Saving on marketing costs: how to efficiently use your marketing budget

Get more results at lower costs with e-mail marketing and campaign management

26 March 2020 - 7 minutes
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Save marketing costs: how to efficiently use your marketing budget

  • It is possible to save marketing costs by making more use of e-mail marketing.
  • The more campaigns you send, the higher the costs of campaign management. These costs become higher than those of the e-mail marketing software.
  • When marketeers create campaigns themselves and work is automated, it is possible to save considerably on the costs of campaign management. 

What are marketing costs?

Marketing communication is essential to generate more visitors, leads and sales. Communication is also necessary to retain customers. However, there are costs involved in marketing communication. A study of Gartner shows that, in an average organization, about 12% of the total costs consists of marketing costs.

There are differences between business to consumer companies and business to business companies. For online companies, marketing costs are often higher than for retailers, as they are more dependent on paid online marketing to generate website visits.

Every company that wants to grow, has to incur marketing expenses. In this article, we take a closer look at the use of e-mail marketing to save marketing costs. We will also discuss the actual costs of e-mail marketing and the possibilities to get more work done with less budget.

The following topics are covered in this article:

E-mail marketing as a channel to save marketing costs
Actual costs of e-mail marketing
How to save costs of e-mail marketing campaigns 

E-mail marketing as a channel to save costs

Research among marketeers shows time after time that e-mail marketing is one of the most effective marketing channels. A website is the most effective channel, but this is followed by e-mail marketing. Without using e-mail marketing, you are already lagging behind your competitors.


marketingkosten: de effectiviteit van digitale kanalen

E-mail marketing is one of the most effective channels for marketing. (source: Kissmetrics)


Our customers get up to 40% of their online traffic from e-mail marketing; e-mail marketing is essential for them. A study of Hubspot Research shows that the ROI of e-mail marketing can amount to a turnover of €50 for every €1 spent.

marketingkosten en rendement per industrie

ROI of e-mail marketing by industry (source: Hubspot research)

To save marketing costs, it is definitely recommended to shift the marketing budget and invest in e-mail marketing. This is the most effective way to use your marketing budget.

E-mail marketing is also useful to approach existing customers, for retention, up-sell or cross-sell. Compared to acquisition marketing, approaching existing customers is more valuable, with lower costs.

In addition, it is an excellent way to use e-mail marketing in combination with other channels. We still see that companies first call existing customers for an extension. However, it is more efficient to send an automated e-mail and only call when there is no response on this e-mail.

Actual costs of e-mail marketing

To determine marketing costs of e-mail, it is important to look beyond the costs of the e-mail marketing software. Costs of campaign management should also be considered.

When starting with e-mail marketing, costs of campaign management are usually not that high. Sometimes there is a colleague that can work with Mailchimp or another tool. It is not a problem if it takes a few hours to create and send a campaign.

An e-mail marketing campaign consists of the following steps:

  1. Prepare data 
    Collect data from different sources (registrations, deregistrations, existing customers, prospects) and deduplicate this to create a clear list.
  2. Prepare content
    Create articles for the campaign, consisting of text, visual images and, if possible, interactive aspects.
  3. Enter data and content in the e-mail marketing software
    Create templates, enter content and import prepared data.
  4. Test and send the campaign 
    Send test mailings, make adjustments, and send the campaign.

The actual costs of an e-mail marketing campaign consist of two components:

  1. Campaign management costs: preparing, creating and sending campaigns (step 1, 2 and 3)
  2. Costs of e-mail marketing software and sending e-mails (step 4)

E-mail marketing software costs may vary. When sending 500.000 e-mails a month, you will have to take into account costs between €500 and €1500 a month.

Costs of the preparation of the campaign are largely dependent on the number of different data sources, the amount of content and the amount of personalisation. Companies that send a lot of campaigns consist of teams with multiple data analysts for data preparation and multiple e-mail marketeers for creating and sending campaigns.

Dependent on the level of automation, one data analyst together with two e-mail marketeers can send around 20 campaigns a week or set up 10 automated campaigns. Costs of this are between €10.000 and €15.000 a month. These costs may not be included in the campaign budget, but these are definitely marketing costs!

It is also very likely that sometimes external support is needed, for example during peak hours or in the absence of your own employees. Besides this, filling e-mail marketing vacancies is not always easy. That is why in recent years a lot of companies started to advise on e-mail marketing and marketing automation.

Costs of managing e-mail marketing campaigns are much higher than costs of actually sending the campaign. This effect is enhanced because a team of five persons requires guidance and coordination. Also, the more campaigns need to be sent, the higher the amount of overhead hours, as shown in the graph below.


Marketingkosten: de werkelijke kosten van e-mail marketing

Costs of campaign management increase more than those of e-mail marketing software. (Source: Basedriver)

When creating a business case for e-mail marketing, it is important to include campaign management in the marketing costs. The more data sources, the more personalisation, and the more people that are involved in a campaign, the greater the impact of campaign management on the total marketing cost.

So, it is possible that the easily accessible and inexpensive tool you started with, will end up being a lot more expensive. Most of Basedriver’s customers experienced this; they started with inexpensive, but laborious, e-mail marketing software, but eventually switched to a platform that saves time and costs.

Save e-mail marketing costs and increase outcomes

An important part of an e-mail marketing strategy is increasing the frequency and relevance of e-mail marketing campaigns. The bottleneck are the costs of campaign management: there is not enough time in the organization and/or not enough budget to hire additional people.

However, there is a way to increase the number of campaigns without increasing costs too much. This can be done by enabling marketeers to create and send campaigns independently.

A company such as New Skool Media sends more than 100 contact moments a day. Marketeers of all brands can do this independently; there is no need for e-mail marketeers or data analysts. As a result, an enormous amount of costs on campaign management can be saved.

Four preconditions to enable marketeers to create campaigns themselves:

  • Reliable data needs to be automatically available for marketeers;
  • Rules of the organisation (contact pressure, brand policy, roles and rights, GDPR) should be enforced automatically;
  • Planning and personalisation of campaigns should be highly automated;
  • The software should be easily accessible, without the need for technical knowledge.

With Basedriver, we make sure marketeers are able to work independently. This enables you to send more campaigns, without increasing marketing costs. This will lead to an increase in the e-mail marketing outcomes.

When selecting e-mail marketing software, we advise to determine the number of campaigns you want to send in a month, and what the related costs of  campaign management are for this. The more marketeers can do themselves, the greater the savings on marketing costs.

Do you want to know more about saving marketing costs with Basedriver?

E-mail marketing is an essential part of the marketing mix for subscriptions. Basedriver is email marketing software specifically designed for this challenge. For example for automatically approaching unsubscribers, sending personal newsletters or automating campaigns.

We make sure that you generate more visitors from e-mail marketing and that you can recognize those visitors on the website. This will increase the revenue of your e-mail marketing team. Basedriver fits into an e-mail marketing strategy that leads to more online visitors and subscribers.

Would you like to know more about e-mail marketing with Basedriver? Please contact us for a personal demonstration.

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This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)

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