Hiring an email marketing agency brushes off enormous workload off your shoulders. This can be understood by the fact that building a single email template consumes a team’s one week on average. Not sure about how and where to start? You are at the right place, as today I will share seven things that you should make sure of while finding the ideal vendor for outsourcing to an email marketing agency:
#1 Pen Down Your Requirements In Terms Of Email Marketing Goals
Before you start reaching out to different email marketing agencies, start writing down your email marketing goals in terms of metrics. This includes list growth rate, churn rate, engagement rate, conversion rate, and increase in subscribers’ average lifetime value. Using campaign metrics helps you clearly express your requirements while allowing the email marketing agencies to quickly entertain your query. I find that doing a little homework helps to get more accurate quotes and removes any prospect who wouldn’t fulfill your needs right away.
#2 Define The Parts Of Your Email Marketing Process That You Want To Outsource
While most SMBs choose to outsource their entire email marketing operations, a few of them also partially outsource it. Based on resources available at your end, you can decide if you want to outsource the process except for QA or use your creatives for writing copies and designing images. However, this can lead to complications in communicating with the email marketing firm, making complete outsourcing relatively more popular. Since you don’t need to worry about staffing or tools, you can rapidly scale up or down your operations.
#3 Do A Market Research And Evaluate The Shortlisted Vendors
Now you’re finally ready for market discovery. Once you have acted upon the above two points, you can begin with market research for finding suitable email marketing firms. When going through their websites, make it a point to check if they are working with brands similar to you and go through their entire client portfolio. You can also contact clients to get a better idea. Based on this evaluation, shortlist around 3-5 vendors and ask for personalized quotes based on your prepared requirements. You may go ahead with an email marketing agency within your budget but make sure you’re confident about their ability to pull off results. Finances are undoubtedly important, but with a high-performing channel like email marketing, you won’t mind investing a little more to become sure of having the right partner ecosystem.
#4 Define The Stakeholders In Your Team And Establish Communication Channels
One of the common mistakes businesses make while outsourcing their email marketing process is not defining the stakeholders who will act on their behalf. Ideally, you should take your team into confidence and delegate responsibilities to your team members. This includes which executives will communicate at different hierarchy levels, working hours, mode of communication, and priority considerations. Building a proper communication channel with your vendor plays a big role in streamlining workflows. It eliminates any bottleneck arising due to the lack of inability to share the vision, interpersonal communication, and decision-making delays.
#5 Negotiate The NDA And SLA Terms
This is where most of the mistakes are made: not understanding the contracts’ terms and conditions. It is extremely important to go through the ins and outs of essential contracts like NDA and SLA if you want your outsourced services to be truly fruitful. Discuss the aspects like ownership of the created digital assets, liabilities on both ends, mode and scope of communication, support conditions, hours dedicated for your support, chargeable add-on services, and anything else that impacts your success. Negotiate the working conditions aptly and ensure that they are mutually agreeable and have common grounds for dialogues regarding the work and its results.
#6 Have Confidence In Your Email Marketing Agency
Once you have signed the contracts, take the backseat and trust your email marketing agency. Like all marketing efforts, it may take time before you start seeing results. This could be due to many reasons like they need to perform IP warming before getting started, or your list needs thorough re-segmentation. Give some time to your vendor and be an active contributor during the process. Once you run a couple of campaigns, it is then that you start realizing the success rates and where they were able to improve based on the email metrics and revenue.
#7 Three Common Mistakes To Avoid While Selecting Your Email Marketing Agency
Lastly, I would like to add a few mistakes that you should definitely avoid while selecting the email marketing firm. First of all, you must go for a well-established firm with access to a global talent pool since getting the right employees is one of the biggest reasons behind outsourcing services. Next, check out their technology stack and training activities. A firm putting enough emphasis on maintaining the latest email marketing and testing tool and learning and development activities will always give you better results. Also, ensure that you keep evaluating the results and explore the scope for improvement since it’s something you would do best for your business.
I have tried covering the top seven things to keep in mind while outsourcing your email marketing, but it might take much more when applying practically. Keep these points in mind, and I bet you will find a perfect email marketing agency for your business.
Author Bio: Kevin George is Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest growing custom email design and coding companies, and specializes in crafting professional email templates, PSD to HTML email conversion and free HTML email templates. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz and eats and breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on his blog.