Putting a Value on Email Design and Optimization

As email marketing continues to grow in both breadth and depth, I’ve observed that there is still surprising void in the supplier marketplace, those organizations that both create and improve the performance of the email message, or creative, itself.

In direct mail there are countless copy writers and designers who are charged with beating controls. In the online space there are companies that focus solely on improving the performance of corresponding landing pages. Even in email marketing there are many fine organizations that provide high-level optimization intelligence solutions.

Why then are there are few firms that provide comprehensive solutions that are specific to email marketing creative; companies that provide the strategy and creative and testing, from beauty to brains. Companies that create messages that are on brand, highly deliverable, and optimized.

This void cannot be due to a lack of need–so is it the perceived value of the offering? Does the perceived value keep away many would-be solution providers?

Please give your opinion to this LinkedIn Poll (http://polls.linkedin.com/p/50330/joehi).

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4 comments

  1. Hmm – insightful question and I’ll surf over and take the poll in a minute. But two comments come to mind:

    – Competition for top rank on terms like “email marketing consultant” is pretty stiff… leading me to think many agencies/consultants are targeting that phrase. I don’t have #s in front of me but know we targeted something more long tail because it’s crowded in Google for the generic version.

    – We have a page on just what you’re describing — the services people use once they have an email marketing platform. I don’t know if it’s helpful but it’s at http://www.b2bcommunications.com/b2b-email-marketing-campaign. Get about 1 lead/mo from that page though it doesn’t yet have a matching offer page like some other pages (on my long list of to-dos).

    Ok now my gears are turning so one last thing: I’d model the value prop the same way as you do when complementing a DIY web CMS like Hubspot. It’s built and sold as ‘no pro assistance required’ but there’s lots of room for a pro to help someone short on time or skills to crank out lead generating content using the platform as a tool.

    Or am I missing the point of your post?

    1. Thanks again Rebekah. The post was purely an observation which brought up the question of value as it translates to $$$. Although the scale of the poll was small, the results of the poll are somewhat grim for suppliers (yet not all that surprising).

      Specific to email consulting/strategy/design/copy — could you give us some insight into the scope of services that are generally requested (and those that are not)?

  2. Of course. But then I’ll have to kill you. Just. Kidding.

    If a client asks for help with a specific tactic like email marketing out of the gates, typically we start with a Marketing Coaching Session ($399). That’s 90 minutes of one on one private professional discussion and guidance with yours truly about your marketing needs and goals. You receive written Recommended Next Steps and Tip Sheets.

    Next steps depend on what stage the client is at with marketing — are there clear personas or are we going from the ground up?

    When we have the foundation to focus on the email marketing tactic, an important step is nailing down editorial calendar (jargon for what to publish when).

    Important to aim for the right mix of topics and valuable info for readers: Good ones have a mix of types of topics – more here:

    http://www.b2bcommunications.com/using-targeted-email-marketing

    Also maybe this is useful to your readers:

    http://www.b2bcommunications.com/b2b-email-top-10-mistakes

  3. Oh yeah — and you asked about services NOT requested by someone seeking email help.

    In general if a client comes in with a laser focus on a specific tactic like ‘write my newsletter’ they’re less likely to be thinking ‘I need to first spend time and money on strategy.’

    Rather they are thinking, “I want to get the word out… yesterday.” Which is totally normal and understandable.

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