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WordPress consultants and agencies typically offer a raft of services to clients, including website design and development, digital marketing, security and performance optimization, and SEO. But what many don’t offer — and often don’t realize could generate monthly recurring revenue! — is email marketing.

Here’s the thing: everyone uses email, including your clients. If you’re not taking care of their email marketing, who is? By offering email marketing as part of your services, you can provide even more value to your existing clients and boost your monthly revenue.

Ready to find out how? In this article, we’re going to show you how to package and price your email marketing services as part of your WordPress consulting services.

Why offer email marketing services to your clients?email marketing illustration

As a WordPress consultant, offering email marketing services to your clients is a mutually beneficial proposition — it grows both your revenue and your client’s business.

As a WordPress consultant, you can charge for putting together your client’s newsletter strategy and then invoice them for setting up their first email copy and design separately.

Furthermore, you can earn good recurring revenue by taking care of the copy and design of weekly or monthly email campaigns. Many organizations and business owners are too busy with the day-to-day running of their business and prefer to externalize their marketing efforts.

Now, let’s talk about growing your client’s business.

We’ve all heard the wonders of social media marketing, but did you know that as of 2019, the number of email users (3.9 billion) is greater than the number of social media users (3.5 billion)?

Email marketing’s return on investment (ROI) is at an all-time high at $40 for every $1 spent, which is an incredible 4,000% ROI, versus 3,800% in 2015. Over three years, the ROI has grown an additional 200%.

According to a survey by EmailMonday, 83% of consumers prefer email as the primary communication channel to receive brand-related promotions. Social media channels (namely Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, LinkedIn) only account for 58% combined!

For example, this case study highlights how a wine seller in France used a simple newsletter to retain his customers at a fraction of the cost of acquiring new ones with Google Ads. MailPoet’s co-founder Kim Gjerstad helped set up the newsletter for his website. After the owner, Aurélien, started sending the newsletter to customers (who would sign up in-store), around 5-10 repeat customers cited the newsletter as the reason for their subsequent visit.

The Google Ads cost roughly 5 euros for a new customer. So, as you can see, his email newsletter helped bring in repeat business — while also building a community around his wine store — at virtually no cost.

How to calculate email marketing return on investment (ROI) for your clients

A great way to help your clients realize the potential benefits of your email marketing services is to build them a custom ROI calculator. For instance, a custom email marketing ROI calculator for a typical brick-and-mortar store would look like this:

Investment = { Cost of your email marketing services + Cost of your client’s time (if applicable) }

Return = Revenue generated from walk-ins attributed to the newsletter. Your client would have to ask every customer about how they learned of your client’s store.

Return can also be calculated in the following way:

{ Average value of a walk-in * Number of walk-ins attributed to your newsletter}.

Your client would still need to learn the source for every walk-in.

Finally, you can calculate the ROI using the following formula:

ROI = { (Return – Investment) / Investment * 100} %

Let’s take a real-world scenario where your client runs a designer cake shop:

  • For simplicity, let’s assume that the average revenue per walk-in is $7.
  • Let’s say you do the entire email marketing set-up and teach your client how to send weekly newsletters for a total of $500. That’s your client’s investment.
  • Since newsletters target existing customers, let’s assume the number of repeat customers is 25 per week.
  • Now, the monthly revenue generated from repeat customers = 25 customers * $7 average revenue per walk-in * 4 weeks = $700
  • ROI = (700-500) / 500 * 100)% = 40%
  • In other words, your client makes an additional $4 for every $10 spent.

So what does all this mean? Even with an initial set up cost, many businesses and organizations find newsletters to be a quick return on investment. This all depends on the initial email strategy set up by the consultant. The next section dives into this issue.

How to package email marketing services for your WordPress consultation business

brainstorming illustration kanban board

Since email marketing has various aspects to it, I’ve divided this section into various service modules. This gives your clients the flexibility to choose only those bits which they require, thereby maximizing the value for money they pay for your consultation service.

