How Much Does Email Marketing Cost? The Cost of Email Marketing Campaigns
“How much does email marketing cost?”
It’s a question that runs through a lot of people's’ minds.
I’ve found that email marketing is hands-down, one of the most effective ways to build your business.
However, a lot of people are hesitant to start email marketing because they don’t know the cost of email marketing campaigns and all that’s associated with it.
Well, don’t worry. In this article, I’m going to break down the cost of email marketing and show you exactly what to expect, from start to finish.
Whether you’re a financial advisor, an e-commerce store manager or a local business owner, these tips will apply to you and can give you some insight about what it takes to start email marketing for your business.
The First Step: Collecting The Email Addresses
When looking at the cost of email marketing, a lot of people go directly to different email automation services and autoresponders. While that’s good thinking, it overlooks something really important - collecting the email address in the first place!
You want to have a system in place, called a lead magnet or opt-in, that allows people to enter their email address (called “opting-in”) on your website. This is usually in exchange for a free gift, such as a PDF download, infographic, or mini-course. If you run a store, you might give people a coupon in exchange for their email address - that tends to work well.
I currently recommend a service called OptinMonster. They’re extremely easy to use and you don’t have to know how to code or anything. You can just plug and play into your website. Every single email opt-in form you see on my website is from OptinMonster and they are working for me 24/7 to collect email addresses and add them to my marketing list.
Before I had OptinMonster, I was using a basic contact form and I wasn’t getting many leads at all. After putting OptinMonster to good use, I’ve been able to get more than 300% more email addresses.
If you’re interested in learning about OptinMonster, I actually wrote a review about it, which you can read here...
OptinMonster vs. Sumo: Why I Prefer OptinMonster
If you’re thinking about putting something OptinMonster’s opt-in forms on your website, it’s typically going to be well worth the price. I currently use their most expensive plan, which is still only $29 per month.
OptinMonster also offers two plans below that, at $9 and $19 per month. And if that wasn’t a good enough deal already, they also offer a 14-day free trial, so you can try them out and see if they’re a good fit for you.
I personally think it’s a no-brainer. I get way more than my $29 worth every single month.
Total cost so far: $29 per month.
The Second Step: Actually Sending The Emails
This is probably the part you wanted to read about it when you clicked on this article, so here it is.
There a gazillion different services out there that will allow you to create and send emails (and I’ve probably tried them all) but I personally recommend Drip. The reason I like Drip so much is because they have so many different features, such as:
Another reason I like Drip is because they have a lot of webinars and video trainings that walk you through how to maximize your email marketing. I love watching their webinars because I can take notes and reference them later.
For everything that is does, Drip is actually a great deal. At the time of this writing, Drip is:
Let’s say that you have a list of 1,000 email subscribers and you’re using both OptinMonster and Drip.
Total cost so far: $70 per month.
And to be completely honest, if you’re a legitimate business and you can’t make your $70 per month back with email marketing, maybe you shouldn’t be in business. I’m sorry if that’s not what you want to hear, but it’s the truth and I call it like I see it.
What If You Want to Hire An Agency/Consultant?
If you want to hire an email marketing agency to do the work for you, then you will end up paying even more. Even though I offer email marketing services, I will be completely transparent: if you are just starting off with email marketing, you should probably handle it yourself at first. You want to learn the ropes enough so you can direct an email marketing agency in the right direction. Remember that nobody knows your business better than you!
The reason email marketers can charge so much is because the demand is so high. Plus, they know that they can make their cost back and much more for you. If someone is willing to make you $10 and they charge you $3 to do it, it’s an amazing deal no matter which way you look at it.
Every single dollar you spend with an email marketer should result in substantially more money hitting your bottom line. Point blank, period.
However, you can make significantly more money if you know a little bit about email marketing as it relates to your business. If you run an ecommerce store selling bicycle parts and the consultant has never worked with someone selling that product before, you can probably point him or her in the right direction.
The reason I get such amazing results for financial advisors is because I work with them on a daily basis. I know their problems, challenges and overall business model.
