How to Choose The Right Email Marketing Agency

How to Choose The Right Email Marketing Agency

Nothing converts like email.

Email beats all other marketing channels and can generate $37 for every $1 you invest. 

Even though email marketing can generate a ton of revenue, it’s still not easy.

You need to know which email tools are best, how to use them so you don’t end up in spam folders, and how to create emails that convert.

Even for fully-staffed marketing teams, it can be overwhelming.

Email marketing agencies are perfect for overcoming these challenges.

They know how to use the tools and run fully-scaled email campaigns. They can also distill your brand and offer into great campaigns that generate revenue.

Today, I’ll walk you through how to choose an email marketing agency that’ll help you unlock all the business value email holds. 


Well, let’s start from the basics.

Know Your Goals and Desired Outcomes

Before you jump straight to the top email marketing companies and pick one to work with, it’s a good idea to pause first.


You’ll get much better results.

Famous email agencies, like the ones I’ll recommend, usually have a track record of overseeing successful email marketing strategies and campaigns.

However, it’s never a one-size-fits-all situation. 

Some agencies only excel when working on specific projects or campaigns. Others drive better results when working with specific kinds of businesses. 

Knowing your goals and desired outcomes with email marketing gives you the right lens to evaluate different agencies and know which one is best for your needs.

Not to mention, it’ll help your agency get started a lot faster. The clearer the goal, the better the outcome.

Let’s take a look at some examples. 

Example #1: Build and grow your email list

Without an email list, you can’t do email marketing. 

And if you have a small list of, say, 33 email addresses, you’ll never get the full benefits of email marketing either. 

The first step is to build your email list.

You’ll achieve this by choosing an agency with experience executing list-building campaigns to get your first 100, 1,000, or 10,000 email subscribers.  

Take yourself, for example. 

You won’t give a company your email address for nothing, right? 

Absolutely not! We all get enough spam as it is.

Similarly, most people would only subscribe to your email list in exchange for something valuable. 

In the digital marketing world, this could be an ebook, a checklist, or other forms of relevant content promoted to the audience whose emails you’re targeting. Consider choosing an email marketing agency with experience creating and promoting amazing content. The better the content, the faster your list will grow.

Example #2: Increase your email open and click-through rates 

Low open and click-through rates will destroy your list. 

If your open and click-through rates are low, you’ll run into a cascading series of problems:

  1. Your audience isn’t seeing your offers. That’s less revenue.
  2. Email service providers like Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo will notice your low performance. Then they’ll flag you as spam or stop delivering your email altogether.
  3. Now your open and click rates get even worse.
  4. Even if you improve your campaigns later, they won’t deliver nearly the same results.
  5. Improving your email reputation is REALLY hard.

Instead of risking this email cycle of doom, it’s a good idea to partner with an agency that knows what they’re doing.

They can look for early signs that something’s wrong, course-correct early, and keep your email reputation safe.

In this case, look for an email marketing agency that is exceptional at developing strategies and tactics to help increase your open and click-through rates. 

The two examples above were to show that your goals and desired outcome with email marketing go a long way in determining what agency to choose. 

They were also to demonstrate that no agency is a one-size-fits-all for all email marketing problems. 

Set your goals first, then look for an agency that specializes in those goals.

6 Characteristics That Make a Great Email Marketing Agency 

There are hundreds of email agencies out there. Maybe thousands.

And if you visit the websites of these agencies, every single one claims to be the best. 

But what characteristics make an email marketing company great? And how can you vet and choose an agency to work with?

1. Great Content Creation

Think of all the emails you receive from other companies. 

Do you know why you can’t wait to open and engage with some, but would ignore, delete, or unsubscribe from others right off the bat? 

In most cases, it’s because you don’t value the content of those emails. 

Amazing content keeps people opening and reading. Then when you send an offer, they’re willing to consider it.

Great content is the core of any serious email strategy. 

Check to see if they focus on a process for crafting engaging email content. The best ones always do.

2. An Impressive Client Portfolio

Excellent email marketing agencies didn’t achieve that status overnight. 

They worked with dozens or hundreds of brands to execute successful email campaigns. 

Because of this, they should have plenty of top-tier brands in their portfolio. And case studies that show you exactly what was done.

Not all of this can be shared publicly. But when you’re exploring options with agencies, ask for examples during your initial calls. The agency should have plenty of examples to point to. If they struggle to come up with some, look elsewhere. 

It’s a great way to quickly vet agencies of all types.

3. Thought Leadership 

Exceptional email marketing agencies are always on top of email trends. It’s constantly evolving and you don’t want to work with someone that’s using tactics from 5 years ago. 

