The Bottom Line: Making Money!

Hi there,

Just wanted to hear from people who have been running MB for a while and get some rough figures as to how successful MB can be in generating an income.

I am curious what others get in terms of average monthly emails sent per client?
What they charge per email?
Do you charge monthly subscriptions?
Basically what is your bottom line profit from MB per month/year?

I don't mean to sound brash here but if others can offer some actual hard figures it would help me with forecasting this all out.

I love my web design business not just because of the work involved but  also the business side of things and the numbers. I love setting things out, planning ahead and then making things's a bit of a passion of mine.

If nobody wants to offer up any figures then can you have a look at the following targets of mine and let me know your thoughts:

Clients: 50
Average emails sent per month: 1,000
Monthly Subscription Charge: FREE
Price Per Email: 0.08p
Email Template: £99
Total Per Year: £48,000


style campaign style campaign, 8 years ago

Hi Stafford,

Pricing is always difficult to pin down.

Your email template pricing is a little cheap to my mind. When I did some research into pricing for
a custom email template I saw figures from $250 - $600 (constant contact charges up to $600
for a custom template) Most came in around $350-$450 (dollars so around 200 pounds)

I guess it depends on whether you build the template from scratch or customize an existing template you have on file. Add a logo and change the color ect....that takes less time.

The downside to this setup is once you sell them a template you just pick up the delivery fee, in order to generate
the same income next year you need 50 new email clients who want a new template....that's seems a challenge?

Maybe I need to move back to England if they are paying 8p to deliver an email! (I am English - Brighton originally -living in LA)


Mathew Mathew, 8 years ago

Would you be charging a per campaign sending fee too Stafford? We see quite a variety of methods (although we can't give any specifics obviously). Some people charge a great big sending fee per campaign that covers some consulting to their client on content or other factors, and then a cent or 2 per email.

Others just charge $10 to send and a few cents each. It really depends on how MailBuild sits in with your other services - if it is just an adjunct to an existing relationship you might not need to make big profits in that area, but if it is the only service you offer to them, you would approach it differently.

If you look around at some of the case studies out there for MailBuild you might get some ideas.

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doug, 8 years ago

Maybe you guys should offer some type of webinars on this topic. I am sure designers that are successful using your service would be glad to speak on a webinar/conference call thing. I think what you do with the case studies are on spot, but I think more information on the business side would help designers sell their email marketing services to clients which in turn make you guys more money.

The problem I am running into with clients with this service is the delivery cost. They still use me, but I have to deliver the campaign through a service like Constant Contact, MailChump, icontact, or whoever they want to be setup with.  I would prefer to use this service. I have used all those others and you guys blow them away. There is no question about that.

In fact, I know with icontact and Mail Chumps, your pay as you go pricing is actually lower than theirs. Also, iContact charges something like $250 for the privilege with a co-branded site, where we can private label your mailbuild site.  So, I don't have a problem with your pay as you go pricing, or anything else, it is when it is compared to these monthly fee type services that I run into problems and on larger accounts it starts to add up.

I am one that does not even care about making money from the delivery as I make it from my design and other services I offer clients, but it is hard for me to sell them on a more expensive delivery option when some of these others are offering unlimited emails for a pretty low monthly contract. That is the bottom line. When my clients look at the monthly fees for unlimited or almost unlimited from these other services, they look cheap by comparison. However, using those other services are a headache for me.

One of those wish list items for me would be some type of talking points that explains why this service is better than those others from the client perspective.  I think you guys do a great job explaining why designers should use it, and you have sold me, but I think something that explains it better to our clients, I know will help me out.

Of course, my dream is that you integrate this service with a competitive monthly fee service.

Finally, and I will go, but as the person mentioned above, it looks like US designers are getting killed on the exchange rate. I am no expert on that, but that is what it looks like. So that may even be part of the pricing problem with us in the sad, sad USA.

Mathew Mathew, 8 years ago

Thanks Doug for a great post, you've raised some excellent points there and some great suggestions. We're always looking ways to help you bring in more clients.

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doug, 8 years ago

Thanks Mathew. On a forum search, I actually found a thread where Damien made some great points that addressed some of the sales pitch ideas I was interested in. I think those that started this thread might want to look at that thread for some good pointers:

I like what Damien is saying about comparing email marketing costs to say direct mail, and I think that will work with smaller, less cost-sensitive marketers. However, I know for me, I am handling campaigns of more than 100,000 to 200,000 each week and these folks want to be able to pound out emails without worrying about running up huge delivery charges. They know what others charge, so I can't compare delivery charges to the U.S. Postal Service. They know what other email delivery services cost. With that said, I think it is a valid comparison in order to say to a client, yes, we may cost more than some DIY service, but compared to other forms of direct marketing, our costs are trivial. I think that is a powerful counter argument.

I do like what he says about competing on bottom dollar is a losing strategy. You have to sell the value of the expertise and services you bring to the table. You can't make a living competing for the bottom and the clients there are probably not good ones either.

I look at services like Aweber, and I wonder how they can offer unlimited delivery at a flat fee and that not affect delivery. I mean if someone is truly pounding out emails at a very high clip, how do they not end up being blacklisted? I would be interested in hearing what you guys think about services that offer unlimited, not from a cost standpoint, but from a deliverability standpoint. What good is unlimited if the emails are not delivered? I know with some of the campaigns I work on, I have to dial back the clients desire to pound out emails because we run into spam complaints to the ISP when the list is hit too frequently.

As for the webinar idea, I would suggest you guys look at the example set by I have attended webinars they have hosted and they have been very informative for me.

Finally, I do think it is worth emphasizing that in my research you guys were cheaper than most of these other folks I mentioned on pay-as-you-go agency rates and you offer a private label backend with Mailbulid at no extra charge. None of them did that.

style campaign style campaign, 8 years ago

Hi Doug,

I liked what Damien had to say on that thread also, he really spelled it out clearly. After seeing his cost comparison table comparing email delivery fees to postage fees I added one to our website and it helps clients put it in perspective. (thanks Damien for the great idea!)

Even so new clients regularly bring up Constant Contact's delivery rates. I just started working with a new client with 80,000 subscribers who previously had a Constant Contact account. I explained all the advanced features of Campaign Monitor and he decided that he was willing to pay a little more for delivery in exchange for the better service and with no Constant Contact logo added to his designs...still not everyone wants to switch.

Aweber and Relenta, have come up in conversation recently with a couple of real estate clients. They stick with them because of the auto responders rather than delivery fees...They send out a bunch of email follow-ups spaced out over specified time intervals when someone joins their list. They would prefer to move to Campaign Monitor but cannot do without that feature. I have also heard spam complaints can be an issue with these services, like Doug mentioned.


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