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Your Email Agency Is Your Best Friend

Updated: July 1, 2024
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Hiring an email agency to manage your business’ email marketing efforts is not an overnight decision.

An email agency can work miracles for a variety of businesses. Outsourcing your email marketing to an agency not only streamlines tasks and cuts costs, but also boosts marketing effectiveness by leveraging industry experts. However, it’s crucial to assess if this choice aligns with your business needs before diving in.

Come along as we dissect the role of an email agency, the experience of collaborating with one, and how to find the ideal agency for your needs.

The Role of an Email Agency

A typical email agency handles both the strategy and the execution of email marketing campaigns.

Strategy in this case refers to planning weekly, monthly, or quarterly email campaigns based on specific objectives and results. Execution involves the actual creation and delivery of your marketing messages. While some agencies manage both planning and execution, others may offer the strategic roadmap and leave the implementation to an in-house team.

Services an Email Agency Can Provide

  • Establishing a Clear Vision: Setting realistic and attainable marketing goals sounds easier than it is. An email agency can collaborate with you to establish clear, measurable short-term and long-term goals to evaluate your marketing strategy’s effectiveness.
  • Producing Compelling Content: Having engaging email content is paramount. By outsourcing to an email agency, you’ll get content written by seasoned professionals who are experienced in writing clear messages that convert.
  • Optimizing Email Templates: An agency employs the tools and professionals that can develop and refine email templates to resonate with your target audience.
  • Managing Newsletters & Promotions: They can assist in planning and executing newsletters and promotional emails to keep subscribers informed and engaged.
  • Automation Creation: A good company’s team members are pros at designing automated email sequences, setting triggers, flows, and constructing the emails.
  • Segmentation Management: They’ll be able to segment your subscribers and produce tailored messaging for each list.
  • A/B Testing: Your agency will conduct continuous testing to optimize various elements like subject lines, designs, and segmentation.
  • CTR Optimization: Enhancing click-through rates (CTR) by adjusting designs, copy, and calls to action (CTAs) is another service an email agency can provide.
  • Deliverability Optimization: Ensuring emails reach your subscribers’ inboxes demands specialized skills. Email marketing agencies have dedicated teams for this purpose.
  • Data Management: An email agency can take over your data management tasks such as cleaning email lists, organizing data with tags, and managing suppression lists.
  • Reporting: Your agency will provide you with regular reports, usually on a monthly basis, connecting performance metrics to the initial goals.
  • ESP Setup: They can also aid in selecting and configuring the most suitable email service provider (ESP). Additionally, they’ll assist with migrating your data to a different ESP should you change services.

In-House vs. Email Agency

When deciding between managing email marketing in-house or hiring an email agency, consider your specific situation.

Companies with basic email marketing foundations can enhance efficiency and effectiveness by working with agencies for template redesigns, increased automations, and performance optimization.

On the other hand, email agencies can address workforce gaps and access expertise, time, tools, and fresh ideas without hiring new staff. If your in-house email marketing team struggles with scalability or overwhelm, outsourcing may be beneficial.

In-House Email Marketing Pros

  • Control: If you keep your email marketing in-house, you can personally oversee its every aspect. The voice, tone, and style of your campaigns will be entirely yours. You’ll be able to adjust strategies in real-time.
  • Responsiveness: When everything is in your hands, you’re the one in control. This can mean faster decision-making with a shorter communication chain.
  • Access: By handling marketing internally, you eliminate any confidentiality issues that can arise when working with an email agency.

In-House Email Marketing Cons

  • Time-Consuming Learning Curve: Mastering inbound email marketing involves a significant time commitment with plenty of trial and error.
  • Limited Expertise: Your email marketing is limited by your expertise. Plus, in-house marketing can prove to have high energy demands. This can cause you to neglect other business aspects.
  • Delayed Results: Working solo may take longer to see positive results, compared to using an agency with specialized knowledge and dedicated team members.

Email Agency Pros

  • Access to Specialized Experts: As stated above, an email agency consists of a team of marketing professionals. This saves you the hassle of assembling your own team.
  • Rapid Results: Agencies use proven systems and personal experience for quick results compared to managing marketing alone.
  • Focus on Core Activities: Outsourcing email marketing lets you focus on revenue-generating tasks and essential business aspects.
  • Enhanced Outcomes: Agencies have access to advanced tools and resources to boost your marketing results. This saves you from costly individual purchases.
  • Measurable ROI: A good email marketing agency provides detailed analytics and reports for precise return on investment (ROI) tracking.

Email Agency Cons

  • Slower Decision Making: An email agency may take longer to make changes and important decisions due to a longer communication chain.
  • Potential High Costs: If you sign with an email agency whose fees are out of your price range, it can lead to significant monthly expenses.

In-House vs Email Agency Pricing

Cost is a major concern for many looking into email agency services. However, in our experience, hiring an agency can result in cost savings compared to building an equivalent in-house team.

