There are lots of myths surrounding email marketing: people tend to downplay its significance thinking of it as a scam. In reality, email marketing is one of the best marketing tools you can find. Read about how it works and why you shouldn’t go cheap on your email marketing campaign.
Is Email Marketing Still Worth It in 2023?
If you’re looking for an effective and cost-efficient tool to market your business, you should definitely try email marketing: it generates $42 for every $1 spent meaning that its ROI comes at 4,200%.
Don’t take our word for it — look what world-renowned experts have to say about email marketing.
If you don’t know how email marketing works, you might think that it can’t be that hard to make an email campaign. You just take some text and slap a couple of pictures of products. There’s one problem though: if you take some text and slap a couple of pictures into a modular template, your subscribers will most likely get a chaotic email that they won’t read.
You might also think that an email marketing campaign can’t cost much: you can find dozens of freelancers on Upwork offering their services at ~$45 per hour.
Here, at EmailSoldiers, it takes a team of 5 people and 10–15 hours to create an email campaign. Let us tell you about our steps and why it’s not a task for one person.
Step 1. A Manager Talks to the Client and Formulates a Technical Task for the Team
There’s a goal behind every email campaign: to boost sales, to educate customers about a product, increase customer loyalty, etc.
That is why every email campaign starts with a client brief. The hours that a project manager spends on briefing and formulating a strategy are always included in the total cost of an email marketing campaign. At this stage, the project manager needs to understand why the client needs an email campaign to identify the subscriber segments that are most likely to convert. If there’s a promotional offer included, it is necessary to discuss the mechanics and other details.
The manager specifies the details of the campaign: what it will be about, copywriting and design guidelines, design references, legal requirements, etc.
Here’s what a brief from one of our clients looks like (this is a pizza restaurant):
Once the manager has all the necessary details and the client is okay with the pricing of the email marketing campaign, the manager structures the information and sets tasks for the team: the copywriter, the designer, the developer, and the proofreader.
Step 2. The Copywriter Puts Together a Copy and Prepares a Plan for the Future Email
The actual email production starts with the backbone of any email — email copy. The copywriter produces all text elements: preheader, email body, buttons, and footer. Later, the designer will consult this structure to create a layout.
Every brand has a unique tone of voice they observe in all brand communications. To keep up with the brand voice, the copywriter does some research: studies the brand’s website, social media, editing guidelines, and target audience characteristics.
A unique and relatable communication style helps increase customer loyalty.
A copywriter’s task is to create a text that is easy to comprehend: they get rid of jargon and complex syntax and structure the text with the help of lists, icons, and infographics.
There’s one more thing a copywriter does: they need to think of all the questions and objections a subscriber might have while reading the copy. The content team makes sure there’s nothing missing in the email and yet it doesn’t overwhelm the subscribers. For instance, you can include some information about shipping in a promotional email or a link where subscribers can learn more about it.
A technical task for the copywriter can already have text for the copy, but most of the time it’s just a loosely formulated outline. This is a raw version that needs polishing before it is sent to the subscribers.
Once the text is ready, the copywriter sends it to the manager for approval. The latter sends the text to the client if necessary.
Modular templates simplify email production — contact us if you need one. But we should warn you that a modular template won’t replace a designer on a project. The designer takes the necessary UI (user interface) elements from the template and adjusts them to create a unique design that would serve the email objectives. This is what a modular template looks like:
There are cases when the designer doesn’t use the modular template at all: they create a unique email template from scratch, which takes more time.
A designer follows a set of rules to create a properly structured template. If they ignore these rules, the developer won’t be able to code the email until everything is fixed.
The designer sends the template to the copywriter, the manager, and the client for approval. The copywriter makes sure the text and design compliment each other, while the manager looks at the template from a marketing perspective. They also need to check if it meets the client’s expectations and business objectives. After the approval stage comes the coding stage.
Step 4. A Developer Creates a Responsive HTML Email Template
Responsive email design is essential to provide an exceptional user experience across all devices and email clients.
The developer starts with checking the size of the email and the background. They look to see if it is possible to use HTML tables and if the blocks can resize without breaking the rules of responsive web design. If something is wrong, the template is sent back to the designer.
Then, the developer checks the email responsiveness: what blocks can be adapted and what they will look like on different email clients, devices, and operating systems. To resize or hide an element, the developer adds the necessary tag to each element.
One might think they can reduce email marketing costs by skipping the coding stage. This is what happens when you create template out of images and substitute buttons for shortened URLs:
1. Your email can land in spam. Image-only emails are usually a sign of scam, so email clients tend to block them.
2. Email clients will disable shortened URLs. Spammers are known for using link shorteners and redirects. Email clients forbid following such links as it’s impossible to predict what’ll happen after: it can be a malicious website or EXE file.
3. The email won’t be responsive. The blocks won’t adjust or resize leaving mobile users with something incomprehensible.
Our developers use two methods to test the code and make sure there are no bugs:
1. They upload code to Email on Acid to preview the email on different email clients, operation systems, and devices.
2. They send test emails to all email clients and open it on different devices.
Omitting some steps can result in a poorly adapted template.
Step 5. The Proofreader Checks the Email
Our teammates are superheroes, but even superheroes can have slip-ups: making a typo, accidentally deleting or adding a symbol while editing the text, design, or code. That is why at the final stage of email production, a proofreader comes in. They check the email before it goes live.
Step 6. The Manager Sets Up and Sends the Campaign
To send an email to the subscribers, the manager creates a campaign in the email service provider and sets up the email.
This is what they do:
- Import HTML code.
- Add links and the variables for dynamic content: name, products.
- Upload the email list.
- Set up the campaign parameters: campaign type, day and time of sending, time zone, sending speed optimization, and control group.
- Make sure the campaign is sent and analyze its performance after a certain period of time.
Why You Should Hire an Email Marketing Agency
According to the 2021 State of Email Report from Litmus, more than 90% of brands say that email marketing is responsible for their success to some extent, while 37% are increasing their email budget in 2023. Teaming up with an agency can be a great way to leverage your email channel and grow your business.
They Will Help You Set the Right Goals and Objectives
Sometimes businesses struggle to define their goals and set the right KPIs when it comes to measuring the success of their email marketing efforts. An agency will audit your email list and communication channels to achieve measurable results.
Email Marketing Cost
Working with an email marketing agency is actually more cost-effective than hiring an in-house team or freelancers. With an agency, you can get a whole package of services without spending your money on taxes, buying expensive tools, or paying freelancer overtime.
You Will Save Your Time
The agency team will take care of setting up and cultivating your email channel, while you can focus on other growth areas.
How Much Does Email Marketing Cost at EmailSoldiers and Why We Won’t Go Any Lower
Let’s summarize. We have teams of 5 people who create an email campaign in 2–5 days (that’s about 10–15 work hours). Apart from crafting emails, we’re always learning new ways to optimize the email production cycle.
The total cost of an email campaign starts at $500. Charging less would mean paying the team less and downgrading the quality of their work. We hate bad emails and letting our customers down, so we’ll never go any lower.