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The Essential Skills of a Successful Email Marketer

November 17 - 2022

Email Marketing Strategy 5 min read

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Cast your mind back to the 90s. Alongside Tamagotchis, The Spice Girls, and lava lamps, you may remember that email marketing had built itself an unfortunate reputation of being spammy and untrustworthy. And for many consumers, it was best left ignored.

Fast forward and email marketing has grown. A lot.

Today, the channel is complex. Successful email marketing follows strict GDPR and data privacy protocols, offers highly personalised experiences, and boasts a higher ROI than any other channel.

And it’s because of this complexity that modern email marketers are required to wear many hats. Not only does their job title vary widely, but what is required within the role can creep far beyond the realm of creating and sending email.

That’s because to produce really great emails, marketers need to combine skills from various disparate disciplines, including development, design, sales, and product.

To achieve all of the above and to make it in the world of email marketing, here are 5 essential skills that you must possess.

5 essential skills of a successful email marketer


Before diving into creation and execution, a good email marketer needs to have a strategic mindset.

For email marketing to be successful for a business, it needs to be closely aligned to the wider business goals and objectives, whilst also owning a strategy all of its own.

In practice, this means using business objectives to identify where in the customer lifecycle your email marketing should be focused. For instance, brand awareness, lead generation, nurturing, sales, customer retention, or all of the above.

Knowing where to focus your efforts will inform what your email marketing strategy looks like. For instance, who you want to target and when, the messaging used, and the products promoted. So, just about everything!


Not so long ago it was possible to still get results from sending plain, text-only emailcampaigns.

Well, email has come a long way in a short period of time. And those days are well and truly gone.

With the average person receiving over 100 emails per day, the inbox is a competitive place to be. Meaning that any successful marketer has to possess the email marketing skills to create a campaign that not only looks great, but is free of deliverability and rendering issues.

To achieve this, marketers need to possess at least a basic knowledge of coding, whether that be HTML, CSS, or web design. With basic skills, they can at least make tweaks and changes to their email templates. But with more advanced skills, they can build out a completely tailored email without relying on generic editors.


Coding isn’t the only skill required to create great emails. Marketers also need to be creative to ensure their campaigns stand out from the crowd and offer an engaging experience to the recipient.

Within email marketing, creativity mainly comes under two skill sets: design and copywriting

Coding skills go hand in hand with design skills. But when it comes to ensuring your email is visually enticing, the marketer needs to understand colour, photography, iconography, and animation. And how this can all be tied together to create a consistently branded, beautiful email that encourages the recipient to make the next step.

Once a marketer has grabbed the attention of the recipient with design, they need to provide some depth and instruction with the use of quality copy. Marketers need to craft compelling subject lines, tell stories, and encourage a click through with punchy calls to action.


Whilst email marketing can certainly be a creative channel, it also requires significant technical expertise.

To get the most out of email, marketers need to understand the underlying technologies that make it work.

This is to ensure the essentials of email are achieved: deliverability, design, and list management. But also to practise increasingly advancing email strategies, whether that be basic list segmentation, A/B testing, or creating complex automated journeys.

And of course, if there is an issue, such as poor deliverability, rendering problems, or accessibility issues, marketers need to be able to dig into the technical details of their campaigns and email platform to identify and resolve the problem, as quickly as possible.


Now, all of these email marketing skills can be rendered useless if a marketer isn’t able to understand and act upon their email marketing results.

This is why an analytical mind is essential.

For email marketing to boast such a high ROI, continuous tweaking and refinement needs to happen. To achieve this, marketers need to effectively track and measure performance; identifying areas that perform well, and areas that need improvement. This could include reviewing heatmaps, A/B tests, or deliverability rates.

And when it comes to campaign reporting, as well as being able to measure key metrics such as open, click, and unsubscribe rates, marketers need the skills to dive into post-click success. This includes conversion rates, acquisition, and ROI, all of which can help the marketer to prove the success of email in relation to wider business objectives.

How an email marketing agency can help

There’s no denying it, to become a successful email marketer, you need to be skilled in a lot of areas.

Many of these email marketing skills can be built over time, utilising training and good old fashioned experience. But we understand that many businesses don’t have the time or budget for this, and need to see results, fast.

If this sounds familiar, then an email marketing agency may be the best option to improve your campaign results.

There are many benefits of outsourcing your email marketing to the experts. In fact, we have an entire guide dedicated to the topic.

Essentially, with the right email marketing agency at your side you can benefit from additional time, capacity, and relevant skills to ensure your email marketing delivers the results you want. Time and time again.

Download our Ultimate Guide to Outsourcing your Email Marketing, or get in touch with one of our experts to understand how we can support you.

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