Hire In-House or Outsource: Who Should Handle Your Email Marketing?

When deciding how your business will handle email marketing, you’re presented with three choices: have one of your current employees take up the challenge, hire someone new to fill the role, or contract with an outside firm. While each option has its advantages and disadvantages, there are many reasons why hiring outside experts is often the less risky investment in terms of time and money.

Here’s why.

Benefit from a Different Perspective

Although it seems ideal to have someone on the inside running your email marketing, it’s often the case that when someone is too close to the business, they end up missing opportunities to really engage with potential clients. This often happens because they become so intent on telling the audience what they want them to hear (why they should buy the product) that they forget to focus on what the audience would like to hear (useful information that will naturally lead them to the company’s service or product). In addition, the employee may have difficulty identifying what is worth sharing.

When you hire a firm to handle your email marketing, you benefit from working with a team that can present your ideas in a broader perspective that will emotionally appeal to your audience. When crafting an email marketing campaign, it’s important to ask if your content is being created for you or for your potential clients. Hiring a professional to handle your email marketing ensures that it will always be approached from this perspective.

Lower Your Costs

It may at first appear that the best solution is to directly employ an email marketing expert. This approach comes with costs beyond salary; at a minimum you’ll also be responsible for taxes, at a maximum, benefits such as insurance, vacation and sick time, and 401(k)/retirement. You must also provide all the necessary space and equipment, including computers, desks, subscriptions to online tools. You may even need to modify your internet and phone services. If these items aren’t key to running your business as it stands now, the costs may not make sense.

This is assuming that an organization hires the right person the first time around. According to CareerBuilder, businesses lose nearly $15,000 for every bad hire. Unless you’re skilled at hiring, or partner with a staffing company to hire and train for you, your new hire is a bit of a gamble.

Avoid the In-House Jack-of-All-Trades

In addition to concerns about the expense of finding and keeping the right person, a successful email marketing program requires a varied skill set to execute it properly. What often happens, though, is companies assign one employee to wear multiple – and possibly ill-fitting – hats, and expect them to learn new skills on the fly. The employee may be particularly skilled as a writer but lack a graphic design background, let alone in-depth knowledge of email marketing best practices.

Working with an outside agency means having access to a team of specialists such as graphic designers who understand the difference between creating an email template and a website, and content writers skilled at crafting the kind of message that matters to your audience. From the finesse of putting together an attention-catching campaign to knowledge about the nuts and bolts of creating and interacting with a list of prospects without running afoul of laws like the CAN-SPAM Act, each individual is highly experienced in their specific role.

Get Verifiable Results

Another reason many businesses opt to outsource their email marketing is to ensure that they’re on the right path to getting results. Experienced professionals understand how to craft subject lines and content that results in opens, clicks, and inquiries, as well as keep your message and brand consistent in every campaign.

And there’s this: email experts know how to use the tools and tracking devices to make sure their strategies are successful. They understand the fast pace of change in the world of email marketing and how to modify those strategies to keep pace.

With so many experts at your disposal, it makes excellent sense to use them. The US email marketing industry is ever-growing and is currently employed by the travel/leisure, IT, media, telecom, retail and e-commerce, and banking/financial industries. Chances are that if you’re not tapping into this wealth of specialized knowledge, your competitors most certainly are.