A Guide to Email Marketing Costs & Best Practices

Email Marketing
A Guide to Email Marketing Costs & Best Practices
Article by Bisera Stankovska
Last Updated: April 17, 2023

According to Statista, the number of email users will be roughly 4.6 billion by 2025.

Considering these statistics, it’s no surprise that 89% of marketers allocate up to 20% of their budget to email marketing. And over the past year, HubSpot found that 77% of marketers have witnessed a boost in their email engagement.

Before incorporating email marketing into your digital marketing strategy, you have to ask yourself: "How much does email marketing cost? What costs are associated with this strategy? How can I save money on email marketing?”

This guide answers all that to help you get started effectively.

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What are the Factors that Determine the Email Marketing Cost?

To give you a better idea of what drives up your email marketing budget, here are some of the main factors that affect the cost of email marketing services: 

  • Number of Subscribers: The more subscribers you have, the more expensive it will be because it requires more resources to send emails to a larger group of people.
  • Email Marketing Software: The more complex your software needs are, the more expensive it will be. This won't be an issue if you only send a few emails monthly or less. But if you plan on sending more than 20 emails daily, investing in more sophisticated tools might make sense.
  • Features: The number of features available on each platform varies widely between different providers and even within different packages offered by the same provider. Some platforms provide many different templates, while others only include templates designed by their team.
  • Annual Revenue: If your organization brings in more than $1 million in sales annually, you'll need to invest in something more robust. You can't afford to risk losing out on potential customers because your emails aren't delivered.
  • Industry: If you're in retail or travel or another industry that relies heavily on email marketing, then it's likely that your costs will be higher than those where customers are less likely to expect emails from their vendors.
  • Product or Services Offered: What products or services do you sell? Do they require lots of customer support? Do they need some special equipment? If so, these things will also affect your emails' costs because they require more effort to set up and maintain.
  • Marketing Goals: If you want to increase sales or improve customer loyalty through targeted campaigns, then hiring someone who knows what they're doing could make all the difference in how well your email campaign performs.

Email Service Provider Cost

The cost of an email service provider (ESP) will depend on the type of plan you select. There are various ESPs, each with different features and price points.

For example, a primary ESP will allow you to create an email list, send campaigns, and track your results. A premium ESP gives you more features, such as ESP automation, personalized email segmentation, and more.

Choose an ESP that best suits your business needs, and it will help you keep your email marketing costs as low as possible.

Here are some platforms you can try:

  • MailChimp: $0 - $1,030+ per month.
  • Constant Contact: $9.99 - $410+ per month.
  • Sendinblue: $0 to $1,000 per month.
  • ActiveCampaign: $9 - $549+ per month.

Each of these companies offers its advantages, but they all provide the same basic functions:

  • Send emails directly to your customers.
  • Track their activity over time.
  • Create landing pages that drive traffic back to your website and more.
Get connected with the right email marketing agency for your project.

Email Marketing Campaign Cost

If you want to run an email marketing campaign, you could pay a marketing agency anywhere from $15 – $100+ per hour.

If you hire a freelancer through Upwork or Fiverr, you can expect to pay between $3 and $20+ per email sent through their platform. This would vary depending on whether they send out one-off or multiple campaigns over time.

The type of campaign you run will depend on what you want to do and how much time you have to commit.

The following types of campaigns will cost different amounts:

  • Pitching New Products: Creating a marketing campaign for a new product will depend on the type of product you’re pitching and the price point.
  • Re-engaging Subscribers: Re-engaging subscribers who have not purchased from you is one of the most cost-effective strategies. You can create email templates tailored to specific segments of your subscribers and send them at the right time, depending on their interests.
  • Selling Existing Products: Creating an email campaign to sell existing products requires you to segment your subscriber list and create different email templates for each segment. The more tailored your emails are to your subscribers, the more likely they will purchase.

Email Design Cost

When setting your budget for email marketing campaign cost, remember the design, as it can have a significant impact on the success of your email marketing campaign.

Many elements go into the design, from color to size and font. It's imperative to have a well-designed campaign so that the content can be read and understood easily.

Designing an email can range from $25 – $150+ per hour. It depends on who you work with and the level of detail expected in the design.

Email Marketing Campaign Copywriting Cost

Email copywriting is a way to connect with your audience through their inboxes. It's also an efficient strategy to improve your brand's reputation, increase sales, and build customer loyalty. But how much does email copywriting cost?

