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It’s important to know the differences between a self-service option or hiring an agency before your business launches its next email campaign.

A self-service email solution or do-it-yourself solution allows your business to manage email marketing on its own from strategic planning to deployment. Providers of this solution include Constant Contact, MailChimp, ExactTarget, and Campaigner.

An agency allows the business to collaborate on an email marketing program with a team of specialists.

Each has its pros and cons.

Pros and Cons of Self-service email solutions


1. Cost. Most online self-service solutions are subscription-based, meaning you subscribe to their service for a contracted amount of time, from months to a year, and pay based on the number of emails sent on a monthly basis. Because these are canned solutions and you are doing all of the work, email service providers such as Constant Contact can be inexpensive.

2. Speed. The responsibility of the email campaign development and deployment rests on your business’s shoulders so an email project can be turned around as quickly as your business is capable.

3. Control. Your business not only makes the decisions but it executes each component of the process. You’re in complete control of how the message looks, how quickly it’s turned around and exactly when it’s deployed.


1. Workload. You do all the work–alone. You’re the one planning, writing, designing and managing a list all on your own. Not every business owner or marketing director is savvy in email marketing. Your valuable time is spent creating the email design, loading the data, testing messages, and segmenting files instead of focusing on other areas of your business.

2. Inflexibility. In order for self-service email solutions to be inexpensive for users, the solution is a one-size-fits-all. For example, you might not have the ability to merge multiple lists together to create a master file. You will only have a pre-made email design template unless you have an HTML designer who knows how to code for email.

Pros and Cons of Hiring an Agency


1. Access to experts. In addition to strategic planning advisers, you have a team of tactical specialists that manage and implement the program. You can lean on a team of experienced email marketers to advise you and guide your campaign.

2. Less time-consuming. Since you are collaborating with an agency,  the technical execution of your email campaign is no longer your responsibility. That workload is now with the agency, freeing up your time to concentrate on other areas of your business.

3. Resources.  From the strategies created before deploying an email campaign to the analysis after, you always have a resource to tap into for the future.


1. Cost. An agency has salaries to pay so it will naturally cost more than a self-service email solution.

2. Speed. You’re working with an agency that can only interact with clients during standard business hours, so turn-around time could be longer.

So, what’s most important to your business? Is it cost, time, or availability of resources? Once you’ve determined your priorities, you are on your way to selecting the email solution that works best for you.

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Beth is our VP of Digital Marketing Strategy who, besides drinking a ridiculous amount of coffee, helps clients generate more business. Whether they’ve partnered with Proximity Marketing for a decade or just joined the family, Beth helps clients achieve success and achieve measurable results.

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