Lessons Learned After The First 12 Months as an Email Marketer
It’s your first week as an email marketer.
Then you blink and a whole year has flown by. It happened to me, and it’s probably going to happen to you. After a year of email marketing, you certainly haven’t learned everything there is to know, but you do discover some pretty eye-opening lessons.
Many of the ah-ha moments come from the areas you have to tackle your first week on the job. After 12 months doing email marketing, you’ll have a whole new perspective about those areas, plus additional epiphanies changing the way you do things. Here’s what to expect when year two rolls around (hint: you’re still breathing into a paper bag when you hit the send button).
Read consistently, but be choosy.
Whereas reading everything and anything you can about email marketing is essential for the noob, it’s not practical or helpful for the more experienced marketer.
After your first year of email marketing, you most likely have more responsibility than you did when you started and simply don’t have the time to read every new article about email marketing. Also, marketing blogs and online publications are repeating themselves; there’s hardly anything new or revealing being written about email marketing today.
Case in point, a recent Ad Age article promised to tell me just how presidential candidates could up their games with email marketing. How disappointing when all it told me were the best practices you and I already know.
When you choose your sources carefully and read them consistently, reading encourages curiosity, keeps you updated with the latest thought leadership, and makes you a better writer.
People are your biggest assets.
Your first week on the job - heck, make that several months - should be spent hose-gulping information from your co-workers and peers in the industry. These people will always be an indelible resource for providing a different perspective and sharing knowledge. Don’t take them for granted.
Rounding the base into your second year on the job, you should also be helping people grow in their expertise. For a whole 12 months, you’ve been down in the trenches - strategizing, studying, coding HTML, testing, and reporting. Wide-eyed first-years are walking through your company’s door just as you did and they’re looking for help. Pass on the knowledge!
Email marketing is hard.
It’s damn hard!
Why do the people who write marketing blogs try to convince you email marketing is easy as 1, 2,3, or A,B,C or cake? They’re lying. Sending each person on an (at least) 10,000-person list an open-worthy, pithy subject line and a hyper-personalized, well-balanced message is not easy. It’s not simple. And it doesn’t happen in a snap, like magic.
Whatever fairy-tale, utopian world those authors are living in doesn’t portrait the reality of what an email marketer does.
More often than not, you’ve stayed up half the night to ensure your segmentation rules are in place AND the personalization elements work appropriately AND your design is mobile friendly AND the million other details that make a great email what it is.
Being an email marketer isn’t fun. But boy, is it worth it. When you see all your hard work pay off in increased open rate, or clickthrough rate, it puts a bounce in your step. And when the boss-man sees extra revenue coming in from your channel? Well, it’s a good feeling that keeps you on the email train.
Keep your coffee cup full.
Last but not least, by year two you’ll know to always have a fresh pot of coffee brewing. How else are you going to read, talk to people, and do that hard email marketing stuff?