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What does an email marketing campaign cost?

‘What would it cost us to outsource our email marketing campaign?’ It’s one of the most frequently asked questions we get as an agency. But obviously, answering that question is just as hard as putting a fixed price tag on the ‘simple’ question ‘What is the cost of marketing?’ Same goes for a website, an ATL campaign, a banner campaign, … The first question you have to ask yourself is: what do you want your email agency to do?

Want to know how much an email campaign costs? 
Here are 10 behind-the-scenes insights…

Let’s start by making a chronological overview of the process it takes to create an email marketing campaign. In this example we’ll create a campaign from scratch with 3 articles, and no template available. The content is promo or advertorial related, so there are no complex or long articles.

1. Content collection/creation
If you have no content available, you’ll have to ask your agency or a content agency to create that content for you. So the time needed here is to gather all the necessary input for your content time needed.

  • Timing: 120 minutes on average

2. Copywriting
All this input has to be written together into one clear briefing document for all your newsletter articles. Take one round of corrections into account.

  • Timing: 90 minutes on average

3. Design
When your content and copy is finalised, it’s time to create the design. This includes building a wireframe, structuring your e-mail and creating the necessary visuals. Also take two round of corrections into account.

  • Timing: 180 minutes on average

Next step is to put the design into a compelling HTML pages. Our advice: these days you’d better not nibble on costs by not creating a responsive email. Responsive has become the standard, so make sure your campaign performs flawlessly on all (mobile) devices.

  • Timing: 180 minutes on average

5. Database management
Creating the necessary segments or getting the right data out of your CRM.

  • Timing: 90 minutes on average

6. Campaign management
Time to connect all the dots. Set up the campaign, start up A/B test, insert HTMLs, connect the necessary databases, …

  • Timing: 90 minutes on average

7. Testing
Testing your email on a test send, on rendering, on deliverability. And of course, if there are some glitches, we’ll have to dive into the code and fix them.

  • Timing: 90 minutes on average

8. Sending & reporting
Mail sent? Then it’s time to gather reports. Most tools have reporting modules, but make sure you analyze your results in comparison to your previous campaigns.

  • Timing: 90 minutes on average

9. Overall project management
Your project manager makes sure your campaign is delivered on time, and that all the required profiles are scheduled within the right time set.

  • Timing: 180 minutes on average

10. Account management
Your account manager makes sure that the campaign is checked against the set goals, and makes sure that the email meets the business requirements.

  • Timing: 90 minutes on average

If we add up all the time spent, you can say that you need approximately 1170 minutes to create an email campaign. That’s almost 20 hours or 2 ½ days for production. Hourly rates may vary, but let’s take 100€/hour as an industry benchmark. So doing the math, you could say that the average email campaign would cost you around 1950 euros.

This makes a good ballpark figure to get you going. But be aware that some campaigns may take more time because the content is more complex, there is more project management, more articles, an extra landing page is necessary, etc…

Furthermore, if you have some time on your hands and are not too shy to roll up your sleeves, reach out to your agency and see if you can manage some preparations yourself:

Prepare content collection
Make a habit of collecting relevant content you find interesting.

Use a template
It’s a one-time cost, but it will help you to easily collect and produce new content.

Database management
Do you know the ins & out of your data? Then why not make data selections yourself.

Set up a briefing
Invest some extra time into writing a clear briefing. We bet you’ll be getting an extra end-of- year gift from your agency!


 Answering the question ‘How much would an email campaign cost me?’ with an exact figure is sheer impossible. But use the 10 steps above as a benchmark and you’ll get a good idea of the man hours needed to do the job. Then all you need is the hourly rate to do the math…
Posted on
Dec 24, 2015