An easy way to check for this is the agency’s blog, YouTube channel, or their own email list. Within 20-30 minutes of consuming their content, you should learn a ton. And it should all be cutting edge. 

That’s a good sign they’ll be able to apply those same tactics to your email campaigns.

4. Deep Expertise with Email Tools

Great agencies will have used them all.

If you ask them which tools are best, you’ll quickly learn:

  • Which are most popular
  • Strengths and weaknesses of each
  • The handful of tools to avoid

But don’t worry about which tool they recommend. Pay attention to their depth of knowledge when speaking with them. They’ll probably start by recommending a single tool. Then as soon as you ask any follow up questions, they should have plenty of qualifications, nuance, and detail to their answers.

You should get the feeling that the agency knows this stuff cold. If not, find someone that does.

5. Has Specific Rules to Avoid Spam

If you’ve been hit hard by spam flags, you might need an agency that specializes exclusively on reviving domains with negative email reputations.

Most of us don’t need to go that far. 

But you absolutely want to work with an agency that knows how to stay out of the spam box.

Also ask new agencies about how they stay out of spam, their processes to keep things clean, and early warnings that they like to look for.

You should be blown away with the thoroughness of their answers.

If not, keep looking.

6. A Great Company Culture

By choosing an email marketing agency to work with, you’re entering a business relationship with another business entity.

So, before you proceed, check that their company culture fits with yours.

Without a good fit on culture, you’re going to get email campaigns that don’t jive with your brand. You could anger your audience and turn them away. Or play things too safe and leave money on the table.

There’s no right answer on culture, just make sure their culture and yours fit well.

Ask for samples of recent campaigns that they’ve done. They’re likely to do similar work for you.

How to Work With an Email Marketing Agency

Working with an exceptional email marketing agency isn’t like dashing into a grocery store, filling your cart, and dashing out in a few minutes. 

There are steps you’ll need to take that ensure your partnership with one leads to business growth via email marketing. 

1. Align your in-house team

Most email marketing agencies won’t work in isolation but as an extension of your in-house digital marketing team.   

Hence, to ensure a smooth partnership between you and them, you should:

  • Have meetings with stakeholders in your company to align relevant teams on the need to work with an email agency.
  • Communicate how the agency’s work would impact your business and why it is necessary.
  • As needed, appoint employees to work directly with the email marketing agency. 

Doing this ensures team alignment between the agency and your company. Also, it keeps the agency in sync with your values, company culture, and the goals for choosing to work with them. 

2. Discovery session

As you first go out to contact an email marketing agency, they won’t jump straight into sending you a proposal or contract. 

The best email marketing agencies act like doctors who only prescribe after they diagnose. 

And to start diagnosing your challenges and goals with email marketing, expect to fill an inquiry form, followed by a discovery session.

3. Research & strategic recommendations

Before making a specific proposal, any good email marketing agency will do an extensive round of research on your current campaigns. This will include things like:

  • Signing up for your lists and looking at your current campaigns
  • Mapping out your signup flows
  • Checking landing pages and signup offers
  • Looking through social profiles and email funnels from other channels

Once they have a complete picture of where you are today, they’ll be able to put a proposal together.

4. A working contract with project deliverables

A typical work duration with an email marketing agency spans several months. 

To take on that kind of scope,agencies usually prefer to send a formal proposal and contract for you to sign.

Take your time and this stage and go through the proposal in detail. You should feel great about every piece. If you have any concerns, work through them now. It’s really easy to change scope, budget, or goals now.

Once you fee good about it, get the contract signed. 

5. Onboarding

Expect an onboarding process customized for your team after you sign the contract. 

During this step, the agency will usually ask for all your internal document and tool access. Expert to send them invites for your Google Analytics and email tools. Also put together every piece of internal documentation that you have on your email campaigns. The more info they have, the better. 

From here, the agency will get started on the work and should have regular check-in calls along the way.

How to Find The Right Email Marketing Agency For You

To choose an email marketing agency that’s right for your needs, the steps I recommend are: 

  1. Be sure about your business goals and desired outcomes from email marketing.
  2. Consider agencies with the characteristics above. 
  3. Choose an agency with expertise in the area you need help with. And where possible, also prioritize those that have worked with reputable brands.  
  4. Finally, know that email is part of your digital, and by extension, content marketing strategy. Hence, it’s best to choose a company with bandwidth for those. 

To help, we reviewed hundreds of agencies and found these to be the best.

