Email Marketing Agency Pricing

The Email Marketers
December 14, 2021

Email Marketing Agency Pricing

So you decided to take the leap!!!!

Congratulations! You decided to get your large, small, or mid-sized business' marketing strategy working for REAL. You've heard the rumors and seen the numbers--email marketing is the biggest player in town when it comes to raising ROI and reaching as many clients as your heart desires.

So now what?

Well, now it's time to seriously consider hiring an email marketing agency. After all, these are the folks that have the know-how on how to unroll your successful email campaign.

Naturally, you want to know what the average cost of an email marketing agency would be, and you want to know HOW email services pricing works and how agencies determine what to charge. Is it by hourly rates? A fixed sum? Per month?

The truth is there's no simple answer; cost will vary depending on your needs, expectations, and budget.

But, as an email marketing agency ourselves (this is The Email Marketers website, after all), we have some valuable information and insights regarding what goes into pricing. The great news is no matter the size of your business, hiring an email marketing agency is a smart move, and getting one email campaign or many email campaigns out into the world is almost sure to help your business grow.

Factors That Most Agencies Use To Determine Agency Pricing

Most companies, including small businesses, mid-size businesses, and large corporations, will want to make email marketing efforts in order to maximize profits.

Digital marketing is a fantastic, huge bang for the buck, extremely cost-effective way to get people engaged, reach existing customers, interest the target audience for your product, and locate new leads. Email marketing can connect you with potential customers at almost every moment of the day--because 90% of email users check their messages on mobile devices.

Email campaigns can significantly impact ROI in a positive direction. One estimate quotes for every $1 spent on an email marketing campaign, $44 is made (yeah, a huge ROI, and one that continues to trump social media marketing campaigns).

So, let's just say using and email campaigns makes sense, and allotting a portion of your budget to it is certainly a good idea.

Good Rules of Thumb

When it comes to email marketing agencies, the old saying "you get what you pay for" generally applies. Low, rock-bottom pricing is easy to find and very tempting (and it may be what your budget can sustain for the time being), but keep in mind that spending on a full-service email marketing agency is an investment.

A good in-between decision might be to have an email marketing freelancer run your email marketing campaign until you can jump into a higher-quality agency. You can also combine the talent you have(for example, a great copywriter who already crushes it with subject lines) with what you need from an email marketing agency.

As you make decisions as to what size budget you'll be putting towards email marketing services, keep in mind that a few factors will impact agency pricing.

Demand for Email Marketing Agencies

Since a good email marketing campaign can do wonders for companies, it's no surprise that email marketing agencies, especially good ones, are in high demand with clients.

That demand can push up their hourly rates, thereby influencing the overall cost of email marketing services. However, remember that agencies that charge higher rates aren't automatically the best fit for your brand's email marketing needs.

Menu of Email Marketing Services On Offer

Most email marketing agencies offer a host of services to potential customers, so you need to ask yourself: do you want an email marketing agency to handle ALL aspects of your email campaign, or do you plan to self-manage a portion?

The of amount services that businesses choose for their specific email marketing campaigns will affect the email marketing agency cost. Simply put, the more email services a business decides to use, the greater the email marketing cost.

So, exactly what are these services? Here are a few you might see:

  • account management
  • lead nurturing and contact list growth
  • development & implementation of exit intent pop-ups on website
  • campaign management
  • list growth and opt-ins
  • list management and list maintenance
  • lifecycle email automation
  • creative design
  • copywriting
  • spam prevention
  • deliverability issues resolution
  • list maintenance (purging inactive subscribers)
  • creation of landing pages (a website specifically for the email campaign)
  • continuity between emails, landing pages, and website
  • strategy development

Email marketing agency services

Complexity of Data

Email marketing pricing costs are affected by the number of data sources and the methods used to obtain them.

Setting up and maintaining integrations can be relatively simple in cases where multiple data sources are combined into a single data source and integrated with the email platform.

In a large organization with a lot of disparate data, more time is needed in order to maintain integrations, manage data pulls, and aggregate data for reporting purposes. This, understandably, leads to higher costs for clients with more complex data needs.

Regardless of how seemingly simple or complex your data sources are, having an expert monitor data and share meaningful information with you can be an invaluable resource in making business decisions that help you better understand your production accounts and increase your bottom line.

