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Is Email Marketing Worth It in 2020?

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Email marketing has gone through a lot of change over the years.

As one of the first and most useful digital marketing tools, email marketing made it easy for businesses to get in touch with their customers to tell them about promotions and sales. It helped increase audience engagement and thus, helped businesses boost sales and traffic numbers.

Now, in 2020, we've got a dozen different ways to accomplish this goal, from social media and content marketing to video advertising and SEO. Is email marketing still worth it? Today, we'll be discussing the email marketing cost and whether or not email advertising still the best option for your advertising dollars.

How Much Attention Should You Give Email Marketing?

How much your company should spend on email marketing depends on a few key factors. First, how big is your company and how much annual revenue are you bringing in? This should give you a strong indication of how much you should be spending on digital marketing, in general, and email marketing specifically.

From there, you can figure out how much of your digital marketing budget should be spent specifically on email marketing. Other factors include the industry that you're in and what you're producing. Let's break down the costs and benefits of email marketing a little more.


Annual Revenue and Marketing

When you're figuring out your total marketing budget, you can look to the "5% rule", which states that you shouldn't spend more than 5% of your total revenue on marketing. That includes advertising, PR, promotions, social media, content, and anything else that falls under the marketing umbrella.

The 5% rule doesn't work for everyone though. If you're a small business just getting started, that number is going to go up to between 12% and 20% of your total revenue. As the saying goes, you've got to spend money to make money.


Email Marketing's Piece of the Pie

Of course, how much of your marketing budget you spend on email marketing is up to you, but you never want to put all your eggs in one basket. If you want to spend 85% of the budget crafting perfect emails with gorgeous design and enticing copy, then all the power to you. But, you're likely better off to spread the budget out evenly.

Most businesses allot somewhere between 0-20% of their marketing budget on email marketing. This gives you room to invest in SEO, social media, and content marketing alongside your email campaign to create a marketing system that sees contributions from multiple platforms.


What You Sell

Your industry and what you sell will help you determine how much money to spend. For instance, a retail business can do more with email marketing than an auto parts manufacturer. They can send promotions in email form to customers new and old, while an auto parts company primarily deals with B2B contracts.

Before you start formulating your email marketing plan, consider how beneficial it's going to be given your industry and the products/services you provide.


Factors That Affect Email Marketing Cost

Beyond what you actually decide to spend on your digital marketing as a whole and, more specifically, your email marketing, there are other factors that will affect the overall cost. The shape that your email list is currently in, the complexity of your emails, and the frequency of your campaigns will all raise or lower the cost.


Your Current Email List

If you've already got an email list from campaigns past, but you've neglected it for some time, you're going to have a list of inactive subscribers. You're going to have to take some time and resources to clean up the email list. This will make your campaign more effective and give you a better idea of where you can improve.

There are loads of tools available to help you identify inactive subscribers and remove them from your email list. Look at Kickbox or NeverBounce to gauge pricing. You'll pay based on verifications, meaning, the site will verify the active subscribers and weed out the inactive ones. You can also explore other tools such as an email finder that can help you find verified emails and increase the delivery rate of your emails.


Complexity of Design

The more you put into the design aspect of your emails, like how complex the design and animations are, the more you can expect to spend on them. To test and preview your current design, use this email testing tool, which will allow you to make alterations to your design, as you see fit.

You can find design companies to help you create your email template or use an in-house web design team to create something that's more you. A basic email template might cost anywhere in the neighborhood of $700-800 for a basic design plan or double that for a more comprehensive one that allows you to go crazy.


How Frequently You Campaign

Arguably the biggest factor in how much you're going to end up spending on email marketing is the frequency with which you send out emails. Obviously, the more you send out, the more expensive it's going to be and it goes up as your email list grows.

For example, if your distribution costs are $0.05 per sent email and you send it to 50,000 subscribers per week, it's going to cost you $10,000 a month. If you send the same email once per month, it's only $2,500. 

You have to weigh this cost with how much revenue you're generating from your email blasts. If you have the resources available and a large, attentive email list, then no cost is too much for filling them in on new products, services, and/or deals.


Your Email Marketing Platform

You're likely going to have to hire a platform to send out these emails, which vary in price and in what they offer. Some of the more popular ones for top email marketing software include Hubspot, Mailchimp, Marketo, GetResponse, Constant Contact, and Salesforce Pardot. You can expect to pay a cost of anywhere from nothing to $1,000 per month on these services, depending on the extent of your email marketing needs.


Is Email Marketing Worth It?

So, is the email marketing cost worth paying? In a world full of customers that value personalization and a deeper connection with the products and services that they attach themselves to, a well-run email marketing campaign can be invaluable.

How much of your marketing budget you spend on email marketing depends on your company and what you want to get out of it, but there's no doubt that email marketing is still a major player in the digital marketing landscape. Emailing isn't everything but email marketing still works wonders when done correctly.

Did you enjoy this post on email marketing cost and strategy? Come back and visit us again for more on business, finance, and marketing. Visit the Digital Marketing section of the Bootstrap Business Blog for more articles on email marketing and other proven online marketing methods.