What Is a Full-Service Email Marketing Agency?

Melanie Balke
April 26, 2023

I usually talk about building your own email marketing empire in my blogs, but today’s post is different. Today, I’m dedicating my post to all the overwhelmed small business owners of the world. I’m talking to the overworked and stressed-out folks who simply don’t have a second of spare time to figure out email marketing.

This blog post is for you, and it’s all about breaking down what may be your best friend…

The full-service email marketing agency.

Why Your Business Needs Email Marketing Services

"The Perks: Why Emails Matter." The text overlays color-inverted schematics for a drill bit.

If you’ve been watching this blog for a while (or if you peek at the title of the website), it’s no surprise that I am a fanatic about email marketing.

It’s truly one of the best ways to attract customers these days, and it’s the perfect channel for boosting customer engagement. More importantly, compared to other digital marketing services, email remains one of the most accessible and affordable options.

Don’t believe me? Well, I’ve already talked about the numbers, but let’s review some of those stats:

  • 4 billion people use emails daily
  • 347 billion emails were sent every day of 2023
  • As of 2019, consumers spend an average of 5 hours checking personal emails every day
  • In 2022, 37% of businesses reported they were increasing their email marketing budget
  • Most consumers prefer email marketing for sales offers and discounts

The Problem With Email Marketing

A manuscript, courtesy of the National Archives. Overlaid text reads, "The Problem: Email marketing is a heavily saturated channel."

Of course, success breeds innovation. It also brings competition. Imitation is the best form of flattery, and it’s only natural that brands are trying it for themselves.

Email marketing now faces stiff competition, and Adobe-led studies suggest that people open as few as 25% of the messages in their inboxes. Should you choose to enter the ring (and, considering the benefits, you stand to gain more than you’d lose), you’re bound to face dozens of similarly talented ecommerce companies.

How Saturation Has Changed the Face of Email Marketing

Most consumers now expect to see a “give us your email” pop-up when they visit a website. In fact, it’s a rarity to see a commercial site that doesn’t beg consumers for their personal information. It’s become so common that governments have taken notice, and that leads us to another problem…


More and more, people are concerned about their digital privacy. Love it or hate it, that concern is here to stay, and the best email service providers know how to work with it. However, it’s still a big bite out of classic personalization tactics.

Infographic featuring a list of things people dislike in email marketing: Bad information, poor targeting, and spam.

And, yes, you do need personalization. You also need things like segmentation and tracking. It’s a lot of ground to cover, and it won’t do to have just email marketing these days.

Consumers are getting pickier, citing many different focus areas for potential marketers. In a digital marketing study from Adobe, customers highlighted four key annoyances:

  1. Excessive and frequent emails
  2. Incorrect customer segments and data
  3. Poor copywriting
  4. Asking customers to buy a product they’ve already purchased

To put it bluntly: Email marketing specialists must contend with heavy competition, picky consumers, and constantly shifting algorithms. That’s not to say email marketing is worthless, though! There’s still plenty of space for brands to break into this channel, but they need the right email marketing tools and know-how.

What Does an Email Marketing Agency Give You?

A small, smoky office. "What You Get: What to Expect From an Agency."

That all brings us here.

The essential question.

What do email marketing agencies do?

It’s a simple question with a not-so-simple answer. The scope of an email marketing agency depends on your needs, and some groups do more than others. One email marketing company may offer segmentation, while another specializes in B2B newsletters. Some do a bit of everything, while others focus on a single element.

With that said, let’s take a quick look at what you can usually expect when you work with an email marketing company.

Someone to Write the Emails

"Copywriters: The creative brands behind the meat of your email campaigns." The text overlays a photo of a typewriter on a wooden table.

Every email marketing agency — regardless of its size and scope — has a copywriter.

This person is responsible for writing email marketing campaigns. Some agencies also employ editors to double-check behind the copywriter, although this isn’t always true.

In addition to writing emails, copywriters also tweak subject lines and preview text. Many modern agencies (including The Email Marketers) are integrating AI into their copy to streamline the process. However, nothing beats the old-fashioned power of good writing.

Someone to Design the Emails

A brick watercolor paint factory. "Designers: Visual experts dedicated to making eye-popping emails."

Sometimes, the copywriter doubles as the designer. In larger agencies, however, there are dedicated email designers.

Designers create images for campaigns, and some dabble in implementation. They may have experience with other forms of digital marketing, but they ultimately specialize in creating high-quality visuals for your emails. They may also write alt text, although many email marketing agencies let the copywriter or implementation specialist do that.

Someone to Plan the Emails

A color-inverted map. "Planners: The experts with your content calendar."

