Setting Your Email Marketing Budget for 2017

Written by: Chris Donald

With just a couple of weeks left in 2016, planning your email marketing budget for 2017 (if you haven’t done so already) is an absolute must. This foundation for email marketing program success helps ensure that great ROI is in your forecast for the coming year.

If you’re still at a loss for how to spend your email marketing budget, here are some ideas for how you can utilize and maximize your spend:

Template Design Refresh

The first of the year is a great time to give your email templates a fresh design—especially if you’ve been using the same template for a couple of years or more. After all, not only does your template deserve a nice update in terms of look and feel, but a full update to the code will get your templates up to date in terms of responsiveness for rendering across all devices.

(InboxArmy can help you with a template design refresh. Look at one of our email template design and code packages.)

Email Marketing Audit

Need fresh eyes for a fresh start? Consider doing an email marketing program audit. With an audit, you can take a deeper look at what parts of your email marketing strategy and programs are working well, what parts are simply not working, and derive crucial insights into how you can improve and further develop your program for maximum ROI.

List Building and Optimization

Increasing the size and value of your email marketing list is critical for program success. And doing it the right way takes time, patience, and cross-channel cooperation.

Building your list organically requires cooperation between your email program, your website, SEO, and paid search engine marketing. These channels need to work seamlessly together to gather new leads, nurture them, and convert them into paying customers.

We never recommend buying an email list (there are myriad reasons why), but there are list rental options that could work for increasing your list provided you have the budget to do so. Focus on publishers and outlets that pertain directly to your industry category and get as concise of a list or target segment as possible, combine it with a persuasive opt-in email campaign, and you may just find yourself a winner.

A New Email Service Provider

We never advocate moving ESPs just for the sake of moving. But if your program is at a point where a new provider is advantageous, the beginning of the year (or the end of your current contract, if applicable) is the perfect time to go through the transition. There are many factors that go into such a decision, including budget.

Hire an Agency or an In-House Email Marketing Manager

Perhaps the new year is the time you can budget for expert handling of your email marketing program. Whether you go with an in-house hire or bring in an email marketing agency depends on budget factors and simple preference. The cost factors for both may surprise you, as we discuss here. In any event, expert help is always a great way to go, and budgeting for that kind of help can be incredibly beneficial to your bottom line.

Final Thoughts

As the holiday season begins to wind down, the New Year brings optimism and new opportunities. If you haven’t started planning next year’s budget already, the time to start is now. The sooner you plan, the better the position you’ll be in to achieve your 2017 goals.

And of course, if you need some help and insight, InboxArmy is here to help.

About Author

Chris sent his first email campaign in 1995. He’s worked directly with Fortune 500 companies, retail giants, nonprofits, SMBs and government agencies in all facets of their email marketing and marketing automation programs. He’s also a BIG baseball fan, loves a good steak, and is mildly obsessed with zombie movies.

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