Should you keep your email marketing in-house or outsource the work to an agency or qualified freelancer? This is a big question that a lot of business owners grapple with, especially when they are looking to expand their marketing process.
Email marketing forms an integral part of most successful inbound marketing campaigns today. It is almost impossible to succeed online without it. Unfortunately, it can be a time-consuming and expensive process that also requires skillful people to manage it. For some businesses, it makes sense to do email marketing in-house while others find more value outsourcing it. In some cases also, a combination of the two yields more results.
Not sure which model works best for you? This simple guide will help you make a more informed decision based on factors like time available, expertise, and goals.
Do you have the right expertise?
For you to succeed in email marketing, you need to master several learnable skills. These include (but not limited to) copywriting, data management and analysis, A/B testing, graphic design, and HTML coding.
How competent are you (or your team) in these skills? Are you ready to invest your time and money to learn them?
Depending on your answers to these two questions, you can choose to either use in-house help or outsource your email marketing. You don’t want to lose your hard-earned subscribers (and potential customers) due to bad copy. Worse still, it would hurt a lot if you were banned by your email software provider for the overuse of HTML coding in your emails.
How much time do you (or your marketing team) have?
Email marketing, just like any other form of marketing, takes time and effort to show results. The more you put into it, the higher your chances of growing your list and making increased sales through this channel. If you’re like most business owners, you have to juggle a lot of tasks every day which limits your bandwidth to focus on crucial components like email. The same happens when you have a small marketing team that needs to complete numerous tasks such as SEO, social media marketing, and paid advertising.
If this sounds like your current situation, we highly recommend that you outsource your email marketing. This will allow you or your marketing team to focus on other core tasks that matter more to your business. The idea is to be realistic about how much time is left after you’ve completed doing what you consider more urgent or essential to your business. If it’s proving difficult to allocate sufficient time for email, then outsourcing this vital process is highly advisable.
What are your marketing goals?
Before you can set up any email marketing campaign, you need to have an end in mind. Who do you want to attract to your business? How many subscribers do you target to have by a certain period?
Having a clear understanding of both your short and long-term goals will mean less time wasted on non-issues and quicker results. More importantly, it allows you to determine early on whether you have the capacity and resources to accomplish your email marketing goals in-house or need some external help.
What are your email marketing results?
Suppose you already set your goals and have a running marketing campaign. Upon reviewing the results after a while, you find out that they’re far below what you anticipated.
At this point, you may want to consider using an alternative method for your marketing. If you’ve been doing all your email in-house, it might be time to try an outside firm or agency. Alternatively, you could use a combined approach whereby some of your email marketing tasks are handled by an outside firm while the rest are completed in-house.
For example, you may hire a specialist to analyze the performance of your subject lines and the placement of CTAs within the email body. On the other hand, your in-house copywriter will continue to create your email copy and do other forms of writing. The two can then collaborate to make any recommended changes.
When executed correctly, email marketing can be a game-changer in the overall productivity and profitability of your online business. With it, you can enjoy a consistent stream of leads and customers even when all other channels like SEO and paid ads are impacted by factors such as algorithm changes and increasing costs of advertising. If you can’t adequately coordinate your email marketing process, hiring a third-party service provider might just be what you need to reach your business goals.