Career Advice

What Does an Email Marketing Specialist Do?

Learn about the skills, capabilities, and qualifications you’ll need to become a professional Email Marketing Specialist – and where to find the best jobs!

By Digital Marketing Jobs Board

Email Marketing Specialists are experts in crafting promotional, engaging, and immersive email sequences that capture attention and generate clicks. Think you’d be great at this role? Let’s look in detail at the requirements you’ll need to fulfill to be an email professional.

On the face of it, email marketing might appear pretty easy. Write some funny emails, send them out to a huge membership database, and wait for the orders to roll in. As with every aspect of digital marketing, there is considerably more to it – from understanding consumer trends and pain points to writing unique content that manages to feel personal and humanized through a screen.

It’s also important to recognize that every Email Marketing Specialist isn’t necessarily targeting the same outcomes. You might be tasked with growing a subscriber list, generating sales, piquing interest in an event, improving brand awareness – or achieving more than one of those goals through the same sequence.

Most Email Marketing Specialists focus on sales, customer engagement, and positive perceptions of the brand. Still, it is undoubtedly a niche role that requires a great deal of insight, talent, and creativity.

What Does an Email Marketing Specialist Do?

As we’ve covered, the basic job of an Email Marketing Specialist is to write emails for digital marketing campaigns, but the nature of the role will depend on the type of company they work for or if they represent a digital marketing agency and need to write email sequences for a variety of clients.

The sub-specialisms within email marketing might mean some Email Marketing Specialists focus on the following:

  • Developing excellent customer journeys to improve sales revenues.
  • Capturing and nurturing leads through sign-up forms and downloadable content.
  • Driving greater engagement with consumers through email correspondence.

Some Email Marketing Specialists will purely work on the written content. In contrast, others will provide a comprehensive service, including email design and formatting, graphics and visuals, and aspects of emails used for better UX.

The job normally involves an element of monitoring and reporting, looking at open rates, the proportion of recipients who have clicked on a link within the email, and how many chose to unsubscribe from a mailing list.

Responsibilities and Duties of an Email Marketing Specialist

Onto what the day-to-day workload might look like, which also depends on the company or business. An Email Marketing Specialist working for a smaller organization might need to manage every detail within an email sequence, from copywriting to managing subscriber lists.

Larger enterprises will usually have several people contributing to email marketing, such as copywriters, graphic designers, SEO specialists, marketing leads, and IT teams who deal with automation.

Below, we’ve summarized some key tasks you might expect to be asked to handle when working as an Email Marketing Specialist.

Creating Professional Email Campaigns

Email marketing isn’t about one standalone email – it’s about sequences. That means you design a detailed customer journey to move them through your messaging rather than hoping a customer might take a chance and click on a link or buy a product the first time they learn of a brand.

An Email Marketing Specialist is responsible for creating campaigns that work towards the KPIs they have been set based on the existing relationship between the customer and the company and where they want to take that.

Writing Marketing Content

The copy within a marketing email is the main factor, but an Email Marketing Specialist must also have a good knowledge of SEO, CTAs, information architecture, and visual interpretations of the media included within their email sequences.

Great quality writing is essential – but an Email Marketing Specialist is often expected to be able to collate copywriting skills to deliver catchy, sharp, and distinct messages while slotting this into the broader architecture of a professional email sequence.

For example, subject lines influence the likelihood that a customer will open an email, and automation to include personalized names and location-based information can impact the success rates of even the best copywriting.

Designing Sign-Up and Opt-Out Functions

Every Email Marketing Specialist must have a good understanding of data protection regulations and ensure they do not send communications to any customer or user who has not actively given permission for the company to email them.

Sign-up processes can be key to attracting subscribers, whether you’re offering an incentive such as access to free material or requiring a sign-up to attend a webinar. You also need to have a clear way for an email recipient to decline to receive further emails, with a one-click opt-out button the ideal.

Reporting on Customer Behaviors and Responses

Reports and analytics are essential to seeing how an email campaign has performed. While open rates and click-throughs are the most important, you may also need to track unopened emails, deleting subscribers from a list who are unengaged or who have provided an email address that has since become redundant.

Most Email Marketing Specialists report to the digital marketing manager or other supervisors and will need to show what they have achieved in terms of revenue or positive outcomes vs spend.

The Average Email Marketing Specialist Salary

An Email Marketing Specialist with a strong portfolio, several years of experience, and a track record of achieving excellent returns can earn a top-level salary. The average Email Marketing Specialist earns from $61,000 to $155,000 a year, with the most talented marketers commanding the highest rates.

Of course, that depends on where you work, your experience within professional email campaign design, and the nature of the company you work for.

You’ll also find that freelance Email Marketing Specialists charge per email, per hour, or per project, with the latter being the most common work structure. Email sequences can take several weeks or even months to roll out, while the marketer responsible monitors metrics and performances, makes adjustments as necessary, and supervises the exercise to evaluate how well the campaign has performed.

Working as an independent Email Marketing Specialist can be ideal for freelancers and those who prefer to work with a variety of clients. However, the downsides are a lack of job security and the potential to need to adjust rates depending on the budget of each business you work for.

Learn more: Average Digital Marketing Salary Guide.

How to Get Started as an Email Marketing Specialist

There are lots of ways to develop a specialism in email marketing. Most email-focused digital marketers will have a number of years of experience or a professional qualification in marketing or another relevant subject area.

You can also study online courses, whether free or paid-for, and use additional learning resources to brush up on your knowledge of secondary factors such as SEO, email sequencing, customer engagement, and best practice UX design.

However, experience is always more valuable than a qualification, and it may be better to work as an email campaign assistant or within another entry-level digital marketing role, study as you gain experience, and then combine your real-world knowledge with your qualifications to present a well-rounded resume.

Most businesses will want to see a portfolio before they hire a more senior or advanced team member, so combining all your projects into one place and including reports about click-through and open rates is a good call – showing a prospective employer what you are capable of, and the types of results you might be able to achieve for their company.

There are a variety of vacancies available through the Digital Marketing Jobs Board for either experienced Email Marketing Specialists or those looking to develop the skills to pursue this as a long-term career.

For more information about current positions open to applicants, please browse our jobs list. Alternatively, you are welcome to upload your resume to gain access to potential employers who are looking for a broad array of digital marketing skill sets.

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