What is the ideal email marketing team structure?
Email marketing continues to be one of the most important tactics in any digital marketing strategy. From B2B to eCommerce, and CPG to brick and mortar retailers, almost every industry uses it heavily and benefits from its significant ROI.
Of course, as is the case with every type of content marketing, that ROI is far from automatic. You need to build your email marketing strategy the right way. This includes setting the right roles and responsibilities for your team.
So let’s discuss that structure. Below are the seven core roles of any email marketing team. Find out some tips on how even small businesses can optimize their email marketing strategy within these roles despite limited resources.
The Email Marketing Strategist
Every good marketing effort starts with strategy, and email marketing campaigns of any sort are no different. That’s why the best person to kick off any type of email effort is the strategist.
The strategist begins with organizational marketing goals and target audiences, and narrows them down to email marketing. From there, this role develops specific email marketing campaigns designed to help the organization’s larger marketing efforts succeed.
That type of role requires skills to simultaneously get granular and keep a high-level overview. Understanding the impact of email automation for newly converted leads matters just as much as knowing which CTAs work best in what context. The strategist can also create briefs for individual campaigns and is available for questions from anyone else on the team as needed.
The Workflow and Project Manager
Strategic thinkers are hugely important in marketing, but they matter little if no one can execute their plans. Enter the project manager.
The project manager takes a brief for any type of email campaign and turns it into an actual workflow. Whether it’s an email newsletter or automation, they know exactly what role needs to do what, and when.
You’ll find this role spending significant amounts of time in your project or task management software. They set and keep the deadlines, pushing everyone to finish their work on time for a successful launch. As such, attention to detail along with strong communication skills are absolutely vital.
The email marketing brief and strategy, of course, generally need to be converted into compelling email copy that drives towards clicks and conversions. Enter the copywriter, a master of the written word who turns theory into action through a number of responsibilities:
- Write compelling subject lines that prompt audience interest and email opens.
- Write strong email copy once the message is open that drives towards the CTA and website clicks.
- Identify personalization opportunities in the copy to make the message more engaging and successful.
To accomplish these goals, the copywriter typically doesn’t work in isolation. In addition to a direct line to the strategist for questions and alignment, they also work directly with the next two roles to see their text turn into a beautiful, compelling email experience.
The Email Designer
The written word, of course, is only part of what makes any message successful. The designer takes care of the visuals, which complete the experience. Typically, they’ll design email templates for a variety of messaging types, from automation to newsletters and one-off promotional blasts.
That includes a wide range of visual elements:
- Finding images that match the tone and purpose of the message.
- Designing graphics that make the written word flow better and emphasize its core purpose.
- Using consistent brand elements, from fonts to colors, to maximize recognizability.
In all their designs, though, they work directly within the email service provider (ESP) interface. Design elements may be created outside of the ESP. But the best email designers can also insert them into the platform to see their vision spring to life in a variety of formats.
The Email Developer
Every email marketing team needs at least one member with good technical skills. Depending on your email marketing software, the developer may take on a number of roles:
- Helping the designer in creating responsive email templates that look good on any screen size.
- Optimizing emails to minimize potential deliverability issues for all types of email clients.
- Segmentation of email lists to send more nuanced messages to portions of your target audience.
- Ongoing quality assurance to ensure consistent deliverability and renderings in every email sent.
Depending on the resources available, some businesses favor hiring freelancers over in-house developers. That’s because the required technical skills, from HTML to SQL and beyond, are not always available in internal teams. Development tasks are typically needed only when strategies or campaigns change rather than for every individual email sent.
The Email Marketing Analyst
Email marketing is inherently measurable. Great email marketing teams leverage that fact through an analyst role that regularly checks in on the success of individual messages and overall campaigns based on a few core metrics:
- Open rates
- Click-through rates
- Marked as spam rate.
Based on these metrics, the analyst can create reports designed to let the entire team know about the success of their efforts along with potential optimizations. The analyst may also be able to create A/B testing processes in which individual elements, like subject lines or the color of the CTA button, can be evaluated for maximum effectiveness.
The Marketing Manager
Finally, don’t underestimate the importance of a day-to-day manager for successful email marketing. The manager, who also tends to be the supervisor of the team, is responsible for a wide range of tasks:
- Ensuring successful collaboration between all team members implementing the email marketing strategy.
- Integrations between email and other channels, like social media.
- Sharing regular email marketing reports with other members of the marketing team and the larger organization.
- Finding the right spot for email marketing in your ideal marketing team structure.
In some organizations, the marketing manager also has some more technical tasks assigned. That might include managing any of the apps and integrations email marketing needs to succeed. This includes the data flow of contacts between the CRM and the email marketing software.
In short, the email marketing manager is both the jumper between different team members and the link of the email marketing team to the rest of the marketing organization. Their work is necessary to avoid any bottlenecks created internally or within the larger business.
How Marketing Automation Can Benefit Your Email Team
Of course, no two email marketing teams are created equal. Limited resources, especially, tend to mean that teams operate with less, often significantly less, than seven individual members each focused on a singular role.
In these scenarios, roles start to combine. The strategist is also the manager, and the designer and copywriter are one and the same. The developer and analyst also frequently get combined. And of course, small businesses may only have a single email marketing specialist that fulfills every one of these roles.
Especially in these scenarios, email automation moves to the forefront. Where multiple full-time positions don’t exist, automation can help businesses succeed in a wide variety of tasks:
- Automated audience segmentation for more relevant messaging.
- Custom email flows that branch and kick-off sends based on timing and audience actions.
- Automated A/B testing, dividing the audience into two random segments before choosing a “winner” and adjusting accordingly.
- Automated reporting that highlights successes and opportunities for improvement in easily visualized formats.
Automation, of course, still needs to be set up and optimized over time. But, once in place, it can take on numerous roles and responsibilities outlined in this guide to simplify life for anyone working on an effective email marketing setup.
To get to that point, finding the right email marketing program becomes a crucial exercise. Rather than simply being a passive platform where your team can do your magic, the best platforms become active partners in helping you build and optimize your email campaigns over time and even on limited resources.
Creating a Better Email Workflow
In short, email marketing is a complex topic. But it’s far from impossible to implement, even for the smallest of businesses. A good understanding of the roles and responsibilities involved in the process goes a long way towards building an email team that is set up for long-term success.
That team, of course, also needs the right software to maximize its potential and opportunities. We’ve already touched on the email platforms above; the other component comes in the form of effective projects, tasks, as well as content management.
That’s where Welcome enters the email equation. Our software is designed for marketers. We help anyone from small to large teams with content production and distribution in a way that minimizes bottlenecks and maximizes productivity. It’s software that not only the project manager, but every member of your email team will learn to appreciate.
We’d love to show you how it works. But why listen to us when you can try it out for yourself? Start with a free Welcome account today!