As an email marketer, you’ll hear many different opinions on how much you should be charging for an HTML email marketing campaign. To help you figure out a pricing plan that suits your needs, we’ve put together a rough guide to the prices of various components of an email marketing campaign. The information isn’t set in stone, and we’d love to hear your thoughts on how much you should charge for various services. So, let’s get into it.
Pay Per Click
Pay per click (PPC) is where you pay for each time someone clicks on a link or buys a product that’s promoted on social media sites like Google Ads or Facebook Ads. This is usually the cheapest method of online marketing, but it can get pricey if you’re not familiar with the craft. As a rule of thumb, if you’re new to PPC, start off with a small test budget and a few low-quality adverts to see how the system works and what your costs are. Once you find your feet, you can gradually increase your spending to see higher click-through rates and more conversions. This is generally considered one of the more affordable marketing methods provided you have a decent grasp of how PPC works.
Though digital marketing has evolved significantly, direct mail marketing (DMM) remains a popular, effective, and affordable way to spread the word about a business or organization. The appeal of DMM is that it’s relatively easy to set up and measure results—just like the pizza man or the postman coming to your door. Most companies offer specialized services to help you design and send out your letters. Once you’ve got your campaign going, you’ll find the cost per click or per impression (CPC or CPM, respectively) to be a little higher than with PPC but still fairly affordable. Like many forms of online marketing, conversions—i.e., sales or sign-ups—can be measured and evaluated. This makes direct mail marketing a bit more customizable than PPC. While it’s always nice to get a free sample or two, it’s essential to keep costs in mind when utilizing this type of marketing. If you decide to go down this route, be sure to budget for the cost of paper and stamps—it’ll add up quick!
Though not as personalized or individualized as direct mail marketing, display advertising—the generic term for advertisements that appear on websites—is still a popular and effective way to reach an audience. The advantage of display advertising is that you can target specific groups of people—be it geography, interest, industry, or whatever makes your ads sing—and measure the results of your investment. This is usually the most cost-effective form of digital marketing overall as you aren’t paying for each person that views an ad or clicks a link. Instead, you pay for the entire advertisement space or banner on a website. Designing and placing ads on a web page is also much easier and less time-consuming than crafting a batch of letters and posting them to a printer.
Inbound Marketing and Content Marketing are terms that many marketers now use to describe the process of attracting, engaging, and delighting customers by creating and distributing high-quality content that provides value and builds trust. This content might be in the form of white papers, case studies, infographics, webinars, or anything that provides value to an audience that’s already interested in your products or services. Though there are many forms of content, from e-books to case studies, the common theme is that you’re providing informative and engaging material that is aligned with—and often based on—your brand’s story. This helps to establish credibility and reliability by means of engaging with an interested audience through the use of authoritative content.
Like many marketing mediums, the effectiveness of content marketing is generally measured in terms of performance, namely, increased sales and/or signups. Though you’ll want to track the source of your leads and convertes, simply looking at the performance of your content is a quick and easy way to determine the success of your campaign. The pricing for content marketing varies based on a number of factors, including how much you want to spend on design and distribution, whether you want to outsource the production of your content, and what type of content you want to create. Depending on your needs, you may want to consider budgeting for as little as $5/month for a couple of dedicated freelancers or up to around $100/month for a small team of in-house bloggers. One of the most popular and affordable services for helping businesses and brands create valuable content is HubSpot Marketing.
Last but not least, let’s not forget about one of the most important (and most used) forms of digital marketing: email marketing. Simply put, email marketing is the practice of sending out electronic messages to people who’ve expressed an interest in your product or service. There are many different approaches to email marketing, from traditional bulk email blasts to more automated marketing systems that can engage with prospects based on their interests. The crucial point is that you’re using email to communicate with—and hopefully, persuade—someone who’s interested in your product or service, preferably someone who doesn’t know you yet (and hopefully, won’t forget you).
As you might imagine, the cost of sending individualized emails to a large audience is relatively low—generally, around $5/month for an individual campaign—if you’re using a well-established email service like MailChimp or HubSpot to send your emails. Plus, you’re probably already sending out individualized emails to customers and potential customers every day, so it’s not like you’ve totally abandoned the practice. In terms of cost-effectiveness, email marketing is often considered one of the better value-for-money forms of digital marketing. As a general rule, you won’t go wrong with email marketing; it’s just so versatile and easy to leverage.
Total Cost of Ownership
As a marketer, you’ll often hear the phrase ‘total cost of ownership’ (TCO) when discussing the economics of various marketing methods. Simply put, TCO is the sum of the money you’ll need to spend on a product or service in order to run it effectively. Naturally, you’ll have to consider how much each of the above costs you in monetary terms, but you can also factor in the amount of time it’ll take to set up and run each individual campaign. In terms of TCO, email marketing has the advantage of being both cheap and easy to run. Though you might need to outsource someone to help you set up your email list, you can then scale up or down as needed without having to worry about the ongoing cost of maintaining an email list. Though the cost of sending individualized emails to a large audience is low, the amount of time it’ll take to get started can be quite high—even after you’ve spent a small fortune on design and digital marketing tools to help you get started.
Which Method Is Right for You?
At this point, you might be thinking that all of this information about pricing is nice, but you must already know how much you need to charge for various forms of digital marketing. To help you figure out which method is right for your business, you need to consider a number of factors, including your budget, the type of content you want to create, and the tools you want to use for the project.
When considering your budget, it’s important to keep in mind that not all forms of digital marketing are created equal. For instance, though PPC is often considered the barebones form of digital marketing, it is, in fact, quite costly—especially if you’re paying per click. Though email marketing doesn’t have the overhead of a paid platform, it is nonetheless more expensive than some other forms of digital marketing. Plus, if you’ve decided to go the email marketing route, you might need to budget extra for a mailer or a virtual assistant to help you manage your list and stay organized. Designing and distributing paper mail is also quite expensive—hence the appeal of DMM.
When choosing the type of content you want to create for your marketing campaign, you need to keep in mind the form that will best represent your business. Though there are plenty of free blog posts out there that you can use to gain credibility and establish your thought leadership, you might want to consider investing in some high-quality content—be it an ebook, a case study, or anything else—that will help to further establish your expertise or that of your brand. On the flip side, a quick lesson on pricing in healthcare: An increasing number of people are choosing to pay for quality content and avoid the endless spin of infographics, white papers, and other forms of ‘easy content.’