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What Does Email Marketing Cost?

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Email marketing can be a very cost-effective marketing strategy for your business. In this lesson, you'll learn more about potential costs associated with email marketing.

Switching Things Up

Lately, Joe's business has been getting less and less return on investment from its direct mail marketing. The costs of creating the pieces keep going up, but the sales generated keep going down. Joe is stumped about how to reach his audience in a quicker, more cost-effective way with the same information. Joe's business may be a perfect case for switching over to email marketing.

What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing combines some of the very best parts of the marketing world and digital age. Essentially, email marketing is a direct mail strategy (meaning delivering your message directly to your audience), but with the speed and efficiency of modern-day technology. Marketing in this manner is a way to send messages about your brand, products and services to a group of people via email.

Email marketing can be a low-cost way to reach your customers.
Email marketing can be a low-cost way to reach your customers.

Before the internet, direct mail pieces were typically routed through the postal system and showed up in your customer's mailbox after costly printing and postage. They also spent several days in transit. Today, you can deliver your message inexpensively and almost instantaneously through the power and speed of an email inbox.

Costs Associated with Email Marketing

Unlike other marketing strategies, email marketing is one of the few areas where you can more or less name your price. If you're running a television ad, you may have expenses ranging from video design and editing costs to the rates for the placement of the ad. Newspaper or magazine ads typically come with a design charge as well as a cost for the space where the ad itself will appear. Email marketing can have all of that, or none of that depending on how much you want to spend, how much time you're willing to invest and the tools necessary to get the job done.

Here are few examples where cost could come into play:

Design elements: With a little knowledge and skill, you can craft much of this yourself - eliminating a chunk, if not all, of the expenses in this category. However, if you need a little help, you can employ the skills of a copywriter who will create text for you for a price. Other costs could be incurred if you choose to use a template that costs a fee or you select photos or graphics that require payment for their use. If you have a designer and/or someone whose strength is in writing in your marketing department, you can utilize their services for no additional cost.

Email Service Provider: An email service provider is the company or tool you use to get your email messages out. It is generally not advisable to use a personal email account; rather, an email service provider can ensure your messages are delivered quickly and correctly. Many also provide built-in analytics for measuring the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts including open rate (how many people opened your email), click-through rate (how many people clicked a link inside your email) and bounce rate (how many emails were not successfully delivered) and other tracking capabilities.

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