Email Marketing Tools: Let’s Talk Real (Opportunity) Costs (Part 2)

In our last post, we addressed the real price of email marketing tools for small- to medium-size businesses (SMBs).  We noted the monthly subscription fees tell an incomplete story of the true economics.  In fact, it’s what you don’t get from email-only marketing softwareand the negative impact of revenue lost from contacts never reachedthat significantly drives up cost.

It takes an integrated multi-channel marketing strategynot just email blaststo effectively reach contacts with marketing that resonates, connects, and builds lasting relationships.  And that requires multiple tools to execute marketing campaigns across multiple channels.  SMBs need tools to not only craft email campaigns, but to:  create, buy and manage targeted advertising on social media; build landing pages; send SMS texts; cleanse and manage lists; and generate data analytics that optimize resultsall of which come at a very hefty investment.

Not only is it cost-prohibitive for SMBs to purchase all the necessary tools for integrated, multi-channel digital marketing, but effectively managing multiple tools is a time-consuming internal resource drain. Getting the most out of comprehensive marketing automation is a full-time job, and very few SMBs have the necessary time nor internal expertise to do things like segmenting lists and crafting and testing copy. Plus, each marketing software platform has varying degrees of power and complexity for email triggers, forms, advanced segmentation and reporting, making them complex to use and fully leverage.  

Another hidden cost of marketing automation software is the technology expertise and time needed to implement the software.  SMBs just don’t have the required technical resources to make it all happen. Implementation involves integrating the marketing software with other systems and technical development for things like installing tracking codes on web pages, all of which takes time and know-how.

Opportunity Costs

Because of the significant internal resource costs associated with running these tools to execute effective campaigns, the question becomes:  Where do you want to invest your internal resources, and what are the opportunity costs of doing so?

For SMBs, the answer is a matter of cost-effectiveness and efficiency.  You want experts doing what they do best because the truth is not everyone can be a marketer. You want marketing experts generating expert marketing that works. Ultimately, SMBs must then ask:  What are the opportunity costs of internal staff experimenting with marketing, through trial and error, instead of directly serving customers?

Dr. Suneel Chilukuri, a Houston-based dermatologic surgeon and small business owner puts it this way:  “I want my staff taking care of patients, not marketing to them.”  Dr. Chilukuri has clearly seen the positive results of putting the right work in the hands of the right people.  That means using internal resources to serve his patients, not dabble in marketing in their free time.

Otherwise, the real costs are nearly immeasurable.
See Our Infographic for more about the cost of email marketing tools and why a marketing automation service is the SMB solution to legacy email and other marketing tools.