Costs of E-mail marketing
When you want to get started with e-mail marketing or sending e-mail newsletters, you should take a number of costs into account.
Collecting mailing lists
In most countries, it is against the law to send unsollicited e-mail to recipients, either directly or through a mailing list. Recipients must have given their consent in advance. For that reason it will take some time and effort to put a mailing list together. You can place a form on your site, for visitors to sign up to your list.
Designing your newsletter
A newsletter that is sent by e-mail deservers the same amount of care and attention as one on paper. Recipients will decide in the blink of an eye if it’s worth their time to read your newsletter, and that decision will largely be based on the look.
When you send an e-mail newsletters, it is the hope that the recipients will take some of their valuable time to reading it, and then take the action that you hope for. When recipients have determined that they should view your newsletter because of the appealing design, should not be disappointed by its content. Make sure the newsletter is completely correct as far as grammar and spelling are concerned, and that the text is easy to comprehend. The copy should be subdivided into small sections that make it easy to scan. Use sub headings to let readers know what each section is about. You should also have a very clear subject line with a call to action if at all possible, and ensure that the sender name and e-mail address are not a cause for confusion.
Before you send your newsletter to a large group of recipients, it may be wise to test it first. This means sending it to a smaller group first, with the aim of finding out if your test group understand your mesage and if they are willing to perform the intended action (like ordering a product). You could even consider testing multiple variations, so you can send the version that performs the best to the full list.
Because the most visible and direct costs of e-mail marketing are associated for the actual sending, one could easily think these are the only costs. And depending on the size of your mailing list, it is likely that these costs are substantial. It pays to compare costs per 1,000 mails sent between different e-mail service providers.
Once your newsletter has been sent, the responses need processing. Apart from the primary goals of your e-mail marketing (like stimulating product sales), you should be ready to answer questions, process unsubscription requests, and possibly even complaints. It is highly recommended to budget for this.
Time is Money
All steps described on this page will cost time and thus money. You could consider outsourcing the work. Obviously there are direct out of pocket costs involved with that but it does bring you the benefit of experienced e-mail marketing staff that can probably do the work faster and more effectively than you can.