Email marketing supports most, if not all, marketing and sales efforts. And for the last 10 years, email remains the marketing channel that yields the most roi, and is a primary driver of customer acquisition and retention.
81% of SMBs report that email is their primary customer acquisition channel, and 80% believe it increases customer retention.Emarsys
Despite these facts, email marketing is often dumped on anyone with “marketing” in their job title, salespeople, an even administrative assistants. It doesn’t matter if they don’t have the appropriate experience, skills, or the bandwidth! And yet, employers will still have high expectations for email performance.
Great email marketing requires more than copywriting skills and marketing savvy. It also takes technical expertise to oversee email design, testing, deliverability, automation, and much more. These are skills that email marketing coordinators, specialists, and managers hone to produce the ideal results.
Without the right person handling email marketing, a business can suffer by losing and missing opportunities. Just take a look at how email utilization increased dramatically during the 2020 pandemic:
A leap in open rates is a good leading indicator for a leap in opportunities and conversions. So any business couldn’t help but get excited by those numbers!
To capitalize on these peak levels of consumption, companies need high quality email communications. With anything less, user engagement levels will drop, return site vists will drop, leads will fall out of the funnel, and most other promotional efforts will be for naught.
After leading email marketing and lead nurturing strategies for various companies, I’ve seen all of the above situations for myself. But beyond my own professional experience, these statistics help drive home just how much is riding on email marketing:
79% of successful B2B marketers rate email as their best channel for content distributionContent Marketing Institute
Marketers who use segmented campaigns note as much as a 760% increase in revenue.Hubspot
And in a UK study:
ROI from email marketing now stands at just over $55 for every $1 spentDMA. 2019
With so much potential ROI, the person manning (or wo-manning) the helm of email marketing should be both qualified and dedicated to the task. But the first step to either being or finding that person, is understanding the skills that person should possess.
So in this article, I’ll give a sample job description of an ideal “email marketing manager.” I’ll also provide further context about the role and discuss common misconceptions and mistakes by email marketing professionals and employers.
Whether you are a job seeker or student looking for a career in email marketing, an employer looking to hire for this position, or just someone who wants to know what an email marketer does, this will explain many of the responsibilities and skills for someone in this role.
Overview of the Email Marketing Manager Position
As the email marketing manager, you will be responsible for leading the email marketing strategy for the company and aligning it with our evolving business goals. This will include the meticulous management of the company’s ongoing email marketing campaigns and all associated tasks. This position will support sales, marketing, and service efforts to ensure that customers receive high-quality and error-free communications that will inform, entertain, and guide their journey with our brand.
Job Description and Key Responsibilities
- Leading the strategy, planning, and implementation of email marketing campaigns for the company
- Implementing a lead nurturing strategy that will support conversions and ultimately drive revenue
- Taking ownership of the creation, scheduling, and execution of triggered and promotional email campaigns
Responsible for all tasks associated with email campaigns including
- Copywriting and content creation (e.g. graphics) for email campaigns
- Managing, editing, and customizing email templates
- Creating and editing landing pages associated with email campaigns
- Creating and updating workflows for associated email campaigns in ESP/CRM
- The creation and management of segmented lists (both send and suppression)
- Audience research to identify targeting opportunities
Data Management and Quality Assurance
- Ensuring that all emails are personalized, when possible, and proofread for accuracy
- Ensuring that any associated data with email campaigns is updated (e.g. webinar attendance)
- Ensuring that email campaigns do not overlap or conflict with others (e.g. drip exit points)
- Adhering to best email practices for sending and deliverability
Performance and Reporting
- Working with the team to ensure that the email campaigns meet KPI benchmarks
- Implementing A/B and multivariate testing to optimize abd improve email performance
- Reporting on email campaign performance
- Following email trends to identify competitive opportunities
- Hands on experience with HTML/CSS and responsive email design
- Hands on experience with content management systems
- Hands on experience with email service providers (ESPs)
- Hands on experience with workflow automation in a CRM or ESP
- Copywriting experience
- *SEO copywriting experience (nope it’s not the same thing as normal copywriting)
- Graphic Design experience
- Strong project and time management skills
*What is SEO Copywriting?
SEO copywriting is different from normal copywriting in that it leverages keyword research, user intent, and audience research. It leverages the same data that is used to create content that performs great in organic search to enhance email copy.
- Strong leadership skills
- Strong presentation skills
- Strong project and time management skills
- A firm understanding of audience segmentation and targeting
- A firm understanding of content strategy
- A firm understanding of buyer journeys and sales funnels
- The ability to align copy and content with target personas
- A firm understanding of how to effectively communicate business value propositions in ways that resonate with the target audiences
Estimated Salary for an Email Marketing Manager
A person’s level of understanding and experience with all of these things should determine their salary. Here are some estimated salaries for this role:
$47,000 – $97,000 per year (Linkedin)
$49,000 – $99,000 per year (Payscale)
What’s The Difference Between an Email Marketing Manager and An Email Marketing Coordinator?
An email marketing manager’s main focus is on strategy, while a coordinator handles the execution of the underlying camapaigns. You could say the manager is the brains of the operation and the coordinator is the brawn.
To elaborate, I’ll explain how each role leverages those skills that I mentioned in the job description.
What Does An Email Marketing Manager Do?
An email marketing manager or specialist will plan, develop, and implement email marketing strategies that align with business goals. They will craft creative, goal-oriented, and targeted email campaigns with the overall buyer’s journey in mind to drive email performance and conversions. They envision an email calendar for the organization that takes into account advertising, cross-channel marketing, content strategy, and the user experience beyond the first conversion.
