When it comes to optimizing email marketing strategies, businesses face the pivotal decision of hiring in-house email marketing manager or an agency. Drawing from the insights of twelve industry professionals, including directors and CEOs, our article kicks off with the in-house team advantage and wraps up with the perspective of in-house leadership for long-term success. Discover the nuanced viewpoints that could shape the future of your company’s email campaigns.
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- 1 In-House Email Marketing Manager or an Agency Advantage
- 2 Agency’s Broad Expertise
- 3 Cost-Effectiveness and Control
- 4 Skill-Based Manager or Agency
- 5 Outbound Email as an Agency’s Edge
- 6 Choose Based on Business Scale
- 7 Startups Should Consider Agencies
- 8 Balancing Expertise and Skills
- 9 Weighing Control Versus Creativity
- 10 In-House Manager for Brand Consistency
- 11 Hybrid Approach for Messaging Control
- 12 In-House Leadership for Long-Term Success
In-House Email Marketing Manager or an Agency Advantage
Between an in-house email marketing manager or an agency, we strongly prefer in-house resources for email marketing because we have found that an in-house team speaks the language of our industry and our value propositions much more naturally. It takes quite a bit of time to spin up an outside agency to speak this language, and the amount of oversight needed from the in-house team to assure the premier quality we expect is significant as well.
Then, if there are personnel changes at the agency, the education process has to start over. So, while we use outside agencies for lead capture activities such as digital advertising and SEO, we lean toward in-house resources to educate and eventually convert customers through email.
Agency’s Broad Expertise
Choosing between in-house email marketing manager or an agency, agencies can provide immense value to organizations when it comes to email.
As a result of working with multiple clients, agencies bring experience beyond a single organization. This allows them to not only rely on best practices but also to act on personal experience.
The experience an agency brings allows them to more easily provide strategic recommendations to elevate email programs because they are a step removed. This means they are free to make data-driven decisions with minimal influence from internal politics or status quo bias.
When organizations work with an agency, they get a team of experts across multiple disciplines. The value this provides cannot be understated. An agency’s collective experience allows them to completely surround emails and find ways to increase performance. While there may be multiple in-house teams that can collaborate, they probably do not optimize emails at the volume an agency does. This means they will likely be less efficient.
Cost-Effectiveness and Control
In between an in-house email marketing manager or an agency, outsourcing may be less expensive in the long run, as you don’t have to offer benefits. It’s a contract for however long, and you can easily fire them if they are not doing their job.
An effective agency will provide monthly (at least) reports on the effectiveness of email campaigns and review them with you. You need to clearly understand what they are doing and the report data. What’s your return on investment (ROI)? Say the agency costs $$$ a month, and you have a goal of bringing in $$$$ amount of business in a month. If you only get $$, then it’s not working.
On the other hand, you’ll have more control over someone in-house, but the same ROI formula applies. Weigh your options. Get quotes from different agencies and ask for references. There’s a huge trust factor here. Research the salaries for in-house managers. In the end, go with what makes sense for your business.
Skill-Based Manager or Agency
You can get great results from either an in-house email marketing manager or an agency; it just depends on your team’s preference. There’s also the option of hiring a freelancer.
However, what you should focus on most is the email marketing manager’s level of experience with running successful drip campaigns and their understanding of the marketing funnel. Vet their copywriting skills. This is often overlooked, yet it’s vital to the success of email campaigns. Hire a separate copywriter if need be.
Outbound Email as an Agency’s Edge
Between in-house email marketing manager or an agency for outbound email, businesses should absolutely work with an agency. Data improvement is the biggest expense for outbound campaigns. When done properly, data improvement needs to be executed by a human researcher.
Agencies have tools and processes in place to accelerate data cleaning, which keeps costs low and typically produces superior results at a higher ROI.
Choose Based on Business Scale
The decision to hire an in-house email marketing manager or an agency depends on the needs and scale of your business. If your business is constantly running large-scale campaigns and requires daily attention and management, then hiring an in-house manager might be more beneficial. They can offer continuous, focused attention on your campaigns, adapting and reacting in real-time.