Email Platforms And Email Marketing Software

The email platform that you will use to launch your email campaigns is also a factor in an email campaign's average cost. After all, the email marketing agency won't be sending your emails one by one--rather, they will be using an email platform and email templates.

The Right ESP Matters

You may be asked by some agencies to select a platform or email marketing software (Mailchimp, Constant Contact, and Klaviyo are popular choices--these ESPs are powerful tools for a successful email marketing campaign). Email platforms do have a fee per month, so that will add to your overall cost for email services.

If you already are using an ESP, you may need to weigh the costs and benefits of keeping the ESP you're using versus migrating to one that an agency recommends or specializes in.

Expert Use of an ESP Matters More

That being said: you're going to pay for an ESP no matter what. If you don't have the company time or bandwidth to really master the platform, going with the platform your agency specializes in is the best way to get your money's worth. The agency will be able to utilize features of the software their clients don't even know about.

Client's email list or number of subscribers

The larger your subscriber list (and a large list is GREAT), the more your email campaigns will cost. Many agencies will adjust pricing according to how many email accounts they send to, as well as how many emails they will be sending per month for your business.

Amount Of Emails Sent Per Week Or Month

This dovetails with the bullet above. The larger your subscriber list, and the more types of email campaigns you send per month, the more your email marketing cost will increase. However, that also greatly increases your potential for revenue.

A strong agency can create lifecycle emails, promotional emails, and even a monthly newsletter that is optimized for converting your target audience. Remember, something as simple as subject lines can make or break an email campaign, so having an agency that you trust to understand best email marketing practices is priceless.

Plus, as we discussed before, a $44 return on a $1 investment makes it much easier to decide to invest a bit more per month in email marketing.

Email Marketing Pricing: Fixed Cost or Hourly Rate

There are a couple of ways agency pricing works: some agencies require a monthly retainer, while other agencies charge per hour or have a fixed fee (that might be a one-time fee or charged on a monthly basis).

Again, this will depend on the number of services you require from your email marketing agency. Some agencies work per project and some work with a business sending regular automated emails and email campaigns.

The main takeaway here is to make sure you're very clear on when you're being charged for what service. If an agency's pricing model isn't crystal clear, that isn't a great sign. We'll have some more red flags to share with you, but for now, let's stay focused on the numbers.

The Numbers

Yeah, yeah, you may be thinking. All this explanation but I just want to know the NUMBERS! How much will email marketing services run me in dollar signs??

Well, we can't give you exact numbers but here are some ranges of email marketing services. The great thing is, there really is email marketing pricing for every budget and for every email campaign, however broad or small in scope the needs may be, clients can find what they're looking for.

The Numbers For Hourly Rates

For some agencies, the price of email marketing services is determined by the length of time it takes to complete the project.

For the most part, full-service email agencies charge an hourly rate of between $125 and $200, which includes highly experienced team members who may charge up to $250 per hour and less-experienced team members who are paid less.

Keep in mind, clients should be able to have a conversation about hourly rates! Open communication is key for a good working relationship.

The Numbers For Project-Based

There really is no typical budget for a project per agency.

That being said, there are examples of exactly what you will find as you research email marketing pricing.  An email marketing agency may charge anywhere from $10,000 and $100,000 per project. This will depend on the scope of services and the size of the email campaign.

If those numbers startled you, don't fear! You might find projects that cost below $10,000. It will really depend on your business expectations, and there are email marketing agencies that will be suited to your needs.

Numbers For Retainers

When it comes to retainers for email marketing services per month, retainers with multiple team members each performing a different role will of course run higher than a retainer with just a few or one team member on the production account.  

For a large business, a retainer might be quoted at $20,000 per month and perhaps rise. For smaller and mid-size businesses, if they choose to use the retainer model, that number will probably be lower.

So Those Are The Numbers?

Numbers, numbers, numbers. The thing about numbers is, they are usually negotiable between email marketing agencies and clients, and they vary greatly.

If your business is going more "a la carte," there is a wide range of email marketing services available, and they can cost as low as from $500 to $2,000, per service, per project, or per month.

