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Email Marketing for Agencies: The Complete Guide

Saffa Faisal

What do email marketing and climbing a mountain have in common? 

You can’t reach the summit in a day and without crossing a few milestones. 

“But what does this have to do with my agency?” Well, email marketing is the perfect tool for you to reach the top - the top of your potential. 

This guide discusses all you need to know about email marketing for agencies to attract valuable clients. Be it a marketing agency or a travel agency - this guide has got you covered!

What is Email Marketing for Agencies? 

Email marketing for agencies is the process of promoting your business by sending targeted emails to your prospects and customers. It is a hybrid of direct and digital marketing that aims to convert leads into buyers and buyers into loyal customers. 

These emails can take the shape of any purpose intended. If you want to initiate a viable relationship with your clients, then email newsletters discussing your brand story is a great choice. Similarly, if you want to reengage with a previous client, an email offering a limited-time coupon for your services makes perfect sense. 

Why Email Marketing Works for Agencies? 

Most agencies today focus their efforts on social media marketing. While the latter is promising in its own way, the benefits produced by email marketing should never be doubted. Around 79% of B2B marketers believe emails are the most successful channel for distributing content. 

Why is email marketing the best tool for agencies? We explore the reasons why. 

  1. It is Noninvasive 

What we love most about email marketing is that it is permission-based. The email IDs of prospects act as their consent for receiving emails. These are people (and businesses) interested in knowing about you and hence, are more likely to benefit from your services.  

  1. It is Personalized 

Emails are highly customizable. By leveraging the services of a powerful email marketing software, targeted emails can be sent to potential and actual clients relevant to the stage of the buyer’s journey funnel they occupy. 

Sending the right emails at the right time is a proven way for your audience to take the action you desire.

  1. It is Measurable 

Unlike other marketing tools that are challenging to measure, it is relatively easy to track the performance of your email campaigns. You can see which emails get sent, which are opened, and in which the desired action is taken. 

With these ongoing statistics, you can tweak email campaigns to derive the most value from them. 

  1. It is Value-Based

Brands today prefer agencies that create value for them instead of aggressively selling their services. Emails are designed to create awareness, build credibility, narrate your brand story, and then strategically target for sales. 

With such an approach, potential customers feel connected and are hence, more likely to make a purchase (or more). 

  1. It is Independent 

Imagine working day and night to make your Instagram account attractive only to find it suspended the next day? Unfortunate, right? With email marketing, you can save yourself from these unfavorable events. You own your mailing list, and no account suspension or algorithm changes can alter that. Be confident about reaching your clients in their inbox each time. 

Features of email marketing for agencies

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this guide, you can expect to learn the following;

  • The tool you need that does the hard work for you 
  • How to develop impactful email marketing campaigns from scratch 
  • How to choose the right emails for different buyer journey stages 

Before Getting Started: Choose an Email Marketing Software 

Just like a mountaineer requires a backpack of essential gear, your agency needs a powerful tool to rely upon. With a competent software in place, email marketing becomes a whole lot easier. Such a system allows you to; 

  • Maintain an email list 
  • Segment your audience 
  • Design emails 
  • Automate emails 
  • Measure performance of email campaigns

Clueless about which email marketing software to invest in? Read our list of the top email marketing softwares to choose from. 

Factors to choose an email marketing software for your agency

Email marketing for agencies is like no other. You’re dealing with multiple clients that can be challenging to manage with a subpar software. Consider the following factors when making your decision; 

Account Management 

Since you’re juggling multiple clients at the same time, a software that lets you manage only one brand is of no use to you. Consider a software provider that lets you switch between different clients. 

Reporting Capabilities 

With email marketing, you don’t just send an email and call it a day. You are constantly monitoring the performance of these campaigns once made live. A sophisticated email marketing software features a dashboard that shows your campaign’s progress against key performance indicators. 

White-Label 

As an agency, there is nothing worse than displaying your portfolio to potential clients only to find it bombarded with another company’s branding. “Should I develop my own software then?” Absolutely not; opt for a white-label email marketing software. 

Such systems enable you to remove their branding and lets you customize their dashboard to a certain extent.

Email Marketing for Agencies: Step-by-Step Guide

Email marketing for agencies, pretty much like any other marketing campaign, needs smart and strategic development in each of it's phase. Let's go through all the phases step-by-step.

Step 1: Define Email Marketing Goals 

With anything marketing, the first and foremost step is to define goals. As an agency, this step is a ride-or-die for you. 

We recommend having a detailed discussion amongst your team members regarding the desired outcomes from email marketing. The response should be the building block for the strategy you develop later on. So, if you aim to boost sales over Black Friday, you will send a series of emails on and before the day to entice sales rather than emails describing your brand story. 

Bonus Tip - Follow the OKR method for effectively deciding goals. Jot down the objectives (O) or what you hope to achieve. You then decide the key results (KR) or the measurable action items against these goals. Let’s use the same example as discussed above.

