Recently I reviewed our Email Marketing services page – updated the text, added a new image, and soon to be adding some fresh client testimonials. Did a Google search for “Email Marketing Ireland” and we came up on the first page – good – but what I noticed when I reviewed the competitor offerings for email marketing is that we are the only ones who are not trying to hawk our own in-house software onto clients.
What does this mean for Irish businesses who want to introduce email marketing to their communications mix?
All internet marketing agencies will sell you on the advantages of email marketing. That much is true. But most will try to sell you a license to use their software. You’ll find yourself paying out for training in how to use that software and no doubt will hear all about the robustness and excellent deliverability of their systems – but after that, you’ll be pretty much left to get on with it yourself.
I strongly disagree with this. And let’s call it what it is – companies pushing something onto unsuspecting clients that delivers the best return for their balance sheets, and not necessarily the best result for the client.
I’m a big believer in email marketing; in fact it’s my favourite! I believe in it so much that I’m happy to provide training to clients in how to do it themselves. But what I’ve known to happen is that training can be delivered, but when it comes to getting the email out, it’s a big stress on the client.
Doing it yourself eats up loads of time.
Testing takes ages and this drives up the cost. When you’re trying to get an email out, 100% perfect, on time, and it’s not your core area of expertise, it can be really stressful. It’s not surprising that many businesses start out with high hopes of doing regular email marketing and over time, they let it slide because it becomes too much hassle.
When I deliver training in email marketing – it’s about more than just how to use a piece of software.
- It’s about planning the messaging, who you’re communicating with, what you have to say.
- Putting in place an email marketing content plan so that you know what you have to write throughout the year.
- And most importantly of all, how to analyse the statistics.
- All that plus advice on list building, and of course design of beautiful and effective email templates.
If you’re interested in learning all about that, our last public training course of 2008 is on 27 November. Find out more… But know this – DIY Email Marketing is only for you if you’re comfortable using software and have the time to devote to managing your campaigns.
When we do email marketing for our clients, we sit down with them and work out messaging, frequency, list building, and design.
But after that we look after everything leaving them free to get on with running their business.
What this means is that our clients know that every email communication going out on their behalf reads great, is professionally designed, and is delivered using the best web-based software developed by companies whose sole focus is this. Not some two-bit piece of kit that was knocked out by the techies back when the ‘agency’ added email marketing to its list of services.
Then, one week after send, our clients receive a report detailing all the user interactions with the email and with recommendations on how future email content and offers can be targeted to get better results.
We’re about making our money by providing advice and best practice delivery. Not by selling software. It’s an email marketing no-brainer.
I’m 100% in agreement with you. Your competitors are just trying to squeeze out a few extra bucks from unknowing clients and it’s sad. Do they markup and resell hosting, too? Register clients’ domain names under their own account?
Campaign Monitor, Mail Chimp, Vertical Response (to name a few big ones here in the States) – there’s a multitude of companies whose sole focus is providing high quality contact management and email marketing tools and have the financial backing to ensure their infrastructure is state-of-the-art. They serve more clients (several orders of magnitude more), which means costs are low, and also – importantly – that they’ve likely encountered any problems you might have and know how to fix ’em.
The biggest benefit to using one of the big fish rather than custom software is that the client ultimately has the ability to move on if and when they feel like it. There’s no financial “lock-in” because they haven’t invested XX dollars (euros?) a month (and who knows how much up front) into a system that they’ll lose access to if they decide they want to try something else.
It’s like a music subscription service where you lose all your music the day you stop paying!
We’re in the exact same position here in NYC with regard to our competitors doing all the email management stuff in-house. It’s a way to make a few extra bucks, I guess, but employing staff to develop and maintain a system that offers no greater functionality than a pay-as-you-go web app does for virtually nothing seems like a total waste to me.
I firmly believe in “setting the client free” as much as possible. Teaching, advising, consulting, and allowing the people with the most intimate knowledge of their product, services, and/or customers to speak with them effectively as only they can.
Hear hear! And you’ve made a point there that I had missed – when you’re on a pay as you go system, you can try out the service and see if it’s right for your business (I”m an email marketing zealot so I would say yes it is!). You don’t have to invest big bucks to just test it.
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