Email marketing has been around for quite some time and though it doesn’t get the credit it rightfully deserves, it is arguably still, one of the best and most reliable lead generation tools companies depend on today.
What is email marketing and how important is it to have email marketing as part of your marketing strategy?
The importance of email marketing
Email marketing is basically the process of using email to promote products and services. It is also used to build relationships with potential clients as well as to nurture existing ones.
While its definition may sound simple, the whole process of running an email marketing campaign definitely goes beyond sending an email to a certain recipient.
With programs like MailChimp and AWeber offering advanced features that can further enhance your email marketing efforts, running a successful email campaign has become more of a series of tasks. Below are some of the steps involved:
- Deciding on a strategy
- Building an email list
- Creating and customizing campaigns
- Measuring results
Starting an email marketing campaign does take a lot of time and work. From collecting emails, tweaking campaigns, to analyzing results and ROI, it can take long hours to successfully implement one — something you don’t have the luxury of because you have a business to run.
Outsource Email Marketing
With your hands tied and a ton of CEO tasks needing your attention, the most logical move is to outsource email marketing to a qualified freelancer.
Fortunately, there are freelance marketplaces today where you can hire email marketing specialists to handle the task for you.
Before you begin hiring people, however, you need to make the necessary preparations to ensure a smooth transition.
Below are some of the steps you need to take.
1. Identify which tasks you’re going to outsource
As we said earlier, starting a campaign is not as simple as it looks. It requires a good amount of research and a sound strategy aimed at engaging your audience (email recipients) enough for them to make a buying decision.
There’s also the responsibility of building an email list. It’s important for you to determine as early as possible what the freelancer’s involvement will be.
Will they be involved in collecting emails, building an email list, and separating the list to the different segments that current email programs allow?
Will they be in charge of doing all these tasks, or will you or someone else do some of them?
Deciding on the type of email campaign is another thing to consider. Though you are largely responsible for making such decisions, it may also help if you give the email marketing specialist the freedom to suggest what would be the best for your brand and product.
As for customizing the campaign itself, just make sure to be very specific. Either you leave it to their expertise or be more hands-on in terms of the frequency of sending emails, the number of autoresponder emails to send, and the number of nurture emails to send every month.
The key is to be very clear early on which tasks you want to take off your plate to avoid confusion once you have onboarded the freelancer.
2. Identify your perfect email marketing specialist
It would be in your best interest for you to have an “avatar” of your perfect email marketing specialist. After all, if you’re going to outsource email marketing to someone, shouldn’t that person meet your standards at least?
The best way to do this is to make a list of the qualifications you’re looking for in a freelance email marketer. For instance:
- The email programs they have to know
- The years of experience they should have
- A good track record based on the work they’ve done for past clients
- The ability to work in the same time zone you are in
Try to list as many qualifications as possible. The more specific they are, the better.
Once you’ve established your perfect candidate based on the items you came up with, you should be ready to spot the freelancer you’ll outsource email marketing to.
3. Begin the hiring process
Now that you’ve made up your mind on the tasks you want to outsource and the freelancer you’d like to have, it’s time to go ahead and hire that person.
If you’re having difficulty deciding where to begin, don’t worry because there are dozens of freelance marketplaces to choose from.
Upwork will always be on top of everyone’s list because it’s the biggest freelance market today. By conducting a simple search, you’ll be offered a lot of qualified candidates to choose from.
Formerly known as Odesk, Upwork provides you all the tools you need to manage freelancers within the network. You’ll be able to set milestones and monitor their activity, among others.
Choosing to outsource email marketing via Upwork gives you a lot of flexibility in terms of the mode of payment and the conditions you can set with the person you’ll hire.
FreeeUp is another freelance marketplace where you can hire an email marketing specialist. FreeeUp does things a little different, however, because the freelancers on the marketplace are already pre-vetted. A thorough interview process filters out the top 1% of applicants.
This works to your advantage because you don’t have to spend hours reading profiles and sitting through still more hours of interviews to find the right person. FreeeUp does all the dirty work for you and all you have to do when they send you a freelancer is to see if you are the right fit for each other.
There are also several other freelance marketplaces you can consider checking out. Sites like Guru, Freelancer, Toptal, and GetCredo are some of the more popular ones. Choose the freelance marketplace that suits your needs, and you will be good to go.
4. Be clear with your expectations
When you’re ready to hire the freelancer of your choice, it’s time to get down to business. The best way to begin work with a new hire is to set clear expectations. If this is your first time working with a freelancer, it’s important to document everything and provide the freelancer with their own copy.
The purpose of this step is to make sure that you are aligned in terms of the goals you need to meet. Generating a positive ROI, for instance, is one goal to target. There are, however, other aspects of email marketing that you need to be more specific with.
- How many email campaigns do you expect the freelancer to send every month?
- Which segments of the email list will be sent emails and when?
- Does the freelancer need your approval on the newsletter design?
- When do you need the designs “on your desk” so you can check and approve them?
- How many new leads do you want per month?
- Do you have a specific click rate and open rate?
- When do you want to see reports on metrics, and what should they show?
There are obviously more things to consider depending on your brand’s needs. Make sure to set a meeting with the freelancer to talk things through. This will ensure that you are on the same page and that chances of miscommunication will be minimal.
5. Set up communication and management standards
Since you’ll most likely be hiring someone overseas, establishing communication and management standards will help make things easier.
What makes working with a freelancer a bit tricky is the fact that you’re going to be working with someone you haven’t met.
More often than not, the freelancer you hire will be in a different time zone, so you have to establish early on how and when you need to communicate.
The good thing is that there are apps available that can help you overcome these obstacles. Apps like Skype and Slack offer features that allow you to send a quick message or get into a voice or video call with the other person.
These apps also allow you to share files and your screen in case you need to show or demonstrate something they’ll need for the task.
Getting clear with working times is also something you need to ensure. This is especially true if the freelancer works different hours You need to clearly communicate your preferences before you begin working together.
Are you going to let them work on their preferred working times? Do they need to be online together with you? If you have a weekly budget you want to be implemented, now is a good time to tell the freelancer about it.
Starting the project on the right foot can make all the difference. Make sure to get organized and plan everything accordingly for your email marketing to run as if it’s on autopilot.
Getting your email marketing right could spell a huge difference for your business. By enlisting the help of an expert, you’re not only freeing yourself up but you’ll also be able to generate more new leads.
You should also begin to see an increase in product sales while also nurturing relationships with existing ones.
If you are looking to outsource email marketing, you can start by getting a piece of paper or a spreadsheet.
Begin listing down all the email marketing tasks you would like the freelancer to take over.
Create that email marketing specialist avatar we mentioned above then reach out on your choice of freelance marketplace.
The right fit is out there!
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Noel Rosos is a personal development writer, motivational speaker, entrepreneur and founder of Life’s How You Live It, a personal development blog dedicated to helping people live the life they’ve always dreamed of. He is also a writer/contributor for Arianna Huffington’s wellness site, Thrive Global. He is an affiliate marketer, a full-time husband and father, and a self-proclaimed FAILUROLOGIST.