Though there are many ways for companies to communicate with customers, email still remains the most popular choice. By 2025, the number of email...
Building an Effective Email Marketing Team: Key Roles and Functions for Success
Irrespective of the new communication channels available, email remains one of the most effective ways of reaching out to customers. On average, email marketing sees an ROI of $36 for every dollar spent. Of course, to experience this, you need to structure your message content appropriately, segment your audience to make your messages relevant, verify email addresses and so on. For this, you need an email marketing team. So, how do you build this team? Here’s a look at the 5 roles and functions to keep in mind.
1. The email strategist
The key function of an email strategist is to create a plan and strategize how to achieve the planned objectives. They work with internal and external stakeholders and all the other members of your email marketing team to organize, lead and evaluate the marketing campaigns.
Some of the skills an email marketing strategist must have include:
- An analytical mind and data-driven approach
- The ability to adapt and use marketing automation tools
- Thorough knowledge of databases and segmentation
- A good understanding of international email and privacy regulations such as GDPR, CASL and CAN-SPAM
- Good communication skills
- Ability to think creatively
2. The copywriterWhile anyone can write text for an email, not everyone can draft it in a way to be engaging. This is the main reason why you need a copywriter. A copywriter is responsible for creating the email content. This must be grammatically correct, relevant to your audience, captivate their interest and trigger conversions. A well-written email will make the reader want to click on a link to sign up for an eBook/ webinar, visit the website, make a purchase, etc.
Some of the skills your copywriter should have are:
- Expertise in content creation
- Ability to write informative and promotional content
- A good understanding of the brand's tone and voice
- Excellent communication skills
- Proficient in English and/ or your chosen language of communication
- Ability to think creatively
- Good time management
A copywriter may be an in-house member of your team or this task can be outsourced to freelancers in a bid to control costs.
3. The email designer
Along with good content, every email needs to be designed to look attractive and grab the reader’s attention. To maintain good readability, you can follow a 60:40 or 80:20 text-to-imagery ratio. This is where the need for an email designer arises. The designer is responsible for creating layouts and templates and arranging the text and graphics to look interesting. They must also ensure that the template follows the brand’s overall style and design rules.
Along with the ability to work with graphic design tools such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, an email designer must also have the following skills:
- In-depth knowledge of the latest graphic design trends
- Ability to work with marketing automation tools
- Ability to think like a reader and understand how the eye moves across an email
- Good time management skills
4. The email developer
For your email to have a high conversion ratio, the button on the graphic layout must be clickable and take the reader to the intended web page. Hence, it needs to be converted into an HTML version. The email graphics, buttons and other design elements must also be responsive so that the email looks attractive and is readable irrespective of the screen size it is viewed on. For example, an email can be read on a laptop or a smartphone and the layout must be adjusted to be compatible with both.
This is the key responsibility of the email developer. Email marketing teams usually require a front-end developer since it is user-facing. The need to have an in-house developer usually depends on the number of email campaigns every month.
Some of the skills to look for in an email developer are:
- The ability to build responsive templates
- Strong interpersonal skills
5. The data engineer
You may have written excellent copy and designed an attractive email but unless this is sent to the right segment of your audience, it may not have the intended effect. A data engineer is responsible for assessing your audience database, segmenting it according to the campaign, verifying emails, evaluating performance and identifying trends. Email strategists and data engineers must be able to work well together to create and tweak strategies.
Email verification is an important part of this role. This involves ensuring that all the emails listed in the selected segment are valid, accurate and deliverable. Doing so minimizes your bounce rate and ensures that your messages reach the intended recipient.
Rather than rely on manual efforts for this verification, data engineers can leverage email verification tools for the same. These tools compare the email addresses in your database against known syntax rules as well as third-party databases to ensure that they are accurate and in use by the right person.
Some of the skills required by a data engineer are:
- Proficiency in programming languages
- Ability to work with SQL and NoSQL databases
- Ability to use business analytics platforms
Summing it up
89% of marketers still rely on email as their primary lead generation channel. When creating your email marketing team, you may or may not hire full-time employees for each role depending on your budgets, campaign frequency, etc. In some cases, roles may be merged. For example, a strategist may also fulfill the role of a copywriter.
However, you choose to structure your team, you must ensure that you do not compromise on quality. This includes the quality of your text and imagery as well as the quality of data being worked with. If the email addresses being included in your mailing list are inaccurate or have typographic errors, your emails will bounce back. This affects your sender reputation as well as your campaign analytics. So, when you put together your email marketing team, make sure you integrate email verification into your processes.