B2B email marketing is more than just writing and sending off emails. It’s highly strategic, data-reliant, and analytical. It's also creative, design-heavy, and nuanced, making the skills needed to succeed in an email marketing position highly diverse.
Email marketing is proven a steadfast channel for marketing teams. 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. The role of the person in charge of organizing the email marketing strategy is critical.
Whether it’s going over email metrics, analyzing what did and didn’t work, testing new templates, segments, messages and lists -- the worklife of a B2B email marketing professional is a busy one.
Let’s take a look at what skills are needed for email marketing, and what to look for in an email marketing manager candidate.
Why do organizations need a dedicated email marketer?
Email marketing is important because it works. You can reach nearly any audience through email. Email represents a tool at the forefront of people’s minds throughout their daily life. In fact, 99% of consumers check their email on a daily basis. Think about how many times you’ve checked your email today. It’s likely your email is open in an ever-present tab on your laptop right now.
Email marketing is not just a sales and marketing tool. It’s a tool used throughout the entire customer journey, from the initial sales prospecting and marketing communications, to onboarding, customer support, product updates, and account management.
That said, you can’t simply send any old email and expect it to turn prospects into paying customers. B2B email marketing combines both creative messaging with strategic planning, meaning modern email marketers must have a wide range of skills. This makes your dedicated email marketer a critical hire.
Top 6 B2B Email Marketing Skills For Every Marketer
Email marketing is about crafting a creative, goal-oriented strategy with messages that peak interest and — eventually — convert readers into customers. Because of this dynamic role, email marketers need to wear multiple hats.
Below are the essential hard and soft skills email marketers need to succeed.
The Hard, Technical Skills Email Marketers Need
Whether you’re in marketing, sales, or recruitment, knowing how to leverage automation tools is a necessity. Email marketing automation saves time by removing the manual tasks needed to send a large volume of emails, which can lead to higher return on investment (ROI). As email marketers, it’s imperative to have a deep understanding of:
- Data collection and synchronization
- Building out workflows
- Personalization based on data
2. HTML and CSS Knowledge
Emails are highly visual — or at least they should be.
An email marketer that can bring some design background to the position is a plus. Often in order to create unique email designs, you need to understand HTML and CSS.
When adding certain design elements to an email, it’s important to ensure users have a similar experience when reading your emails across different devices or with different email clients.
PRO TIP: Use a CSS guide to find out how email clients such as Outlook support particular styling elements.
3. Analytics and Testing Ability
Modern email marketers should know how to analyze and test campaigns. It’s critical to have a solid understanding of the most important metrics, including open, click, and unsubscription rates, as well as ROI, in order to measure the efficiency of your efforts. Additionally, A/B testing is what allows you to compare and contrast campaign performance -- a necessary function for any email marketing position.
The Soft, Creative Skills Email Marketers Need
Consumers receive tons of emails every single day. Somehow, your message 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 calls to action (CTAs)
Email marketing managers will need to work with key stakeholders and collaborate across other teams within a marketing department to gather information and execute campaigns. Good alignment between teams requires lots of communication.
Furthermore, after email marketing managers conduct A/B tests, the results will need to be shared with stakeholders and others throughout the marketing department.
Now more than ever, the ability to adapt to changes and overcome obstacles is invaluable. A high-performing 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.
Build your B2B email marketing leadership
Email is ubiquitous, sophisticated, tried and tested. It’s a critical means of communication for any organization.
Build your email marketing team with a range of both creative and analytical abilities, because they represent the frontline for delivering your message to your audience with maximum effectiveness.