7 tips to cut your email marketing costs

If you work with a budget, you are certainly looking for any possible ways to save money. Email marketing is not an expensive marketing tool, but if you are not careful, you could be surprised with the costs!
Sophie Lamarche
1 August 2016
Omni-Channel Marketing Campaign
7 min
conseils pour reduire vos couts de marketing par courriel

If you run a business or are responsible for communication and marketing expenses, you are certainly looking for every possible way to save money. And the exercise is especially important if you don’t want to lose control and see your expenses skyrocket.

Email isn’t the most expensive marketing tool, but if you’re not careful, you could be spending money you could easily have saved.

That’s why we’re giving you 7 tips on how to reduce your email marketing costs!

1. Use templates

Creating an email, for those who do it a lot, can take a lot of work and time. In addition, many of the steps to set it up are repetitive. The trick? Use templates to make your life easier. There are different approaches to follow when it comes to using templates:

  • Pre-assembled

Nothing new, most email solution providers offer message templates, sometimes even theme-based. You just have to adjust them according to your needs, but it can still take some work. It should be mentioned that it is quite common to let users edit their email using a drag and drop tool to place elements, select colors, and fonts, etc.

  • Template

If an email is often copied to start a new creation, and it meets your needs, why not save it as a template? Many solutions offer this possibility, but the flexibility of these templates remains more malleable in some solutions compared to others.

  • Custom-made

Completely custom-made models are a little less common. It is a matter of programming, both the container and the content, aspects that are specific to your brand. To illustrate what the result looks like, you will see in the image below that the template we put together for our own marketing team contains a custom visual smart list. This ensures that every time I drag this block into my email, the rendering is applied automatically and saves me from the repetitive work of correcting it. These custom blocks, in Dialog Insight, can be created in many ways and are really interesting to use.

Here are a few steps to guide you in order to build them:

  • Work with a graphic designer to evaluate the branding elements that will be in your emails.
  • Give him the mandate to build one or more models. You can also mount what I call a master model, which will contain all the possible blocks you tend to use. As an example, at Dialog Insight, we have this master template in 4 colors (to represent those of our brand). All the blocks inside are identical, so we don’t have to worry about choosing the one we want (except for the color!).
  • Go through an integrator to have these models configured in the tool.

Although it’s an expense at the very start, it’s often a one-time expense that will provide you with the most professional, flexible and visually appealing templates that you can use for a long time to come.

2. Use bilingual templates

This trick may only be for users of the Dialog Insight platform, but it offers the ability to set up models that are bilingual (or more!). Simply navigate between the two to edit the versions.

Although the two versions of the email are assembled independently of each other, if your template contains automated portions (such as the header or footer), these elements will already be translated when the email is created.

This saves you time in the creation process, especially since we know that the translation of any element is what sometimes makes our tasks much longer, in addition to incurring professional fees.

3. Choose your images carefully

An email without an image is not very attractive. However, you can spend a lot of time searching, selecting, editing, or creating these images. Also, many companies cannot use the services of a graphic designer to create their images.

We then propose two ways to create e-mails with attractive images without spending too much time on it.

First, customize a template with free or low-cost images to save on image bank membership fees. This article lists a variety of sites that are not as well known as photo stocks, which are often common.

Another handy tool to create custom images at a lower cost (which we use all the time at DI) is Canva. Its free version allows you to create images not only for your emails, but also for your social media, ads, printed documents, presentations, etc. With hundreds of templates available, you don’t need to have great artistic talents to create attractive images!

4. Eliminate manual tasks

Do you still do all your tasks manually? If so, it’s time to consider automation and save time, because as the saying goes: time is money. Many emails that are normally part of your communication strategies should be automated, such as:

It might be a good idea to gather your campaigns or your team and look at campaigns that would be interesting to automate in order to free up some time for something else.

5. Delete inactive contacts

The price of email platforms is often based on the number of contacts in your database. To reduce monthly or annual costs, you should also think about automating complete unsubscriptions and validations of email address errors. This will prevent you from sending more messages to these addresses, which are not allowed by law anyway, or simply won’t reach their destination.

Although a single message is not very expensive, the price can still increase quickly if you send them often to contacts who shouldn’t receive them anyway. This will save you the cost of unnecessary mailings (and potential lawsuits for sending to unsubscribed people!) and the manual processing time to do it yourself.

Moreover, once recognized, these addresses can be deleted from your databases since you can’t use them anyway. Although deleting email addresses, a hard to get commodity, is heartbreaking, you’d better respect the wishes of the unsubscribers, especially with Bill C-28 and Bill 64. These contacts will still be able to re-subscribe anyway, with a more recent and valid address.

If you are interested in good practices for keeping your database clean, I suggest that you read this article written by a colleague.

6. Test to avoid unnecessary sending

Not sure what to include in an email? How often or when it should be sent? Then the AX Tests will be your best friends. To avoid sending emails that will not add any value to your contacts, send a simple email to a small portion of your base. Then evaluate the opening and click rate on your offer to see how interesting it is.

If you see that this procedure works well, “jazz up” this email a little more and send it to the rest of your contacts. You can also test certain aspects of your emails for frequent or automated mailings.

This is also a good trick to limit marketing expenses in general. For example, eliminate content that doesn’t work or events with few participants!

7. Limit multiple solutions

Email is often associated with other communication formats, such as landing pages, contact database management, automated marketing, web tracking and other online behaviors. In short, getting the big picture about the directions a contact may take after receiving an email is important to make campaigns that are relevant and connected to each other.

If you work with tools that each have a specialty, a more centralized tool like Dialog Insight may be more appropriate for you. In the same solution, we offer the gathering of customer information for 360 customer profiles, the sending of messages in several forms (email, SMS, push notification), with web tools such as landing pages and popups, and finally the analysis of customer behavior on messages, on the web, and in online stores.

In a more centralized tool, chances are that it will cost you less to operate your communication and marketing operations. In addition, it limits the technological complexity of information transfer, and if your marketing teams are less technical, it will be easier to set up multi- or multi-channel campaigns, in addition to monitoring results at a high level.

Conclusion

That’s it! We hope that these tips will help you optimize your email marketing practices in order to reduce your email marketing costs. Although email is a well-established channel in our distribution plans, it is always possible to maximize our efforts at a lower cost!

Find out how your business can benefit from Dialog Insight.

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