequencythere is a fine line between persistence and pestering. How many emails is too many, without being too apologetic and failing to communicate enough?
      Recipientsit’s advisable to regularly prune your mailing list, especially addresses that bounce, lest your email reputation be damaged. A poor email reputation will see you banished to the junk folder of most recipients
      Responsesif you get a nibble after casting your rod, then great. Will you have time to respond to all the queries that come your way, though? Do you understand the secrets of an impactful autoresponder?
      Features of an email marketing agency service

      Few small businesses have the time or expertise to dedicate to such concerns. As a result, email marketing falls by the wayside – or, even worse, is utilised poorly as an afterthought. A specialist email marketing agency can resolve these concerns for you, and many more, ensuring that your business sees results.

      What services does an email marketing agency offer?

      All email marketing agencies will have unique preferences and approaches, but some services should be universal. Any email marketing agency worthy of the name will offer the following.

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      • Advice on an email strategy. Depending on your business model, it may be more effective to build an email campaign slowly and steadily than pushing for a sale at once. An email marketing agency will advise on this
      • Crafting email copy. No doubt the most critical element of the whole process. Your agency will create the copy for any emails, utilising their experience in piquing curiosity
      • Release of regular newsletters. Asking users to sign up for a newsletter on your website is a great way to remain at the forefront of consumer thinking, even if you have no sales to push 
      • Managing email campaigns. Writing a Pulitzer-worthy email is pointless if nobody reads the message. Your agency will handle the logistics of sending the emails, carefully selecting the ideal time to target inboxes
      • Responding to replies. In an ideal world, your campaign will receive a range of responses, asking for more information or even expressing interest in conversions. Your agency will monitor these replies, actioning and forwarding where applicable
      • Managing mailing lists. Your business mailing list is a precious tool and must be treated as such. Provide any addresses you have accrued as first-party data, and allow your agency to manage your list accordingly

      This does not mean that you can be completely hands-off. You’ll need to work alongside your email marketing agency of choice, ensuring that any messages bearing your company name meet your brand values. The agency will do the heavy lifting, though, leaving you free to relax and await the rewards of a well-planned email campaign.

      See also →  How to maximise your brand value in an online-centric market

      Email marketing agency prices – how much do they cost?

      Email marketing agencies will have a wide range of different price points and billing structures. Some companies will look to work on an ad hoc basis, charging for each email campaign that you run. Others will prefer to arrange a monthly retainer, committing to a set number of communications during this time.

      As is the case with any marketing approach, you’ll get what you pay for. If you’re prepared to spend a little more on an email marketing agency, they’ll offer additional services. This will typically include detailed reports on your campaigns.

      These details are more important than you may realise. Email interaction is not dissimilar to traffic. You can build a picture of your target audience based on who is opening emails, even if these are not immediately generating conversions. These are still leads – somebody was intrigued enough by your message to avoid trashing it on sight.

      Overall, monthly email marketing services could cost anywhere from £50 to £3000. Shop around, investigating different agencies, and find a supplier that matches your budget. If you’d like to receive a quote from Creative.onl, we would be delighted to hear from you.

      How do you know which email marketing agency is the best fit for your business?

      The ideal email marketing agency for your business will meet the following criteria:

      Boast an innate understanding of your business model, customer base and niche
      Understand how to make your target audience feel understood
      Value quality over quantity, preferring to send sporadic and effective communications to ‘mailbombing’
      Will take your feedback and advice about brand messaging onboard, but will not constantly bother you with questions
      Will display a flawless and effortlessly persuasive way with the English language

      That sounds like a lot of qualities to meet, but if a job is worth doing it’s worth doing well. Do not sign up with just any email marketing agency. This dynamic should be an ongoing relationship that favours both parties.

      How to choose an email marketing agency 

      If you’re ready to take the plunge and seek out an email marketing agency, follow these seven steps to ensure you make the right decision.

      How to choose an email marketing agency

      1. Decide if email marketing is right for your business

        Here at Creative.onl we consider it indispensable for any marketing approach, but as always, the decision is yours!