The 5 Top Email Marketing Agencies 

#1 Neil Patel Digital – Best For Email Content

Every time you send an email, people unsubscribe.

That hurts the long-term prospects of your email list. 

Since every email has a real cost and makes your list smaller, it’s best to make them count.

The best way to do this is with great content. Your unsubscribes will be lower, your list will be more engaged, and you’ll generate more revenue in the long-run.

Content, including email content, is one of the core areas of expertise at my agency, Neil Patel Digital

#2. InboxArmy – Best for Full-service Email Management

InboxArmy comes highly recommended, as a full-service email marketing and management company. 

This agency’s services include email strategy development, template design, email automation, and other. 

InboxArmyserves companies such as Airbnb, LandCentral, and Jockey. If you’re looking for serious email pros for your B2C company, I’d reach out to them. 

#3 Fix My Churn – Best for SaaS Onboarding Emails and churn

Fix My Churn works with SaaS companies.

User onboarding emails are a very unique skill set. The content, CTAs, sending logic and tools are completely different. If you want to improve your SaaS emails, you really need experts in this area.

Fix My Churn applies top-level SaaS copywriting skills to create email onboarding and churn-eliminating sequences to turn free and trial users into happy, long-term customers. 

Led by its Founder and SaaS email expert, Val Geisler, Fix My Churn has earned a reputation as an email marketing agency for SaaS companies like Buffer, Aweber, Podia, InVision, and others. 

I’d also consider them if your have any type of subscription offer.

#4 Action Rocket – Best for Enterprise Email

Action Rocket needs no introduction as an email marketing agency for enterprise companies. 

This agency even works with leading email software companies like Campaign Monitor, MailChimp, Litmus, and others to shape the email marketing space.

Using its vast years of experience, Action Rocket strategizes and develops custom email and CRM programs for enterprise companies, including Marks & Spencer, the BBC, and others.

If you want serious muscle behind your email strategy, reach out to them.

#5 SmartMail – Best for Ecommerce Email

SmarMail is our recommended email marketing agency for ecommerce businesses. 

Every business model has its own unique challenges with email and ecommerce is no exception.

You need cart abandonment emails, promotional emails, lifescycle emails for repurchases, and receipts with guaranteed email deliverability.

This agency excels at helping online stores acquire, convert, and retain customers by strategizing and launching email marketing campaigns based on automated triggers across buyers’ lifetime cycle: 

SmartMail has an excellent track record, helping ecommerce companies generate about $187 million in revenues. Their clients include French Connection, Skechers, and others. 

Get Email Right to Drive Growth

Email marketing isn’t going anytime soon. It is here to stay.

And it generates a ton of cash. Choosing the right agency will get you that growth a lot sooner.

Set your goals, then start looking for the right agency for you.

Even if you plan on doing email inhouse, the right agency can get everything set up correctly from the beginning. That will save your team a ton of time and prevent disastrous mistakes like getting all your emails stuck in the spam folder.

How to Choose the Best Marketing Attribution Model

How to Choose the Best Marketing Attribution Model

As a business, an increase in sales can feel like achieving the ultimate goal, fueling your campaign objectives financially, but it’s also important to consider: where did those purchases come from? How did the customer come across your brand and what pushed them towards making that final purchase?

A customer’s journey and the steps they’ve taken to get to a sale can be just as important as where the sale took place. Using attribution models, marketers can assign credit to touchpoints along the consumer’s buying journey. This can provide more insight on which marketing channels perform best to allocate more dollars and maximize ROI.

With a data-driven approach, a business can further use the strategic insights to expand on what’s working and utilize their learnings for future campaigns.

How Attribution Works

Oftentimes a consumer’s conversion path takes place on more than one device and it’s likely they’ve come across numerous different touchpoints before making the decision to purchase.

Touchpoints can be defined as a series of interactions a company has with a consumer at any stage in their customer journey. These touchpoints can consist of social media, radio, television, email and other opportunities where engagement may occur between the consumer and a business.

Attribution models use a set of rules or statistical modelling to assign conversion credit. When it comes to the different types of modelling, there are numerous options that can be applicable to your business.

Single attribution models credit only one touchpoint within a customer’s journey, including both first and last touch attribution. Meanwhile, multi-touch models look at a customer’s full conversion path, which may include positional, linear, time-decay and data-driven attribution.

