Email marketing can be a game-changer for agencies looking to grow their business. With the right strategies and consistency, it’s possible to triple an agency’s revenue through email alone.
In this article, we provide 15 proven tips for dramatically improving your agency’s email marketing and seeing rapid business growth as a result.
Whether you’re just starting with emails or looking to improve an existing program, these best practices will help you engage more clients, drive repeat business, upsell services, and automate lead generation. Get ready to take your agency’s email marketing, and overall success, to the next level.
Email Marketing Benefits for Agencies
Email marketing provides a range of benefits that can significantly impact an agency’s bottom line. Compared to other marketing channels, email delivers substantial returns for a modest investment. On average, email marketing earns $42 for every $1 spent, delivering the highest ROI of any marketing channel.
More specifically for agencies, an effective email program can help generate more leads by nurturing leads through personalized and relevant content over time before converting them to customers.
Email leads have been shown to convert 30% more often compared to other lead sources. Email also makes it easy to upsell existing clients by showcasing new services, products, and offerings that existing clients may be interested in, providing a simple way to generate more revenue from your current customer base.
By building relationships through valuable, ongoing email communications, agencies foster brand loyalty and make customers more likely to come back again in the future, driving repeat business.
Email marketing automation tools allow agencies to deliver personalized content to leads based on their interests and behavior, saving staff time while making sales conversations more productive.
Emails can quickly and easily promote your agency’s in-person or online events and webinars to engage both existing contacts and new audiences as well.
The bottom line is that a strategic email marketing program can help triple an agency’s revenue while also growing its audience and strengthening customer retention over the long term.
1. Build a Subscriber List by Offering Resources
The foundation of any successful email marketing program is a targeted subscriber list. Simply having email addresses isn’t enough – you need permission-based contacts who have opted in to receive communications.
The best way to build your list is to offer something of value in exchange for an email address. This content “lead magnet” provides usefulness for the reader while allowing you to ethically build your audience.
Some effective lead magnet ideas include free guides, templates, checklists, and tools related to your agency services.
For example, a branding agency could offer a guide to building a visual identity toolkit. The goal is to provide something that solves a reader’s problem or need. Gate the lead magnet behind an email signup form so they have to subscribe to access it. Just make sure it delivers on the promised value.
You should also emphasize the quality of your future email content in all lead capture forms. Be clear on what topics, frequency, and types of emails a new subscriber can expect.
Setting proper expectations will help you earn and retain email subscribers by only attracting contacts genuinely interested in your content. With relevant, high-quality resources as lead magnets, you’ll be able to grow a list of engaged contacts for email success.
2. Segment by Client Attributes
Once you have email subscribers, resist the temptation to treat them as one large audience. For agencies especially, take time to segment your lists based on client attributes. This allows you to deliver more personalized and relevant content tailored to each subgroup’s needs and interests.
Start by looking at basics like industry, company size, role, or title. Group contacts accordingly, then tailor email topics, offers, and messaging to resonate with each segment.
For example, solo entrepreneurs have very different concerns compared to executives at large enterprises. Go beyond demographics to incorporate behavioral data like past email engagement and purchases.
Email service providers like GetResponse offer tools like filters and automation that let you track recipient actions to serve them better.
Advanced segmentation requires more volumes to be effective. Yet any effort to divide contacts into smaller groups for targeted outreach can boost open, clickthrough, and conversion rates.
Contacts want content that speaks to their unique situation. Segmentation helps you provide this efficiently through email for mutually beneficial relationships between sender and recipient. Treat your contacts as individuals instead of a faceless list for optimal email success.
3. Optimize for Mobile Reading
Mobile opens accounts for over half of all email opens today. Yet many email marketers still fail to optimize their campaigns for small screens. Since the majority of your subscribers will engage with your emails on smartphones at some point, making content mobile-friendly is essential.
- Start by using responsive email templates that automatically adjust layouts based on screen size.
- Test them thoroughly across device sizes to identify and fix areas that don’t display well on mobile.
- Keep page width narrow for easy horizontal scrolling – don’t force zooming.
- Ensure buttons and links have enough padding to make them tappable.
- Also, check that background images aren’t too heavy or they may slow loading times.
Writing style matters too. Get straight to the point with short paragraphs and clear action steps. Use a simple, scannable format to accommodate reading on the go.
People engage emails differently on mobile, often quickly assessing relevance before committing additional time. Cater to mobile behavior patterns through concise, consumable content for the best response.
With a mobile-first approach, your emails will engage more readers and convert wherever they subscribe and read from.
4. Personalize Content Based on Interests
Personalization is one of the most powerful email marketing optimization strategies today. While personalizing every email isn’t realistic, you should incorporate relevant customization when possible. This shows recipients that you respect their time and are providing tailored value.
The best personalization taps into reader interests and preferences gleaned from their past behaviors and attributes.
