Email marketing is one of the best ways to interact with your audience and customers. For every $1 spent on email marketing, you make $42 in return. This ROI is more than enough to persuade any business or marketer to go for email marketing services. But how much does it cost for email marketing?
If you are just starting with it, you need to know everything about its cost. This article explores everything you need to know about email marketing cost.
But before moving to the nitty-gritty, if you are not sure what is email marketing, how to do it, how long should a marketing email be, and other email marketing related queries, you can read the following blog posts to get a grip of the basics:
- What is email marketing
- How to do email marketing
- How long should a marketing email be
- The best time to send a marketing email
- How to write an effective marketing email.
Once you know the basics, you can jump ahead and start thinking (and planning) about its cost and budgeting.
Email Marketing Cost
The email marketing pricing depends on a lot of factors. You don’t just need an email marketing tool to get started. There are a lot of other things too that need resources.
Let’s break down the email marketing cost based on different variables:
1. Email Marketing Tool
The first thing you need is an email marketing service provider, email service provider (ESP), email marketing tool, or email marketing software. An ESP is a company that lets you run email campaigns and allows you to send bulk emails. Gmail is a free email service provider that is individuals use for non-business purposes:
MailChimp, on the other hand, is an email service provider for businesses that lets businesses run email campaigns seamlessly:
An email service provider is a must for online marketing as it lets you send bulk emails. You can’t send bulk emails from your personal email account. Besides, an ESP provides you with several features such as:
- Email automation
- Lead generation
- Landing pages, opt in forms, and email templates
- Form creation and management for list building
- Improved delivery
- Email tracking
- Integration with your CRM tool.
So, the main cost for email marketing is that of an ESP or email marketing tool. It is the first thing you need and it is essential. Doing email marketing at scale isn’t possible without a reliable and sophisticated email marketing service provider.
How Much Does an Email Marketing Tool Cost?
Email marketing tools have variable costs. But normally, ESPs are affordable. Most of the tools for businesses come with a freemium plan such as MailChimp.
It has a free plan with basic features. Premium plans come with more features, services, and higher limitations:
The pricing structure used by almost all the platforms is based on the number of contacts you have. As your email list grows, the monthly subscription charges will increase.
Here is an example:
The reason why tools charge you on the basis of the number of subscribers is that they charge you for the number of emails you send. The more contacts you have, the more emails you’ll send.
For small email lists, you can stick with the free plan. And as your list grows, you can jump to premium plans. The email marketing tool will automatically update you to a premium plan once your subscribers reach a certain threshold.
The price in any case is under $100 per month for small to mid-sized email lists. For large email lists, you might have to pay more than $100 a month.
$0 – $100+ per month.
2. Email Copy and Design
An email marketing platform isn’t the only thing you need to run an effective email campaign. It requires persuasive email copy with graphics and a powerful CTA. And the email must be well-designed.
So, you need to invest money in email copy and email design. Both copy and design impact the response rate and open rate of your emails.
The email copy is the crux of the email and it involves:
- A subject line
- Email body
- Graphics and/or media.
Here is an example of how a perfectly crafted email copy looks like:
How your email is designed and what template you are using directly impact response rate and email CTR. As much as 94% of first impressions are related to design and visual appeal:
This is because the human brain is designed to process visual information easily. More than 90% of information sent to the brain is visual:
How you present an email copy plays a significant role in its effectiveness. A great email designed poorly will perform miserably as opposed to a poor email that’s designed perfectly.
Both email content and design are crucial elements of any email campaign.
How Much Does Email Copy and Design Cost?
All the leading email marketing platforms offer editable email templates that make your emails visually pleasing. If you want to create an email newsletter, you can pick a template, edit it, add content, and that’s it.
Here are a few newsletter templates available with GetResponse:
You can edit these with an easy-to-use editor.
All the email marketing apps offer you templates for email marketing strategy. This solves the design issue and comes free of cost with your tool.
Email copy is something you have to arrange either inhouse or outsource it. And this comes at a cost. If you have inhouse writers, it will be free. If you plan to hire a freelancer, email content will cost you at least $50.
For example, if you are using Fiverr, you can get an email copy well under $50:
If you choose to hire an email marketing agency for copywriting, it will cost you $500+. So, it depends where you are getting your copy from.
Email design is free as you’ll get it free of cost from your ESP. Make sure the email marketing services you are subscribing to offer email templates and they’re included in your plan. You have a lot of options to choose from so if one tool isn’t offering templates, move to the next.
Email copy is free if you do it yourself or someone from your team writes it. In the case of outsourcing, it will cost you between $50 to $1,000 per email copy.
3. Running and Managing Email Campaigns
Running an email marketing campaign requires constant tracking and monitoring. Small businesses have limited resources and it gets hard for them to run and manage email marketing campaigns.
