One of the most important choices brands can make is that of who will represent them and work with them on digital marketing efforts. Email marketing, being a cornerstone of the digital marketing process, is one of the biggest areas in which this choice can make a difference. But it can seem confusing to companies to try and find the best partner to work with. Here at Site Impact, we’re focused on making it easy for all of our clients, and that goes even for making it easy to find out who to work with. We’ve compiled a quick list of things for brands of all sizes to look for in an email marketing agency to make it easy.
This seems almost too straightforward and obvious, but knowing how much of the work you want your email marketing agency to do before you hire them is an important first step towards picking the right fit. Does your company have an existing, well-developed marketing department that’s done a lot of digital work--and wants to continue in that vein? Are you a small business who needs an agency that can handle all of the details, and just provide you with the results? There are agencies that can take the reins and manage every detail; there are also agencies that specialize in just helping build lists and deploying your emails through their network. Knowing what you need your agency partner to do before you start your search will help you to narrow down the candidates early.
Before you approach any email marketing agencies, know how much you’re going to be able and willing to spend, both in general and on a per-campaign basis. This can have a big impact on who the best fit will be; not only does it determine whether or not some agencies will be able to provide the services you need, but it also creates an expectation for what scale of work is going to get done. Having a budget in mind also gives you a reference-point for discussions when you talk to account managers and other agency reps: they can tell you what they’d be able to do for that price point, and you can work out how that fits into your needs.
The best email marketing agency in the world in terms of strategy and creative development may be a bad fit if you feel like you can’t get in touch with people in a timely manner. Once you’ve narrowed down the field based on your budget and the question of how the work will be divided up, ask questions and find out about how accessible the team you’ll be working with is. Is there a specific person you can go to at any time who has all the information you’ll need (including helping parse through reports, helping to work out any kinks in implementation, etc)? Reputation can be a major help in this area, as well as time in the business; while newcomers aren’t necessarily a bad pick, going with an established company means that you can look into what their clients have to say about them.
There is no way to gauge the success of an email campaign without some kind of metrics. If an agency you go to tries to make the analytics side of the system sound too complicated, or says that they don’t do analytics, that is a clear red flag. Any agency you work with should be able to explain not only what metrics they keep tabs on, but what those metrics mean in practical terms, and how you can understand the reports on those metrics easily. Email marketing is an industry that requires quick decision-making, and data has to inform those decisions. Site Impact takes pride in making it easy for our clients to access their data on our custom-built platforms, and we’re happy to explain what we’re monitoring and why it matters. Don’t work with companies that aren’t willing to provide you with that vital information.
These are the four most basic factors to consider when you’re searching out a new email marketing agency, and of course there are other considerations that brands can and should have; for example, social integration is an important factor for many companies, but not all, and things like sourcing for images is also an indicator of quality. By investigating and keeping these four things in mind, however, you can steer yourself towards a great agency that can help you--whether you need a company that will take care of all the details, or just someone who can help with deployment and list growth. Contact Site Impact today to find out how we can tailor a variety of solutions to your brand’s needs.