Email Marketing Tools: Let’s Talk Real Costs (Part I)

To most small- to medium-size businesses (SMBs), email marketing software tools may seem like a bargain. Dig deeper though, and you’ll quickly find that what you don’t get from them is costing you far more than the monthly subscription fee.

The Price of Limited Reach 

Yes, the return on investment for email marketing is compelling, and, yes, it should be a part of the marketing mix for nearly any business.  The relatively low cost of email marketing is why email blasting software like Constant Contact, MailChimp or DemandForce is often the firstand easiestchoice for SMB customer marketing. These tools are familiar, seemingly simple to use, and they appear to deliver results.

But relying on email marketing exclusively does a direct disservice to the bottom line. Here’s why:  An email-only marketing strategy means most of your contacts never get your marketing message—regardless of how good it is.  

That’s because the average email open rate across all industries in the U.S. is about 20 percent.  So while your average email may reach 20 percent of your contacts, you’re missing far morea whopping 80 percent, in fact.

Not reaching those people is costing you money.  Every contact missed is a lost revenue opportunity and a missed chance to nurture a priceless relationship.

The Cost of Messages that Don’t Drive Action

Today’s consumers demand choice;  They want to communicate with businesses and brands through their preferred channels and on their terms, which often is not email. To drive action (and ultimately conversion), a marketing campaign, regardless of channel, must resonate with recipients.

Without the ability to easily segment your contacts and target relevant messages on topics of interest to them, which basic email software doesn’t do, you’re sending messages that don’t work and wasting valuable internal resources. It’s costing you money and eating into your bottom line.

Reaching the most contacts possible and connecting with them in meaningful, engaging and relevant ways is the difference between wasting time and turning relationships into revenue. Marketing success (more leads and more conversions) takes an integrated, multi-channel digital marketing strategy that resonates.  But the cost of all the tools necessary for a well thought out—and well executed—multi-channel marketing strategy is a barrier for most SMBs.  Simply put, customer marketing done right is not done through one, limited email marketing software program.

More Tools = More Money = More Work (See Our Infographic)

An integrated multi-channel marketing strategy requires multiple tools to execute campaigns across channels.  You’ll need tools to not only craft email campaigns, but to:  create, buy and manage targeted advertising on social media like Facebook; build landing pages; send SMS texts; cleanse and manage your database; and generate data analytics that optimize results.

Beyond the direct costs of purchasing all these necessary tools, there are significant internal resource costs associated with using them to execute effective campaigns.  In Parts 2 and 3 of this series of posts, we’ll identify the internal resource and opportunity costs. as well as address how the alternative solution—a marketing automation service—works and benefits SMBs in vastly greater and more cost-effective ways than email marketing tools.

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