Want to know the most effective way to execute your Shopify email marketing strategy?
With the right email marketing, you can constant engagement to your store and earn some impressive sales. But doing this requires time and ability. So ultimately, you have two options: Do it yourself (DIY) or Outsource.
There are benefits to both, but without the right knowledge, there are risks, as well. On one side, you have a cost-effective opportunity that can drive produce decent results. On the other, a chance for hard-hitting emails from veterans of the industry, but you'll have to pay.
We know that the outsourced approach isn't the best fit for everyone. And, neither is doing it yourself. So, in this article, we’re going to referee the battle of DIY vs. outsourced Shopify email marketing, so you can better understand which is the best fit for your needs.
DIY vs. Outsourced Shopify Email Marketing: Which is Best For Your Brand?
First, it's important to note that just because one is right for your brand right now doesn't mean it will be in the future. In fact, many brands start with the DIY approach and, as they grow, move to an outsourced option. Some companies eventually grow further and hire their own specialized in-house team.
While the choice can be fluid, let's look at what's the best for your brand right now. The major variables come down to time, money, and knowledge.
It's not impossible to deliver the same results as an email marketing agency, but if your team in-house doesn't have the necessary experience, it's an uphill battle.
So, after deciding on how much resources you're willing to invest in email marketing, consider the pros and cons of each option.
1. What's the Difference Between DIY & Outsourced Email Marketing
The largest difference between DIY and outsourcing is the cost. Doing it yourself can essentially be free. Although you'll be restricted in tools and support, some platforms offer free packages to get you started. If you choose one of these, the only resource you'll use is time; time to create campaigns and time to learn what you're doing.
The main reason people even consider outsourcing is because of a lack of experience in email marketing. If everyone knew exactly what to do, the need for professionals would be diminished. But since that's not the case, it's important to understand where the knowledge lies.
That experience can be the difference between static, simple emails or dynamic content that interacts with users. It can mean improved segmentation strategies so you can provide more relevant content to your audience. It can also be the difference in gaining data analysis that leads to insights.
2. DIY Shopify Email Marketing: Pros and Cons
DIY email marketing means you're doing everything yourself. This can be a useful approach if you're tight on funds or you're just starting out. With a small list, it's easier to manage a DIY strategy, and generally not worth outsourcing because you'll pay more than you can earn in revenue. We generally work with clients that maintain lists starting around 20,000.
DIY Email Marketing Pros
First, there's ultimately no cost if you find the right platform. Although you'll lack some tools with these packages, many of those additional features are better served for advanced email marketers. The basic functions of these free platforms are enough for a new eCommerce store to get up and running.
The good news is that if you're ready to invest some funds, you'll have access to most email marketing platforms on the market for a reasonable price. Since most have pricing tiers that increase with the size of your list, you can find one solution you're happy with and continue to grow without needing a different option.
Most of these platforms have drag and drop editors, meaning you don't need specialized coding or design experience in order to get the emails you want. It may take extra time to rearrange the content to your liking, but that's one of the trade-offs.
If you're someone who likes to see everything before it's fired off, DIY marketing may be a better approach for you. Doing it yourself means you have a complete say over what goes out. While the same is true of outsourcing, agencies have specialized experience and may recommend emails that will work, but you're not comfortable delivering from your brand.
Experience, however, is not always a good thing. Many veteran marketers will find a method that works, but then get stuck in a mindset, trying to produce the same exact work, time and time again. Learning on the job means you're coming at your strategy with a fresh look and a growth mindset, always trying to develop better ways to engage your audience.
DIY Email Marketing Cons
The major challenge of DIY email marketing is knowing what you're doing. Even poring over how-to guides and using templates, you'll still lack the intuitive eye of an expert email marketer. Yes, eventually, you too can develop the ability to know what has a better chance of engaging your audience, but it can take hundreds, if not thousands of emails.
To speed up the learning process, you'll need to spend a lot of time studying high-converting emails and tactics for generating more revenue. You'll also need to learn skills like how to properly test elements in emails and set rules for behavioral triggers. Understanding how to analyze data into something useful is a beast of its own.
The most difficult part of DIY email marketing is adjusting your mindset. A lot of your emails may see lackluster engagement. If you naturally turn towards the, "I can't do this," frame of mind, you should avoid creating your own campaigns. There will be a lot of "failed" emails before you start delivering the same high impact content you see from industry leaders. Email marketing yourself requires you to understand you're improving with each send.
3. Outsourced Shopify Email Marketing: Pros and Cons
Outsourced email marketing involves hiring an agency, team, or consultant to manage your strategy and campaigns. While there are varying levels of assistance you can receive, the idea is that you're using someone else's expertise to generate increased engagement in your campaigns.
Outsourced Email Marketing Pros
If you choose the outsourced approach, you're leaning on the experience of professionals who know the industry. Rather than struggling to learn the tactics and techniques yourself, you can hire experts who have portfolios of awesome emails with proven results.
Outsourcing gives you a greater potential for a high return on investment. Although DIY email marketing is free, it's more difficult to generate revenue. You'll pay for an outsourced solution, but they can deliver ROIs of 10-39%. So even if you have to increase your expenses, you'll gain the possibility for increased profit.
The main reason outsourcing provides better ROI is because of what agencies can do with your emails. For example, SmartMail specializes in lifecycle email campaigns. We can automate everything from abandonment emails to win-back campaigns. These require additional rules and coding to get right, but because we've spent so much time honing our skills, these effective campaigns are second nature to us.
Experienced professionals are also able to make better sense of metrics. This reduces the guesswork often associated with DIY campaigns. Instead of following a set path, your strategy becomes more agile. When the data says something isn't working, you can shift on the fly and get it back on track.
Hiring a team to work on your emails also puts new eyes on your business. This can lead to insights into your marketing or branding. Sometimes, it can lead to useful recommendations based on their experience or how your audience is responding to emails. And, there's also a chance you learn more about email marketing, just by seeing what your agency delivers.
Outsourced Email Marketing Cons:
The main concern businesses have with outsourcing email marketing is the cost. While it can get expensive when you get into some of the larger, full-service packages, there are plenty of options for most budgets.
The price point is important, but you also need to find an agency that best fits your needs. If you focus solely on cost, you risk finding a generic partner who'll deliver poor results. In fact, it's not uncommon for an agency to claim they're experts in every facet of email marketing and offer reasonable rates. You should remain skeptical of any business making these claims. An agency who can do it all won't be the cheapest option.
SmartMail is priced to be more accessible, but we focus on behavioral-based emails for eCommerce stores. For most eCommerce stores, this is all you need to see massive growth, and finding a team that's transparent about what they offer is critical.
DIY vs. Outsourced Shopify Email Marketing: Which will you choose?
There is no one size fits all. What’s best for you might not be what’s best for someone else. If you have 20,000 contacts and a steady revenue stream, outsourcing is likely a good call.
If you’re interested in learning more about it, we can provide an email marketing proposal that sets you up for a consistent ROI without charging an arm and a leg. We'll deliver specific campaign recommendations and email templates that have brought in hundreds of thousands in revenue.