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Going over email metrics in the morning, analyzing what didn’t work mid-day, testing new templates and list cleaning in the afternoon — the life of an email marketer is a busy one. 

For every dollar you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $42, it is also the third most popular distribution channel. All of that is to say, the person in charge of organizing the email marketing strategy is very, very important. 

Email marketing is more than just writing and sending off emails. It’s highly strategic, data-reliant, and analytical. But it’s also creative, design-heavy, and nuanced, making the skills necessary to succeed in an email marketing position highly diverse. 

What does it take to be an email marketer?And, better yet, how can you find the ideal email marketing candidate? Read on. 

What is Email Marketing (And Why Does Every Company Need It)?

Email marketing is important because it works. 

It’s as simple as that. 

Think about how many times you check your email in a day. I’d guess your email is open in an ever-present tab on your laptop right now. Ninety nine percent of consumers check their email on a daily basis. 

All of that being said, you can’t just send any old email and expect it to turn prospects into paying customers. Email marketing is both an art and a science, combining both creative messaging with strategic planning, making the modern email marketer someone with a wide range of skills. 

Top 6 Skills Every Email Marketer Should Have

Email marketing isn’t just sending emails all day. Rather, it’s crafting a creative and strategic campaign that will peak interest and eventually, conversion. Because of this, email marketers need to wear a lot of hats. 

Below are some of the top skills any good email marketers needs today in order to succeed. 

(We’ve separated them into hard versus soft skills — each one being equally important to the role.)

The Hard Skills

1. Automation

Whether you’re in marketing, sales, or recruitment, knowing how to use different automation tools is a must. Email marketing automation saves time and results in higher ROI. It’s imperative that a potential candidate have a deep understanding of things like:

  • Data collection and synchronization
  • Segmentation
  • Building out workflows
  • Personalization based on data

2. HTML and CSS Knowledge

Emails are highly visual. Or at least they should be. So an email marketer that can bring some design background to the position is always a bonus. And in order to create unique email designs, you need to understand HTML and CSS.

3. Analytics and Testing Ability

The modern email marketer should know how to analyze and test their different campaigns. A solid understanding of the most important metrics (open, click, and unsubscription rate, as well as ROI) to measure the efficiency of a campaign is crucial. Additionally, the basics of AB testing allows you to compare and contrast campaigns — a necessary responsibility for any email marketing position. 

The Soft Skills

1. Copywriting

Consumers receive tons of emails every single day. Somehow, yours needs to stand out from the crowd. That’s where copywriting comes in. Strong  copywriting skills lead to high open and click through rates. A solid email marketer should know how to:

  • Write compelling subject lines
  • Tell engaging stories in the body of the email
  • Write intriguing CTAs

2. Communication

Email marketing managers will need to communicate with key stakeholders and collaborate with other teams within a marketing department. Good alignment between teams requires lots of communication. Furthermore, email marketing managers will need to conduct various A/B tests to see which content works, and what content falls flat. The results of these tests will then need to be shared with stakeholders and others throughout the marketing department. 

3. Adaptability

Now more than ever, the ability to adapt and overcome is invaluable. A good email marketer will be able to spot changing consumer and industry trends, and alter their strategy where necessary. Additionally, staying up to date with new technologies like AI and machine learning will allow them to implement new forms of automation that make their jobs easier. 

How To Recruit Email Marketers 

Whether active job seekers or passive candidates, email marketing candidates should have at least a few of the skills we listed above. That’s not to say that those with no background in marketing can’t be excellent candidates — everyone’s gotta start somewhere, right?

At the end of the day, you want to look for someone who writes in a compelling way and knows the fundamentals of good marketing. 

You can take a couple different approaches to find the right candidate for your company. 

1. Look At Emails From Other Companies

Looking at other email marketing campaigns from companies in the same industry as you can give you great insight into what others are doing, and what you would want a candidate to be able to do at your company. 

2. Determine Your Deal-Breaker Skills

Figure out what your company needs specifically in an email marketing candidate. Maybe you need someone who’s more strategic to handle campaign logistics, or maybe you need someone who has extensive HTML experience. Whatever it may be, figuring that out before you make any hiring decisions will save you from a recruitment nightmare. 

3. Have Candidates Write A Sample Email

Once you’ve started the interview process, you can have candidates write a sample email based on either a past campaign or a made-up one of your choosing. This will allow you to see the tone they write in, if they can adapt their style to that of your company brand, and if they are able to turn something seemingly mundane into something that would make you click on that email. 

Ultimately, good recruiting comes down to a good database of people. That’s where something like ZoomInfo comes in — allowing you to source ideal candidates with a candidate recruitment database fueled by best in class contact data. 

4. Email Marketers Should Be Ready to Learn

We can list out all of the qualities the perfect email marketing manager should have, but at the end of the day, all great professionals have one thing in common: a willingness to learn and grow.

Email marketing, like all things, is constantly evolving.

About the author

Reyna LaRiccia

Reyna LaRiccia is a Content Marketing Specialist at ZoomInfo, the leading B2B contact database and sales intelligence solution.

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