In the digital age, consumers are inundated more than ever with messages from businesses through multiple communication channels and devices. This increased volume and complexity of communications has made it very challenging to attract and retain customers.
Taking a diverse approach to marketing is the way to go, and email remains the most effective tactic for communicating with customers and driving sales. A Harvard Business Review study found that email is nearly 40 times more effective than Twitter and Facebook combined, as a method for acquiring customers. Why? because 90% of US consumers use email daily and the average order value is 17% higher than purchases attributable to those of social media. What’s more, email is a universal digital communication channel – accessible on the desktop and mobile, allowing consumers to take email wherever they go.
Given the reach of email, and it’s clear return on investment, pitching email to new and existing clients is easy. Leverage email services to move beyond project-based client engagements, such as creating a website or one-off campaign, to ongoing profitable engagements.Enticing a new client to subscribe to your newsletter or sign up for on-going seasonal campaigns are excellent examples of ways to get your foot in the door
For clients already using email, you have the opportunity to help them transition from sending sporadic email blasts to more advanced lead nurturing workflows. Setting up automated email workflows on behalf of your clients, puts your agency in a great position to create a steady stream of new content to refresh these campaigns. Many of our clients have improved their digital marketing revenue by 150% or more through selling email.
Read on to learn how to integrate email marketing into your creative services and sell the value of email to your clients.
Pitching the Value of Email to Your Clients
Explain the Return on Investment
Email may not be the latest, most fashionable marketing tactic, yet making a case for its effectiveness and ROI is easy, the results speak for themselves. According to a study by Email Monday, email has an average ROI of $38 for each $1 spent
You may have found that clients are gravitating towards social media channels, developing campaigns on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram. While social media campaigns are important and cannot be ignored, they simply do not provide the same level of reach as email. According to KissMetrics, email has three times the number of user accounts than Facebook and Twitter combined. There are 2.586 billion email users worldwide, including both business and consumer users (Source: Radicatti Group).
Additionally, email marketing and social media both deliver very different results. For example, email is great at driving people to your website and boosting sales. Whereas social media is an excellent way to increase brand awareness and engage with your clients.
A recent study by McKinsey shows that email is a more effective way to acquire customers than social media.
Image courtesy of McKinsey
The rise of mobile has propelled the relevance and personalization of email. 58% of adults claim that checking their email is the first thing they do in the morning, making it a very personal way to communicate with customers (Source: Customer Intelligence). Plus consumers are bringing email with them everywhere they go, 75% of Gmail’s 900 million users access their accounts on mobile devices. (Source: TechCrunch).
How to Sell Email
Recommendation 1: Develop a data-centric marketing strategy
As a marketing or digital agency helping clients develop a measurable and actionable marketing strategy is an important part of what you do. The most important aspect of any business and marketing strategy is to acquire new leads and nurture existing client relationships. You can help your clients understand how email can support this core objective.
- Find out where things stand with your client's database:The success of email marketing is dependent on the size and quality of the contact database. Conduct an audit of your client’s database to show them what type of contacts they have in their database, how long they have been there and what their engagement levels look like.
- Segment your client’s database: The best way to inspire people to act is to provide them with relevant and engaging content. Segmenting a database based on demographic, behavioral and geographical insights is the first step to understanding an audience and devising strategies to ensure future emails are highly relevant.
Recommendation 2: Showcase your creative expertise through email
Create unique HTML email templates: Some agencies specialize in creating unique HTML templates for their clients from scratch, which is a fantastic way to show your creative value to your clients. To show off your abilities, we recommend creating a portfolio of HTML email designs by industry.
Customize pre-made templates with a drag and drop editor: If your agency does not specialize in HTML coding do not fear, email platforms like Vision6 have an in-built drag and drop editor with hundreds of professionally designed and easily customizable templates. This makes it simple for you customize emails using your client’s branding and design guidelines.
Recommendation 3: Set up email workflows and develop new content
A great way to build long-term engagement with your clients is through email automation. Automated emails get 119% higher click rates than broadcast emails (Epsilon).
Creating successful automated workflows and customer journeys goes beyond technical requirements. The most crucial element of a drip campaign is the content. Essentially email is the vehicle for distributing blog posts, infographics, guides, videos, case studies and event invites; you name it. Setting up your client’s automated workflows based on demographic and behavioral traits means that you will have an in-depth knowledge of your clients database. This knowledge, will put you in a great position to create the marketing materials for distribution in the email workflow.
Recommendation 4: Send emails on behalf of clients and report results
Sending emails on behalf of a client and reporting on the results is the best way to showcase your expertise and generate recurring revenue. We find that many marketing teams do not have the bandwidth to send emails themselves and prefer to outsource this service.
You can also provide value to clients through ongoing campaign reporting and recommendations. After an email campaign has finished, create a performance metrics report for your clients that includes delivery rates, open rates, click through rates.
If you send a series of emails or automated workflows on behalf of your client you have the ability to analyze the results over a period of time, comparing stats, and making suggestions on content changes and new campaign ideas based on user engagement.
Leading email service providers like Vision6 have powerful built-in systems analytics capabilities and direct integrations to Google Analytics.Agencies have leveraged data illustrating the majority of email is opened on a mobile device, to create new services including mobile responsive email templates and websites for their clients.
Realize the revenue potential of email
Benefits of Retainer Based Relationships
Project based engagements with clients such as building HTML templates, ad banners and websites will always be important to your agency. However, this type of project based work alone may not bring in the recurring revenue your agency needs to cover fixed costs. Project based assignments make predicting month-to-month expenditures extremely difficult.
Selling email as a managed service and billing monthly retainer allows you to have dedicated staff working on a client's account. This steady stream of recurring revenue means you can spend less time selling your agencies services and spend more time focusing on your core strength-creativity.
Why use a dedicated Service Provider
Your clients may already have an email marketing solution. However, if they don’t, there are substantial benefits to adopting an Email Service Provider such as Vision6.
Additionally you can white label the product and brand it as your own technology to give your clients a consistent experience, for example www.ezymsg.com. You can also take advantage of wholesale costs and decide on your own markup. Using a product like Vision6 also allows you to either pay for the email on behalf of your clients, and then incorporate those costs into your monthly client bill or ask your clients to pay directly in the system. Vision6 provides your agency with enterprise grade email and automation features, at an affordable price point, so you can maximise your revenue.
As a way of showing our support to the agency community, we also provide the use of our software for free for your own email marketing. This gives you the chance to familiarise yourself with the software and feel comfortable recommending us to clients.
Get Started Selling Email
By placing email at the core of your digital marketing offering, your agency will be able to prove value to the client, while creating a steady stream of revenue . Email as a marketing channel has and will stand the test of time. To quote the founder of Gmail “Email is not going to disappear. Possibly ever. Until the robots kill us all.”
To find out more about creating a recurring revenue stream through selling email services, sign up for your free agency account or reach out to one of our friendly agency account managers.