You’ll also need a strategic team.

Thanks to the many marketing automation companies out there, email marketing has become increasingly hands-off. But! You still need to plan your campaigns. This first phase of an email marketing strategy usually happens on a content calendar, where experts plot out delivery dates for major marketing pushes.

Obviously, you’ll have your run-of-the-mill emails — Christmas, Easter, Mother’s and Father’s Day, and so on. But what happens in between those holidays? That’s where an email strategy expert takes over, crafting unique email campaigns to fill those gaps.

Depending on the email marketing firm, the strategist may be the one who schedules the emails for dispatch. Other marketing agencies give this job to the implementation team.

Someone to Code and Test the Emails

"Implementation: The team responsible for coding and sending your email campaigns." The text overlays a photo of a circuit board.

Again, the exact duties of each employee vary from one email marketing agency to the next. However, the existence of such workers is universal.

Both coding and testing traditionally fall upon implementation experts at an email agency. Their jobs aren’t as obvious as others, but campaigns would fall apart without them! You need coders to craft mobile-friendly emails, and testing is essential to understanding and tweaking an email strategy.

Depending on the email marketing firm, you may also see dedicated teams for landing pages. These employees may cross over, working with the email marketing team occasionally, but their specialty is mostly browser-based (versus designing for email clients).

The Grand Tactician

A Navy captain performing tests. "Strategists: Master tacticians dedicated to guiding email campaigns."

Finally, you need the leader of the team; you need an email strategist. These employees may be part of their own division at a full-service email marketing agency, though they may also work as implementation or planning experts.

Think of the strategist as the captain. They’re in charge of campaign management and client communication. They plot the course of the marketing plan and steer the team to meet your goals. Many of the best email marketing agencies employ strategists with a deep understanding of certain audiences. This helps branded email campaigns reach the right targets, particularly when efforts are aimed at the notoriously fickle Gen Z bracket.

Why Go for an Email Marketing Company Over a Digital Marketing Agency?

Overlapping leaves. "Face Off: Email Agencies & Digital Marketing."

Now, here’s the rub…

You’re probably going to get the same perks from a digital marketing agency. Likewise, if you’re looking for additional digital marketing services, you won’t find them at a dedicated email marketing agency. So, why split your budget? Why make things more complicated?

Both an email marketing agency and a digital marketing firm are dedicated to building your business, but there’s a fundamental skill difference between both options. Of course, there are times when a business’ objectives are best served by a digital marketing manager, but anyone seeking dedicated email specialists should consider a full-service email marketing agency.

Email Marketing Is Unique

Rows of wavy, unfocused text, reading, "Escape the ordinary." Overlaid is the header, "Email is Unique: Email campaigns have the power to be great inbound marketing."

Most digital marketing channels are outbound. They project a brand outward to bring potential customers into the fold.

Most pay-per-click social media marketing isn’t meant to build in-depth relationships with whoever sees them. Conversely, an email campaign has the potential to become a lucrative inbound marketing opportunity.

And that’s just one of the differences.

Much like SMS marketing, email capitalizes on the personal connection of its medium. People use emails to communicate with friends and family, and that mixture of messages makes yours feel more personal.

Keeping Up With the Technology

While the same can be said for any marketing channel, email marketing has a unique mix of technological know-how.

Unlike social media marketing, an email specialist can’t just hit send. Just to illustrate how wild the ride from beginning to end can be for an email, let’s say we’re sending a plain text email campaign. The process for this seemingly simple marketing campaign looks something like this:

  1. Planning: The strategist creates a content calendar.
  2. More Planning: The strategist decides on a goal for these email campaigns. If necessary, they’ll set up landing pages.
  3. Copy: The strategist passes the idea to a copy team, and the writer pitches the idea internally. The best email marketing agencies (including The Email Marketers!) will then do internal checks for typos and errors.
  4. Legal Matters: Most countries have laws for email marketing. The business’ necessary information (i.e., address and contact details) is added, as are any relevant links.
  5. Segmentation: Implementation may choose to break the audience down. If so, they’ll need to segment the email.
  6. Scheduling: Finally, the email is formatted and scheduled for delivery.
Many blueberries. The infographic lists some of the technology used at an email marketing agency, including graphic design and layouts.

That’s six steps for a single plain-text email! Six! If the campaign had A/B tests, we’d be looking at twelve (or more). Email marketing campaigns with images take even longer, as internal teams must design and check additional content.

More to the point, however, that’s at least three different tech skill sets. Planners often work with unique platforms to create campaign flows and calendars, copywriters tend to use their own word processors, and implementation handles the email service provider and internal code.

