Emerging field: Email marketing
Aside from a few tech nerds, who could have imagined 25 years ago what an integral part of our lives email would become? Yet here we are, just a short time later, relying on email for so many of our daily activities. While the good old fashioned pencil may never become obsolete, email is here to stay.
Close to 183 billion emails are sent a day, according to The Radicati Group, with about 100 billion of that being business emails and 82 billion being consumer emails. By 2017, total emails sent per day is projected to rise to about 206 billion, which is a 3 percent growth in four years. With numbers like that, it's not surprising that email marketing exists.
And while email as we know it was invented in the 1970s by V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, according to Time, email marketing is in many ways still emerging as a growing career. Often under the larger umbrella of marketing, email marketing is proving vital to a number of companies.
What email marketing entails
Many jobs within the email marketing field essentially entail similar roles: email marketing manager, email marketing specialist, email coordinator, email marketing analyst, etc. You can find these jobs on sites like LinkedIn, Monster and CareerBuilder. Job postings in email marketing contain similar language.
A job posting from LinkedIn for an email marketing manager stated, "This person will be responsible for the strategy and performance for both scheduled and transactional emails, driving the calendaring, testing, targeting and analysis of all email products across the business." This particular job asked for 8-10 years of experience in email marketing and a bachelor's degree.
Some email marketing positions may require less experience or a specific kind of degree (like marketing or business). Some deal with customer emails, while others deal with business emails.
A posting on CareerBuilder for an email marketing specialist, for example, asked for a bachelor's degree in a related field and three years of marketing experience. The duties for these jobs are often similar on a foundational level: market products or services through email, create email marketing campaigns, track success, etc. An email marketing specialist may be required to learn marketing software and applications programs that help improve and track performance, such as Salesforce or Eloqua.
As with marketing in general, email marketing continues to evolve, so it's important to keep up with the evolution.
How to break into the field
Not much has been written about how to enter the email marketing field. Degrees specifically in email marketing aren't widely available. But since email marketing is generally placed under the marketing umbrella, going about entering the field can be similar to any other marketing management position.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most marketing managers have a bachelor's degree, with courses in business law, finance, accounting, economics, management, statistics and mathematics being advantageous. Many suggest a marketing degree and writing skills, since you'll need to know how to write and analyze emails. Also, according to the BLS, an internship can go a long way, as can the following qualities:
- Analytical skills
- Management skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Decision-making skills
An Internet marketing degree may also look good when attempting to secure an email marketing job. These degrees cover topics like search engine optimization and social media marketing, and may include email marketing courses as well. According to college website Peterson's, "An Internet marketing degree isn't going to be exactly the same as a regular marketing degree, although it will cover many of the same principles."
If you're a regular emailer, you're already part of the way there.
The future of email marketing
The future of email marketing is cloudy, though the job of marketing managers in general isn't.
According to the BLS, employment of marketing managers is expected to grow by 14 percent between 2010 and 2020, which is about as fast as the average for all other occupations. The BLS states, "Because marketing managers and their departments are important to an organization's revenue, marketing managers are less likely to be let go than other types of managers. Marketing managers will continue to be in demand as organizations seek to market their products to specific customers and localities."
Since email marketing is often considered a type of marketing management, similar growth trends may be expected, though you can't be sure. What does seem clear is that email marketing is not going away anytime soon, since email will likely outlive us all.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/advertising-promotions-and-marketing-managers.htm#tab-6
"Internet Marketing Degree: Mastering a new(ish) medium," Brendan Conway, Jan. 28, 2013, http://www.petersons.com/college-search/internet-marketing-degree.aspx
LinkedIn, Email Marketing Manager, http://www.linkedin.com/jobs2/view/6564946?trk=jobs_search_public_seo_page
"The Man Who Invented Email," Nov. 15, 2011, http://techland.time.com/2011/11/15/the-man-who-invented-email/#ixzz2g955Y5C6
The Radicati Group, Inc., Email Statistics Report 2013-2017, http://www.radicati.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Email-Statistics-Report-2013-2017-Executive-Summary.pdf