How marketers can identify companies that value email marketing
From team sizes to the number of specialists hired, columnist Chad White takes a look at the characteristics of companies that truly appreciate email marketing.
A good salary isn’t just about the money; it’s about respect. And it’s not just about respect for the individual, but also about respect for the activities that person is involved with.
When we surveyed more than 500 US-based email marketers for our State of Email Salaries & Jobs in the US (email registration required), we’d hoped to uncover differences between various geographic regions, industry verticals and company sizes. And we did.
But we also uncovered a number of characteristics that identify companies that value email marketing — and, in turn, email marketers.
Characteristics brands can’t control
Brands can’t change where they’re based, what industry they’re in or the size of their company, but all of those factors have a significant impact on email marketing salaries.
For instance, 66.4 percent of US email marketers in the West region earn salaries of $60,000 or more; 56.4 percent in the Northeast; 53.5 percent in the South; and 44.4 percent in the Midwest. Keep in mind that the cost of living varies across each of those regions, as well as within those regions, so the meaning of this marker is a bit ambiguous.
Large companies pay significantly more than small and midsize companies. Nearly 70 percent of US email marketers at companies with 500 or more employees earn salaries of $60,000 or more versus only 46.4 percent of US email marketers at companies with fewer than 500 employees.
In regard to industry vertical, B2C companies pay better than B2B companies, in part because the B2C companies represented in our survey tended to be larger than the B2B companies.
Characteristics brands do control
These are the characteristics that are the most telling about how much a company values email marketing as a channel for their business.
For instance, brands with larger email marketing teams tend to pay those team members better than brands with small teams. More than 58 percent of US email marketers on teams of three or more earn salaries of $60,000 or more versus only 50 percent on teams of one or two.
You might think that email marketing team size correlates closely with company size, but it doesn’t, except at very small companies (fewer than 20 employees) and very large companies (10,000 or more employees). At all the companies between those extremes, team sizes are a clear indication of how invested a brand is in the email marketing channel.
Specialists vs. generalists
Those larger teams also correlate to using more email marketing specialists — people who have been hired to perform one or two roles on the team. This is in contrast to hiring generalists, who perform everything from email design and coding to email planning and strategy to email copywriting and analytics. More than 57 percent of US email marketing specialists earn salaries of $60,000 or more versus only 52.4 percent of generalists.
Agencies & freelancers
Related to team size, whether a brand uses an email marketing agency or hires freelancers has a significant effect on the salaries of in-house email marketing employees. Agencies and freelancers represent opportunities to offload non-strategic tasks, deal with short-term projects and acquire skillsets that are hard to come by in the local job market.
The willingness to engage agencies and freelancers also speaks to a brand’s dedication to email marketing.
The agency effect on email marketing salaries at a company is fairly small, with 57.9 percent of US email marketers at companies using agencies earning salaries of $60,000 or more versus 54.2 percent of those at companies that don’t use agencies. However, the freelancer effect is much more pronounced, with 65.2 percent of US email marketers at companies using freelancers earning salaries of $60,000 or more versus 51.3 percent at companies that don’t use freelancers.
Tools of the trade
Whether or not a brand invests in additional tools beyond what’s provided by their email service provider is also a positive sign. For instance, 62 percent of US email marketers at companies using Litmus Email Previews earn salaries of $60,000 or more versus 51.3 percent at companies that don’t.
Admittedly, that’s a self-serving example, but we believe this same trend would hold true for other supplemental toolsets that allow email marketers to do a better job, such as predictive analytics and email address validation tools.
Similarly, companies that use advanced tactics and strategies tend to pay their email marketers more. For example, 62.1 percent of US email marketers at companies using dynamic content often in their email campaigns earn salaries of $60,000 or more versus 50.4 percent at companies that rarely use dynamic content.
We believe we’d see a similar trend among brands that use a lot of segmentation or have many triggered emails set up. After all, you need email marketers who are more experienced and skilled to pull off these more advanced tactics.
Put that all together, and the easiest way to identify companies that value email marketing is to look for complexity. Complexity in terms of people means looking at team sizes, the number of specialists on that team and the use of agencies and freelancers. And complexity in terms of email execution means looking at the range of tools they use and the tactics they’re using.
These characteristics can serve marketers when evaluating potential employers, but they can also serve brands. Companies should ask themselves whether they’re sending the right cues to potential email marketing employees that they value the channel and are invested in running a sophisticated email program.