By Ros Hodgekiss,
at Campaign Monitor
Pitching a new service to your clients is never easy, regardless of how compelling you perceive the case to be. When the service is email marketing, there’s an additional twist—often your introductory conversation will not so much consist of explaining what it is (‘a compelling way to get in touch with your customers’), but deconstructing what it isn’t (‘spam’).
So, how do you bring your clients around to seeing the value in email marketing? What can you charge for? Perhaps most importantly, what’s in it for the designer? In this article, we’ll go through some of the core selling points you can pitch to your clients and the range of services that you can offer.
Why should my clients be interested in email?
If you have the blessing of tech-savvy clients, then getting them to be involved in email marketing, or even self-manage campaigns shouldn’t be a great stretch of the imagination. Even if your clients are distinctly hands-off, here are some reasons why they should consider collecting subscribers and sending campaigns:
Regardless of the size of your clients’ enterprise, email marketing is a channel that consistently delivers return on investment, for comparatively little cost or effort. In fact, on average it delivers almost $44 in revenue for every dollar spent. Your client can use email to facilitate a relationship with their customers using personalized messages and relevant content, support other marketing channels such as social media and print, or simply widen their sales funnel to receive more inbound enquiries. What’s better, you only send to people who have expressed an interest in hearing from your client, unlike the pay-and-pray approach of placing an ad in your local paper (that inevitably ends up in the compost heap).
It’s targeted and measurable
One of the great advantages of sending email is that the results are readily available—and fast. Your clients can look at reports and discover what’s working and what’s not, then rapidly make tweaks. As we touched on earlier, email is targeted—if your client believes a certain segment of their subscriber list will respond better to an email promotion or message, then they can send to that group only, or run split tests to identify what tactics work best. That can’t be said for a lot of other marketing channels.
It’s easy to use
It doesn’t usually take much effort to set up an account in an email marketing application and let your clients access reports, or edit email templates themselves. Web applications like Campaign Monitor, MailChimp and My Emma handle the administrative niggles such as unsubscribe and bounce management, maintaining deliverability and even invoicing. This allows you and your clients to simply get on with the fun stuff — designing sweet email creatives and optimizing your campaigns.
The beauty of email is its flexibility. Does your client want to promote time-sensitive events like holiday promotions or product releases? Or do they value communicating with their customers based on their interests or purchasing habits? With email, you can tailor your message to specific audiences, land your campaign in customers’ inboxes at exactly the time you want and drive engagement in creative ways. Get your client excited by suggesting they use email to tie in with new or existing campaigns like customer surveys and seasonal sales. Or look at their marketing pain-points—if your client is concerned about their carbon footprint, introducing email newsletters or catalogs is a great way to lessen their dependence on print media, while providing customers with a more convenient (and timely) way to keep in touch.
Get your client involved by sending them a demo newsletter featuring their branding, giving them access to an account in an email marketing application, or setting up an email template that they can customize using an in-app visual editor. If they can take a part in the campaign lifecycle, or simply view post-campaign reports, they will not only see how manageable it is, but be reassured that the money they spend produces quantifiable results.
If this isn’t enough to convince your client, take a look at Beautiful Email Newsletters or Campaign Monitor’s email design gallery to find fresh ways email is being used to drive customers to a site, supplement promotions or simply get in touch. For a lot of folks, HTML email is synonymous with spam and slow-loading graphics. Show them that it can be done legally and professionally and you may have a new convert on your hands.
Charging for email marketing
Just like any web design project, providing email marketing comes with its own set of potentially billable tasks. Regardless of whether you bill at a fixed-rate or by-the-hour, here are a few of the services you can charge for:
In a similar vein to designing and building a site or landing page, you can charge your client for creating and testing an email template. If done right, a solid template can also save you a lot of recurring work in the future, too—your more savvy clients will be able to use the template to insert their own content and send campaigns with little intervention, time and time again.
Campaign review and consultation
Providing insights into campaign results and suggesting email optimizations doesn’t have to be something that you trade for a cup of coffee – you only need to read a case study on A/B testing to realize that it’s serious work. Develop a mature email marketing strategy by trying different approaches to the use of subject lines and email content, developing key learnings from campaign results or diving into Google Analytics to track conversions.
Client-issued changes are often the bane of a designer’s life. A lot of folks offer a few rounds of amends as part of the normal testing and sign-off process, but as soon as you start amending email templates based on your recommendations, or substantially refactoring campaigns, it becomes a billable item.
Delivery is potentially one of the more obtuse line items you can include when billing a client. If you’re on a monthly plan with a service provider like MailChimp, then it effectively costs you nothing on top of what you would usually pay. When billing your clients, however, it’s often used to charge for tasks like production and testing.
Using Campaign Monitor’s internal billing system, you can set your individual clients’ delivery and per-recipient sending fees as you see fit, providing the opportunity to come up with flexible pricing schemes while still having these marked as line items on system-generated invoices. For example, if you’re offering a complete design-and-send service, your delivery fee can be marked-up high enough to cover production costs, or if your clients are sending on behalf of themselves, you can set your prices competitively to encourage frequent sends. Alternately, you can bill independently of an in-app invoicing system, say, by simply a charging a monthly fee for your services. It’s entirely up to you.
Charging your clients markup on top of Campaign Monitor’s base rates also provides the opportunity to generate passive income. If your clients send their campaigns themselves, any amount they pay above the base rates will be sent to you each month as profit. Campaign Monitor is rebrandable and all invoices are white-label, so your clients won’t know that they’re paying anyone but you.
You can rebrand and customize Campaign Monitor to make it your own
For more tips and advice, take a look at this comprehensive article on charging your clients for email marketing.
Lets get the party started
The great news is that if you’re already developing sites commercially, you’re ready to offer email to your clients—most of the tools required are free to use, plus there’s an abundance of resources to help you on your way. Furthermore, you can set your own prices, offer your clients everything from templates, to comprehensive campaign management and not dramatically change your business model while you’re at it. If you’re going to add to your service offering this year, give email marketing a try—not only will it clear your clients’ misconceptions, but it could possibly bring a new revenue stream to your business, too!
Do you provide email marketing services to your clients? If so, what types of services do you charge for—template design, consultation, delivery?