The value of email marketing is no longer something that any serious marketer can ignore. With the advent of always-on high-bandwidth internet and the fact that most everyone has an email address, marketing via email has become one of the cheapest and most effective forms of marketing.

When starting out with email marketing, you may find yourself neck-deep in questions. There are so many things to consider, from putting together a marketing plan, to putting together an email list, and getting set up with the necessary hardware and software. One of the major things you should consider when starting marketing via email is whether to opt for managed marketing services or to go with a self-service marketing plan.

Managed email marketing is a service provided by a professional marketing company. In exchange for monthly fees, the company designs a marketing campaign plan for you. This includes website add-ons that can help you increase the number of people in your email list. Likewise, a professional marketing group will also plan out your email promotion, as well as the series of follow-up emails that you will send out to your email list. A part of the service is to give results of the email campaign. This includes the number of click-thrus, opt outs and other information. Likewise, a good marketing company should provide you with an analysis of email campaigns that work for your products, and those that do not. Eventually, your marketing company should tweak your marketing based on the results.

On the other hand, self-service marketing relies on your technology and marketing backend. First of all, you will need to buy an email campaign software and you would need to install this into your host/ server. Some configuration may be required, and you will also need to import your mailing list. Next is your marketing campaign. You will need to plan this, right down from the welcome email, to the follow-up emails, including email promotions. For self-service marketing, especially for those doing this for the first time, expect the beginning of the campaign to be a hit and miss. Some emails will generate a positive response, while others will not. You will need to continually tweak your marketing campaigns until you achieve the right mix.

Between a managed service and self-service marketing, the major difference is cost. Managed services is a continued cost to you. Ideally, you should be getting new clients for each of your email campaigns. With self-service marketing, the bulk of the cost would be at the start, when you would have to invest on software and time for designing and tweaking your campaign. The advantage of managed services is that you would be relying on the experience of the service provider. Presumably, they have done other email campaigns before yours. This way, your email marketing can run smoothly from the start.