OKR Methodology in email marketing for agencies

Objective: Increase Black Friday sales 

Key Results: 

  • Send 1 email a day for 5 days before Black Friday to show discounted services. 
  • Send 3 emails (morning, evening, and night) on Black Friday showing further price reductions. 
  • Improve click-through rate by 20 percent. 

Step 2: Grow Your Email List 

Your email list is just like a mountaineer’s boots - you can’t start the trek without them. Similarly, you can’t execute a marketing campaign if you have no one to email. 

Growing an email list is a long and laborious process. You need to identify your target audience and then figure out ways for them to share their email IDs. You might be prompted to buy an email list but read this carefully; never do that! If you do, then either you’ll find yourself in the much-dreaded spam folder or witness a surge in the unsubscribe rate. 

There are essentially two ways to build a valuable email list: lead magnets and optin forms.

Lead Magnet 

Lead magnets are a win-win situation for you and your potential clients. You offer potential customers a gift in exchange for their email addresses. Fair exchange? We think so too!

A lead magnet can be anything that your heart desires. Some of the common ones are below: 

  • Sample 
  • Free Trial 
  • Coupon 
  • ebook 
  • Research paper / Case study 
  • Cheat Sheet 

The trick behind choosing a lead magnet is that it must be valuable for your audience. It should be immediately available, easily consumed, and relevant to what you offer. If your client is a business consultant, then dispatching them a gift hamper of your favorite snacks doesn’t add up. 

Optin Forms 

An optin form is a medium that displays the lead magnet and asks for the prospect’s email address. Simple, right? Not really. If executed terribly, they can appear to be annoying and might get potential customers off your website. 

“How do I create enticing optin forms?” We thought you’ll never ask.

  • Attractive Headlines: The headline needs to be short, crisp, and attention-grabbing. It should also mention the benefit right away. 
  • Visible Lead Magnet: The lead magnet needs to be written in a visible and clear font. It’s what you’re offering to your prospects free of charge and hence, should be highlighted.
  • Compelling Call To Action: The CTA should be of a contrasting color than the background image. This will make it stand out and encourage the audience to click on it. 
  • Eye-catching Visuals: The optin form should be of high quality and include enticing elements. If it’s designed poorly, then it will fail to grab your prospects’ attention.
  • Strategic Placement: You shouldn’t just wing it when it comes to placing the optin form. Test a few positions on the website to see which gets the most email IDs.

how to build your email list as an agency

 

The following optin form featured on Fix My Churn is the perfect example since it incorporates all the tips mentioned above. The free guide is the first thing that visitors see on the form. The interface is simple yet impactful. The desired CTA has been highlighted in a different, lighter color so that prospects are prompted to click on it.

A well designed optin form

 

How to Maintain a Valuable Email List?

Your email list is the most valuable digital asset you can have. This list should be evaluated from time to time to ensure emails are sent to valid email addresses. The easiest way to do this is by benefitting from an email verification tool. The latter highlights invalid email IDs, calculates the estimated bounce rate, and shows all inactive domains.

Step 3: Segment Your Audience 

Imagine climbing mid-way on a trek and taking a wrong turn. Frustrating right? If you send the same email to your entire list, then the results will be more infuriating. 

If you do not segment your audience, you will fail to benefit from email marketing. In the era of peak customization, potential and actual clients will not engage with an email if it’s not meant specially for them. 

Segmentation for agencies refers to dividing your audience into groups of similar characteristics, like common business models. By targeting these segments differently, you are better able to achieve your email marketing goals. 

Why is Segmentation Needed? 

Segmentation is required simply because it performs better. Segmented emails witness 50 percent more click-through rates than generic ones. Still not convinced? According to a study, 74 percent of customers get annoyed when they receive irrelevant emails. No one wants that!

Through personalized emails, a strong relationship builds between you and your clients. They appreciate the extra effort and then reward it through engagement and repeated purchases. Segmented emails result in greater brand recall and added trust that is necessary when money is involved. 

You can also witness a decrease in your unsubscribe rate. Why would your audience unsubscribe to you when they are receiving personalized emails that they signed up for? 

Segmentation Factors 

There are countless ways an audience can be segmented. The key is to segment in a way that generates some value for you. Some of the common segmentation factors for agencies are discussed below; 

  • Business models
  • Geographic location 
  • Number of employees  
  • Purchase behavior 
  • Level of engagement 

Want to know more about segmentation? Watch this helpful video. 

Step 4: Design Your Emails 

Appearances matter! They have and always will. The truth is that if your emails don’t look good and provide helpful content, then no one will click on them. 

Consider the following email that Sensis Voice sent to its clients reminding them to fill a survey.

Un-designed email


This is the perfect example of an email gone wrong. The lack of imagery and text-heavy email is bound to put the reader to sleep. There is no CTA button placed in the email but rather hyperlinked text - a big no-no!

Now consider the following welcome email from MBB Agency


What we like most about this email is its simplicity. The reader’s attention is instantly won with the witty yet impactful headline. The content is concise and written in a conversational tone. The CTA button has a contrasting color than that of the background, which makes it stand out. 