So, though it may not be as simple as "an email marketing agency will cost you this amount of dollars"; there are ranges and factors to consider as you find the email marketing pricing that works best for your business. But instead of seeing the variety among email marketing agencies as overwhelming, focus on how the versatility and choice you have can help you find the exact services you need at the right price.

What Differentiates A Good Email Marketing Agency From A Mediocre Email Marketing Service

A top email marketing agency prizes collaboration with clients, and a sense of shared values and goals. Among other benefits, a good email marketing agency will drive traffic to the client's website, develop an email marketing strategy,  and come up with a solid email marketing plan.

What To Look For In An Email Marketing Agency

Probably the biggest question you will want to ask yourself as you look for an email marketing agency is: do the company culture, values, and specialties of the agency fit what YOUR company needs?

After all, you will have to be in pretty close contact with the people at the agency as they handle your email marketing campaigns, so essentially you want to make sure your interactions are at the very least productive and productive and ideally productive, pleasant, enlightening, and even fun.

To that end, here is a basic checklist you might keep in mind:

  • Does the agency communicate well with you? Meaning, are they prompt in responding, fully listen to your concerns, and make you feel heard and understood when you meet with them?
  • Does the agency have the skillset that your company will need for your marketing vision? Some companies specialize in just a few areas--which can be great if those are the areas you need, but not great if you need a more full-service approach to your marketing.
  • Does the agency have a track record of proven results and satisfied clients? Although the past doesn't exactly predict the future, it can be very helpful to look at the history of an agency's work in order to get a better idea of what they can do for you. Looking at work they've done for other clients might also help you decide if the TYPE of work they provide aligns with your needs.
  • Of course, is this agency within your budget or willing to work with your budget? You can find fantastic email marketing services at several levels of price points, so be honest with yourself as to what is realistic for your budget.

Questions to ask to find the right email marketing agency

Email Marketing Campaign Questions You Need to Ask Yourself

If you're still feeling unsure of what you need in an email marketing agency, it might be that you need to ask yourself some targeted questions about what you're looking for from your email marketing campaigns.

You don't have to have all the answers when meeting with potential agencies, but the clearer your vision is, the better you and the agency will be able to tell if you're a good fit for each other.

"What Am I Working With?"

First, challenge yourself to write down what your current email marketing strategy, tools, and numbers are. This will give you the foundational information you need to set realistic email marketing goals.

Next, ask yourself what your vision for your email marketing is. Try to get away from the "I need to do email marketing because it makes money and everyone says I do" mentality. To put it another way...

"What Do I Really Want?"

Do you want to grow your email marketing so that it generates 60% of your total revenue? Or do you want to send out a weekly newsletter that builds a loyal community that is likely to purchase the online courses you publish? Those are both great goals but would have very different email marketing strategies, executions, and implementations.

"What Do I Need to Get What I Want?"

Ultimately you want to find an agency that takes digital marketing seriously and offers clients an email marketing service experience that feels tailored to your specific brand. Once you know what your brand's goals are, you can take inventory to determine what you need to get you to that goal. Then measure different email marketing agencies against that list of needs.

Takeaways Re: Email Marketing Services and Email Marketing Agencies

As you can see, there are many factors that contribute to what an email marketing agency will charge clients. Understanding how pricing works helps you determine whether you're paying for what you really want and need out of an agency.


Email marketing pricing will vary depending on the size of your business and your subscriber list, the amount of email marketing services you will require (whether you self-manage some aspects or have an agency handle all your email marketing services), the number of emails that will be part of your digital marketing campaign, and whether the email marketing agency chargers an hourly rate, a monthly retainer, or a fixed fee per month.

Choosing the Right Agency

Ultimately, you will want to choose an email marketing agency that aligns with your budget and your goals for your email marketing strategy. You will want an email marketing agency that collaborates with clients on their specific needs and goals.

Final Thoughts

There's no question that email marketing and a solid email marketing strategy and email campaign are essential for your business. And there are many kinds of email marketing services on offer and just as many email marketing agencies.

The cost of email marketing isn't a quick question to answer, but feel assured, even asking that question means you're making good decisions for your business. You understand that an agency is a valuable marketing tool that can benefit anyone from a solopreneur to a mid size business. Now you have the insight to go forth and find the best fit for you!