1. Email marketing strategy

A good start is defining your client’s email marketing strategy. Each client will have a unique set of objectives they want to achieve with their email marketing efforts. Examples include:

  1. Sharing general announcements, product/service updates, blog updates, etc. A prerequisite would be to have a working content strategy for the entire website in most cases unless the newsletter is the only channel.
  2. Building an email list for conversions and upsells. Does the client have the time, talent, or the internal resources to maintain a campaign beyond the first emails? This is the main reason email strategies die after a few weeks or months.

In putting this strategy together you’ll need to identify your client’s goals for email marketing along with any corresponding key performance indicators (KPIs).

For more on putting together an email marketing strategy, I highly recommend checking out Email Monday’s resources.

Time to bill: 1 day

2. Set up an email marketing solution

An important decision at this stage is selecting the right email marketing setup. This depends on your client’s email marketing strategy, their time and ability to master email marketing software,  the list size, type of emails (transactional, promotional, or both), and volume of emails.

You can choose an all-in-one email service provider (ESP) such as Mailchimp or use a plugin, like MailPoet which gives you the liberty to send with your host, a third party like Sendgrid or even use their own sending service.

Mailchimp is recommended for clients who have a lot of time (and resources) to drive their marketing efforts.

MailPoet is best suited to WordPress website owners — it’s relatively easy to set up, customer onboarding is a breeze, and everything works directly inside WordPress. Their Premium plan is free for those with lists under 1,000 subscribers

From an email volume perspective, if your client has a freemium product or a large number of subscribers, and/or sends transactional emails, then the number of emails sent would be very high. In such cases, a subscriber-based email marketing solution (such as Mailchimp) would be prohibitively expensive.

Therefore, it’s recommended to use a combination of a volume-based ESP such as SendGrid or Amazon SES and an email marketing plugin such as MailPoet. This would save your client a lot of money!

Time to bill Mailchimp and MailPoet: 1 day

3. Set up email lists

Setting up email lists is one of the most important aspects of your email marketing service.

Many clients — such as the wine seller case study I mentioned earlier — might already be sending occasional emails to their friends and family. In such cases, you should help them re-confirm their existing subscribers to the new email list.

If you’re importing from another email list, make sure to follow this checklist to ensure it’s still qualitative. This is often forgotten, and yet so crucial to avoid being blacklisted.

Based on your client’s email strategy, you should create one or more email lists such as:

  • Blog subscribers: People who subscribe to your blog, who may or may not be subscribers.
  • Product Updates: People who subscribe to your product updates. This list is different than blog subscribers.
  • Customers: Emails for people who’ve purchased your product or service. They usually consist of product updates, upcoming features, feedback emails and special discounts.

Once the basic lists are set up, you’ll play a defining role in ensuring the lists keep on growing, all the while keeping them clean.

List hygiene involves ensuring that the list includes highly-engaged subscribers who open and click, and that addresses that aren’t used anymore (hard bounces) are removed. For example, MailPoet has the ability to remove inactive subscribers automatically. Responsible consultants will ensure that this knowledge is passed down to clients.

If the list grows beyond 1,000 or 2,000 subscribers, you can start segmenting lists to reduce redundancy and send highly targeted emails.

Time to bill: A few hours depending on the list.

4. Create and send email campaigns

Some clients might prefer you to design their emails as well, since, you know, you’re setting everything up! In such cases, you could include email template design as part of your consultation package.

Time to bill: Half a day, at most.

At this point, it is important to ask yourself if you’re a good copywriter. If you think you can do as good a job with email copy as you’ve done with setting up everything so far, then, by all means, go for it. If not, then you should hire an email copywriter.

In either case, you should help your client for the first three emails he or she sends. That’s the best way to get him or her set up for success.

Time to bill: 2 hours per campaign.

In case your clients do not have the time or bandwidth to execute campaign themselves, this is your opportunity to introduce a retainer model to them. That means putting together email campaigns for them on an ongoing basis.

On the other hand, if your clients want to execute the email campaign themselves, then you could offer them training services — teaching the basics of campaign optimization such as using actionable subject lines, clear CTA, and email performance monitoring and optimization.