Today we’ll be covering six common attribution models:

  1. First touch
  2. Last touch
  3. Position-Based
  4. Linear
  5. Time Decay
  6. Data-Driven

1. First Touch Attribution

The first touchpoint a consumer interacts with is credited with 100% of the conversion. No subsequent touchpoints are used to measure success or incrementality. This model is useful for conversion paths that have larger attribution windows or when a longer consideration period is required. In addition, this attribution model is beneficial when prioritizing the acquisition of top funnel customers.

For example:

  1. A local gym is looking to acquire more memberships for its facility.
  2. A potential lead discovers the business through a Facebook ad while scrolling through their newsfeed. The individual clicks through and signs up for a newsletter.
  3. Two days later, the prospect receives an email newsletter from the gym and visits the website again and looks at the membership deals.
  4. Finally, the prospect converts a day later and signs up for a membership after being served a Google search ad from the gym.

In this scenario, 100% of the credit for the conversion is attributed to the Facebook ad and all other touchpoints are not taken into consideration. After collecting enough data, the gym can determine which source led the prospect to take their first step towards being acquired and ultimately, optimize more dollars towards that channel.

2. Last Touch Attribution

The last touchpoint a consumer interacts with is credited with 100% of the conversion. When measuring success with smaller attribution windows (shorter buying cycles or low-consideration conversions), this model can assist with determining value of the last touchpoint. No prior touchpoints are taken into consideration.

For example:

  1. A business is attempting to drive audiences to its website to purchase a coffee maker.
  2. A prospect visits the website after viewing a Snapchat ad from the business but doesn’t make a purchase.
  3. Three days later, the individual sees a Facebook ad from the same business, clicks through to the website and buys the coffee maker.

In this case, 100% of the credit for the conversion is attributed to the Facebook ad and any prior influences from the Snapchat ad are ignored. Using the last touch model, a business can identify the channel that best closes customers.

Most advertising platforms such as Facebook Ads Manager, LinkedIn campaign manager and Google Ads will utilize the last touch attribution model by default.

3. Position-Based Attribution

Also known as U-shape attribution, this model takes into consideration the full conversion path. The first and last touchpoints are credited with the most weight. Middle touchpoints are also credited, but with less weight and evenly distributed amongst each other. This model is beneficial when trying to determine how a prospect is introduced to a business and how they convert at the end of a sales cycle.

For example:

  1. A customer receives a Facebook ad for an office chair and visits the website to browse.
  2. A few days later the customer is served with a Google search ad while looking for office chairs, but doesn’t convert.
  3. The next day, the customer visits the website and makes a purchase after being retargeted with a Google display ad.

In this scenario the Facebook and Google display ad will each receive a balanced credit of 40%, while the Google display ad, which was the middle touchpoint, will receive 20%.

4. Linear Attribution

This multi-touch model takes into consideration the full conversion path and evenly credits every touchpoint a customer interacts with. Oftentimes linear attribution models are used more for illustration as opposed to truly measuring multi-touch performance. This model is beneficial for marketers that want to understand the value of touchpoints that introduce customers to their business, build consideration and produce conversions. Overall, if the goal is to understand a marketing strategy holistically, this model can be used accordingly.

For example:

  1. A customer discovers a business’ sweatshirt from viewing a Snapchat ad and decides to visit its website.
  2. The next day the prospect is retargeted with a Facebook ad and visits the business’ website, but still doesn’t make a purchase.
  3. A few days later the prospect finally makes a purchase after clicking through a Pinterest ad from the business.

Using a linear attribution model, each of the three touchpoints will be credited with an even amount of attribution.

5. Time Decay Attribution

Similar to the linear attribution model, time-decay looks at the full conversion path. Credit is increasingly attributed in percentages to touchpoints as they get closer to the time of conversion. Initial touchpoints will garner less credit while the last interactions will collect the most.

This model is beneficial to understanding the full customer journey and provides a realistic representation of how consumers build consideration through interacting with ads as they move closer to a conversion. In addition, time-decay attribution allows marketers to analyze which channels are main contributors to lower funnel in comparison to top funnel conversions.

For example:

  1. A customer is initially served a Facebook ad on their mobile phone for a t-shirt. They click through and browse the website.
  2. One day later the customer receives an email newsletter about the t-shirt.
  3. The customer then converts two days after clicking through a Google Search ad from the business while browsing for t-shirts.

The majority of the credit will be allocated to the Google search ad, while the email newsletter and Facebook ad will receive less credit respective of their touchpoint positions.

6. Data-Driven Model

Using platform-specific algorithms, data-driven modeling encompasses machine learning based on estimated incremental value. Credit is assigned to touchpoints that matter most with data-driven modeling and it’s oftentimes most accurate in comparison to other modeling types because of its specificity to a business. This attribution model typically requires a data scientist to analyze and interpret historical data to build and maintain. For smaller or newer businesses, this may be a more expensive option and using a standard attribution model is recommended.


