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5 Key Advantages of Outsourcing your Next SFMC Campaign to An External Agency

5 Key Advantages of Outsourcing your Next SFMC Campaign to An External Agency

An in-house SFMC team does have its advantages, but outsourcing offers greater benefits. Here are 5 benefits of outsourcing that you can't ignore!...

If your brand relies on Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) for email marketing, this imaginary conversation may resonate with you.

Boss: Steve, we are expanding our email marketing program for the upcoming holiday season. How many additional people should we hire?

Salesforce Marketing Cloud email specialist (Specialist): We’ll probably need an additional 4 developers, and at least one automation specialist and SFMC architect.

Boss: Great! Let’s start the hiring process.

Specialist: No, hold on. Will we need these new resources on an ongoing basis?

Boss: No. Why? 

Specialist: Well, these resources are expensive. Hiring a junior email marketing specialist will cost around $68,500 annually, a junior marketing automation $87,250, and a junior marketing operations specialist $89,000. Senior people will cost considerably more. Then there’s the time we’ll have to spend on interviews.

Boss: Well, we need to start soon, so we can’t waste time on internal hiring. And we don’t have the budget for expensive resources.

Specialist: Why don’t we outsource our SFMC campaigns to a specialist agency?

Boss: Hmm, let’s review the advantages of outsourcing an email marketing specialist agency before we make a decision to expand in-house.

Despite its user-friendly features, SFMC is still vastly complex. To effectively manage these complexities and get the biggest benefits from this ESP, the right SFMC email marketing team is absolutely critical.

While an in-house team does have its advantages, outsourcing offers even more benefits that cannot be ignored.

3 out of 10 marketers sometimes outsource email work. Here are 5 reasons why!

#1: To Get High Open and Click-through Rates

55% and 48% of marketers believe that open and click-through rates are effective metrics for gauging email success. And yet, many brands struggle to realize high rates with an in-house team.

An outsourced agency of Salesforce Marketing Cloud email specialists will know the strategies to boost open and click-through rates. They will start with audience segmentation. They will create different segments by demographics, personal interests, behavioral or historical data, etc, decide whether to create data filters or SQL queries in Email Studio, or create more precise segments using Audience Studio.

They will also test the impact of subject lines on open and click-through rates using SFMC tools like Einstein Copy Insights. Then with Einstein Send Time Optimization (STO) in Journey Builder, they will predict when each contact is likely to engage with your email in the next 24 hours, and adjust send times accordingly. Your in-house team may struggle with these important aspects.

#2: Build Engaging, Personalized Campaigns

Today’s subscribers are bombarded with marketing emails, so they don’t have the patience for generic emails. They either delete such emails or mark them as spam, which affects the  results of email marketing campaigns.

By outsourcing, you can avoid these issues because the expert external team will create campaigns that connect with subscribers at a more personal level. They will create personalized subject lines, greetings, and copy that offers a unique value proposition using Einstein Content Selection. This copy may include personalized incentives, will be well-structured, contain effective CTAs, and have  a user-friendly design that effectively persuades readers towards a particular action.

The agency will take advantage of SFMC Content Builder, Salesforce email templates and dynamic content blocks to quickly create responsive emails. They will also define specific rules and different content for different audiences to ensure that the right message goes out to the right subscriber. They won’t waste time on HTML coding or AMPscripts and get campaigns out faster.

They can also create interactive content that can generate 2X more conversions than “passive” content . These emails can deliver a more engaging and friction-free experience to your audience, get qualified leads, and boost sales and profits. An in-house team, especially one that’s young and inexperienced, may not be aware of the right strategies to get these benefits.

#3: Improve Email Deliverability

Email deliverability is not always easy to manage. That’s why 14% of email marketers outsource this area to a specialist company or agency, and you should too.

How can outsourced resources help improve your email deliverability?

For one, they will effectively leverage Einstein Engagement Scoring in Email Studio to segment subscriber lists and then deliver to the most engaged users first. They will generate predictive models that indicate each subscriber’s likelihood to stay subscribed, open an email, or click on links.

