In my mind, there can only be one possible answer to this question: Yes!
Before I start getting abusive emails from agencies and freelance marketers crying foul, let me explain my position. I think they will thank me in the end.
Great Marketing Comes from an Organic Source
Great email marketing, like any other form of content-led marketing (blogging, social media, webinars, etc., etc.), should always come from an organic source. As a marketer or business owner,that source is you. Nobody knows your business better than you do, so who better to lead your email marketing efforts?
This doesn’t mean that you have to be the one who builds all the campaign creatives, schedules all the sends and analyzes all the results — this can all be successfully outsourced to expert help — but as someone with real skin in the game (I mean, doesn’t your job rely on the success of your campaigns?), you’re going to want to have as much control over your marketing output as possible.
Good with Computers
I still meet business owners who tell me they are going to outsource their marketing efforts to an intern or office junior because “they are good with computers.” Marketing isn’t a “good with computers” type job. It is a customer–facing, reputation–building, revenue–earning type of job — and too important to risk passing over to unskilled workers.
Yes — you should include these junior team members in the process — but the most valuable thing you can do before letting them loose on your marketing is teach them everything you know about your business.
Just as a bad workman blames their tools, a poor marketer often points the finger of blame at their marketing agency or freelance or unskilled help. While these might appear to be easy targets, their success or failure almost certainly reflects on the person who hired them.
A professional marketer will always do a better job for you if they are given a half-decent marketing brief. This should cover essential items like what the campaigns’ objectives are and who is the target audience. Remember, if your campaigns don’t have a clear objective, how will you know if they have ever been successful?
Note: How many marketers have failed to successfully deliver a project because they are not working to a specific brief? They might be smart, creative individuals — but they are not mind readers. They have no idea what is in your head until you tell them.
Tip: If as a marketer you find yourself without a brief, here’s a tip: Ask for one. Your creative juices will have zero chance of flowing in the right direction without one. If your client won’t provide one, it might be worth saving yourself a lot of heartache by walking away.
Another successful route is to embed professional help within your organization. Could you imagine how much more successful your professionally produced campaigns would be if your marketing support lived and breathed your business alongside you and your colleagues?
While it may not always be possible to find office space for your agency or freelance partners, it’s not difficult to include them in regular meetings and grant them access to collaborative documents.
Follow Our Lead
iContact’s team of strategic advisors is often praised by our clients as a valuable member of their team. This doesn’t happen by accident. They take the time to understand the client’s individual needs and work with them to solve their marketing problems.
Of course, they come fully equipped with a broad range of marketing knowledge, collated through years of experience of working with a diverse range of customers. But they cannot know it all. They learn by asking questions — just like a member of your own team should.
As a result, we believe that when you engage one of our experts, you’re very much taking our experience in-house.
How could you make your professional marketing support feel more at home in your business? Share your comments below:
This post first appeared on the iContact Email Marketing Blog.