Creating a successful email marketing program boils down to how each team member contributes to the whole operation. Without clearly defined roles as well as automation in the right places, even an email marketing team with the best of intentions will fail to produce effective marketing.
Email marketing is a tried-and-tested way to increase your revenue. Research shows that 59% of marketers agree that this channel is the best way to earn more money. Plus, research from McKinsey shows that email is far more effective than social media for customer acquisition.
In order to see these kinds of results in your own business, it’s important that the structure of your email marketing team follows a winning formula. Not sure where to start? Here are the key pieces you’ll need to form a successful email marketing team, as well as how to automate and streamline the process for maximum efficiency.
Follow these steps and your email marketing team will thank you:
Your guide to the perfect email marketing team structure
Keep in mind: These roles can be combined in different ways, so one person may wear many hats. For instance, the project manager can also be the strategist. The creative role could be outsourced to an agency. There are a lot of ways to find your right fit, so mix and match to find the unique approach that works for you and your company.
1. The Strategist
How will your email marketing help move your brand toward your overall marketing goals? Who will manage the email strategy as a whole, overseeing each piece? Who will manage individual campaigns and make sure you’re moving toward specific goals?
In general, these questions are answered by the email marketing strategist.
The strategy can make or break the success of any campaign, so the strategist should have the following skills:
- They understand how to research target audiences and create buyer personas.
- They can connect customers at different stages of the sales cycle to content that will help them move to the next stage.
- They can analyze, track, and measure the effectiveness of all campaigns.
2. The Project Manager
Project managers oversee all the other roles in the team on a daily basis. They keep everyone on task, keep track of deadlines, coordinate with clients, and help with planning and strategy. They may also help with editorial duties or quality assurance.
These organizational wizards spend their days inside a project management tool communicating with each team member to ensure tasks are being completed on time and within scope.
If a designer has fallen behind the rest of the team, a project manager may assign an additional designer from another project to help hit the deadline or choose to outsource part of that designer’s tasks to stay on schedule.
The project manager is crucial to the overall success of email campaigns.
3. The Creative Team
The creative team is the people behind the snazzy graphics and quick-witted copy in your email content.
The writer on your email marketing team is in charge of creating email copy that converts. In other words, every sentence they write is about getting people inspired to take action.
Their aim is to get people to open your emails and click on the links inside them. They should also build trust with subscribers by implementing a consistent brand voice and style.
This is an entirely different job from writing content and is often referred to as conversion copywriting.
Needless to say, this is one task you shouldn’t trust to just anyone. Make sure your team has a pro.
Those flashy graphics and cool fonts in your emails are all up to the designer. This person handles the visual aspects of email marketing, including:
- Understanding best-practices for formatting emails so they’re viewable in every inbox
- Maintaining brand consistency (logos, brand colors, and fonts that give all your emails a consistent look)
- Translating ideas into imagery that matches the tone of each campaign
As you can see, email copy and design are what users interact with, so they need to be aligned to be effective. This example from Jack Daniel’s shows how the two can and should complement each other:
4. The Technical Team
The technical email marketing team may also include roles like the developer, the optimization expert, or another specialist role. These are the people who take care of the technical details behind your email marketing.
For instance, they can be in charge of coding emails so they look good in any browser, including mobile. They might also be the ones to monitor your deliverability rates, making sure your emails are delivered into inboxes and not getting caught by spam filters. You could also delegate the task of setting up autoresponders to trigger email sends at specific times to members of this team.
Many brands are creating interactive emails where the subscriber can shop for products directly from their inbox. To accomplish this, technical team members need to carefully code these emails using HTML and CSS.
They may also be responsible for A/B testing your emails to see which version works best with your audience and analyzing the performance of your campaigns by reviewing and comparing data.
The role of the technical team is becoming more as users continue to raise their expectations and technology continues to evolve.
5. Additional Roles
The main roles for an email marketing team structure have been covered, but what about additional roles?
For instance, you could have a team member devoted to quality assurance, another devoted to split-testing and measurement, and another person responsible for editing the copy. Only you know what works best for your industry, your company, and your specific team.
As long as you have the foundational roles in place, you can continue to add on to your team as you see fit. The possibilities are endless.
Which parts of an email marketing team structure can be automated?
You may be surprised by how much of your email marketing can be automated. Many roles can be streamlined using a good tool or email service provider, helping you get more done for less time and cost. This is great news if you’re working with a slim budget or a small team.
1. Technical Email Specialists
In general, the developer/specialist role becomes more important as the company becomes larger. For small businesses, the same duties can be covered through your email service provider (ESP).
For example, most ESPs provide tools that will take care of email formatting/code with the use of responsive templates.
They’ll also give you basic analytics to measure, like open rates and click-through rates, and will provide options for you to set up basic automations (for example, emails triggered when a customer first subscribes to your list or a special discount email on their birthday).
If you don’t have the budget for a designer, don’t worry. The right ESP will have some design options to make your emails look professional and cohesive.
Some like Campaign Monitor even have drag-and-drop design capabilities to help you easily customize the look and feel of your email marketing.
If you need help managing your email campaigns, that can be automated, too. For example, many ESPs will keep track of your segmentation, your automated journeys, and your email personalization.
For many marketing teams, these features help the strategist and the project manager combine into one role.
Your email marketing team structure is vital to the health and success of your email marketing goals.
When your team works, your marketing works.
However, each team will look different depending on the size of your business and the goals you want to achieve.
Structure your team with foundational roles, make sure each role is clearly defined (especially if one person wears multiple hats), and you’ll work together as a seamless whole for better chances of success.