On the flip side, if your business is smaller or runs campaigns less frequently, an agency could provide a broader range of expertise and flexibility without the commitment of a full-time salary. It’s all about weighing your specific needs, budget, and scale of operations.
For instance, if I’m running a campaign targeted toward a niche audience, I can bring in a contractor who specializes in that particular market segment, ensuring a more effective and tailored marketing approach. This strategy also allows me to manage my budget effectively, as I only hire and pay for services when I need them.
Startups Should Consider Agencies
Whether businesses should use an in-house email marketing manager or an agency for their email marketing depends on several factors: namely, their budget, the current experience level of their staff, and the scale of their outreach. I think those businesses that do not already have experienced in-house personnel should start with an agency.
An experienced email marketing agency will be able to create an effective email marketing strategy in a short amount of time. This allows their clients to achieve a much quicker ROI than they would normally be able to get on their own.
Balancing Expertise and Skills
Choosing between an in-house email marketing manager or an agency, Hiring an in-house email marketing manager offers the advantage of having a dedicated professional who understands the intricacies of the business, can collaborate closely with other teams, and is readily available for immediate adjustments. This option may be more cost-effective for larger companies with ongoing, complex email marketing needs.
On the other hand, utilizing an agency can provide access to a team of experts with diverse skills, industry insights, and experience across multiple clients. This can be beneficial for smaller businesses or those looking for specialized expertise for specific campaigns without the commitment of a full-time hire.
Ultimately, the choice between an in-house email marketing manager or an agency depends on the business’s goals, budget, and the level of expertise and flexibility required.
Weighing Control Versus Creativity
The decision between appointing an in-house email marketing manager or an agency hinges on several key considerations.
Hiring an in-house manager ensures more direct control, immediate access to collaboration, and a more profound alignment with the company’s branding and objectives. Such managers have the agility to respond swiftly to evolving company needs and maintain a consistent communication tone.
Conversely, agencies bring specialized knowledge, creative flair, and access to cutting-edge technology and tools. They can inject new ideas and scale their services according to business needs. Factors such as budget constraints, the degree of oversight desired, the volume of work, and the necessity for niche expertise should influence this choice.
The crux of the decision lies in balancing the benefits of in-house email marketing manager or an agency understanding to find the best fit for a business’ specific needs and future aspirations.
In-House Manager for Brand Consistency
Between an in-house email marketing manager or an agency, Hiring an in-house email marketing manager can allow for a better understanding and implementation of the company’s unique branding and marketing strategies. The position also ensures consistent messaging across campaigns that adhere to your specific brand identity, maximizing the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
Having an in-house professional also means you benefit from quick response times. They are readily available to adjust strategies, create new campaigns, or respond to performance analytics, resulting in a more flexible and reactive marketing approach.
Furthermore, between an in-house email marketing manager or an agency, an in-house email marketing manager builds an in-depth understanding of your audience over time. With continuous monitoring and data analysis, they can spot trends, identify customer behavior, and provide tailored marketing initiatives that boost conversion rates and improve overall business growth.
Hybrid Approach for Messaging Control
It really depends on your overall marketing strategy whether you hire an in-house email marketing manager or an agency. Generally speaking, I think it makes the most sense to have an in-house manager and external talent. The reason for this is pretty simple: You want to maintain control over the messaging as much as possible, and no external agency, no matter how professional or well-meaning, will have as much incentive as an internal team member to maintain the messaging you want.
Even if you don’t have an internal manager, someone needs to be directly embedded in the external project team to ensure your needs are being fully met.
In-House Leadership for Long-Term Success
In-house email marketing manager or an agency? In my experience, you’re better off going for in-house, because you’re functionally going to need an in-house lead for the project, even if you go outside to actually run it. Might as well save yourself the trouble and have an in-house manager, even if they’re not the most knowledgeable, and have them work with external experts. It helps you in the long term, as it will give you a broader range of options as your internal lead skills up and gets used to working with external talent.
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