In times of crisis and uncertainty, new business acquisition slows down for most creative, marketing, and digital agencies. Offering a flexible, completely customizable newsletter is one great way to minimize churn and retain accounts when you need them most.
According to research from Uplers, 47% of agencies are experiencing a reduction in new business leads in the wake of COVID.
When acquiring new accounts becomes increasingly difficult, client retention becomes a paramount concern to agencies. The cost of getting a new agency account closed and won is about 4x greater than renewing a contract and keeping an existing client on board, as Proposify CEO Kyle Racki explains in this video on client retention strategies.
Custom newsletters: Easier than ever for agencies
A custom newsletter, complete with your client’s own style and branding, is a great way to show how much you value their relationship and understand their unique needs.
As a technology built by agency marketers for agency marketers, Campaign Monitor recognizes the importance of these kinds of special gestures and unique offerings. And we also understand the importance of knowing how to make email marketing templates quickly and at scale.
That’s why we’re excited to unveil our new branded templates tool within the Campaign Monitor platform. This new capability will make it easier than ever for agencies to treat their clients to captivating custom newsletters that look beautiful and get results.
Whether your shop serves just a handful of clients or a few hundred, the branded template tool simplifies the production process for your team. It guides you step by step through how to make email marketing templates that look great and fit perfectly into each client’s brand. You’ll be able to effortlessly apply themes, color schemes, logos, and more.
The flexibility of this feature gives you multiple options for improving your clients’ experience and results. If you usually use a hands-on approach where you handle most or all of their email marketing, the tool is intuitive for use by your own team.
Alternatively; if you have more of a ‘self-serve’ model where clients do most of their own work and you operate in more of a support/advisory role, it’s easy to activate and make the functionality available for them. All clients have to do is enter their website URL: the tool does the work of identifying their logo and colors automatically!
Ready to get started? Sign up to check out the full power and capabilities of the new and improved branded template builder.
The power of custom newsletters for your agency
If you’re not already, there are several important reasons you should consider offering custom newsletter services and capabilities.
- They’re good for business. One big advantage of newsletters for agencies is that they’re regular, recurring projects. Many organizations send (or at least, would like to send) newsletters on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis. That means reliable, dependable billing hours for you and a constant way for you to keep accounts engaged and push your other services.
- It’s easy to do, but will make you look like an absolute wizard to your clients. You can help your clients deliver gorgeous, highly-effective newsletters that look like they took an army of designers and developers untold days of toil and sweat to produce. What they don’t need to know is that pulling it together was a cinch for your team with email marketing software designed for agency use.
- Custom newsletters keep you sticky. If you’re doing something special for a client that they love, it makes it hard for them to try and take that work in-house or elsewhere. This is huge for long-term client retention.
The value of branded content for your clients
Branded newsletters aren’t just great for your agency; they have big potential benefits for clients, too.
A recent survey shows that 74.5% of marketers currently rely on branded content. It’s also worth noting that over two-thirds of marketers expect their clients to spend more on branded content in the future. Branded content makes customers feel a sense of familiarity. They’re more comfortable engaging, making branded emails better for ROI.
How about the world’s bigger brands? Are they turning to this strategy in their content? Take a look at how one of the biggest names in entertainment/media upped their approach to branded content in recent years.
Essential email newsletter key performance indicators
As with all email marketing, you should closely monitor KPI progress for your clients’ newsletters. This equips you with the data and evidence you need to prove your value and show how your customized newsletter templates are an indispensable service to them.
When it comes to newsletters, there are a few metrics that you’ll want to keep an especially close eye on in your reporting.
This is the bread-and-butter number for most email marketing, including newsletters. It explains how engaging subscribers find your newsletter templates—and the content within. For most brands, click-throughs are the first step to the most important metrics of all: conversions, sales, donations, and so on.
Because of the unique nature of newsletters, you and your clients should consider open rates with a different perspective from how you might evaluate the open rates of promotional or transactional emails. Remember; the purpose of a newsletter isn’t just to convert but, to share the news. That means information, updates, entertainment—the kind of email content that builds relationships.
If the main goal of a given newsletter is to update subscribers about an important product change, or share holiday best wishes, or unveil a big announcement, all that information could well be contained right in the newsletter itself. In cases like this, open rate is the best indicator of whether users are getting the message.
Newsletters increase the frequency at which your clients are cropping up in subscribers’ inboxes. And once they’ve seen how effective your custom email templates are, they might ask you to design and send even more.
That’s good news for you and your clientele…to a point. There’s always a risk of too much of a good thing. Regular newsletters on top of your typical marketing emails and triggered messages can quickly go from charming to annoying and ratchet up the unsubscribe rate. If you see this figure ticking up, suggest letting up on the gas to your client so you don’t alienate too many customers.
Check out this guide for a more in-depth look at the most important email newsletter KPIs.
Test your way to killer newsletter performance
Once you’ve established a great custom newsletter program for your clients, it’s time to activate your killer marketer instinct. This is what will really make the difference between a generic newsletter experience and a custom one with your agency, driving up client retention.
Fortunately, it’s not difficult to get started with some simple, high-impact tests. Thanks to their ongoing nature, newsletters make it especially easy to control for a variety of variables and gather enough data to determine clear winners. An email platform designed for agency use, like Campaign Monitor, makes it easy to set up tests and report results to clients.
Need some inspiration to get started? Try one of these invaluable email testing resources for agencies:
- Business Not As Usual: 14 Email Marketing Tactics to Test Now
- The Right Email Testing Tools to Optimize Every Campaign
- How to A/B Test Your Email Campaigns With Campaign Monitor
Custom email templates are a small way to show a client you care, but they can have a big impact on client retention. The best email templates for agencies are those that are flexible and easy to adapt to any brand, so you spend less resources getting wrapped up in menial production. To recap:
- When new accounts are hard to come by, it becomes that much more important to maintain your relationships and renew existing contracts.
- Use Campaign Monitor’s branded templates to scale up newsletter customization with minimal incremental stress on your team and resources.
- Newsletters are an especially great place to start with branded templates thanks to their value both to clients and your own agency.
- Once started, don’t forget to carefully monitor your custom newsletter performance; especially with metrics like open rate, click-through rate, and unsubscribe rate.
- Don’t get complacent, even if you find immediate success. There’s always room for improvement and growth—test to see what works and show clients you’re committed to non-stop optimization.
Branded templates are just one reason Campaign Monitor is the go-to email marketing technology for over 50,000 agencies around the world. Get powerful email technology designed by agencies, for agencies, and drive better performance not just for clients but your own brand. Learn more.