How to Design Beautiful-looking Emails? 

Designing impactful emails is no rocket science. 

With the right tools, you can design beautiful-looking emails without employing any graphic designers. Sounds good? Keep on reading to know more. 

Drag and Drop Builder: 

A robust email design software lets you add and delete elements through its drag and drop builder. You are presented with a blank canvas from where you can incorporate images, write content, include your social media handles, and feature a compelling CTA button. 

You can fully practice your creativity and display it easily on the design tool with the drag and drop builder

Prebuilt Templates: 

As an agency, you’re reaching out to multiple clients at a time. You can’t build emails from scratch - you have other equally important tasks to perform. This is where prebuilt templates act as a life savior. 

You can choose from a vast library of templates designed for different events, industries, and formats. Bring a few tweaks to the content, include your branding, and you’re done!

Unlayer - The Perfect Email Design Tool 

Unlayer email templates


We know how busy you are, which is why we’ve mentioned the best email design tool in the industry. Unlayer lets you design beautiful emails without having any design or coding skills. 

Unlayer is the best because;
  • 260+ professional templates 
  • An easy-to-use drag and drop builder 
  • Collaborative tools to coordinate with clients 
  • Custom blocks and tools 
  • Mobile responsive design 
  • Directly export to different email service providers
Why Use Unlayer for email design?

Step 5: Automate Your Emails 

Would you rather manually send emails to your multiple clients or simply automate them? We would choose the latter. 

Email automation lets you decide beforehand which emails are to be sent to different clients, at what times, and on which events. Once you have finalized the email sequence, your job is done. So sit back and relax as autoresponders and workflows have got you covered. 

Autoresponders 

Autoresponders are a series of emails sent to targeted clients and are triggered by a particular event. So, for instance, whenever someone subscribes to your mailing list, they will receive a Welcome email. Similarly, once a client purchases your services, they will be sent a Thank You email. 

Autoresponders enable you to send the right message at the right time and to the right customer. It timely engages the audience and builds lasting relationships with them. Potential clients are more likely to perform the desired action after receiving these targeted and timely emails. 

Workflows 

Think of workflows as the smarter, elder sister of autoresponders. Workflows let you design a yes/no model that sends a series of emails based on the criteria defined by you. It is intelligent enough to know what actions your clients performed and then sends them emails based on their activity. 

Workflows feature two elements; enrollment criteria and goals. The former qualifies a customer for the workflow, and the latter takes one out of it. 

Consider the following workflow model of when a client subscribes to a mailing list.


Step 6: Track Your Progress 

Kudos for reaching the final stage of the email marketing for agencies guide. 

This step should not be ignored since it will show how successful you have been in your email marketing efforts. Apart from this, tracking the performance of email campaigns improves the fate of future ones. 

Emails and their performance can be monitored through the following ways: 

A/B Testing 

A/B testing lets you decide which email performs better as it compares different variants. You never know how a certain email will sit with your audience. It’s better to test different versions than to send what you think the audience will like.

You can perform A/B testing in four easy ways; 

  1. Test one variable, headline, CTA, or images, at a time.  Create two emails, one including and the other excluding the chosen element. 
  2. Send email A to one half of your client’s audience and B to the other half. 
  3. Review which email performs better and proceed with that. 
  4. Test another variable and repeat the process. 

Monitoring KPIs 

Another method for tracking progress against email campaigns is by measuring different metrics. The common ones are; 

  • Deliverability Rate: This is the percentage of emails that reach your audiences’ inbox. 
  • Open Rate: This is the rate of emails that actually get opened. 
  • Click-Through Rate: This rate describes the percentage of people who clicked on a CTA mentioned in a particular email. 
  • Unsubscribe Rate: This is the percentage of people who have unsubscribed from your clients’ mailing list. 

These KPIs give great insights when compared over a while. In an ideal world, you would want to maximize the deliverability, open, and click-through rates while minimizing the unsubscribe percentage. 

Email Marketing and the Buyer’s Journey Funnel 

The Buyer’s Journey Funnel is an excellent tool for understanding the different stages that your audience moves through. By strategically sending emails catered to the different stages, you are more likely to convert leads into buyers. 


There are three levels to the funnel, which are Awareness, Consideration, and Decision. In the awareness stage, your prospect becomes a lead as s/he provides the email address, and you send a welcome email. 

In the consideration stage, you nurture the lead. Value-based emails are sent in exchange for additional data related to the leads identified. This will greatly help in segmenting the audience in the next step. 

The last stage is that of decision. After identifying the different segments, you’re able to send promotional emails that prompt them to make a purchase. Those who do not are further nourished until they’re ready to take the leap. 

Conclusion 

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the top. 

As an agency, email marketing is your secret weapon for achieving a valued clientele. Follow along this easy 6-step email marketing for agencies guide to unlock the maximum potential of executing email campaigns.

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