Email marketing can take a lot of time. If your company is struggling to manage the workload, or need some help putting your marketing toolkit to use, then outsourcing email marketing may be an option worth exploring.
Compared to other digital marketing strategies, email marketing can be a bit more… personal. When someone hands you their email address, they’re placing a certain amount of trust in your business.
What does that trust entail? Well, for starters, it means that your customers expects to receive emails that are relevant and helpful to them, and not at a volume that will turn their inbox into a minefield. Any business that doesn’t rise to this level of trust runs the risk of their contacts unsubscribing and their emails bouncing, or getting sequestered into the dreaded spam filter.
For this reason, many businesses are reluctant to consider outsourcing email marketing as a viable option for their business. They’re worried that an outside agency won’t understand their customers or know how to speak to their leads.
But there are (more than) a few good reasons to outsource your email marketing. So, if you're on the fence about outsourcing email marketing and its viability, here are some reasons you should consider it:
1) Email Marketing Takes a Lot of Work
Unless you have a dedicated in-house marketing team, email marketing can be a drain on your limited resources.
Most businesses can handle a monthly or even a weekly newsletter. But if you’re just getting by on that, then you're missing out on a real opportunity to dramatically increase conversions and sales with email.
A true email marketing campaign requires hours of investment and several touchpoints to implement properly. More importantly, it requires certain sets of skills.
Today’s marketing emails may contain HTML coding, GIFs, custom-designed images, and original copy. As such, even simple emails may require complex assets such as custom call-to-action buttons or automated workflows based on if/then actions.
If your email marketing is part of an overarching inbound marketing strategy, it should also incorporate analytics. Understanding what your analytics are telling you requires a certain skill set as well. For example, you need to know why one email was opened and another wasn’t, why one email was clicked-through and another was ignored. It's data like this that will show you what's working and how to fix what isn't working.
Some of the skills you’ll need for an email marketing campaign include:
- Graphic Design
- Data Analysis
- A/B Testing
- Marketing Strategy
In fact, you could need as many as three to five people to run a successful email marketing campaign. If you intend to use automated emails, you may also need additional tools.
2) Email Marketing Automation Requires the Right Tools
Unlike newsletters and other one-off email campaigns, automated emails are sent to contacts based on data and user behavior. For example, if a contact fills out a form to download a helpful guide on your website, you can automatically send them an email with the guide attached.
Automation also opens up some exciting opportunities for lead nurturing. If one of your newsletter subscribers opens one of your emails and converts, you can enroll them in a separate workflow offering exclusive content. At the end of the workflow, you could propose a free consultation, a demo, or a piece of bottom-funnel content like a comparison white paper.
There are plenty of email automation platforms out there, but they can get expensive, and some of the latest platforms may have a learning curve. Furthermore, creating automated workflows can get complicated and take a lot of time.
Since many outsourced marketing teams already have access to a wealth of email marketing tools, including a CRM, outsourcing email marketing can effectively equip your emails with the extra boost they need to succeed. And if your new partner works with a provider, they may even be able to get you a discount on the tools you need.
Your outsourced team will take the reigns of your email campaigns, doing all the tasks required of them. All you have to do is provide feedback and approval along the way.
3) Data Gives You an Advantage
Successful email campaigns are built on data.
If you know how many people are opening and clicking your emails, you can use that data to build better campaigns moving forward. For example, if your last email had a low open rate, you can change the subject of the email, the preview text, and even the name of the sender to see if you get more opens next time.
If your last email had a low click-through rate, you may need to reassess the contents of that email. What is the overall goal of the email? Are you sending it to the right people?
If you’re trying to get people to sign up for a webinar, you won’t want to clutter it up with links to your blog posts. If you’re presenting an offer to your current customers, you probably don’t want to send that email to all of your blog subscribers.
Some important metrics you should be monitoring include:
- Open Rate
- Click-through Rate
- Unsubscribe Rate
- Hard Bounces
- Soft Bounces
- Delivery Rate
- Churn Rate (Contact List Growth Over Time)
If you find that you’re shedding contacts faster than you can replenish them, it may be time to take a look at how you structure your email campaigns and how you’re obtaining new contacts.
Outsource Email Marketing and Do More
Not to knock that monthly newsletter, but you can do more with email. If you don’t have the staff or the time to build automated email workflows, segment your lists more effectively, or analyze your metrics, then try developing a strategy that involves outsourcing email marketing. You'll probably be surprised by the results.