Is Outsourced Email Marketing Right for Your Business?
Business is complicated.
That’s just the truth!
Regardless of what you’re doing, you’ll always need support from marketing efforts. You need a dedicated base of supporters to keep that cash flowing, and many companies find themselves caught between cost and control.
Introducing the Teams: Internal vs. Outsourced Email Marketing
It’s the old Wild West showdown: a devoted in-house team versus a cheaper outsourced group.
On one side, you have the loyalists. These marketing pros know your brand. They understand your identity and concept. And — when it comes to email marketing — they’re masters of tone and content. But they’re eating into your weekly budget!
So, now, you’re looking at another solution. The outsourced email marketing team can deliver a positive ROI without the additional in-house expenses. They have the expertise necessary to handle any target audience, and that does, indeed, include yours. However, they haven’t set foot in your office. They don’t understand the established process, and they’ll need coaching to master your tone.
What do you do?
By all accounts, you want to keep those employees. They’ve supported your marketing efforts thus far, and it seems a waste to rid yourself of their expertise. However, there comes a time when every business needs to make sacrifices, and it may be your time to outsource email marketing!
And that doesn’t mean you have to lose your employees, either. They can be shifted to sales, where they’ll become invaluable assets.
Outsource Email Marketing With a Reliable Marketing Agency
Now, in-house marketing is self-explanatory.
But what about email marketing outsourcing?
At its core, it’s like any other form of cost reduction.
When you outsource email marketing, you gain a team of dedicated experts for a flat recurring fee. These pros generally handle your email marketing strategy, content creation, and email services. However, they can handle other tasks, too; many support small businesses with additional insights, reports, and resources. Usually, you get an outsourced team by using a marketing agency.
Many companies opt to use all-inclusive digital marketing agencies. These groups provide an immense wealth of services — including emails — at a premium. And that’s not necessarily bad. It works for some, especially when simple multi-channel marketing campaigns are necessary. These setups also have additional resources, such as search engine optimization (SEO) and social media marketing tools.
However, you’re paying for everything. You’re investing in services you don’t need or use!
If you’re only interested in email marketing, your best bet is a dedicated email marketing agency. As you’ve probably guessed, these businesses focus on email marketing. They provide high-quality copy, design, and implementation for all your email-based marketing needs. And they do it for less than a full-service digital marketing agency.
Should You Outsource Email Marketing?
Naturally, these teams have pros and cons. Inevitably, they’ll also be compared to in-house marketing teams.
You may have heard rumors that it’s impossible to get the results you want from an agency. Some go even further, claiming you should always hire email marketing specialists rather than trust an external team. And both of these opinions are wrong!
Like everything in business, the decision to outsource email marketing should not be taken lightly. You’re putting your brand’s future on the line and betting on your image. And ultimately, you can boil this massive argument down to 5 critical issues:
Now, let’s take a closer look, starting with…
Is Your Business Ready for a Committed Marketing Relationship?
Each of our categories will have a clear winner and a definitive loser. Again, that doesn’t mean one strategy is better than the other. It’s a simple matter of fact; both approaches have strengths and weaknesses.
So, think of these categories as a beginner’s guide of sorts. These are tools to help you decide if outsourcing email marketing is the right call for you.
That being said, a marketing agency offers more flexibility than an in-house marketing crew. So, our first point goes to the “outsource email marketing” team! And it makes sense if you think about it.
An internal team is a commitment — almost like a professional marriage — binding your company to those employees. You’ll also be on the hook for those workers’…
- Mistakes: As Hannah Montana once said, “Everyone makes mistakes.” If one of your campaigns goes awry, you’re in charge of fixing it. And you have to discipline those responsible.
- Salary and Benefits: Obviously, you’re paying those internal employees. In its totality, this is generally more expensive than the flat fee you’ll pay a marketing agency.
- Training: Unless you can find someone with experience working on your email marketing platform of choice, you have to train this new employee. You’ll also have to teach them the ins and outs of your branding.
Notably, you avoid these problems by outsourcing email marketing.
The agency handles employee pay and training. In most cases, your team will even manage your marketing software! So, you’re free to do your executive work while the experts brew up an effective email marketing strategy.
How Much Control Do You Want Over Your Email Marketing Campaigns?