The average price of an email copywriting campaign runs anywhere from $35 per email to $2,000 per email. The cost will depend on several factors:

  • Length and complexity of the content,
  • Number and type of messages (Welcome, offers, launches, surveys, email newsletters, etc.),
  • Length of time,
  • Copywriter or agency’s expertise.

Cost of Email Marketing Services by Budget

Depending on your budget, you can choose the services you want and need:

  • Free Email Marketing Service ($0): If you have a minimal budget, you can use a free email marketing service to run your campaign. Using a free email marketing service has limitations, so you’re better off investing in a paid service once your business has grown.
  • In-house Email Marketing (Up to $2,500+ per month): Getting an in-house email marketing team is a long-term strategy and will require hiring an email marketing specialist and investing in the right software.
  • Outsourced Email Marketing ($300 - $12,000 per month): For businesses with an intermediate budget, outsourcing your email marketing campaign is an effective way to ensure its success.

How to Calculate the ROI for an Email Marketing Campaign

Identify the effectiveness of your email marketing campaign, thus, seeing whether or not the cost of email marketing services was worth it.

The ROI is calculated as: ROI = (Final Value - Initial Value) / Costs x 100%

The final value is the profit you gain from the email marketing campaign. On the other hand, the initial value is the budget you have allocated, considering the cost of email marketing services for your campaign.

How to Save Money on the Cost of Email Marketing Services

To help you find a balance between getting the most out of your email marketing and keeping costs in check, here are some email marketing tips on saving money on your email marketing costs.

  1. Use a free email service like Gmail or Outlook for some of your emails. One of the most expensive parts of an email campaign is sending out your messages to many people.
  2. Use an email template that's been tested for open rates and click-throughs. This can be found in any primary email services provider like Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor, or you can use a tool like Canva to make your template from scratch.
  3. Send only one email per week if possible, and ensure it's full of helpful information that customers will want to read through at their leisure.
  4. Build your email subscriber list. It's hard to save money if you don't have a good list of subscribers. You can't just run an ad campaign and hope people will join your mailing list. You need to build relationships with people over time, so they'll want to sign up for your emails.
  5. Test different subject lines and send times for different segments of your audience so that you're always sending out emails that will be relevant and interesting based on their interests and habits.

Email Marketing Best Practices to Look for in an Outsourced Email Marketing Agency 

Email marketing remains an essential tool in any company or organization's marketing strategy.

To best maximize the potential of your email campaigns (and to have a better idea of what exactly you're paying for), it's important to be aware of the best practices for email marketing and ensure that your chosen outsourced email marketing agency applies them correctly.

Any email marketing agency worth its salt will include the following in your email marketing strategy:

1. Defines Your Target Audience

The first step in developing a successful email marketing campaign is to define your target audience. Who are you trying to reach with your message? What are their needs and wants?

Once you have a good understanding of your target audience, you can develop messaging that will resonate with them.

2. Develops Compelling Content

Once you know who you're targeting, you need to develop compelling content that will interest them.

Your content should be well-written and relevant to your target audience. It should also be interesting and engaging enough to get them to open and click through to your website or landing page.

3. Creates an Engaging Subject Line

Your subject line is one of the most important elements of your email marketing campaign, as it is what will entice recipients to open your email.

Make sure your subject line is clear, concise, and interesting enough to get recipients to want to learn more about what you have to say.

4. Uses a Call-to-Action

Your call-to-action (CTA) is what you want recipients to do after reading your email.

Make sure your CTA is clear and easy to understand, and that it leads recipients to a landing page or website where they can learn more about your product or service.

5. Testing, Testing, Testing!

Before sending out your email marketing campaign to your entire list, it's important to test it first with a small group of recipients.

This will allow you to make sure everything looks and works as it should, and that there are no technical issues with your email. Once you've tested your campaign and made any necessary tweaks, you can then send it out to your entire list for maximum impact.

Best Email Marketing Agencies to Work With

1. Digital Success

  • Location: 5830 Granite Pkwy, Suite #100-360, Plano, Texas 75024, United States
  • Average Hourly Rate: $35/hr
  • Expertise: Digital Marketing, SEO, Social Media Marketing, Web Design, etc.

Digital Success is a full-service agency that delivers various digital marketing services, ranging from SEO and content to email campaigns. They are among the top agencies of choice for small and mid-sized businesses in and around Dallas, Texas.

The agency develops specialized campaigns for every client, with the aim of optimizing spending and resources. The strategies and tools they use allow them to target the right consumers and drive digital success for the business.

