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Email development – Should you outsource or do it in house

12th Aug 20 10:43 am

Email development requires a lot of resources, tools, and domain expertise; leaving companies with two choices: To go in-house or outsource it right away. Your subscribers consider it as a value addition to their association with you. In this article, we shall discuss whether you should outsource your email development efforts or not.

Let us start by understanding the skills required for email marketing:

Skills required for developing emails

The following skills are required for running email marketing campaigns:

  • Brand identity and brand strategy.
  • Email list building, segmentation, and personalisation.
  • Automation rules and logics.
  • Email list administration and content development.
  • A / B Split testing.
  • QA testing and compliance knowledge.
  • Mobile optimisation and troubleshooting for all ESPs.
  • Ability to code and troubleshoot any errors in the ready to use templates.
  • Database management and using BI tools.

The pros and cons of in-house vs outsourcing for email development:

Pros of in-house email development:

  • You have complete control over the development and integration of your email marketing strategy.
  • Your intellectual properties are protected.
  • You have control over the best practices and organisational structure to suit your marketing goals effectively.

Cons of in-house email development:

  • The direct and indirect costs of an entire team may not be affordable for all organisations.
  • The human resources management aspect of handling a marketing department should not be neglected.
  • Your in-house team may not be as efficient due to lack of training sessions, attrition, limited talent pool availability, and lack of command over using the latest tools. This may require you to hire email template developers.

Pros of hiring dedicated resources

  • Your investments are limited throughout the engagement period.
  • You can focus better on your core business functions.
  • Liabilities like preventing malware and spamming are transferred to the outsourcing company.
  • The budget is fixed, and you are aware of the costing structure for your efforts.
  • NDAs ensure that all your privileged information is well protected.
  • Your compliance is taken care of by professionals.
  • Your emails exhibit consistency to improve the reader experience while also contributing to your overall organisational objectives.
  • Your marketing efforts are scalable as you can hire additional resources on an ad-hoc basis.

Cons of hiring dedicated resources

  • Finding the right service provider and negotiating the pricing pose a challenge for new companies.
  • The complete control over your brand image and communication lies into the hands of a third party organisation. The same applies to your intellectual properties.
  • The company has lesser control over Quality of Service (QoS.)

Five benefits of outsourcing your email marketing operations

In this section, we will learn about the top five benefits of outsourcing your email marketing operations.

Short turnaround time

Usually, it requires two weeks for delivering a single email.  Professionals provide you with much shorter turnaround periods owing to their proficiency and availability of the latest tools. They specialise in different aspects and use custom email templates designed especially for your firm to speed up deliveries.

Better optimisation

Since industry professionals handle your campaigns, the emails are well optimised for deliverability rates and engagement. Right from the copy to CTA button, everything is well optimised for conversions and is entirely error-free.

Higher deliverability

Outsourcing your email campaigns to a professional email marketing agency ensures that all your messages are optimised for higher deliverability. They ensure that all the best practices like IP warming, text-to-image ratio, fonts, alt text, file weight, ESP specific red flags, and footer compliance are taken care of effectively.

Budget-friendly

If your organisation has a smaller team size in the digital marketing department, it becomes very challenging to cope up with the email coding, copywriting, image/multimedia development, and QA process which translates to higher overheads. Outsourcing helps in keeping expenses predictable and under control.

Domain expertise

When you opt to outsource your email marketing efforts, you can benefit from their experience of working for multiple clients and sectors without incurring the L&D costs. They have an upper edge when it comes to implementing strategies and optimising your campaigns to achieve higher engagement. Also, they help you integrate your email marketing efforts with other forms of digital marketing like blogs, Google Ads, and social media ads. They also help you integrate the email campaigns with the entire sales funnel, including the landing pages.

Things to keep in mind

Focus on measuring your outreach efforts with the help of tangible indicators like ROI per email and campaign wise engagement rate. This helps in streamlining the mutual communication. It is advisable to approach such strategic partnerships with proper SLAs (Service Level Agreements) for smooth functioning. You can use these KPIs to evaluate the results of your outreach efforts:

  • Delivery Rate
  • Open Rate
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR)
  • Click-To-Open Rate (CTO)
  • List Growth Rate
  • Mobile Open Rate
  • Engagement Over Time
  • Unsubscribe Rate
  • Hard And Soft Bounce Rate
  • Spam Complaints
  • Social Shares And Forwarding Rate
  • Conversion Rate
  • Overall ROI

Summing up

If you have a large pool of marketers, you may find it more comfortable to run the operations in the house but working with a smaller team exposes you to a lot of systematic risks. This includes sidelining of your marketing efforts due to indulgence in the core business, limited resource availability, budgeting limitations for tools required, and the training needed. Thus, outsourcing email development is a smarter choice for most businesses.

Author bio

Kevin George is the head of marketing at Email Uplers. They specialise in crafting Professional Emails, HTML Email Templates, and Custom Mailchimp Templates. He always enjoy sharing his thoughts on email marketing on his blog.

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