5. Email automation services for customer journeys

The impact of email marketing is best realized when used with contextual email automation. You can set up email autoresponders and drip campaigns for various stages of your client’s customers’ journeys. Let’s discuss a few:

Welcome Emails: Whenever a visitor signs up for your client’s store, product, or subscribes to their blog, welcome emails are the first thing to greet them. This is a great way to keep subscribers engaged and build brand awareness.

Blog Updates: This is one of the most common use cases of email marketing, wherein your client wants to share periodic blog updates with their subscribers. Any WordPress newsletter plugin would suffice for this purpose.

You can go a step further and configure automated post notification emails for your client. Mailchimp and plugins like MailPoet enable you to dynamically generate post notification emails and send them at a scheduled time.

Drip Campaigns: This works best for clients who have a lot of content on their website.
In order to get the best out of the drip campaign, you need to study the client’s existing content, map user personas and create relevant emails for each campaign.

Online Store: If your client runs an online store, you can introduce email automation for abandoned cart, follow-up emails, product reviews, seasonal sales, and others. WooCommerce has a bunch of recommended solutions.

Lead Generation & Nurturing: A classic use case of email marketing with the sole objective of generating and converting leads. In this case, you need to strategically place email opt-in forms at various locations in your client’s site, including exit-intent popups, footer, sidebar, content upgrades, and resource downloads. Plugins like Bloom are great for growing your email list.

Once a lead is captured, a series of lead nurturing emails (similar to drip campaigns) can be created to influence the lead to convert.

6. Track and report on results

In terms of email campaign execution, you should monitor campaign performance (open rates, click rates, unsubscribes, etc.), and periodically optimize it to achieve set targets.

It is a recommended practice to help your clients track their email marketing ROI. Following are a few popular ROI tracking strategies:

  • For clients sharing blog updates via email, you should track the number of signups, unsubscriptions, average open/click rate, and overall growth.
  • For online stores, you can calculate the ROI by comparing the sales revenue generated from email marketing versus its expenses.
  • For a freemium product, calculate the lifetime value (LTV) of a customer and associate that to every conversion from the email list, to reveal the ROI.

If you have retainer clients, it’s best to create a monthly email marketing report highlighting what you’ve achieved for them. This includes basic information such as open rates, click rates, and relevant information such as the revenue generated and the email marketing ROI.

This covers our discussion on packaging email marketing services for your clients. The next section discusses pricing strategies.

How to price your email marketing services

pricing format illustration

Packaging and pricing your email marketing services go hand-in-hand for your WordPress consultation business. Following are three core pricing strategies:

  • Hourly Rate: The most transparent billing process available when your client needs help with certain email marketing tasks.
  • Packaged Plans: You can offer one, or a combination of modules discussed in the previous section, fine-tuned to your client’s requirement. For instance, you can only offer email marketing strategy, or strategy plus execution minus content, etc.
  • Full-Service Plans: You do everything for your client from strategy to execution to tracking ROI. Retainer models work best in these cases.

Conclusion

Here’s a quick rundown of our article:

  • WordPress consultants can offer email marketing services to their clients to grow consultation revenue. Given email’s dominance in the marketing channel, it is a win-win for both you and your client.
  • You can package your email marketing services into various modules, giving your clients the freedom to pick only the services they need.
  • As for pricing, you can offer the standard hourly rate, a module-based (packaged) plan or a full-service plan. Retainer models fetch the maximum revenue. How much you make is entirely up to you and your current client pricing.
  • End of the day, help your clients track their email marketing ROI — so that they’re able to realize the value offered by your consultation services.

Even for clients with a high volume of emails, MailPoet plus an email delivery service (such as SendGrid or Amazon SES) can be a powerful combination that could significantly reduce email marketing expenses.

Your turn: Do you offer email marketing services to your clients? Do you have any questions about providing email marketing to your clients? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

About Sourav

Sourav is a digital marketeer and a WordPress enthusiast. He’s passionate about the intersection of technology, empathy and humanity.

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