Email. It’s a debated means of communication and often gets overshadowed in the sea of shiny new social platforms releasing on any given day.
However, email marketing can be a tremendous asset for reaching, connecting, and selling to your customers.
In this post, we’ll walk through why offering email marketing services is a good idea, how it will benefit your agency, and tips on how to execute it with your clients.
First, email is not dead.
Email is still a viable platform to connect with your audience. In fact, The Radicati Group noted in their Email Statistics Report there are more than 2.6 billion email users in the world and that email use is projected to rise by 3 percent over the next four years. As email has grown, it has taken on additional functions, including notifications and alert functions in addition to more traditional communications.
So what does this mean for creative agencies?
Offering email marketing services to your clients is another avenue for steady, residual income.
Clients buy results and they buy solutions to problems.
They don’t buy websites for the sake of having a website. They buy what the website does for them. For example, the services provided by my business Come Alive Creative have evolved multiple times over the years. At first we started as a general web and graphic design shop. After reviewing our projects near the end of the year, we focused on design and development for ecommerce stores in the beginning of 2016.
However, we realized that designing and building ecommerce stores isn’t the real reason clients come to us. They want ecommerce stores to sell and in order to sell, they need the right people visiting their online store.
Thus, we’ve put a larger emphasis on providing email marketing services in order to help our customers increase their long-term sales. So far it’s working. We believe there is a sizable opportunity in the email marketing services area. In fact, the opportunity is sizable enough that other agencies specialize completely in email marketing services and it’s the only service they sell.
How do you know if email marketing services are a good fit for your firm?
You'll need to decide for yourself if your creative agency should offer email marketing as a paid service. However, it’s a good addition for many. For us, email marketing made sense and is a natural halo product.
Our agency’s core service is building ecommerce websites. However, what the client purchases is a way to sell their products online. Driving quality traffic to purchase from an online store is a perfect complement or halo product for us.
Figuring out email is a huge pain point for most business owners. After wading through all their email marketing provider options (such as GoDaddy Email Marketing), they frequently have questions including:
- How do I get people to sign up for my mailing list?
- What should I send the readers on my list?
- How often should I send emails?
- When will I have the time to write all these emails?
The point is, you are the expert. You know things about email marketing that many of your clients don’t. Don’t take that for granted. Clients will pay you good money for the time you save them answering and delivering on those questions.
Billing email marketing services
Many agencies and freelancers find individual clients and then sell those clients one-time, project-based work like website redesigns or logos and branding. It doesn’t matter if you charge by the hour, day, week, or project, you need to find a new client with every new build.
Selling email services works perfectly into a recurring or subscription pricing structure and is more predictable income than one-time work.
Sending company emails is never finished. Since business strategies evolve, content needs to be written, and conditions change, you can charge your clients a monthly retainer or ongoing fees to help them evolve their email strategies over time.
Predictable, steady income will beat out “feast and famine” cycles every time.
Tips for selling email as a service
Here are a few things we have learned over time.
Sell results. Don’t sell email marketing. Sell what email marketing does to create results. “Our agency drives more customers to your online store” sounds a lot more appealing than “our agency can set-up your email account.”
Complement your existing services. Ask yourself, what are your halo products? Are you making websites? Do you offer ways to drive traffic to your client's site? If so, email marketing is a perfect fit. Do you already offer content creation as a service? Offer an email marketing package, too.
Start with existing clients. It’s much easier to sell to someone who has already purchased from you. Remember that website you built for a client nine months ago? Call them up and see how things are going. Find out if they need help growing their audience and offer them email marketing.
Meet your clients needs. Start by designing your packages based on what your client actually needs instead of what you think they need. For example, we’ve been working with nicharry.com on creating free email series to complement his existing blog post categories and encourage higher opt-in rates, which eventually lead to more sales. Nic writes all of the emails himself and we provide the direction and strategy. A different client of ours has our team handling everything from managing the email service provider to writing and sending the emails. Listen to your clients and give them what they need.
Email marketing increases the value your agency is already providing. Businesses need more than just the one-time deliverables. They need a process to reach and build relationships with the right customers.
Email marketing is part of that process.
Are you already selling email marketing as a service? What’s working and what’s not? Share your wisdom in the comments below.