For example, if someone downloads an email template, they likely want to learn about building better emails. Use this intel to serve related recommendations on email design, automation tools, writing tips, and more. Just make sure to track interests properly within your email platform for easy usage.
Look for opportunities to incorporate custom elements like the reader’s name, company, location, or past purchases. Even small personalization signals you are speaking directly to that individual, increasing engagement.
Test using different interest data to see which custom content performs best. Pay attention to open and click-through rates after personalization. The more relevant your messages, the higher the response rate. With personalized email, you show clients and prospects you care enough to understand their unique needs.
5. A/B Test Subject Lines
Your subject line is the first impression for every email campaign, creating those vital few seconds where readers decide whether to open or ignore your message.
Most subscribers base this choice largely on the subject line itself. This makes A/B testing different subject lines essential to improving email performance.
Try split-testing multiple subject lines per campaign to discover which ones resonate best with your recipients.
For example, compare emotional appeals versus informational wording, short versus long lengths, questions versus declarative statements, and so on. Make sure to test one variable at a time, and don’t change the rest of the email layout or content which could skew results.
Pay attention to how subtle subject line tweaks impact open rates as well as future engagement. The goal is to find what consistently compels your subscribers to take action.
Consider segmenting tests by user groups when possible to target subject lines even further. Regular subject line experimentation helps you continually refine email responses over time. Incorporating those learnings allows your agency to progressively boost open rates across every new campaign.
6. Promote Through Social Channels
Don’t keep your email campaigns siloed to subscribers alone. Promoting through your agency’s social channels allows you to maximize reach and exposure to new audiences. The key is teasing rather than spoiling email content to spark interest.
For example, post an intriguing social update pointing to a premium resource featured exclusively in your latest email edition.
Or, publish a short excerpt from a popular newsletter article that gives readers a taste while requiring email signup to access the full piece.
When uploading fresh blog content or videos, suggest readers subscribe to receive similar resources right in their inbox moving forward. This gently nudges followers to sign up for your email list for instant access to future updates.
Just ensure your website signup integrations are working properly beforehand. Promoting across social and email establishes recognition for your content while capturing new subscriber leads in the process.
7. Create Client Welcome Series
Make a strong first impression with new email subscribers by implementing a welcome series. This automated sequence of 3-5 emails introduces your brand, content offerings, and other values to establish an early relationship.
Welcome series set subscriber expectations while encouraging future engagement.
Map out a progression of helpful onboarding touchpoints new contacts will receive over their first few weeks.
Share links to popular evergreen content in your library, spotlight current offerings and promotions or give a behind-the-scenes look at your agency team and process. Mixing education with connection accelerates familiarity and trust on both sides.
Client onboarding shouldn’t end at project kickoff either.
Develop post-purchase/hire welcome tracks as well as tailor them to what new customers need immediately after hiring your agency.
For example, share key preparation documents, outline next steps, or request setup details to smoothly facilitate what’s ahead. Welcome series demonstrates attention beyond the sale and your dedication to mutual achievement.
8. Send Relevant, Timely Content
The cornerstone of quality email marketing is consistently creating and curating content matched to subscriber needs.
Understand key pain points and objectives across your audience segments and ensure email campaigns directly help them in some way.
Use analytics to identify the types of content and offers that perform best to readers based on opens, clicks, and conversions.
Continue refining your unique value proposition – what problems can your agency solve exceptionally well? Infuse this focus into emails as much as possible.
Also, incorporate timeliness by addressing current and seasonal issues in your clients’ minds to increase perceived usefulness. Joining relevance with real-time alignment shows you have your finger on the pulse of their situations.
Map emails to match natural interest cadences as well. For B2B clients, send helpful tax season resources in March/April. For retail clients, equip them for holiday sales in Q4 emails. Capitalize on events, awareness months, or changes in legislation that affect clients to demonstrate your specialized commitment.
9. Automate Lead Nurturing Campaigns
Manually nurturing every new lead isn’t scalable for agencies seeking significant growth. This makes setting up automated email nurture tracks essential. These programmed campaigns deliver a pre-defined sequence of messages to leads based on their behaviors over time.
Start by mapping common stages prospects move through on their buyer’s journey with your agency. Then develop a set of 5-10 emails per nurture track to cover each phase, from awareness to consideration and decision.
Track key behaviors like email opens, content downloads, and site page visits to trigger relevant follow-up messages automatically.
Nurture tracks allow you to continue providing value, building credibility, addressing concerns, and staying top of mind until a lead converts.
You can even create customized journeys for strategic prospects signaling greater revenue potential based on their profiles and engagement. The end goal of effective lead nurturing is guiding contacts down the path to becoming qualified customers.
10. Track Email Metric Performance
Understanding email analytics is mandatory for improving your agency’s results over time. Closely monitoring key metrics reveals what campaign elements and strategies are working along with problem areas needing optimization.
Make insights-driven decisions a regular habit instead of guessing what content and tactics perform best.