Digital Success has catered to businesses across industries, including healthcare, legal, automobile and finance.

2. HomeTree Digital

  • Location: 1 W End Avenue, Suite 18B, New York City, New York 10023, United States
  • Average Hourly Rate: $150/hr
  • Expertise: Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Digital Marketing, Software Development, etc.

Based in New York City, HomeTree Digital is a digital marketing agency that specializes in the financial service industry.

The agency works as a brand’s creative partner in designing the best digital experiences and customer journeys that drive results. In email marketing, they help clients with personalized distribution and advanced reporting. They are experienced in tools like MailChimp, HubSpot, Marketing Cloud and more.

Aside from digital marketing, the agency also offers software development, web design, brand identity and video production.

3. Kode Digital Experts Services

  • Location: 353-3 Jalan C Y Choy, 10300 Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia., Penang, 10300, Malaysia
  • Average Hourly Rate: $40/hr
  • Expertise: 360° Digital Services, Digital Strategy, Branding, Graphic Design, Media Buying, Web Design, eCommerce Development, Website Development, Digital Marketing, Legal Digital Marketing, SEO, Google AdWords and Social Media Marketing.

Kode Digital Experts Services is an established digital agency based in Malaysia, founded in 2018.

Kode Digital Experts Services provides creative and innovative 360° digital solutions to help companies reach their goals. Its services range from Digital Strategy, Branding, Graphic Design, Media Buying, Web Design, eCommerce Development, Website Development, Digital Marketing, Legal Digital Marketing, SEO, and Google AdWords, to Social Media Marketing.

Believing in the power of digital marketing and technology, the agency strives to provide clients with tailored services that can meet their individual needs. Its team is composed of passionate creatives and professionals who have years of experience in the field; they always strive to deliver exceptional results and exceed the expectations of their clients.

Some of Kode Digital Experts Services’ most notable clients include Nomura Asset Management Malaysia, De. Wan 1958 by Chef Wan and Buddhist Tzu Chi Merits Society Malaysia.

4. Launch Marketing

  • Location: 4810 Spicewood Springs Road Suite 250, Austin, Texas 78759, United States
  • Average Hourly Rate: Inquire.
  • Expertise: Branding, Video Production, Package Design, Web Design, Digital Marketing and Healthcare Digital Marketing.

Launch Marketing is an Austin, TX-based, full-service B2B tech marketing firm founded in 2001.

Launch Marketing has carved out a unique space in the Austin tech scene by offering senior-level expertise and providing turnkey solutions to help B2B technology companies maximize their brand impact. Launch Marketing's comprehensive suite of services includes Branding, Video Production, Package Design, Web Design, Digital Marketing, and Healthcare Digital Marketing.

Whether you’re a startup launching your first product or a well-established company looking to take your marketing efforts up a notch, Launch Marketing is here to help. With its experienced team of creative minds and tech-savvy professionals, Launch Marketing can help you reach new heights.

Launch Marketing helps its clients to achieve success through creative and effective marketing strategies that reach the right audiences, resulting in increased brand awareness and higher returns on investment. Some of the agency’s most notable clients include thinaer, Arena Solutions, and Global Agility.

5. Laconic World

  • Location: 444, 445 - Nexus 2, Nadiad, 387001, India
  • Average Hourly Rate: $15/hr
  • Expertise: Video Production, Web Design, Website Development, UI/UX Design, Digital Marketing, SEO, and Data Entry.

Laconic World is a full-service digital marketing, website design, and development agency based in India and was first established in 2018.

Laconic World focuses on helping brands grow and reach their full potential with innovative ideas, cutting-edge technologies, and data-driven strategies. At Laconic World, the success of their clients takes priority over all else. Laconic World is an agency that consistently puts in its best effort with every project and embraces challenges as learning opportunities.

Whether you need help driving traffic to your website or increasing your SEO, Laconic World has the expertise and experience needed to get results. Laconic World offers services such as video production, web design, website development, UI/UX design, digital marketing, SEO, and data entry. Laconic World’s team of experienced professionals is dedicated to providing quality results that will make your brand stand out from the crowd. Their client base includes Pet Lovers Centre Singapore, FactoryWorx, and, Camelot Infant Care.

6. DS&P Digital Marketing Agency

  • Location: 605 N. Michigan Ave, 4th Floor, Chicago, Illinois 60611, United States
  • Average Hourly Rate: Inquire
  • Expertise: Mobile App Development, Digital Marketing, SEO, PPC, etc.

