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Explainers

How to Structure an Effective Email Marketing Team

February 3, 2023
Ellie Stamouli

Table of Contents

This article will help new marketing managers and email managers hire and structure their email marketing teams in an effective way.

You may have heard many times the question: “Is email dead?” Rest assured, the answer is still no. Email is very much alive! In fact, the email channel is one of the most efficient and measurable channels in your marketing mix, with an average return on investment (ROI) of $36 for every $1 spent, according to Litmus.

Email (and increasingly SMS, which goes hand in hand with email) is an essential part of your digital marketing strategy. It allows you to engage with your audience, educate them on your product offering, convert prospects to paying customers, re-engage those who may have fallen out of love with your brand, and keep them coming back to your website.

This all sounds pretty amazing, and it is — but in order to reap the many rewards of email, it’s critical to recognize that email is more than a one-person job. A successful email initiative actually demands a team effort. Here’s why you need an email team and what goes into building an effective one. 

Why you need an email marketing team

Your email program’s ROI return on investment will depend on a lot of factors, including the size of your audience, the types and frequency of communication, the level of personalization, and more. However, having an email team means you can maximise it.

What does an effective email marketing team look like?

Before you begin building your team, it’s important to identify what exactly an effective email marketing team does and the key roles you need to consider filling.

Key roles of an email marketing team

1. Strategist

This is usually your head of Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Director of Lifecycle Marketing, or Email Marketing Consultant. Responsibilities include: 

  • Acting as the brain behind the operation 
  • Working closely with your Head of Growth/Head of Marketing or Head of E-Commerce in order to create an email calendar and carve the strategy when it comes to the frequency and content of communications. 
  • Collaborating closely with other heads of departments (social, paid media, engineers) to ensure the execution is consistent across channels and the user journey is seamless. May also include creating customer journeys and coming up with clever ways to segment your audience and strategize on personalization for each of the segments, as well as generating automated email ideas.

2. Email marketing associates

You’ll likely need between one and four Associates (or Executives, if you are in the UK). They are your hands-on team members who create and send email marketing campaigns. Their responsibilities include:

  • Writing email briefs 
  • Researching ideas for content and staying on top of the competition 
  • Building campaigns within your Email Service Provider (ESP)
  • Testing campaigns vigorously across devices and ISPs, A/B testing different elements of the email campaigns, and reporting on all activity
  • Frequently collaborating with other departments to ensure product availability on the site, as well as with Creatives to ensure the availability of assets in time (more on that further down)

3. Data Analyst (if needed)

Depending on the volume of campaigns your brand sends, you may also require a Data Analyst. Their key responsibilities include:

  • Setting up automated dashboards for you on Data Studio or setting up templated reports in Excel/Google Sheets that your team can update weekly

If you’re just starting out with email marketing, your Strategist may be able to set some reports up for you and the rest of the team can update them weekly. However, having a Data Analyst involved means you can get granular insights that will really help your Strategist make the right decisions.

4. Creatives

In order to generate email campaigns, you also need some creative. These roles usually include at least one Copywriter and at least one Designer, which is a graphic designer who has experience designing assets for digital outlets, like email, social ads, and the web. 

The Copywriter’s responsibilities include:

  • Receiving briefs from your Email Associates and writing copy for the email campaigns. They have to become an expert in your products, so they can outline their benefits to your audience in a compelling way.
  • Developing or adapting your ‘tone of voice’ — aka how the character of your business comes through in your copy. 

The Designer’s responsibilities include:

  • Creating assets based on the brief from your email team and the copy the copywriter has provided 
  • Adhering to the guidelines your Strategist has developed for the templates to ensure the emails are in line with best practices and will render correctly across all devices and ISPs

Pro tip: The creative resources don’t necessarily need to sit within the email team. Depending on the volume of emails your team delivers every week, your copywriter and digital designer can be part-time team members or shared resources between multiple teams.

In conclusion, there is a mix of specialists you need in order to form your perfect email team, and spending time to scope out the roles and structuring the team effectively will pay off in the long run. 

Ellie Stamouli
about the author

Ellie Stamouil is the founder of Aenae Marketing and an experienced email marketer specializing in lifecycle marketing and SMS. She can be found on Linkedin. Ellie has 10 years of experience in email marketing both in-house (Net-A-Porter, Walgreens Boots Alliance) and consulting start-ups and scale-ups. She has a master's in Marketing and has completed the Business Sustainability Management course at Cambridge University. She's helping businesses become more sustainable and communicate their sustainability efforts more effectively without compromising on profits.

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