What Is Email Marketing? (AKA What I Do At Work Each Day)

Some of you may have noticed a certain passage in my by-line that goes a little something like this: “Noelle is an email copywriter (yes, that is a thing).” Some of you might know what that is, and others might not.

In short, I am someone who works almost exclusively in the writing, editing, sending, and analyzing of emails.

The company with which I am employed is a marketing company of sorts that runs a series of charitable websites. What can be confusing about this is that the company itself is for-profit—we just happen to work with a LOT of non-profits, and all of the products and sales we offer have a charitable component. We also have petitions, and we have a “click-to-give” function that allows users to click a button at the top of each site’s home page: from there, a donation is triggered from viewing the various ads we put onto each site.

We have several teams devoted to the running of each website as well as the content/ads/offers that are on said websites and we have a team devoted just to email (that’s where I come in).

I currently work with about 8 other writers and designers, creating email campaigns that blast up to 7 days a week / 365 days a year. My daily tasks include constructing links with the correct origin codes and UTM tracking, writing up copy for ads for everything from sales to petitions to alt tags, and making sure that the designers in charge of the HTML aspects of each email have the ad/folder names and other information they need to make their portion. I also help write the text-only versions of each email, so that any users who don’t necessarily have the ability to open an HTML email can still see what we’re offering (it is true that some email campaign programs will generate the text-only file for you, but we prefer to customize what goes into them a bit more).

The majority of the emails I am in charge of are focused on getting users to go to the websites and click their respective charity button, but we also encourage them to check out hot sales or discounts, donate to specific charitable/topical organizations, and encourage the signature/sharing of petitions and other types of longer content.

Once this is all said and done, we then test each email by sending it out to people on our team to check for errors or linkage issues before each mailing is then scheduled and set to blast the following day.

Some other things that come into play:

Mailing Time
There’s a great deal of data out there about what the best time to blast an email is—we choose to blast most of ours starting very early in the morning (4:00 a.m.) to mid-afternoon (noon-ish).

A/B Testing
When we have more than one hot promotion running at the same time, sometimes it’s unclear which item should be featured where and at what time. We use A/B testing and other metrics to see which offers or products our audience prefers. We can also do this sort of testing with just subject lines as well.

Analysis Of Data
After all of the emails are written/designed, tested, and blasted, we then take a look at various bits of data ranging from clicks to open rates to how much revenue certain links made and what other outside effects could have impacted results (we’ve had things come into play like news events, day of the week, etc.).

Planning
Weekly/bi-weekly meetings of all shapes and sizes go into developing where we need to promote certain events/newsworthy items—for instance, one of our email campaigns promotes awareness for autism, so it made sense to include content that mentioned Autism Awareness Month throughout April.

Project Management / Working As a Team
Each person on the Email Team (or E-Team, as we are sometimes called), is responsible for his/her share of work. Each person has their own set of things to write/design, and then other members of the team are there to edit/critique them.

All The Spreadsheets and Calendars
We have to make sense of what we’re posting in each email each day/week, so we use Google Docs, Google Calendar, and various Excel spreadsheets and templates to help stay organized/efficient.

Prior to graduating, I had no idea this kind of work existed, or that it would be something that would require so many of the skills I gained from PW. Just goes to show that you never know what kind of work is out there.

Now You Know Something

Noelle is an email copywriter (yes, that is a thing) and occasional freelance writer. When she’s not typing or running, she can be found eating, sleeping, quoting a movie, or curled up in an easy chair with her nose stuck in a book. Sometimes she tweets too.
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One thought on “What Is Email Marketing? (AKA What I Do At Work Each Day)

  1. Pingback: Hey Adults, You Can (And Should) Read Whatever You Want | Grammar. Style. Life.

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