10 Things to Look For in an Email Marketing Agency

email marketing agency

Choosing the right (email) marketing agency for your company is never an easy task. There are dozens of reviews, forum recommendations, and other sources of information to consider. As helpful as they are, you may often be left with a feeling that you are overlooking something.

Based on our years of experience and many clients, we compiled a list of ten things to consider when you’re on the lookout for just the right partner to make your email marketing dreams come true.

Take a look at our list!

1. Look For Someone Who Can Provide Custom Solutions.

There are no generic problems in email marketing, so there can’t be any generic solutions either.

Agencies offering easy fixes at an affordable price might seem like they are a dream come true, but this dream can quickly turn into a nightmare when you realize they are trying to jam a triangle into a square-shaped hole, or worse.

Be careful not to choose an agency that will have you changing your plans every other day because they don’t understand your business goals. Instead, look for an agency that will solve your problems with solutions tailored to your brand and your strategy.

At Essence of Email, we provide custom solutions based on each client’s email marketing needs. Our flexible arrangements last for as long as you need them to – 30 days, 60 days, 6 months, or even several years of constant success!

2. Value and Transparency

Stay away from agencies who are eager to get more than they are eager to give.

Watch out for clever salesmen and make sure the sales pitch focuses on what is important to you: how the solution will improve your business, the processes, return on investment (ROI), reports, and communication.

3. Their Past Work

Always ask to see examples, or case studies at the very least, of the work the agency has previously done.

Do the results and the work suit you? Does it look like it will be an improvement over what you have right now? Is ROI along the lines of what you expect? Those are some of the questions you must keep in mind in the process of choosing the right email marketing agency for your business.

4. Your Budget vs. Agency Pricing

Email marketing is an investment.

Some businesses can dedicate a big budget, while others look for something smaller in scale. Most email marketing agencies have scalable services, but those worth your time will have a transparent billing practice and provide quotes based on your business needs.

5. Look For an Agency That Keeps Its Work In-House.

While you’re looking to outsource your email marketing efforts, it’s a bad idea to hire an agency that is looking to do the same.

Some agencies contract with a client only to send the work overseas, or rent it out to freelancers. There are multiple problems with this practice, most importantly, the inability to address time-sensitive concerns.

6. Not Afraid to Push Their Team Front and Center.

A great email marketing agency is made up of a team of diverse talents and expertise.

Always be sure to check out the “Our Team” page. Does it even exist on the website? Can you find the team members on LinkedIn?

Your future partner should be proud of their team, and shouldn’t be afraid to put it front and center. The team should be multi-disciplined, with unique experts in their respective fields – back-end, design, copywriting, project management, etc.

7. They Come (Highly) Recommended.

Check the reputation of agencies on groups and forums to get an insight into their performance. Make good research, read case studies and testimonials and look online for reviews.

Once you find an email marketing agency that comes recommended as the one that can solve problems and help you get your show on the road, you’ve discovered a good prospective partner for months and years to come.

8. What Kind of Content Are They Providing for Their Website Visitors?

While this doesn’t seem overly significant at first glance, the content your prospective partner provides can be a very important clue about their approach to your brand and the email marketing challenges it will pose.

If an agency’s content is stale, outdated, and just not of very good quality, you might want to move away because they either don’t care to share their knowledge with you, or they can’t be bothered to work on their image, something a serious marketing agency would never do.  

Do they consistently offer internal assets (eBooks, blog posts, webinars, etc.) that convey their thought leadership and expertise? Externally, do they contribute to industry publications and share helpful industry-related insights? Do they present at industry events? Are they maintaining their social media platforms well? If so, it is very likely they will take good care of your business, too.

9. Strategy vs. Execution

While some agencies may convince you with their analytical and strategizing skills, ask for evidence that they are strong on the execution side as well.

Sure, being strategic can be of tremendous value, but if an agency doesn’t have the capacity to execute, all the nice-looking reports in the world aren’t going to do anything for your channel.

Conversely, focusing solely on execution will result in complete chaos in the long term, with your campaign results boiling down to luck or divine intervention. This is why it’s important to choose a partner who can focus equally on both.

10. How Do You Feel About Them?

Finally, when all is said and done, you have to give yourself a minute and compile all these impressions into a clear vision of how you see your partner.

Look for an agency that will make this process easy for you, where after each conversation you’ll feel content, inspired, and valued, rather than confused, disappointed, or even frightened.

Wrap-Up

While you’ll ultimately be the sole judge of how good a fit an email marketing agency will be for your brand, we feel these 10 tips are a good place to start when making a decision. Whether you want to take them at face value and go through them as if they were steps, or you’re just looking for fresh perspective before committing, these 10 properties are what separates the best from the rest.

Need help with email marketing? Get in touch with us for a free consultation!


email marketing expertStefan, 27, loves beer and hard rock. Loving son and boyfriend. Selling email marketing services to people who understand how important it is to communicate with customers in just the right way.