However, an internal team offers more control. They are, after all, part of your company. They have direct contact with your brand; they innately understand your vision. More importantly, you have constant access to your marketers. Thus, you can easily make changes to campaigns before they’re sent.
Now, this doesn’t mean you lose autonomy when you outsource email marketing.
A high-quality marketing agency maintains constant contact with clients, so you’ll have plenty of time to tweak the content to your liking. For example, at The Email Marketers, you can choose to have weekly or bi-weekly updates on your email marketing efforts.
Consistent, high-quality contact makes all the difference — especially when using an outsourced team. Otherwise, everything falls out of sync. The second a company and its agency are no longer on the same page is a turning point, and it’s not a positive one!
Nonetheless, even the most communicative agency takes some control of your business’ marketing campaigns. You must trust your agency to match your vision. Otherwise, your costs aren’t aligning with your goals.
Some companies have a rigid, immobile plan. They see their brand as a monolithic entity; any diversion is considered slight. If this sounds like you, consider using an in-house marketing group. The additional expenses will be well worth the unprecedented control you’ll have over your marketing strategy.
Outsource Email Marketing to Lower Your Costs!
Speaking of price tags, outsourced marketing campaigns are cheaper.
I’ve already mentioned the issue of salary and benefits. However, you’ll also want to consider the cost of expertise. Everyone has strengths, and it’s hard (and expensive) to scale an internal team. Monetary losses aside, the search for new employees takes time from your marketing and sales teams. Those precious hours are better spent developing automated emails. But — of course — how can you do that without an automation expert?
At some point, you’ll find yourself in a cycle of losses. Your email marketing expert will have too much on their plate, and your customers will complain. “So,” you say, “we need another marketing employee!” Great! Now, your marketing expert is busy interviewing potential hires! And… wait? Who’s doing the marketing?
Summarily: A marketing agency removes the stress of hiring and micromanaging a dedicated team.
How Often Are You Sending Emails?
Broaden those horizons. You’re saving money and gaining flexibility by outsourcing email marketing. And I’m about to add another perk! You also get a reliable source of content from an outsourced marketing team.
Again, think about the hiring situation. That’s just one example of a small in-house group’s reliability issues. You’ll also have to think about lost time due to personal issues and illness. Truthfully, any lost time can be an omen when you’re working with a limited crew.
Now, what if your specialist is your only employee for a specific department?
Your implementation specialist gets the flu, and you’re left to pick up the pieces! How will customers get their emails? Will you have to cancel those big sales — the ones you were relying on to boost your revenue? And what about your website? How will your email list easily access the right landing pages? What about full-service campaign management? And what if your backup email marketing specialist catches the same bug!?
Remember: The busiest time of the year for ecommerce brands overlaps with flu season. Can you afford to leave your email list in the dark this holiday season?
How Personalized Are Your Needs?
Finally, I want to focus on personalization.
Some brands have very specific needs. These companies may operate within a highly specialized niche. Alternatively, they have an established vision for their marketing strategy. In both scenarios, it’s worth considering an in-house team to develop highly specialized marketing campaigns.
After all, an internal team has hands-on experience with a business’ culture. They’ll understand how to manage product sales and manage the creative process. In a way, it’s an extension of control. Your internal team’s direct contact with your daily operations makes it an invaluable asset, particularly when your company can’t afford to veer from its pre-established brand identity.
Is Outsourcing the Right Choice for Your Email Marketing Campaigns?
So, what are my final thoughts on the matter?
Ultimately, it’s your decision!
There are plenty of benefits to outsourcing email marketing, but some brands still prefer internal teams. It’s a complex issue, and I wouldn’t recommend making the decision alone. You must consider your overall creative process and vision.
How do you want your brand to portray itself? How can you improve this, and will you get the same results if you outsource email marketing?
Don’t forget about your audience, either! How receptive are your customers? Will they notice a sudden change in marketing operations, and will that create more revenue?
These are questions I can’t answer in a blog post. They’re highly specific, and the answers depend on the inquirer.
If you think it’s time to hire some outsourced help, don’t hesitate to contact me! Schedule your free strategy session and see how you could outsource email marketing. I’ll walk you through the process and explain the many perks The Email Marketers’ clients enjoy. I’ll even show you some of the services we offer — we don’t limit ourselves to email marketing!
In the meantime, check the rest of the blog, where you’ll find many resources to help you polish your marketing strategy.