How to establish budget for your email campaign

Setting a budget for an email marketing campaign can be a time consuming process, but having a clear idea of what your email campaign will cost you will help you determine whether or not the activity is likely to generate a return on your investment.

Define Costs
There are several expenses associated with an email marketing campaign - it’s important to be aware of these before you begin, and to know what you should be paying for each.

When implementing an email marketing campaign it might make sense to pay a professional copywriter, particularly if you’re pushed for time and/or you’re not confident of your skills as a writer. The costs for freelance writers can vary enormously, but it’s fair to say that you get what you pay for, so ‘cheap’ copy might not suit your purposes. Expect to pay between £50 and £100 per hour for a good writer.

If you do decide to commission a copywriter be sure to spend time creating a clear brief so your writer understands what’s expected – the clearer the brief, the better the content you’ll receive.

NB – some email service providers offer customisable templates, so if you’re planning to use an email service provider to send your emails you may find that you’re able to avoid these costs.

A well designed email can make or break your marketing campaign, but doesn’t have to be too expensive. Adding a company logo, colour and formatting can improve your response rates, so hiring a professional designer is worthwhile.

Web designer costs are similar to that of copywriters – between £50 to £100 per hour, but expect to pay more if you want your email to be particularly elaborate.

When sending HTML emails you need to convert your design into code. Using an email service provider that provides you with a HTML template is a great way to ensure that your email displays well no matter where it’s opened. If you decide to use a programmer, make sure that they’re familiar with coding specifically for email. Programmers tend to charge around £50 per hour.

The Send
If you’re only targeting a small audience, it’s possible to manage your send yourself. Costs include necessary software and possibly maintenance and upgrade fees. The software itself can cost between £60 and £300, and support at a further charge.

However using an email service provider (ESP) is often a better solution for small businesses. Most charge on an emails sent per month basis, defined as a cost-per-thousand figure. If you do decide to use an ESP negotiate beforehand to make sure you have firm figures for your budget.

Tracking and Reporting
Tracking and reporting (metrics like opens and clickthroughs) should be included with either your email marketing software or ESP. If it isn’t, go elsewhere.

Setting a Budget & Calculating ROI
With a little research you should be able to come up with a budget estimate for your email marketing campaign. It’s then essential to compare your email marketing budget with your projected revenue to calculate what you’re likely return-on-investment is.

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