It is important to understand the marketing costs before starting any marketing in order to better determine our marketing budget and ensure that we can get the appropriate ROI.
There is a basic consensus in Western markets that most email marketing brings excellent ROI and is one of the simplest and most effective marketing methods.
What Determines the Cost of Email Marketing?
The ultimate marketing cost largely depends on the service you need. This may seem very general, so we will break it down one by one so that you can have a clearer understanding of the cost composition of email marketing and what the necessary costs are.
1. Email Marketing Service Fee
Most free email providers limit the number of emails you can send in a given period of time, and some even limit you to using them for commercial purposes. If you choose to use a personal email account, you will be penalized for violating spam rules.
Charges: Email marketing is subject to a monthly platform service fee. Some companies charge a flat fee, while others price differently based on the number of subscribers, those who use email marketing, or the features you need. A few have free versions (but other restrictions or requirements may apply).
2. Number of Email Subscribers
As mentioned above, some email marketing platforms charge you upfront based on the number of subscribers you have. But that's not the only reason why subscriber count affects your marketing costs. The more subscribers you have, the more staff and time you need to invest in personalized emails. Sending different content to different consumers is bound to increase your production costs.
3. Automated Creation and Setup of Content
Whether you plan to send marketing emails once a week or once a day, it's essential to set them up in advance. Creating an automated process doesn't mean you don't have to worry about it in the first place. You'll need to create and test the various combinations to find the best one before letting it run on its own.
It may not be as constant as other jobs, but you don't know when you'll need urgent care, and the cost of having employees at different levels handle it can vary greatly. However, once the automation starts running, it will give you a steady stream of returns, which is why email marketing ROI is high: because you're building a real asset.
4. Email Content Creation
Email also requires copywriting and creative materials, and you may need to pay someone to write professional copy or take professional images, depending on your product and customer needs. You can choose according to your actual situation and budget: do you do this in-house? Or hire a third-party agency or pay freelancers to create content? Of course, the more you do it yourself, the less you pay "cost".
But be aware of how much time you focus on this part and whether the content you create affects the effectiveness of other parts. Avoid gains outweighing losses.
5. Network Technology Access Fee
No matter which email marketing service you choose to use, you need consumers to have an opt-in action. For example, on the checkout page, the checkbox "I'd like to get a marketing email" should be available. Consumers who check this box will be automatically added to your email list. There are also various complex pop-ups, forms, and other ways to join.
Some service providers have these features built into the system, but if you want to achieve a more advanced level and provide a smoother user experience, you may need to add some additional external services.
6. Bait Cost Fee
Not all industries can easily entice people to sign up for email, and some e-commerce brands may choose to use coupons, member exclusives, discounts, etc. to entice people to sign up. B2B companies also prepare various forms of "freebies" in exchange for consumers' email permission.
Most decoys come at a cost. E-books need to be authored, and webinar content needs to be prepared. Not to mention discounts, giveaways, etc. Content that can be bait must be attractive enough, that is, provide high enough value. (Both in-house and outsourced are available)
7. Promotion Fees
If you prepare bait and no one sees it, then the bait will not work. Therefore, you also need to invest in paid search or social media, traditional advertising, etc. Target people who might be interested in your products and services.
And both advertising and promotion cost money.
How to Reduce Email Marketing Costs?
There are several ways to reduce the cost of email marketing. First, clean up your mailing list regularly to remove invalid subscribers. The mailing list should be cleaned up several times a year to avoid ineffective mailboxes, including zombie mailboxes, that take up your time and costs.
Second, consider changing short-term contracts to long-term contracts, such as switching from monthly to annual contracts. Most service providers in the market charge less for an annual service fee than for a year's monthly expenses.
Third, when choosing an email marketing service provider, determine whether there is external technical support available. This can help you avoid costly downtime and other technical issues.
Fourth, adjust the application of bait content. Many customers don't need unique content for every marketing piece, so you can reuse the same content in different formats. For example, an article educating customers can be repurposed as an email, social media post, and web page content, reducing the cost of your overall content.
The rising cost of advertising makes the cost of email marketing seem more friendly and reasonable. Email marketing has an excellent ROI and is a cost-effective way to reach customers. Brands that prioritize email marketing can get more benefits with less and get ahead of their competitors. It is a recommended strategy for brand merchants who operate overseas.