DS&P is a full-fledged digital marketing agency that was founded in 2009 in south Fort Worth, Texas. Today they have offices throughout the U.S. and clients worldwide. Their team which consists of designers, strategists, entrepreneurs, and marketing geniuses is at their clients' complete disposal.

They have placed themselves in a position to promote any business in all digital formats. Why hire five different agencies when you can have all your digital marketing needs filled under one roof? Even more so when they're offered at a bundled discount.

Clients include Nelson Propane, Esteem Dental, VastMed, etc.

7. KPI Media

  • Location: 138 Robinson Road Oxley Tower, #15-04., Singapore, 068906, Singapore
  • Average Hourly Rate: Inquire
  • Expertise: Marketing Analytics & Big Data, SEO, PPC, Social Media Marketing, etc.

KPI Media is a marketing agency based in Singapore, specializing in helping start-ups achieve scale and business growth. It provides brand advertising solutions such as search engine marketing, social media advertising, marketing automation and analytics and programmatic advertising. The agency is currently partnering with brands such as Microsoft and Google. In addition to winning the bronze award for New Kid on the Block at MARKETING-INTERACTIVE's AOTY Awards 2021, it was also a finalist for the Specialist Agency of the Year award.

Email Marketing Cost FAQs 

Are There Any Hidden Costs of Email Marketing? 

While email marketing is generally considered a cost-effective marketing strategy, hidden costs can be associated with it.   

For instance, you may need to invest in email list cleaning services or verification tools to ensure your email list is accurate and up-to-date.   

You may also need a designer or copywriter to create engaging email content or invest in email automation software to streamline your campaigns.   

These costs can add up quickly, so carefully evaluate your email marketing needs and consider all possible expenses before starting. 

Should I Outsource Email Marketing? 

Outsourcing your email marketing can be a great way to save time and effort while still achieving your marketing goals.  

However, there are some pros and cons to consider before making a decision: 


  • Access to experienced professionals: Outsourcing your email marketing allows you to work with experienced professionals with the expertise and knowledge to create effective email campaigns that resonate with your audience. 
  • Increased efficiency: Outsourcing can help you streamline your email marketing process, freeing up time and resources to focus on other areas of your business. 
  • Better results: Outsourcing can lead to better results because you're working with professionals who understand how to create effective email campaigns that drive engagement and conversions. 


  • Cost: Outsourcing email marketing can be expensive, especially if you're working with a high-end agency or consultant. 
  • Loss of control: When you outsource email marketing, you give up some control over the process, making it challenging to ensure that your campaigns align with your brand and messaging. 
  • Lack of knowledge transfer: If you're outsourcing your email marketing, work with a partner who is willing to share their knowledge and expertise with you so that you can learn and grow your email marketing skills over time. 

Is Email Marketing Cost-Effective? 

Email marketing can be a highly cost-effective marketing strategy compared to other advertising forms, such as print, TV, or radio.   

With email marketing, you can reach a large audience at a relatively low cost and track and measure your campaigns' effectiveness.   

Also, you can target specific audience segments with personalized messaging, which may result in higher conversion rates and ROI.   

For instance, you can segment your email list based on subscriber behavior, demographics, or interests and send targeted messages tailored to their needs and interests. 

Is Email Marketing Less Expensive Than Direct Mail Marketing? 

Yes, email marketing price is generally lower than direct mail marketing.   

With direct mail, you must pay for printing, postage, and other associated costs, which can add up quickly.   

On the other hand, with email marketing, you can reach a large audience at a fraction of the cost and track and measure your campaigns' results in real time.   

For example, you can use email marketing to send promotional offers or discounts to your subscribers or to notify them of upcoming events or new products.  

In addition, you can nurture leads and build relationships with your customers over time, ultimately leading to long-term loyalty and revenue growth. 

Final Words on Email Marketing Costs & Best Practices

Marketing is a numbers game. You must try as many different things as possible if you're a beginner. For instance, testing emails to grow and develop their sales funnel.

Even if most of them don't work, you'll pick up more than enough information from the rest that will ultimately justify your efforts.

Outsourcing an email marketing agency is a highly effective strategy, so long as you have considered the cost of implementing it.

But if you're concerned about cost, look for free trials and demos that let you test different email marketing platforms before taking the plunge.

We’ll find qualified email marketing agencies for your project, for free.
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