When outsourcing email marketing efforts, it’s crucial to get certain aspects right to ensure success. We’ve gathered insights from 13 marketing professionals, including CEOs, founders, and marketing managers, on the most important factors to consider. From providing guidance on structure and tone to creating a detailed brief, these experts share their top tips for a successful outsourcing experience.
- Provide Guidance on Structure and Tone
- Define Roles and Communicate Clearly
- Set Clear Expectations Upfront
- Maintain Brand Consistency
- Understand Brand Voice and KPIs
- Define Success and Track Metrics
- Prioritize Industry Experience
- Ensure Legal Compliance
- Establish Clear Communication With Check-ins and Feedback
- Verify Agency’s Experience and Expertise
- Consider Budget for Outsourcing
- Ensure a Correct Opt-Out Process
- Create a Detailed Brief
Provide Guidance on Structure and Tone
When outsourcing email marketing, you must be clear about your preferred structure and tone. For example, provide previous email examples you created in-house or newsletters from other brands you particularly enjoy. The more inspiration you provide to the freelancer or agency, the greater the likelihood of them capturing the essence of what you’re looking for.
Define Roles and Communicate Clearly
When outsourcing email marketing efforts, it’s essential to define roles and responsibilities clearly. I’ve learned this through personal experience, where a lack of clarity in this area can lead to confusion, miscommunication, and ultimately, poor results. By defining who handles what, you can ensure that everyone knows what’s expected of them, and everyone can work efficiently towards the same goal.
It’s also essential to establish an obvious line of communication and set up regular check-ins to ensure that everyone is on the same page. By doing so, you can help ensure that the outsourcing process runs smoothly and that you achieve the desired results.
Set Clear Expectations Upfront
Setting clear expectations upfront is crucial for the effective outsourcing of email marketing operations to a third-party company or independent contractor. In order to guarantee that everyone is on the same page, this entails identifying deliverables, techniques, a timetable, and prices.
It’s also essential to treat the outsourcing partner like a team member and make sure they have the knowledge and experience required. To guarantee responsibility and prevent grouping activities together, it is also crucial to set up regular check-ins and milestones. In order to ensure that everyone involved knows where they are going and how to get there, we should develop clear and quantifiable goals.
Maintain Brand Consistency
When outsourcing email marketing efforts to an external agency or freelancer, one critical factor to consider is ensuring consistency in brand messaging.
According to HubSpot, personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14% and conversion rates by 10%. This highlights the importance of ensuring that the outsourced email marketing partner understands the brand’s voice, messaging, and target audience to create personalized and relevant emails.
One example of a company that excels at outsourcing email marketing is Airbnb. The company outsources its email marketing to an external agency, but they have maintained the brand’s unique voice and personality by providing detailed brand guidelines and frequent communication. This has resulted in a consistent and engaging email marketing campaign that has contributed to the company’s success.
Understand Brand Voice and KPIs
When outsourcing email marketing efforts, it’s crucial to ensure that the external agency or freelancer understands your brand voice and messaging.
This requires a clear and concise communication strategy, which should include your target audience, brand values, and goals. Providing the agency or freelancer with a detailed brief that outlines your expectations and guidelines is also important.
It’s essential to maintain regular communication throughout the process and to review and approve all email copy and designs before they are sent out.
Additionally, it’s crucial to establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of the email campaign. KPIs such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates will provide insight into the effectiveness of the campaign and allow for adjustments to be made if necessary.
Define Success and Track Metrics
Without a clear understanding of what you want to achieve through your email marketing campaign, how will you know if it’s successful or not?
Start by defining what success means for your business. Is it more sales, higher website traffic, increased brand awareness, or something else entirely? Once you’ve identified your goals, you need to establish specific and measurable metrics to track progress.
For example, if your goal is to increase sales through email marketing, track open rates, click-throughs, conversion rates, and revenue generated from email campaigns can help you determine whether you’re on the right track. By outlining these metrics upfront, you can communicate this effectively with any external agency or freelancer you work with.
Prioritize Industry Experience
We’ve worked with a few different freelancers, and those with industry experience (for us at Helm, that’s the accounting and finance industry) have been markedly better to work with and have produced the best results.
For those without industry experience, we’ve found that they have to spend more time developing copy, and it resonates less with our target audience. Those with experience have had an easier time jumping in, and typically already have a strong grasp of our audience, or at least a level of familiarity that helps them write more engaging copy.
Another benefit of working with those with industry experience is that they sometimes know things or have insights on things that even we didn’t, potentially helping us in other aspects of our business.
Ensure Legal Compliance
When outsourcing email marketing, I suggest making sure your partner is aware of and complies with relevant legislation such as GDPR, CAN-SPAM, and CASL. I believe this will assist you in avoiding legal complications and protecting the reputation of your brand.
Establish Clear Communication With Check-ins and Feedback
One thing to get right when outsourcing email marketing efforts to an external agency or freelancer is to ensure clear communication and expectations. This means establishing a clear scope of work, outlining goals and objectives, and setting timelines and deadlines.
It’s also important to communicate your brand voice, target audience, and any specific requirements or preferences you may have, such as language, design style, or tone. Setting up regular check-ins and progress reports can help ensure that the work is meeting your expectations and that any issues or concerns are addressed promptly.
Finally, it’s essential to establish a good working relationship with the agency or freelancer, which means being open to feedback and willing to collaborate to achieve the best results.
Verify Agency’s Experience and Expertise
Agencies certainly have experienced teams that deliver winning email marketing solutions to their clients. But does the agency you’ve hired have the necessary experience and expertise to cater to your brand and niche?
The rules of email marketing vary in every industry, and there’s quite a lot of fine-tuning that comes into play when serving different brands too. So ensuring that your agency can indeed deliver efficient solutions is among the first things to consider.
Review their existing client list, ask them how they intend to improve on your current strategy, and even plan a few test runs to see how the entire plan works. Sign up for their services only when you’re convinced.
Consider Budget for Outsourcing
We can do marketing entirely in-house, completely outsourced, or a combination of the two. After all, compared to internal teams, marketing firms typically offer a wider range of services, have a team with more varied specialties, and can work more quickly.
Setting your budget might make it clearer whether your business should hire a freelancer or a marketing outsourcing agency. Consider factors such as how much it costs you in terms of time and money to keep things in-house. A rough estimate of the resources you’ll (theoretically) be freeing up can be obtained by starting with the salaries of your workers and figuring out how much time they spend on the tasks you’ll be outsourcing.
How long do you intend to work with the agency or freelancer? Do you plan to outsource a single campaign that will last a month? Any possible savings from equipment, contractors, or other services that you won’t require after starting to work with the independent contractor/agency.
Ensure a Correct Opt-Out Process
You must ensure that they get the opt-out process correct. People need to clearly see how to opt-out, and the request must be honored immediately. Not everyone remembers signing up for your list, and some people just want to clear their inboxes. Regardless, failure to get it right can cause damage to your brand with negative reviews.
Create a Detailed Brief
When creating a brief, know that there’s no such thing as “too specific.” If you feel like the agency or freelancer needs to know about it, then write it down. The more you can reduce back-and-forth in the beginning, the more the external partner can get into the ‘flow’ of your requirements.