Most digital marketing services just don’t have the time or manpower to do as many checks and verifications as a dedicated email agency. That’s not to say they’re bad or their services are necessarily subpar. Instead, I’m saying that you won’t get the same bang for your buck if you’re looking to invest primarily in emails.

Exert More Control Over Your Email Marketing Campaigns

An old computer controller module. "Control & Access: Smaller Terms of Specialists Can Dedicate More Time to You."

Along the same vein, many digital agencies work with bundled platforms. Again, this isn’t necessarily wrong, per se; it’s just less effective.

Dedicated email agencies are committed to delivering the highest quality emails and nothing else. That means brands can expect the most advanced email-focused technology under the hood, and marketing teams will have intimate knowledge of that platform’s inner workings. This makes it easier and faster for your team to develop campaigns.

Moreover, these hyper-specialized agencies are keenly aware of the market. They know which KPIs to track, and they have the time to do so.

What Is a Full-Service Email Marketing Agency?

Rows of switches. "What We Do: The Role of a Full-Service Marketing Agency."

That brings us back to the big question: What is a full-service email marketing firm?

Well, one example would be The Email Marketers! So, let’s look at what we offer as an example of what to expect from a full-service email marketing team.

Planning and Developing Email Solutions

"Planning: An email marketing expert plots the course of your campaigns." The text overlays a photo of a planner and some pens.

Most email marketing agencies offer solutions for any business, from small and medium-sized business platforms to massive corporations. The Email Marketers is no exception, and we’re dedicated to helping our clients create a strong fanbase.

That means we — and many of the other best email marketing agencies — will help your business establish itself. Dedicated teams of experts are set aside just for you, and they’ll brainstorm the best approach to your branding and flows. They’ll also work on email template production.

Already have some material?

Don’t sweat it!

Any worthwhile email marketing agency is more than happy to work with what you already have. Writers will copy your existing style, and designers can easily copy your visual choices. However, if you’re looking for a complete rebuild, that’s fine, too!

Setting Up Marketing Automation

A robotic arm on the International Space Station. "Automation: Email marketing pros create an efficient game plan."

Automation remains one of the most effective ways to manage email campaigns. Thus, it’s no surprise that the best email marketing agencies have teams of automation specialists.

These tech gurus have intimate knowledge of their agency’s tool of choice, and they can use those features to execute countless marketing tactics. Once things are set up, your brand can automatically deploy email messages to specific audiences. The in-house team at an email marketing agency will also be able to provide you with regular updates on your brand’s progress.

You may even be assigned an email marketing consultant whose role revolves around guaranteeing your company’s success.

… And That Includes Advanced Marketing Tactics!

Rows of advanced machinery. "Advanced Tactics: Implementation can also handle advanced email marketing tactics."

Dedicated implementation specialists can also create unique email marketing programs for your company. Commonly known as “chatbots,” these automated messaging systems boost your brand’s customer service email marketing efficiency. They can also be assigned to survey tasks, gathering crucial info for making every message a successful email marketing campaign!

You might get the same service from a full-service marketing agency. You might also see marketing automation companies offering this package, but you can’t always guarantee they’ll remain dedicated to the program.

They may also pressure you to accept their larger packages, which allocate an even bigger chunk of your precious budget for services you don’t really need.

What, Specifically, Do Full-Service Email Marketing Firms Do?

There are plenty of email marketing companies out there, but the best email marketing agency is the one that gets results. So, to that end, I’ve made a quick-and-easy list of what you can expect from a full-service marketing agency:

  • Creating and planning email marketing campaigns
  • Email automation services
  • Email campaign management
  • Email template production
  • Graphic design
  • Maintenance and list management
  • Regular updates and reports
  • Scheduling email marketing campaigns
  • Tools to track email marketing revenue
  • Visual design and implementation

Looking for Email Marketing Services?

Overlapping leaves. "Find the Best: We're One of the Top Email Marketing Agencies."

I know this post has run on for a lot longer than usual, but there was a lot to cover! Honestly, I could keep going about this topic, but I know how valuable your time is. So, let’s wrap things up here.

If you’re searching for email marketing services — whether that’s design and implementation, email templates, or anything in between — it always pays to do your research. Check all your options, and don’t be afraid to reach out for reviews.

That being said, I highly encourage you to check into my brand, The Email Marketers! My team of specialists is part of a full-service email marketing agency, and they’re dedicated to crafting consistently successful email campaigns.

Give me a call! We’ll have a free strategy session, and you can decide where to go from there. In the meantime, don’t forget to check out the rest of my blog for more tips and tricks to improve your email marketing strategy.