In any case, running an email marketing campaign requires money. Even if you are using a tool, it still requires regular monitoring. It runs on autopilot but it needs supervision.
As much as 34% of email marketers want to increase subscriber engagement. This means you have to keep a close eye on subscriber segmentation, open rates, CTRs, inactivity, and other metrics to tweak email marketing strategy accordingly – and at the right time:
You’ll need at least one full-time employee, freelancer, or agency to monitor and manage your email marketing campaigns.
How Much Does Email Marketing Management Cost?
It depends on how you are doing it.
Most businesses run several email campaigns simultaneously so they need a full-time employee to overlook campaigns. You have 3 options to go with:
- Assign the task to an employee (Free)
- Hire a freelancer (Starting price $10 per hour)
- Hire an agency (Starting price $300 per month)
These costs are flexible and depend on your requirements, number of contacts, number of campaigns, automation, etc. Here is a list of different tasks that you might need at this stage:
Flexible and depends on how you are managing campaigns and how complex your campaigns are. It could be free if you assign an additional role to an employee or it will cost you per hour or month if you go with a freelancer or an email marketing agency.
4. Miscellaneous Tasks
There are several other tasks that increase your email marketing budget. These are add-ons that not all businesses need rather these are based on specific requirements and may vary from company to company.
For example, you might want your email platform integrated with your CRM tool, lead generation platform, Google Ads, customer support platform, and other marketing tools. This integration is very common for marketing automation:
This integration comes at a cost.
There are other types of tasks that you might need specifically for your business such as:
- In-depth analytics and tracking via third-party tools
- Advanced automation
- Custom integration
- Customer data management linkage.
These tasks originate on a need-basis and are mostly customized. Therefore, they cost a lot.
How Much Miscellaneous Email Marketing Tasks Cost?
The price for these tasks is hard to define upfront. But it might cost you a lot as these are custom tasks and you’ll need to seek help from email marketing experts.
Small businesses don’t need any of these tasks rather these are needed by large businesses at the enterprise level.
It is hard to determine cost upfront as it depends on the type, scope, and complexity of the project. A small and simple task, such as custom integration, might cost you $500 onwards whereas more complex tasks are expensive.
Marketing Agency vs. Email Marketing Software
Using an email marketing tool isn’t your only option for email marketing. You can outsource it to a professional email marketing agency.
Why outsource it?
Outsourcing provides you instant access to expert marketers. This is ideal for businesses that don’t have the time and resources to train their workforce and then do email marketing. However, email marketing agencies typically charge a higher fee.
And it comes with an initial one-time investment in most cases.
Here is an agency pricing for typical email marketing:
Here is another agency that charges a one-time fee:
The average price per month for an email marketing agency is between $500 to $2,000. It costs more than using an email marketing platform but it comes with the added benefit of peace of mind.
When you compare this cost with the average cost of email marketing when you use a platform, there is a huge difference. You can do email marketing via an affordable tool between $0 to $500. If you choose free software, you can potentially do email marketing for free.
While using an email marketing agency seems to be an attractive option, it comes at a higher cost that’s more suitable for large businesses.
Top Email Marketing Tools
The most cost-effective and ideal option for small businesses and marketers is to go with an email marketing tool. Here is the list of the top email marketing platforms to choose from:
1. MailChimp (Freemium)
MailChimp is the best option for small to mid-sized businesses. It is an all-in-one marketing platform that offers you marketing automation and email marketing services.
MailChimp comes with a free plan while the premium plan starts from $9.99 per month.
2. HubSpot ($50 per Month)
If you are interested in a simple yet effective email marketing tool, HubSpot is your best bet. It is best for small businesses, bloggers, and startups that need a fully integrated solution.
HubSpot is pricey as the starting price is $50 per month and there isn’t any free plan. If you have 2,000 or more contacts, you’ll be paying $890 per month.
3. ActiveCampaign ($15 per Month)
ActiveCampaign is more geared towards marketing automation. It offers you email marketing, CRM, and automation workflows.
The starting price is $15 per month and all the plans come with a 14-day free trial.
4. Drip ($19 per Month)
Drip is an email and SMS marketing platform for ecommerce businesses. It has an easy-to-use interface with lots of automation workflows to help you get started immediately.
The plans start from $19 per month. The pricing is strictly based on the number of contacts. All plans come with a 14 days free trial.
5. Moosend (Freemium)
Moosend is one of the most affordable email marketing tools in the market. If you need a low-price solution, Moosend is the tool you need.
Moosend has a free plan that offers you everything you need. The premium plan starts from $10 per month.
Invest in Email Marketing Services Today
Email marketing is the best way to generate leads, boost conversions, and communicate with your existing customers. It doesn’t cost you a lot and there are several options to choose from. You can choose a freemium email marketing tool if you have a limited budget. And you can then move to a premium plan as your contacts grow.
Get started today and pick the most suitable route to marketing emails.
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