- Record essential metrics like open, clickthrough, and conversion rates per email along with factors like best days/times to send.
- Compare performance across audience segments and campaign objectives to guide future efforts.
- Review recipient behavior beyond sends as well, including metrics like email link clicks, content downloads, and site/form conversions after email exposure.
Set up as many connected tracking systems as possible between your email service provider, website, landing pages, social platforms, and more.
Integrations make performance patterns for each channel visible about emails sent. Keep a consistent eye on the numbers to better understand your audience while continuously improving email success.
11. Survey Clients for Feedback
The best way to optimize an agency’s email program is by collecting direct feedback from subscribers. Send occasional surveys to learn what content they find most valuable along with program areas needing improvement. Keep questions brief yet strategic to uncover tangible insights.
- Ask about preferred email length, frequency, day/time preferences, and topics covered.
- Inquire which resources they most appreciate receiving that provide usefulness.
- Request suggestions on information they want to be covered more or less.
You can even share email screen mockups for input on design, formatting, and layout preferences.
Survey anonymously for unfiltered constructive criticism. Segment out top clients if possible for VIP feedback based on their email open and conversion rates. This qualitative data further sharpens your understanding of subscriber preferences.
Apply findings to demonstrate you value recipient time and engagement. Surveys enable your agency’s email program to progressively get better.
12. Highlight Client Success Stories
Showcasing client wins and transformations is an impactful email strategy for agencies. Success stories verify your solutions deliver tangible value. Request standout examples from current customers then craft engaging brand journalism-style spotlights.
For the client, describe key challenges they originally faced and how your services drove measurable improvements for their business.
Pull out insightful user testimonials praising specific aspects of working with your team. Share any quantitative details or before-and-after data that make the transformation more vivid.
Such storytelling simultaneously functions as public recognition and positive reinforcement for the featured client while broadcasting social proof. This builds authority for your offerings so prospects envision achieving similar success by hiring you. Weave client success spotlights in between your typical email content when possible for optimal impact.
13. Reward Loyal Clients
Don’t take your best customers for granted. Sending special perks and offers is a great email strategy to reward loyal clients. These VIPs likely earn your agency significant repeat business thanks to the strong relationships you’ve built together over time.
Surprise them with exclusive incentives like early access to new service launches, discounts on their next projects, extended service agreements, or team meet-and-greets. Consider loyalty tiers so higher-value customers receive bigger rewards. Just make sure incentives provide real value vs generic discounts any new prospect could claim.
Gifting doesn’t need to be over-the-top either. Offer handy tools or resources reserved just for VIPs or throw in complimentary services like performance audits on past projects. The gesture shows you appreciate established clients who fuel long-term success. Don’t let competitors woo them away when small loyalty incentives reinforce bonds.
14. Focus on Building Relationships
Never lose sight that email marketing ultimately comes down to meaningful relationships between sender and recipient.
Avoid treating contacts as faceless metrics on a spreadsheet. Email provides opportunities to foster authentic connections with clients and leads alike.
- Look for ways to incorporate more humanity in your agency emails instead of purely promotional content.
- Share employee stories that inspire or inject subtle humor when appropriate.
- Promote causes and charities you support to signal shared values.
Even small personalization touches like handwritten email greetings help strengthen relationships over time.
Survey subscribers on the types of information they want to receive, then actually deliver those preferences. Follow up post-sale to check on client progress instead of disappearing. Seek real conversations beyond one-way broadcast messages.
Building rapport earns trust and loyalty no ad can manufacture. With stronger relationships established through email, your agency gains friends as much as customers.
15. Analyze Metrics to Continuously Improve
The mark of effective email marketing is constant optimization based on performance data. Analyzing metrics should inform your agency’s campaign strategy every step of the way. Establish key benchmarks early like open, clickthrough, and conversion rates, then monitor changes over time.
Review metrics not just immediately after sends but further out to identify lingering content resonating well post-delivery.
Identify lists, segments, and types of messages eliciting the highest engagement levels for replication in future emails. But also find commonly underperforming areas in need of tests and tweaks towards improvement.
Technology makes robust email analytics readily accessible today. Leverage these insights to strengthen response rates across every campaign.
Even slight optimizations compound over the months and years ahead. With a metrics-driven approach, your agency can perfect email marketing as a scalable customer acquisition and retention channel. The data reveals what’s working along with gaps your next emails should fill.
Email marketing remains one of the most effective channels for cost-efficiently growing agencies, strengthening client relationships, and boosting repeat sales. By implementing the above best practices – from list building to automation, segmentation to surveys – agencies can dramatically expand their business purely through email.
Treat your contacts with value and respect, focus on solving their pain points, and continuously refine strategy based on insights.
With this approach, it’s possible for agencies to 2x or even 3x revenue over the coming year. Email marketing success ultimately comes down to consistently adding value. Make this your agency’s motto and growth will surely follow.