Email Advertising: Cost & Tips

Instructor: Elisha Madison

Elisha is a writer, editor, and aspiring novelist. She has a Master's degree in Ancient Celtic History & Mythology and another Masters in Museum Studies.

Advertising by email is a great way to reach customers. Don't enter the game unprepared, learn how to find the right product fit for your company and learn tips to excite your audience.


When determining a way to reach out to consumers it is important to keep in mind the media that they use to communicate. Email is popular right now because it is connected to everything we deal with daily, from our cell phones to home computers, whether we're at work or at play. However, with the scads of email ads and junk mail people get daily, its important to choose a cost effective email application that will still interest customers so they open the advertisement.


What Do You Need?

First, you need an email application. But what is that? An email application is a service that you can use that will send out mass emails to your customers. You can create templates, get reports on who is opening the emails, and even how this results in purchases.

Before choosing an email application you first need to know a few things:

  • Customer Base/Size - Smaller customer bases will allow for fewer emails which can equate to less money. A large amount of customers can make the campaign more complex, which can cost more money.
  • Frequency of Email Campaign - How many times are emails going to be sent out in a month or a quarter? This factor can determine what service to use and the price they will charge.
  • Campaign Needs - What do you need out of the email campaign, flashy multimedia emails? Or direct and sleek? Do you need reported information back after the campaign telling you who opened the email and who didn't? Do you need demographic information, with different emails sent out to different sections of the population?

Each new complexity can add onto cost, but it is important to set out a list of needs and wants before you start pursuing an email service. This way you have the means to make comparisons.

Email Web Applications and Cost

Now that you have your needs documented, what email web application should you choose? Below is a list of a select few to provide an idea of what is available right now.

  • Constant Contact - Simple service that will report back and send out emails in intervals as needed. Depending on the complexity of service the cost can vary, but it could be a minor fee of $20.
  • Mail Chimp - One of the most popular and well-known email services. They actually can be free if you have a small customer base or don't plan on many emails. Additionally, if you do want to spend money they have options to link to your work website, they do multimedia, and they let you customize per population.
  • iContact - Another large email service, mostly uses templates so less customization, but it focuses more on the customers and the information it can glean and report back which is important. They can charge less than $20 a month, but it depends on the customer base.

Is It Worth It?


Now that you have an idea of costs, how much should you spend on an email campaign? You do want to make sure you are spending money that you will gain back in sales. So let's do some math.

Let's say you want to sell your product, a spice grinder. This spice grinder costs $37 to purchase. So if you send out 10,000 emails a month, and 1% of them are opened and lead to a sale of your product, then you have sold 100 spice grinders that month, for the amount of $3,700. And if your spice grinder only costs $15 to make, then you have made a profit of $2,200. This profit multiplied by a year of email marketing with the same results would be $26,400. If you spent as a company just $100 dollars a month on an email service, then you still made a profit of $25,200 with very little time or money expended. That is with only only 1% of the emails resulting in sales, what if 10% did? Or 20%? This emphasizes the fact that a good email marketing campaign can make you money.

Tips and Tricks for Email Advertising

Now that you know that email marketing can bring in profits, how do you maximize your campaigns and make effective emails that will entice customers to open them?

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