This is a guest post by Kevin Payne.
The way we interact with email is different now. We no longer have the attention span to read through plain text emails with paragraphs and paragraphs of text.
Enter custom HTML emails—the reason why we see beautifully-designed email content, from sending eye-catching promotional content, engaging calls-to-action, and even interactive content like surveys. Custom HTML emails will help you get better ROI for your clients, and better results for your shop’s bottom line.
Are you still wondering whether it’s worth it to add custom HTML email design services to your agency’s service menu? Consider some of the ways you can use custom HTML emails to get clients excited and drive results for them, and determine if it makes sense for you. Then evaluate the best custom HTML email design service platform platform options to make production simple and ROI high.
In this post, we show you some of the best reasons you and your marketing team might want to subscribe to email campaign software that lets you create custom HTML campaigns.
Why offer HTML email design services
There’s a long list of reasons agencies should consider offering custom HTML email design services.
High ROI all around
Email marketing consistently drives among the highest ROI of all channels for agencies and clients alike. That’s partially because of the remarkable results it can achieve in driving revenue and conversions, but also because of how affordable and accessible it is to brands of all sizes, from startups to global enterprises.
Big results means happy clients, and happy clients mean bigger accounts, better renewal rates, and an easier time attracting new business. And the low ongoing cost of providing this service means great margins for your shop.
It’s the next logical step
Many agencies get started as highly specialized boutiques, then methodically expand their services over time. If you’re a growing creative agency or a specialized marketing/advertising provider, HTML email design services are a natural next step into broadening your offerings and revenue sources.
When you already have much of the talent and process in place to make beautiful marketing materials or develop a high-performing campaign, this is a big win you can earn with minimal incremental effort and investment.
Visually appealing emails
When it comes to marketing, looking pretty always comes secondary to getting results. Fortunately with HTML design services, you don’t have to sacrifice on either.
That means you can put the full breadth of your agency’s capabilities on display all at once. While other agency work can be hard to quantify or contextualize, it’s always easy to show off a beautiful email—and then to point to the results it drove.
The result is great material for your sizzle reels, case studies, sales decks, and client meetings.
Even the science supports it: the human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than it would text. Show, don’t just tell.
Source: Campaign Monitor Template
A stable source of recurring revenue
One of the hardest things about managing an agency is keeping up consistent cash flow. Accounts can sometimes come and go unexpectedly. And even among reliable clients, their needs will wax and wane throughout the year (along with their billable hours).
HTML email design is a consistent need, once you have clients sold on it. Ongoing campaigns, newsletters, transactional emails and more all require ongoing care and attention to perform optimally. That means reliable work and recurring revenue you can count on.
Flexible to use for multiple campaigns
One great thing about custom HTML email designs is that you can adapt the designs for just about any campaign. For almost any client need, there’s a solution to be found with a thoughtfully built and well-designed email. And if you find an incredible template works well for one client, you can transfer that structure over for use in other accounts.
You can even use them as an effective tool in promoting your own agency! Use a different email template to share an announcement or a client success case study, to promote your best-selling services, to send an RSS feed of your most recent blog posts or podcast episodes, to share discount codes or special email-only promos, and more.
Use different designs to share new products (top) or to share your most recent articles (right).
Source: Campaign Monitor Gallery
5 Factors to Consider When Choosing an Email Design Service Provider
Convinced that custom design emails are for you and your agency? Great. Now the question you’re probably asking is, “Which custom HTML email design service provider is right for me?” Here, we list five different factors you can consider when looking for the best email marketing service for your business.
1. Email marketing features
Some custom HTML email design service providers might not have the most robust email marketing features in general. This could mean you won’t make the most of your email campaigns. Because of this, search for a custom HTML email provider that offers important email marketing features, including but not limited to:
- Customer relationship management (CRM) to see how your leads are interacting with your emails
- Segmentation and tagging or grouping
- Mobile-optimized email delivery
- Visual editors—if you want an easier time creating custom HTML emails, then you’ll want to look for providers that have visual editors for drag-and-drop email building instead of simply coding HTML emails from scratch.
Campaign Monitor’s visual email editor comes with pre-made elements and templates to help you build your campaigns.
2. Security and support infrastructure
Make sure your vendor has the features and qualities as a company that will prepare you and your clients for long term success.
- Security and reliability: Ensure you the platform you choose is reliable, because your clients will perceive it as an extension—even a product—of your business. The technology you choose reflects back on your brand and your client relationships. If it’s unstable, it makes your business look unreliable. What exactly constitutes “reliable” when it comes to selecting an ESP? As a reference point, Campaign Monitor has a 99.9% uptime.
- Support: Occasionally, even world-class email marketing solutions don’t work exactly as you might expect them to. So it’s important to assess the vendor’s support offering to make sure you have support when you need it. But what’s the standard of support you should be looking for? Campaign Monitor offers around-the-clock email support, with phone support options available on certain plans. It’s worth considering whether anything less than this could be a hindrance down the road.
- Deliverability: Your agency may be full of design and content experts, but you likely don’t have a team dedicated to understanding deliverability laws. Find an email marketing vendor that will worry about that for you and ensure your clients’ emails always land in their inbox.
3. Overall user experience
User experience design is playing an increasingly important role, especially when it comes to digital product and service development. That includes custom HTML email design service providers, especially if you’re operating on a model that allows clients to manage and send their own campaigns.
How your customers interact with your custom HTML email design tool matters. If it’s a pain to use or interact with, you may end up wasting precious time and resources trying to understand what should be a simple process.
With the right HTML email design service, the designing process of your email campaigns can be drag-and-drop for your team and, when appropriate, your clients. This helps ensure your emails are fast-loading, user-friendly, and don’t end up in clients’ spam folders.
4. Your budget
Finally, your budget may play a big role in determining which custom HTML email design provider you want to invest in. Fortunately, many of these providers offer flexible email marketing plans and pricing, depending on the size of your list and the features you want for your business.
Note, however, that just because an email marketing provider is cheap doesn’t always mean that it’s the best. You may be sacrificing essential features or benefits that are well worth the upgrade.
Of course, you always have the final decision in your business, so don’t be afraid to test out email marketing services that have the features you and your agency needs—if you make the most of your plan, the return on investment is usually worth it.
How can you use custom HTML email designs in your own business? We’ve already shown you different use cases, but as long as you can imagine it, you can meet high design standards with the right service provider.
If you want top-notch custom HTML emails complete with the best marketing features and customer support team, sign up for a free account at Campaign Monitor and start building your first email marketing campaign today.