Email marketing is one of the most effective tools for making direct contact with them regularly. Utilized with the help of a reputable agency — along with the right ecommerce email marketing software — your customer interactions can quickly be taken to the next level.
But what are the specific qualities you should be looking for in an email marketing agency, before signing on the dotted line? Aside from having a willingness to understand your KPIs and broader goals, there are a few specific qualities you should ask about right from the first discussion. Some of these are tangible, others are soft, but both are equally important to a fruitful collaboration.
The Top Qualities Your Email Marketing Agency Should Have
A good email marketing agency will ask specific questions to understand the needs of your business right from the first pitch. They will pay attention to the small details, without making you feel like “one of the masses” on their client roster.
Naturally, their ability to create high quality content for your email campaigns is an integral component of the job. This should shine through right from the brainstorming phase, through to when mailers are delivered to your subscribers. At the same time, there are a few other qualities that should be evident right from the beginning:
1) Results driven, right from the offset
Email marketing agencies are nothing if they can’t generate results for your marketing efforts. They don’t have to get it right the first time, but the agency needs to have an appetite for studying analytics and providing you with clear, actionable ideas for improvements on every subsequent mailer.
This data should be able to give you an idea of their performance, tell you more about the motives of hot and cold leads and give a sense of the type of content that drives better engagement, interaction and, ultimately, conversions.
2) They value transparency across the board
All marketing agencies have a responsibility to be transparent about where things have gone well in campaigns and where they haven’t. A reputable email marketing agency will opt to not spend too much time crafting beautifully designed reports that only highlight positive metrics. This extends to playing open cards about failures, taking responsibility and promising to do better next time.
Transparency also includes an ongoing open dialogue between you and the agency. Speaking candidly (with respect) signals their efficiency, all the while also building a trusting relationship between you. This is helped by being open about their fees and not throwing hidden costs your way later due to the fine print buried in the contract.
3) Access to the right tools for the job
Digital marketing generally requires the right resources (people) and tools for the most effective level of campaign execution. When it comes to email marketing, a software solution like those from Mailchimp or Sendlane can enhance overall efficiency by automating a lot of the process. If the agency hasn’t heard of at least one of the major email marketing tools on the market, that should be an immediate red flag.
The same goes for them understanding the eCommerce platform your business uses. Ideally, they will have experience working with it before you sign a contract, as otherwise they will be figuring it out as they go, which is never ideal.
4) They have the flexibility to pivot (and quickly)
Being open to change and responding quickly when things change is an important quality for any agency in a post-COVID economic landscape. Adapting campaigns to mesh better with new technologies that pop up, yearly trends or unforeseen stumbling blocks shows that the agency has a knack for attention to detail, and a general sense of resilience.
Steer clear of an inflexible email marketing agency that tries to apply a “one size fits all” solution to your campaigns. If they can’t tell you much about how they’ve pivoted their own operations due to the pandemic, they probably won’t be able to do so the next time your email marketing needs to adapt to unforeseen circumstances.
Now that you’re aware of four of the best qualities to look out for when you’re considering hiring an email marketing agency, you should be well on your way to finding the best fit for your business.
The result could be a blossoming, evolving relationship that leads to growth on both sides. In this case, anything is possible when it comes to creating and executing well-oiled, successful email marketing campaigns in the future.