      2. Set a budget cap for your email marketing

        This should be considered part of your digital marketing budget, alongside SEO services and any PPC campaigns. An outbound email campaign is just as important as inbound marketing – it’s all about balance.

      3. Plot out an email strategy by yourself

        This does not need to be flawless – it will not be used. It will be helpful to show an agency, though, as it demonstrates what you are hoping to convey in your email marketing.

      4. Research email marketing agencies

        Take a look at the factors to consider that we’ll discuss in a moment and look up some agencies. Make initial contact, then hold fire. This may seem rude, but it’s an opportunity to…

      5. Review an agency’s email approach

        An effective email marking agency should be able to convince you to take on their business via email! If the company prefers to pick up the phone or struggles to capture your imagination in writing, question if your potential customers will feel the same way.

      6. Agree to work with an agency

        Eventually, you’ll need to commit to an email agency. Take the time to draw up a strategy together that satisfies you, but be prepared to allow the agency to take the lead on the campaign. They do this for a living, after all.

      7. Review the results of the campaign

        Rome was not built in a day, and you cannot expect an email campaign to reverse your business fortunes overnight. You should see some level of measurable, tangible results, though. If not, consider changing agency before your brand reputation is damaged.

      If you follow these prompts, you’re likely to enjoy a long and successful relationship with your email marketing agency. 

      What factors should a business owner consider when choosing an email marketing agency?

      Follow the tips above when choosing your email marketing agency, and you cannot go wrong. However, during the initial contact stage, there is a range of things to bear in mind. Concerns that you should keep in mind when dealing with an email marketing agency include:

      FeatureGood to know…
      CostIt’s not the only thing to consider, or even necessarily the primary driver, but ensure that the email marketing agency is transparent about their fees – and that you can comfortably afford their services.
      Experience and track recordAsk the agency for some evidence of results they have gained in the past and explain how they achieved success. If the agency is vague, walk away. They should be able to express why a campaign worked and what they learned from it.
      Use of languageWill your agency be writing email copy themselves or outsourcing this to a freelancer? If so, is this writer a native English speaker? There’s little to gain by paying good money for poor communication skills.
      Spirit of partnershipWhile you’ll look to your agency to take the lead on any marketing campaigns, they still work for you – and need to represent your business. Ensure the agency will not ‘go rogue’ and send unsolicited communications.
      Understanding of your audienceAsk your audience how they picture your target audience and how it would be most effective to communicate with these customers. Does this tally up with your market research?
      Definition of successFinally, you need to ensure that your email marketing agency is on the same page regarding results. What do you define success, and how quickly are you expecting to see an outcome from your email campaign?

      It’s always important to thrash out these details before entering a relationship or partnership with an email marketing agency. If in any doubt, hold off on getting started until all concerns are addressed.

      What pitfalls should a business owner look out for when considering an email marketing agency?

      No marketing approach is entirely foolproof, and email marketing is no exception. There are risks and pitfalls to any procedure. Be prepared for unwelcome impacts of hiring an email marketing agency, including:

      • Gaining a reputation as a pest and a spammer. Some consumers will not be happy about being contacted by email at all
      • Raising the heckles of security-conscious consumers, who dislike the risk of their email address being caught in a data hack
      • Annoying users to capturing their imagination with a subject heading, but finding they cannot read the message inside
      • Revealing your campaign secrets to competitors – it takes seconds to forward an email, so if you’re trialling a new campaign it can swiftly go viral
      • Seeing many messages going undelivered, negatively impacting your domain name and making future campaigns trickier

      These issues may not necessarily be the fault of an email marketing agency. As mentioned, there is always an element of rolling the dice when launching a marketing campaign. A skilled agency will be able to steer around and circumnavigate these concerns, though.

      If you’d like further insights into running successful email campaigns, or to receive a quote for services from Creative.onl in this area, please feel free to contact us. As seems fitting, you can reach also reach us by email using the address hello@creative.onl

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