When you hire an email agency, you’re securing the expertise of multiple professionals dedicated to your account. Additionally, you get access to the agency’s tech stack, which could involve significant monthly expenses ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to your own financial calculations. Is it cost-effective for you to onboard and train new employees? Or does hiring a pre-assembled team offer better value?

What to Expect from an Email Agency

While each company has their own unique processes, there are some aspects of partnering with an agency that are universal. As an example, let’s take a walk through what to expect once you sign with a company like Email Broadcast.

Kick-off and Discovery

Your email agency partnership begins with discovery meetings. These take place before finalizing any contracts. This allows both parties to get to know each other and assess if a partnership is suitable.

In your first meeting, ask about various aspects of the potential partnership. Here are some discussion points:

  • Can you show examples of your previous successful campaigns for businesses similar to ours?
  • Can we see examples of email templates your team has made?
  • How will your email agency ensure alignment with our brand voice and style guidelines?
  • What technologies are in your tech stack?
  • What is your communication process like?

At Email Broadcast, we typically begin with a marketing audit. This audit involves examining your current email marketing strategies to provide insights into strengths and areas for improvement. Based on the results, we present a proposal outlining potential collaboration opportunities if you choose to move forward.

Branding and Strategy Development

Following the discovery phase and upon mutual agreement to proceed, your email agency should move on to strategizing. This phase involves conducting additional meetings to meticulously outline your email marketing objectives.

For some businesses, objectives may be straightforward, such as “increase email revenue by 25%.” Others may have more intricate goals, like “attain 98.5% deliverability, boost website traffic by 30%, and enhance subscription sales by 20%.”

Once clear objectives are established, your agency will formulate a comprehensive strategy to achieve these goals. It’s important to note that strategies are dynamic and should undergo continual evaluation. Therefore, the strategy initially devised may evolve significantly over the course of your contract.

Production

After finalizing the initial strategy, your email agency will proceed with producing your deliverables. A typical timeline could look something like the following:

  • Week 1: Perform data cleansing and refinement.
  • Week 2: Develop four new newsletter templates.
  • Week 3: Implement a browse abandonment automation.
  • Week 4: Do A/B testing on welcome series messages.
  • Week 5: Evaluate work done so far and determine next steps.

Depending on your agency agreement, you can choose your level of involvement. For instance, after initial setup, you may prefer only regular email updates and one or two monthly meetings to stay informed and engaged.

Analytics

After following through on your deliverables, an email marketing agency usually takes a few weeks to collect data for a baseline. Then, the focus shifts to analyzing the performance.

Reporting and analysis serve two main purposes:

  • Show you the agency’s activities and performance.
  • Find ways to improve and optimize continuously.

Campaign Optimization

During optimization, you should start seeing concrete results. Email agencies display their skills and expertise in this phase. While methodologies differ, many agencies use a system that prioritizes based on impact on performance and implementation effort. This process is ongoing and iterative. Regardless, any reputable agency always looks for ways to improve and tests new ideas to enhance performance.

Email Agency Qualifications Checklist

Finding the right email marketing agency can be tough with so many options available. Here are key factors to focus on before making your decision:

Specialization in Your Industry

Look for email agencies with expertise in your specific industry. For example, an ecommerce brand should choose an agency with a track record in the ecommerce sector.

Clear Understanding of Goals

Successful partnerships are built on shared goals. Misalignment can have negative impacts, especially in email marketing where ethical practices are vital for lasting success. Avoid hiring an agency that prioritizes short-term gains through spammy tactics.

Budgeting

While exact costs may not be clear initially, make sure you understand the agency’s pricing structure and if it fits your budget. Talk openly about pricing. Consider that quality usually comes with a price, and the cheapest option might cost more in the long term.

Accountability

A good email agency owns up to mistakes and rectifies any issues. If an agency avoids accountability, it might not be the right fit.

Transparency

Your email agency should openly discuss their methods and provide insights into how they handle your email list and campaigns. While some strategies may be confidential, essential information affecting your campaigns should be shared.

Is an Email Agency the Best Choice for You?

The role of an email agency goes far beyond sending out promotional emails. They are strategic partners who can help drive revenue and build relationships with your customers.

From maximizing ROI to delivering creative and personalized campaigns, embracing collaboration with a trusted agency can lead to success in your email marketing efforts.

While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, considering factors such as budget, timeline, and specific needs can help determine if hiring an email agency is the right choice for your business.

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Seven Coffee Roasters

"Email Broadcast did a great job optimizing many of our blog posts.  The optimization process increased our site traffic by over 10% immediately. 

We've been with Email Broadcast for about 3 months now and the investment has been worth it.  We will be looking to add more services from them in the future. 

Meeting with Email Broadcast is always professional, friendly, and productive.  They are great at keeping everyone on task and moving forward, especially me."

Sean
President
Seven Coffee Roasters

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