The best agencies will also know that send frequencies can impact deliverability rates, especially during busy times. So they will leverage Send Throttle in Email Studio to spread out email sends and ensure that subscribers don’t get annoyed – or worse unsubscribe. They will also work with Einstein Send Time Optimization (STO) in Journey Builder to determine optimal send times – even for “batch” sends – when subscribers are most likely to open your emails and engage with it.

The agency’s anti-spam experts will use SFMC Content Detective to review email content, and edit the specific triggers to minimize the chances of your email being marked as Spam.

Finally, they will establish a good reputation with ISPs to improve email deliverability, and warm your IP address by gradually increasing the volume of emails to improve your open and click-through rates.

#4: Collect, Leverage, and Clean up Subscriber Data

Did you know your CRM data can come handy when it comes to building different kinds of campaigns? Your in-house team may not be aware of this but the specialist team definitely is!

SFMC Email Studio gives you a consolidated view of your audience and triggers customer segmentation with data extensions. The outsourced team can customize them to store particular types of customer data such as contact details or purchasing history. They will apply relevant filters to build different customer segments and send targeted messages to each. They will also leverage your CRM data, Email Studio and Content Builder to create great content that resonates with your audience.

To maintain email list hygiene and increase your chances of campaign success, it’s important to know about the unsubscribes, spam complaints, and emails that landed in the spam folder. The outsourced specialists can be priceless in this regard. They will also help you update your list and improve the chances that people will click on emails by:

  • Providing an “opt-down” option to receive fewer emails
  • Segmenting (or re-segmenting) your list
  • Sending re-engagement emails

They may also suggest that you remove unengaged subscribers to focus efforts on the ones who actually want to receive your messages.

By outsourcing, you can also take advantage of SFMC automation to manage your customer contacts, collect vital behavioral data, create and schedule drip campaigns, and send event notifications to special customers. All this is easier said than done – for an in-house team.

#5: Take Advantage of SFMC’s Testing and Analytics Features

With SFMC’s powerful testing and audience analysis tools, you can test your campaigns before sends. This is easier to do with an external agency of SFMC experts. They will leverage Einstein Engagement Scoring to look at historical data and assess how each subscriber reacts to your emails, and accordingly take actions to improve.

Then with their A/B testing expertise, they will set up different versions of an email, and send each version to relevant small groups to test their reactions. Unlike your in-house team, the agency will know exactly which aspects to test for – subject lines, copy, images, CTA text, send times, etc. They will also define the right hypothesis, choose the right sample sizes, and glean insights to improve your actual campaign.

You can review campaign performance with real-time tracking and graphical reporting in SFMC – a task that may be overwhelming for your in-house team, but not for an experienced external team like Email Uplers. This team will test multiple metrics, including: 

To improve future campaigns, they will also answer critical questions like:

  • Are customers clicking on emails more than the industry average?
  • Which content chunks do they engage with?
  • Which designs perform better?
  • Do buttons do well?

A Final Word on Outsourcing Your SFMC Email Campaigns

Outsourcing SFMC email campaigns also delivers other advantages such as lower costs. It also helps you manage additional work during busy seasons, and optimize your entire email marketing program.  10% of teams even outsource their day-to-day tasks like copywriting, design, coding, QA, and deployment – and so can you.

To ensure your email marketing success, it’s important to know the limitations of your in-house team. Manage email segmentation, personalization, copy and design, get campaigns out quickly, and impress your subscribers by outsourcing your SFMC campaigns to a specialist team like Email Uplers. To know how we can take your SFMC email program into the big leagues, follow this page or get in touch!

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Chintan Doshi

Chintan is the Sr. Manager Email Marketing & CRM at Email Uplers. He loves email marketing and has been in the industry from last seven years. His track record of email marketing success covers building email programs from scratch and using data-driven strategies to turn around underperforming accounts.

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