An age-old dilemma for business owners all over the world – whether they should outsource the work or hire in-house. And email development is certainly not an exception here. While many companies choose to get their emails developed from full service email marketing agency or freelancer, there are others who prefer having an in-house team.
So, how do you judge what’s right for you?
Well, there are some key factors that influence this decision. Let’s understand them one by one.
1. Kind of Requirement
Outlining the requirement is the first step when you are making up your mind whether to outsource or hire in-house. Define the scope of your email marketing and the number of emails you would need to get developed in a given timeframe. If you are a small business owner with a paltry requirement of email development, it is advisable to outsource the email development jobs. On the other hand, if you are a medium-sized or large company and need to run email campaigns every week, hiring in-house would be a better option for you.
Apart from the number of email campaigns, you must also consider the type of email campaigns you are looking for. For marketers using DIY ESPs and a master template that can be easily customized with drag-and-drop functionality, it would be advisable to save on time and resources. However, if you need customized email templates for every campaign, determine whether you can find an in-house professional with the expertise you are looking for. If the answer is yes, you can hire an email developer in-house. If not, it would be great if you outsource to an agency.
Furthermore, full-time email developers would be buying into your idea, putting at stake other opportunities that they might be getting. Therefore, they are more likely to be interested in long-term associations. They know how your business works and can adapt to your suggestions without any friction. Businesses who are looking for ease of work in these aspects should build an in-house team rather than relying on outsourcing.
2. Skill Sets you are looking for
Email development is a dynamic industry and if you want to send emails in line with the changing trends, you should have the required skill set in your team members. Often, it so happens that you cannot find such a professional with every skill set you are looking for. To fill this gap, outsourcing is the safest bet. With outsourcing, you can have access to all those skill sets that you could be looking for in addition to the scalability and flexibility.
3. The long-term goals
In line with the skill sets, you should also consider the long-term goals of your business. Try to understand whether you are looking for an instant solution and resolve the skill gap or a permanent fix. In the former scenario, you can go for outsourcing. If you need someone with one skillset right now but another skill set in the days to come, go for outsourcing as it is a short-term commitment. However, in the latter case, you must invest in hiring in-house. Train your employees to equip them with the right expertise, and follow it as a regular practice to yield results in the long run. Some small businesses have reaped the sweetest fruits by hiring experts in-house and upskilling them. Just make sure that the long-term goals are in perfect sync with the role.
Now, we are brought to the question of preparing the infrastructure, recruitment and training expenses, and overheads while choosing to hire — in other words, THE budget.
4. Budget and Affordability
Chart out your budget allocation plan. Try to get answers to the questions: “What is the budget that I can allocate to email marketing for my business?”
“How much can I spend on the email development process per project?”
The answers to these questions will make it clear to you whether you can add someone to your payroll or it’s better to outsource. The primary difference between these two models is that in outsourcing, you can pay for the tasks done, while you have to think about the entire CTC if you recruit an in-house developer. Also, if you need to send multiple email campaigns, you might have to appoint more than one developer too.
Another thing to consider is that with outsourcing, you do not need to spend anything on training, recruitment, or infrastructure. Moreover, there are no overheads, healthcare or pension schemes, or paid leaves to be considered if you choose to outsource. Identifying the kind of email developers you are looking for and persuading them into joining your company can be exhausting and time-consuming. In addition, as the demand for skilled email developers is high, it could get even more frustrating to find one that suits you in all aspects. If you have encountered all these issues, it could be time to rethink and contemplate outsourcing.
Just bear in mind that certain outsourcing agencies or freelancers charge a very high hourly or daily rate. Many a time, it is observed with overseas outsourcing companies, that they charge according to the currency conversion rate, taxes of their country, and deductions carried out by hiring freelance platform (For example Freelancer) and payment portal (For example PayPal) together. In such cases, hiring would be a more cost-effective option.
5. The company culture
Every organization lives by certain cultural instincts and personal values. When a company has to decide if they should bring in a resource or outsource the task, it takes several organizational, personal, and technological factors into consideration. It is a common observation that people are not very open to change in the policies. That’s why people resist outsourcing. It comes off as a risky affair because decision-makers believe that they would have no control over a professional who is working remotely. Also, they might be of the opinion that communication might be a barrier and it would affect the final output.
If employers do not find a sense of security while outsourcing, and all these beliefs are taking up too much time and causing you to overthink rather than focusing on your business, it would be better to fill the position with an in-house recruit.
There is no right or wrong answer to the question: “Should I hire or should I outsource the email development tasks?”. It all zeroes in on the type and number of email campaigns or development jobs you are looking to get done.
Take a multi-faceted approach while deciding on this matter. You can even talk to your peers and other entrepreneurs who are working with outsourcing agencies or in-house teams to get their perspective.