Most full-service email agencies have a blended hourly rate of somewhere around $200 per hour. If you’re paying much less than that, you’re probably not getting the experience and expertise you deserve. Again, because the demand for email marketers is so high and because they can get such a big ROI, they can charge higher prices.
Just to give you an example, a lot of people come to me to critique their current marketing campaign, and I charge $5,000 to do it. If someone is making $100K per year from a particular campaign and I improve it by 25%, I net them a cool $25,000, which means that this is an absolute steal for them.
Of course, the cost of designing an entire email marketing campaign from the ground up will depend on the market, the complexity, the number of emails in the campaign, any automation applied, and more. But to have me look at your current email campaign and give you some pointers will only cost $5,000.
Why Email Marketing Is So Awesome
Of all the marketing channels that exist, I would have to say that email marketing is my absolute favorite. Here’s why:
People who opt-in to your email list have demonstrated interest in the problem you solve.
I work with financial advisors on a regular basis to help them get more clients… which is why I’m known as The Advisor Coach… and one of the things that I teach advisors on a regular basis is that before they do anything else, they should have a target market clearly defined.
Let’s say that a financial advisor works specifically with dentists and helps them plan for retirement. If that financial advisor put together an ebook or free PDF titled “The 5 Biggest Retirement Planning Mistakes Dentists Make”, then it’s obvious that the only people who would opt-in for such a thing would be dentists who are concerned about making mistakes when planning retirement. And guess what financial advisors do? They help you avoid retirement planning mistakes!
So when people opt-in to your email list, they are clearly demonstrating that they have an interest in the problem you solve. If you sell horse supplements online and offer a coupon code in exchange for an email address, people who opt-in are demonstrating an interest in getting horse supplements.
No other marketing tactic can do this because the other marketing tactics are focused on filtering out uninterested prospects, like you’re panning for gold. Email marketing has this filtering system inherent in its design.
Email can scale.
Let’s say that I’m currently marketing my business by cold calling. Every additional cold call requires effort. If I want to make double the calls, I have to exert twice the effort. The same is true with direct mail - if I want to send double the direct mail, I’ll have to pay twice the costs and stuff twice as many envelopes.
Not so with email marketing. Sending out an email to 10,000 people takes the same amount of time and effort as it takes to send an email to 100 people. All I have to do is write the email and hit “send”.
It’s a really powerful feeling knowing that you can just sit down at a desk, crank out a sales message and send it immediately to thousands of people who have demonstrated an interest in the problem you solve. While your email list can keep growing, your time and money costs largely stay the same.
Your email list is an asset your business owns.
I remember the first time that I tried to conduct a large-scale direct mail campaign. I wanted to put an envelope in the mailbox of every financial advisor in the United States.
I reached out to a list broker, who proceeded to tell me that not only would I have to be screened and approved first, but I would have to shell out tens of thousands of dollars and I would only be able to mail the list ONCE.
Yes, you read that right. Even if I paid out the wazoo, I would only be able to mail that list one time. Hence the term “list rental”.
Email marketing solves this problem. Once someone subscribes to your email list, they’re there until you remove them or until they unsubscribe. That means you can email them as many times as you want.
Imagine that your cost to acquire an email subscriber is about $3. Once you make that three bucks back, everything that you make after that is pure profit. I’ve personally got people on my email list who have been there for YEARS. They’ve been getting emails from me every few days for YEARS. If I create a new product or service every few months, they’re right there buying, and they will continue buying until I remove them or they unsubscribe.
The Bottom Line
If you aren’t doing email marketing for your business, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table. In fact, Wordstream reported that email returned an average of $44 for every dollar spent. I don’t know where else you can get a return like that, but if you know please reach out to me and share it!
Like I said, the two best services I recommend are OptinMonster to build your email list and Drip for sending out your emails and creating campaigns. I personally use these two services on a daily basis and they have changed my business for the better.
Give them a try today - after all, they both offer free trials. If you don’t like them, you can just cancel before the free trial is over. In fact, Drip is completely free for your first 100 email subscribers.
If you have any questions about email marketing or want to know a little bit more about what I’ve discussed in this post, feel free to send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m always receptive to helping people grow their email campaigns and if you have any sticking points, I’m more than happy to help.