The email marketing manager sets the standards and guidelines to ensure deliverability, security, data privacy, and are held accountable for overall email campaign performance. KPI’s include open and click rates, with the addition of aggressive conversion goals.
Although the email marketing manager’s time and attention are more focused on strategy and performance than hands-on execution, they also have the skillset for the technical implementation of email campaigns and may or may not have direct reports to delegate those tasks to.
What Does An Email Marketing Coordinator Do?
An email marketing coordinator takes direction from the email marketing strategies provided by leadership and the email marketing manager. They are hands-on with all technical aspects of creating email assets, templates, landing pages, copy, workflows, and creatives to implement the email campaigns assigned. They are generally accountable for reaching key performance indicators (KPI’s) directly associated with individual email performance such as open rates, click rates, and click-through rates. They are also responsible for adhering to best email practices to ensure deliverability and troubleshooting.
If someone is looking for a superstar email marketer to take total ownership of email strategies from ideation to execution, and also drive conversions that impact higher business revenue goals, then the role and salary should fit those expectations. Expecting that of an email marketing coordinator is unrealistic.
Mistakes That Businesses Should Avoid
If you’re going to do something, then you might as well do it right. As enticing it is to get emails off of the ground to “catch the wave,” you could end up with unexpected results. Results like a ton of unsubscribes!
You worked hard to get those contacts, so don’t burn them by rushing your email marketing. So next let’s talk about some some common mistakes that you should avoid.
Assigning Email Marketing To Unqualified Employees
As I stated in the introduction, employers often lump the email marketing tasks in as the “additional duties” for any person with “marketing” in their title. This includes positions like the marketing coordinator, the social media manager, or even the marketing manager.
Imagine that you went to a doctor’s office, and it’s very busy. So the doctor offers to have the medical assistant see you instead. If you actually accept, the fact remains that while the receptionist may have picked up a few things here and there, that can’t offer the same experience of a trained doctor. They may make mistakes, or rush you through your exam. And very likely, you won’t trust their diagnoses or recommendations. And you shouldn’t.
This is the same case for assigning email marketing to unqualified employees. Just because they do marketing, it doesn’t mean they are experts at every facet of it. You wouldn’t ask an SEO to run an email campaign. They use completely different tools, have different goals, have different KPIs (key performance indicators), and have a completely different mindset.
In these situations, email marketing tasks become “another thing on a long list of other things to do,” that distracts from that employee’s primary duties. Simply put, if it’s not their primary function, then you can’t reasonably expect the highest quality level of attention and output. That’s a recipe for fast, low quality, and poor performing email campaigns.
If you don’t have a dedicated email marketing team, then you shouldn’t benchmark your campaign results against competitors who do. So don’t go looking for “industry standard open rates” when you don’t have an industry standard email marketing team.
This leads to benchmark error and is not fair to hold a team that is inexperienced in email marketing to those standards.
Great email campaigns are the products of great email marketing strategies that incorporate
- Lead nurturing techniques
- Audience segmentation
- Lead qualification
- Content strategy
- Behavioral Data
- Revenue Attribution
and more. It aligns them all.
Without leadership guiding email marketing strategies with all of that in focus, then your best bet is to identify competitors with a similar infrastructure to benchmark against. Otherwise, you can look in your historical email performance data to find your best performing campaigns and use them to set your benchmarks.
Pro Tip: Smaller companies can potentially pivot strategies and react to trends faster than larger companies. So don’t you dare think that you can’t outperform the big boys just because they have bigger teams!
Mistakes That Email Marketers Should Avoid
If you take on the mantle of the email marketer then must put your best foot forward. After all, you have in a sense become the voice of the company to all subscribers! The onus of success i
So here are a few mistakes that you should take care not to fall prey to.
If effective email marketing is though goal, then the idea of making emails just to “get something out there” won’t do. Effective emails this requires an understanding of the business’ value proposition, it requires the skill to communicate it effectively to different audiences in different stages of their buyer’s journey. Generic messages won’t get those great responses that businesses always want.
To achieve those desired results, you will need to be immersed in the company’s brand, value propositions, and content. You should train yourself to be able to get someone interested in under 3-5 seconds, since that’s how much time you have for someone to read a subject line and a pre-header. And you need to be able to leverage your content in the best way that will inspire engagement and click through.
Sticking To One Marketing Platform
It is important to be proficient in the most prevalent marketing platforms. This includes email service providers (ESPs), content management systems, and customer relationship management tools. Different companies use marketing technologies, so you’re best bet is to try out a few and get familiar with the most popular and high demand marketing platforms on the market.
I recommend for you to familiarize yourself with and take free trainings on the following popular platforms:
- Mailchimp – For small businesses
- Hubspot – For small to medium businesses
- Salesforce Marketing Cloud – For large corporations
After playing around with all of these tools, I can tell you that the main differences are usually the user interfaces and how much work they automate for you. Such as audience segmentation recommendation and template creation.
In case you dive into Salesforce you should have a firm understanding of relational databases and some SQL, since they also use data extensions rather than just lists. But don’t get intimidated. All it takes is a few free online tutorials and you’ll be ready to rock.
So if you are looking to join the exciting world of email marketing, now you know what you should learn to be a great one.
If you’re an employer, then hopefully this helped you to determine the ideal candidate and convinced you of the value of getting “the right person for the job!”
If this article was helpful please share and I’ll make more!
PS: Feel free to connect with me on Linkedin. Links in the bio.