Recently I was reading a list of what email marketing folks need to know in Loren McDonald’s article “Email Success Requires Well-Educated Marketers” as published in EmailInsider. Loren’s articles are always insightful yet practical. He gives out information that matters, that you can act on. This article is no different.
He starts the article asking who is responsible for educating email marketers? The email service providers (ESPs)? The employers? And he lists all the facets email marketers should be knowledgeable about, including email design, email best practices, email delivery, email copywriting, email strategy and more. It’s an exhaustive list, but it’s right on: An email marketer worth his or her salt should be up to speed on every topic he lists.
But having seen many people stumble into an email marketing role, I have two questions:
1) Who is responsible for making sure these folks educate themselves? I don’t mean doing the educating, as Loren asked. I mean who are they accountable to, to make sure they are learning all the ins and outs of email marketing, and keeping up with the constant changes?
2) And at what point does this knowledge become required? If you’re working for a small business, or one that doesn’t place much stock in email marketing—to the point where email marketing is only one small part of your total job—then how much do you need to know?
I ask these questions because email marketing, for all the knowledge we’ve gained and all the smart folks we can learn from, is still an amateur affair for many businesses. I’m not talking about the Abercrombie and Fitch type companies, or Nordstroms or any other big corporation that uses email marketing with a skill and sophistication that reminds one of Michael Phelps swimming.
I’m talking about up-and-coming companies, or those with a few hundred employees that have yet to make email a considerable part of their overall marketing programs.