So, you want to sell email services. What exactly does that mean? If you’re a freelancer, it’s likely you’ve already identified the essential skills you’ll be able to sell to clients.
Before you try to work out what you can sell, it’s important to recognize the difference between selling technical services and selling marketing services. For those of us who’ve spent our careers designing and building websites, it may seem quite a leap to shift from that skill set to selling email services. What if the client wants advice on audience segmentation, content strategy, or some other marketingrelated aspect of email?
Perhaps you already have experience in email marketing, so you’re comfortable with responding to client questions on these topics. On the other hand, you may prefer to restrict your offering to the purely technical: design, testing, delivery, list management, and tracking. Whatever the case, now is a good time to start thinking about these issues and identifying the areas in which you feel you can best help your clients.
In this section, we’ll stick specifically to the technical aspects of the email services you might sell. If you want to move beyond these to sell email marketing services, SitePoint’s The Email Marketing Kit (Melbourne: SitePoint, 2007), by Jeanne S. Jennings, has all the advice you’ll need.
We talked about designing email in Chapter 3, and developing a robust email template in Chapter 4; these are obviously saleable skills. You might also choose to package landing page design with this service for cases where the client’s running a campaign that needs specific functionality or a particular sales focus. If your client is requesting a template for a regular email newsletter, you can also include the design of the subscription page.
Some clients will be happy to manage their emails through a third-party webbased system. If you’re a developer, however, you may be able to create your own and provide a full proprietary email solution—from list management to template design—to clients who want to administer their own email subscription lists and communications securely on their own system.
Despite the wealth of usable email marketing tools out there, many clients are hesitant to take responsibility for inputting and sending emails themselves. If you’re happy to drop the template you’ve developed into your own, or a webbased, email service, prepare the mailing list, and hit the Send button, those clients may be happy to pay you for your help.
Remember the legal pitfalls we discussed in Chapter 5? It’s no surprise that many site managers would prefer to hand responsibility for the management of email lists, subscriptions, and unsubscribes to a skilled professional like you. If your client wants to merge two databases into one, they may need you to wash the databases against one another to remove problem addresses (invalid and dummy addresses, for example) from the mix, as well as ensure that individuals who’ve signed up to both lists are included in the merged subscriber list only once.
We’re straying into email marketing territory here, but even if you decide you’ll only provide technical services, you may be able to recommend layout or design tweaks that might boost subscription rates, increase open rates, or reduce optouts for your clients. You might also provide A/B testing facilities (including design, delivery, and review) for clients who want to hone their email marketing efforts.
Within these broad categories, you may be able to think of a number of offerings to interest existing or prospective customers. The way you integrate these offerings will depend on your clients, your level of interest, and how you choose to package your services.
As an example, you might decide to offer a full email newsletter service that includes the following features:
Sign up for free.
Then send campaigns for as little as $9/month