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While there are many roles you can consider, the skills required as an email marketing specialist lay a great foundation for each one. Then you can specialize or hone your skills as you gain more experience or move up the ladder.  

1) List building, cleaning and auditing

Email marketers need to understand lists. They have to have a working knowledge of CRM systems to build lists that are segmented into groups that can be targeted with messaging that’s relevant to them.

The ‘health or ‘hygiene’ of a list is crucial. There is no point in having a list of 10,000 people if only 1,000 engage with you. That would indicate that these emails are not relevant to people or not driving them to open. So it’s time to clean your list and keep in touch with those who do respond and will purchase.

You should also be able to audit lists regularly. This will prevent emails from being listed as spam by algorithms and wasting your time and money contacting people with little or no intent to purchase.

You should also keep up-to-date with the latest data privacy laws in different regions and countries to ensure you are compliant.


2) Copywriting

It’s easy to write an email, but tough to write a good email. The right message and content are crucial in an email. After all, you only have so much space to grab a recipient’s attention with an email.

Good copywriting comes from understanding the audience. If you know what they need and want, it’s easy to write an email that drives open rates. It’s not just about the written content either, you need to think about imagery, CTAs and subject lines.

It’s also important to conduct split or A/B testing so you can see what people respond to. That could be testing a subject line or CTA or even pitching one email for another.

Check out our email and copywriting checklist to get some guidance.


3) Campaign management

This skill is crucial for any email marketer and it doesn’t just apply to being able to manage and execute campaigns. It goes deeper than that.

A great email marketer will understand lifecycle campaigns which include those activated by a trigger. Identifying those triggers helps to bring people to the next stage of their purchasing journey seamlessly.

For example, put yourself in the shoes of a prospect or customer. When they first engage with a brand what do they receive as an initial email? Is there a follow-up email and when does that happen? You need to see the gaps in communication and fill them with relevant and personalized information that can move them nearer to purchasing.


4) Data analysis

The best email marketers love data. Understanding the data is what helps to optimize the performance of email campaigns and workflows to increase open rate and click-through.

There are two types of analytics email marketers care about: performance metrics like open and conversion rates and demographic or behavioral data which gives insight into gender, location and preferences.

With personalization becoming ever more important, data can help a business to understand what content prompts people to take an action. It’s about collecting data points to understand a customer and their motivations better to tailor email content to that.

It’s also important to keep on top of trends that may impact your email marketing activities such as hyper-personalization or the role of AI in marketing automation.

5) Automation

Email marketers need to leverage automation to deliver emails at scale. This is done by using rules to trigger messages and personalize the content based on specific actions customers take.

Think about someone subscribing to a newsletter. When they join they should get a welcome message and by their action be enrolled in a ‘Welcome’ series of emails. This will mean that the content is related to an action taken and brings them through a journey to drive engagement and conversions.

Automation is also useful for existing customers. You can schedule regular emails to keep them up-to-date with the business or give them exclusive offers. It’s also good for promoting blogs or new content to drive them to a website or custom landing page.


Become an effective email marketer

A successful email marketer combines creativity with data to create effective campaigns that drive engagement. DMI’s short Email Marketing course will help you understand the fundamentals of email marketing from data strategy to content creation. You will also explore A/B or split testing, email optimization, and automation. 

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