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Email marketing is a huge opportunity for agencies to build recurring monthly revenue into their client billing. Unlike many other types of marketing, email marketing is ongoing and less project-based, so clients hire agencies every month to manage their email marketing instead for just a short period.
And there’s a strategy to make email marketing even more profitable for agencies: Private labeling.
Private label email marketing is the ability to customize aspects of an external email service provider (like Campaign Monitor) with your branding and logos. This allows agencies to reap the benefits of a proprietary ESP without having to spend the money and time to build one.
Private labeling is sometimes referred to as “white labeling,” but as part of our efforts to be more inclusive, we are choosing to use the phrase “private labeling.”
The obvious benefit of private labeling email marketing services for your clients is that your agency branding shows up for them at every turn.
This gives your services an exclusive, high-end feel. Every tool you use with your clients feels proprietary and consistent, compared to a disjointed experience of using multiple tools with their branding.
But there are tangible benefits that go beyond this exclusive feel. Let’s take a look.
Most agencies use one of two different models when providing email marketing services for their clients:
Regardless of which model your agency uses (or both), your clients will need access to their ESP dashboard to track results or make changes. This means they’re either going to see your branding every time they log in or they’ll see the branding of a third-party company.
Being able to private label your email marketing services means that your clients are constantly reminded of your value. When they go to check progress on their email marketing, they see your branding front and center, a powerful reminder of your great work.
Keeping clients around long-term is all about providing consistent value for their bottom line. One proven way to generate more revenue is through strong visual branding, as consistent branding has been shown to increase revenue by 33%.
So, creating custom, branded email templates for each client is a key way to get them results month after month. With private labeling, you can create custom templates with your clients’ branding (for every client). This means that it’s easy for either your agency or your clients themselves to quickly create emails that match their branding.
This email from Pret A Manger is a good example of the power of branded emails. The colors, fonts, logos, and layout are easily recognizable as those of the company.
With private labeling, you can create just one agency account and manage multiple client sub-accounts under your account.
This makes keeping your client projects on track much easier for your team. You can quickly switch between client accounts without logging in and out, and you can get a birds-eye view of each client from one place.
It’s important to lessen the administrative burden through smarter tools to save time for billable work. A Sage study found that small to mid-sized businesses in the UK spend an average of 71 days per year on administrative tasks. So, if you average 5 hours a day on client work, this means missing out on up to 355 hours of billable time.
Private labeling allows you to provide your clients with all the features that a robust ESP includes, without the investment of building your own. Helpful features for your clients include:
Your agency will not only improve client satisfaction and results with these features, but it will also be able to markup the cost of the ESP and bill it directly to clients — thereby improving your profit margins.
With marketing agency profit margins averaging just 6-20%, increasing margins is an opportunity to build sustainability into your business.
Once you have set up your private label email marketing service, you can start creating branded automations for your clients.
While client needs differ, most clients will require at least one automation of each of the following types. Let’s take a look.
A welcome email automation is a sequence of emails sent to new subscribers as soon as they join your list.
The purpose of a welcome sequence is to confirm the subscription, welcome the subscriber to the list, and set expectations for what’s to come. And the data shows that people want to receive welcome emails: Welcome emails have a remarkable 91.43% open rate, which is about 4x the average.
To create a winning welcome email sequence, make sure your automation follows these best practices:
This welcome email from the BBC does an excellent job of setting expectations for their new email subscribers.
According to data from CRO firm Invesp, almost 80% of new leads do not result in sales. This is where lead-nurturing email automation comes in.
Lead-nurturing email automations are email sequences sent to people who have expressed some interest in working with or buying from your client but are not yet ready to do so.
Leads may include people who have completed a sales call but not bought, have completed an interest form but not taken the next step, or have visited your website but not made a purchase.
A lead-nurturing sequence helps leads move from “I’m not sure” to “Yes.” It may be your last chance to close the deal. We recommend following this 5-part lead-nurturing email sequence:
This lead-nurturing email from Nura establishes that they understand their target audience’s biggest pain point: The challenge of finding headphones that work for you.
Reminder email automations are emails that are sent to remind readers to do something. Common examples include reminders to pay invoices, send information, or attend meetings.
Another type of reminder email is event reminders, meant to encourage higher attendance at events by reminding attendees that the event is upcoming.
Reminder emails benefit your clients by keeping their events and their clients or customers on track without manual effort. Reminder emails can also ensure that your clients always look professional, with timely and helpful communication to their audiences.
Fontbase uses this reminder email automation to let subscribers know that their renewal is coming up, reducing failed payments.
A sales email automation (sometimes called promotional emails) is a sequence of emails that encourage subscribers to buy a product or service. Often, sales email automations focus on the release of a new product, service, or program.
Sales email automations benefit your clients by building anticipation around the launch of a new product or service and ultimately generating sales.
When your client is launching something new, email marketing should be a key part of the marketing strategy because email has been shown to have conversion rates 3x higher than social media and generate the highest ROI of all channels.
To optimize your sales email automations, it’s important to improve your email copywriting skills. Get started with these quick tips:
Ferrari uses this sales email automation to generate buzz around the release of their new model.
It’s inevitable that some subscribers will become inactive on your client’s email list. That is, they stop opening emails. These types of subscribers can skew the results you get for clients, so it’s important to either scrub them from the list or re-engage them.
This is where re-engagement campaigns come in. A re-engagement email automation is a series of emails sent to inactive subscribers in an attempt to get them to start opening emails again.
Our research found that re-engagement email automations perform best when they focus on nurturing subscribers and encouraging engagement (like replies, opens, and clicks) vs. sales.
We recommend the following best practices:
Digiday uses this re-engagement email automation to ask subscribers if they are still interested in receiving emails. If subscribers don’t re-engage, they are safe to remove them from the list.
Private label email marketing is an instant way to provide value for your clients, build sustainable revenue into your business model, increase profit margins, and reduce your administrative workload.
It’s a win-win for you and your clients, since it allows you to provide the high-level features of a robust ESP to your clients under your brand without investing in creating your own ESP. To get started, explore Campaign Monitor’s private label email marketing offers for agencies.
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