The easy reporting tools and traffic to sales generation that email marketing provides mean the demand and need for experts in the field are as strong as ever. Email is becoming a fundamental aspect of many marketing strategies and often acts as the glue that binds many elements of the multichannel together. Because of this, CRM professionals play a crucial role in consumer engagement across multiple devices.

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At Michael Page Digital, we work with many large retail and consumer businesses looking to hire marketing professionals with this skill set. We are often asked how best to approach this search and how to attract the best talent in what is an increasingly competitive landscape. We have pulled together a list of some of the key areas you should consider when assessing a CRM candidate.

1. Automation 

Some businesses send a vast number of emails a day and work across multiple campaigns each week. It can dramatically save time for businesses to have these emails automated and scheduled whilst they work on other areas of CRM. There are many tools that can help with this and as roles become increasingly stretched, knowledge of automation is essential. 

2. Segmentation and personalisation 

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

3. Campaign testing 

The ability to effectively assess the success of any campaign and determine the best heading, time and/or format to reach a particular audience is essential in email marketing. For example, experience in A/B testing email campaigns and the ability to make suggestions or changes based on the results to increase campaign performance is extremely beneficial. A candidate who has a thorough understanding of email testing could be the key to improving the performance of your direct marketing campaigns. 

4. Analysis and reporting

Data is key in successful email marketing, so those candidates who can analyse data and provide insight usually stand out from the rest. Combined with the ability to effectively test a campaign’s effectiveness, professionals who can work with the data they have gathered from their email campaigns then make changes to increase open and click-through rates are highly valuable for any businesses looking to drive ROI. When interviewing candidates, you need to discuss how they utilise the data gathered and how they manage 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 an email marketing campaign.

5. Tools

There are a number of email marketing platforms available that make working in email marketing 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. CRM systems such as Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics are also key tools a top candidate should have experience working with. We have seen an increase in Exact Target as an email service provider (ESP) and those candidates who have knowledge of this tend to be quite advanced in the email marketing space. To ensure your marketing campaigns are data-led, it is also important that your email marketing specialists have a strong working knowledge of Google Analytics to track the performance of email sends and aid in the analysis and reporting of a campaign’s success. Testing a candidate on their knowledge of tools and systems can really highlight the value they would add to your CRM team. 

6. GDPR/DPA changes

GDPR will have a huge impact on the way businesses can interact with their existing and potential customers. A CRM candidate with an understanding of how these changes will impact email marketing campaigns and the implications of a breach will stand you in good stead.

7. Mobile

As a large proportion of people now read emails on the go, many customers will use a mobile or tablet to interact with your business. These devices are very often used as a first touch point for consumers, so it’s vital that marketers understand this channel and how their emails should be displayed. It is advisable to test your candidates ‘experience of creating engaging content for email newsletters that can be viewed on mobile devices. 

8. 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 rather than 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 particular area. 

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 office. Alternatively, submit a job spec and one of our expert consultants will be in touch. 

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