With various different attribution models to select from, it’s difficult to choose one. However now equipped with an understanding of different models and how they credit conversion, the decision should become clearer. There simply isn’t a right or wrong answer, or a one glove fits all solution. The choice of which attribution model depends on a business’ end goal and marketing campaign.

For businesses that sell higher valued products, which require longer sales cycles, and more marketing channels, a multi-touch attribution model may be required. This will help marketers understand how a customer was introduced to the business, where they fell off, what made them revisit and ultimately why they converted.

Businesses that are trying to determine which channels provide them with new prospects and contribute to top funnel strategies may opt to utilize a first touch model. Alternatively, organizations that are trying to discover which channels are great at closing customers may lean towards a last touch model.

The best piece of advice we can offer is to select a model that provides your business with the information needed to maximize ROI, taking into consideration your touchpoints and sales cycle.

If you’re interested in taking your campaigns to the next level, let’s chat. We’re here to help!

How to Choose a Great Name for Your Blog

How to Choose a Great Name for Your Blog

When it comes time to choose a name for your blog, you are probably going to run into a few issues and frustrations — the main one being that the name you want to use for your site or domain is likely already taken. This is nothing out of the ordinary and something site owners and bloggers deal with on a daily basis. Fortunately, when it comes to blogging or making money on the internet, you can get quite creative and some of the most successful sites in the world have some unique names… ie: ebay, google, yahoo, buzzfeed, reddit etc.

First Steps to Choosing a Name for Your Blog

So what is the first thing you need to do when it comes to choosing a name for your blog? All too often we find ourselves getting way too excited about launching a new web site or blog and we quickly register a domain name, throw WordPress up and start writing content. Unfortunately many of us struggle with this problem and have a whole portfolio of domain and sites we no longer wish we had.

To help all of us avoid these same mistakes, I made a quick bullet point list for you to walk through before getting started.

Creating a Plan for Your New Blog

  1. Think of why you want to make a blog in the first place
  2. What are you going to be blogging about and do you have enough writing ideas
  3. Come up with a few keywords that you might want to use in your domain
  4. How are you going to monetize your site or blog once you have content and traffic
  5. Visit or and see if your domain name is available

Unless you get creative with your domain name, it’s probably already taken.

Securing Your Personal Domain Name for a Blog

There are likely already a few hundred or even a few thousand people in the world with your same exact name, but there is only one exact match domain name in .com, .net or .org form for your name. Owning the .com version of your name is priceless, even if you aren’t trying to brand your blog around yourself — and it truly is “one in a million” (if not 7 billion)

I was fortunate enough to register back in the day and just held it in my portfolio for many years before I actually did anything with it, which was launching this blog back in 2007.

If someone already does have, then you can do a few things:

  1. See if the domain name is registered (if so, by who)
  2. Contact the owner of the site to see if they are willing to sell
  3. Use a domain name expiration service to capture the domain name if they forget to renew
  4. If you must have the domain name and none of these methods work, you can hire a domain broker to help

* The domain expiration service tip is huge! I’ve been using it for years now and have not only secured multiple variations of my name, but also some other amazing domain names in the process.

Buying a Great Domain Name

If you aren’t looking to use your personal name as your blog/domain name and are looking for something unique and generic at the same time, your next best option may be to purchase a premium domain name or established site.

Choosing Your Domain Name

I have two examples for you:

  1. – I had the opportunity to purchase this site several sites ago through Flippa. It’s a very attractive and keyword rich domain name. It’s also made up of two highly sought after words and it being a “.com” makes it even more valuable. At the time of the purchase it came along with a full site and content, but the domain name in itself is worth a decent amount.
  2. – I was also fortunate enough to purchase this amazing one-word domain name after it had expired and went into auction. I was the winner of the auction and decided to launch my own blogging service through the site. This initial purchase was solely for the domain name.

It Really Doesn’t Matter What You Name Your Site

I’ll know throw a wrench into your thinking process and simply remind you that whatever you end up naming your domain, blog, brand or business — it really doesn’t matter!

I mentioned a bunch of successful sites with weird names and words that the average person would have no idea what they meant 10-20 years ago, and now they are household names.

Having an exact match or one-to-two word domain is awesome and it can definitely help with brand, but at the end of the day it comes down the service, product and value that your site or business offers. Focus on the end goal for your blogging concept of business model and you will find success no matter the name you end up going with.