How to ensure you’re hiring a top email marketing candidate

The topic of email marketing has been causing divisions amongst digital marketing professionals for a while now as new disciplines emerge which are deemed to be more successful in engaging consumers. However, email marketing’s easy reporting tools and traffic to sales generation, mean the demand and need for experts in the field is as strong as ever.  Email is becoming the glue that binds many elements of the multichannel together and it plays a crucial role in consumer behaviour across multiple devices.

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At Michael Page Digital, we work with many large retail and consumer businesses and are often asked how best to approach the search for someone with this skill set and how to attract the best talent in what is an increasingly competitive landscape.
Below are six key areas which need to be explored with candidates during the interview process to ensure they are leading the way when it comes to email marketing. 

1. Automation 

In a recent E-Consultancy survey, respondents were asked to identify the top three areas they or their clients needed to focus on in 2015. The most common answer was automated campaigns (29%). This has significantly increased from 2014 and there is a good argument for this. Some businesses send multiple emails a day and work across multiple campaigns a week. It can dramatically save time for businesses to have these emails automated and scheduled whilst they work on other areas of Email / CRM. There are many tools that can help with this and as roles become increasingly stretched having the knowledge of this can be key. 

2. Segmentation / personalisation 

Understanding customers and targeting them based on their individual behaviours is hugely important. Internet users are receiving a high volume of emails every day; your content needs to be relevant to them and personalised if you want your audience to open it. If a candidate is serious about email marketing, they will understand this need for personalisation and will be able to tailor email content accordingly. 

3. Analysis / Reporting

Data is key in successful email marketing and those candidates who can analyse this data and provide insight usually stand out from the rest. It’s not good enough to just be able to write engaging content in email format anymore. For businesses to drive ROI, they need to be working with the data from their email campaigns and suggesting change to key stakeholders involved with this channel. When interviewing candidates you need to discuss what they do with the data and how they are recording it for future use. A good candidate will be able to provide clear examples of when they have used data to improve business performance or the success of email marketing campaigns.

4. Tools

There are a number of email marketing platforms available to make working with this channel a lot easier. Mailchimp and Dotmailer are two of the most common platforms and candidates should be able to use these at the very least. We have seen an increase in Exact Target as an email service provider (ESP) recently and if candidates have knowledge of this, they tend to be quite advanced in the email marketing space. Testing a candidate on their knowledge of tools and systems can really show how they will add value to the email / CRM team. 

5. Mobile

With the development in mobile technology, a large proportion of consumers now read emails on the go. A majority of these use a mobile or tablet to interact with businesses as a first touch point so it’s vital that marketers understand this channel and how their emails can be displayed on these devices. It is advisable to test your candidates’ experience of creating engaging content for email newsletters that can be viewed on mobile devices. 

6. Content

It’s fine to send emails out and plan regular campaigns, but if the content of those emails isn’t relevant or engaging for the brand’s customers then sometimes they can be harmful instead of beneficial. 
Ask candidates to provide examples of content they have previously written or campaigns they have worked on to show they understand the importance of this. During the interview process, it’s a good idea to set a task or presentation so candidates can showcase their abilities in this area in particular. 
If you want any advice on email marketing candidates or if you would like to discuss your digital recruitment needs, please contact your local Michael Page Digital office.
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