Despite its inherent cost effectiveness, email marketing success requires careful attention to budgeting. Whilst the only real expense is the creation of an email list, it should be remembered that your competitors are also enjoying the reduced costs. Fail to compete and you will fail.
What to include when trying to work out how much an email marketing campaign costs is not quite straightforward. There are a number of rather obvious expenses, such as the email list rental if not using one of your own. This will be the main charge. It does not end there though.
The email takes a lot of effort to create. The design, production, graphics and text all take time and money. However, many email service providers have simple wizards that will trim your costs.
You will expect to receive a certain number of replies. These demand an investment in personnel, who will need training. You might also have included a prize draw or a promotional product, all of which means you will have to put your hand in your pocket.
There are some things that might just catch you out. For instance, a bought-in email list will require a degree of cleaning especially if you are not going to pay for hard bounces. In addition, your own email list will need attention to ensure you do not have duplicates.
As you gain experience in email marketing you will increase the number of fields in your database. This will increase input time.
One item which is often forgotten is the number of unsubscribes. Each entry on your email list has a value. When you lose one it should be considered an expense. You should not get paranoid and play it safe as pushing limits is what pushes you to the forefront.
You should not get hung up on how much each campaign is costing you. Compared to direct marketing it is a minor consideration. But it is easy to go over budget if you do not consider all charges. It is no good picking a figure if you have no idea what you are paying out. If you want to keep ahead you need to keep a count.