In today’s marketplace, where every company is vying for customer’s attention, an old faithful marketing tool is the email. With a $44 return on every $1 dollar spent, it’s no wonder that companies are using this tool. Email marketing is not only cost effective, but when done correctly, can be extremely influential as well. However, not every company is equipped to handle email marketing on their own and need to employ the use of an email marketing agency.
As you might understand if you have ever done a search for “email marketing” online, there is a lot of competition out there. Hundreds of companies offering their services, but how do you choose? For one, not every company means the same thing when they say email marketing. Some are best equipped to help a small, one-man operation. Others have the bandwidth to work with Fortune 500 companies. Obviously, you need to know what you are getting into before choosing an agency.
Hoping to help you with this process, we have put together this article on what you need to know before choosing an email marketing agency. Finding the right company can be a headache if you don’t know the right questions to ask or the right expectations to have. In this article, we are going to explore each of those, so let’s get into it.
Why hire an email marketing agency in the first place?
Putting together an email marketing campaign is no simple task. First, you have to divide your customer base into segments so that you can target emails specifically to those groups. Next, you have to create formats and templates for different types of emails and group those together with the different segments you have. Finally, you have to create content which you can send out in these emails to your segmented audience.
Working with an email marketing agency can eliminated a lot of hassle from this process. Depending on the company, they will likely be able to import each of your customers into a database that can segment them for you. They can also provide templates, designs, and the network you need to plan out your campaign. Finally, some companies have even begun writing content for you so that once you get started the process is fairly hands-off.
The reason to hire an email marketing agency is simple: they can do it better, they can do it faster, and they can do it for less money. Employ an agency and you will also be employing all of the expertise and experience that comes with it.
What are your goals for your email marketing campaign?
Knowing your goals before entering into talks with a potential email marketing agency is vital to finding the right company for your needs. For instance, if email is going to be a large part of your marketing campaign, you need to make sure they can handle it. This means creating a detail, ever-changing plan and creating, distributing, and tracking every form of communication from their system.
On the other hand, if you are just using email marketing to send customer surveys or follow-ups, you probably won’t need as much functionality. Lay out a list of needs or goals you want to fulfill with your email campaign before you talk with a company. This way, you know exactly what you are looking for.
What is your budget?
Similar to understand your goals, knowing your budget before looking at email marketing agencies will make this process far less stressful. Pricing is going to be an important consideration for you and your business, make sure you aren’t wasting their time or your own.
If you enter into a conversation and their pricing is way above what you know your budget is, you can end the discussion early. However, if their pricing gives you wiggle room in your budget, let them know your expectations. A company that really wants your business might find a way to work with you within the confines of your budget.
Will you need help developing your campaign strategy?
Not everyone has had experience creating and running an email marketing campaign. You should assess your own skills in this area before talking with a company. If, for example, you have lots of experience and just need templates on which you can build out your campaign, that is a much different discussion than someone who has never done email marketing before.
Like we mentioned at the beginning, more and more email marketing agencies are willing to do this for you. Some companies will create customized content for you, while others only give you the tools to do so. Figure out which of these you need before you start looking.
What kind of customer service can you expect from this agency?
Picture this. You company is just about to launch a new product or service. This is something your team has been working on for months. Along with the launch, you are planning on starting your email marketing campaign. Imagine if your emails stop working or, more dangerously, are sending, but the wrong info.
Working with an email marketing agency that has fast response time and good customer service cannot be overlooked. Find out from the companies you are talking to what their solution to a problem like this would be. Don’t accept anything less than what you are comfortable with.
How will they measure the effectiveness of your campaign?
User engagement metrics and data collection are essentially par for the course at this point. If your email marketing agency doesn’t not have an effective way to measure or track how your campaign is doing, they may not be worth the time.
A solid email marketing agency will not only allow you to track things like clicks and conversions, but repeat visits and other metrics that might be vital to your campaign. Don’t be afraid to ask these questions of your agency. They should know how to answer them if they are worth their snuff.
After answering the questions we just went over, you should have a good idea of whether or not the email marketing agency you are talking to is up to your standards. However, if you want to be completely sure in your decision, asking these final follow-up questions will make you feel confident in your choice. Questions like:
- Will your emails appear the way you want no matter where your client views them?
- Where do they get their images?
- Will your email campaigns work with social media and enhance your existing marketing strategy?
Any company that can’t answer these final questions should be avoided. Considering that these are bare minimum requirements in our day and age, you shouldn’t have trouble with them. But they are worth asking all the same.
Now that you know what to look for in an email marketing agency, the ball is in your court. Finding the right company for you might take some time, but with the knowledge you now have, you will be able to find the right company for you. Happy hunting!