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Managing a team of email marketers: Part 1

Samantha Orr

Part 1
Sending emails seems like an easy and organic process. It’s just an email, right? Well, we’ve found that it takes planning and a bit of project management to get emails out the door. We’d like to share a little bit of what we’ve learned along the way to help you create a plan for managing your team of email marketers.

In this post we’ll cover Part 1: Developing an email management plan.
In a follow-up post we will review Part 2: Making It Happen.

 
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Plan it!

It’s hard to tackle any regular or ad hoc marketing effort without a plan, right? When you start managing your email marketing team it helps exponentially to have a plan. Ask a few questions to get yourself started (use the following as a guide). Let these questions be a jumping board for your own unique planning needs.

What types of emails are you sending?

Start with what types of emails you are sending. Types of emails might include:

  • Sales email
  • Newsletter email
  • Welcome emails
  • Season announcement or product launch
  • Membership renewals
  • Holiday emails

When are you sending emails?

Next, think through how often you send emails. Whether it’s daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly, document what and when you are sending (or what and when you want to be sending). You don’t need to know the content of the emails at this point, you’re just planning right now. Plot these emails out on a calendar.

Here are some examples:

  • Sales email weekly, sent on Tuesday
  • Newsletter email weekly, sent on Thursday
  • Season announcement or product launch quarterly, sent in January
  • Holiday email(s), sent November-December

What effort is needed to make your emails possible?

Next, give some estimates on how much time it will take to put each email together. This is your production time. Knowing how much time each task takes will help you know when you have to start working on your email.

Write down how much time it takes to:

  • Draft copy
  • Design
  • Build
  • Test
  • Approve

What will help the team make emails happen?

Come up with some general housekeeping instructions for the team that will assist with each part of the process. Here’s where documenting processes and instructions becomes necessary. These references will be highly valuable to your team as the plan gets rolled out and you begin sending emails with new processes. Document everything and make it available to the team.

Helpful references for the team include:

  • Naming conventions for campaigns and lists
  • Templated designs that meet brand guidelines for every department to use
  • Checklist that covers each required part of the email process
  • Testing process that covers best practice tips for making sure your email is ready to send
  • Approval process so that the right eyes see the email before it gets sent

 
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Launch it!

Present your plan to the team. Make sure everyone is on board and ready to start following it. Put the plan in a place where everyone can reference it as often as needed.

It’s helpful too with any new process or plan to have a trial window in place to try it out. Generally three months is a good starting point, giving everyone enough opportunities to use the plan for sending emails. Reconvene after the trial period to assess the plan and make any changes that will improve the process. Reassess again after another set period of time.

Put your project management hat on and think through the ways your team works, how it can be better and what will help in achieving goals.

Next up review our post, Part 2: Making It Happen.

 
WordFly

Learn more about WordFly tools to stay organized

We recommend these resources and ideas for developing your email management plan:

  • Come up with a naming convention for your campaigns, templates and lists. Check out this post for tips and this table for a helpful guide.
  • Use Labels to tag campaigns, templates and lists
  • Use Custom Starter Emails as your email design ‘templates’ and to help maintain the integrity of email designs
  • Review our post about the Importance of Testing for your testing checklist and check out WordFly’s built-in testing tool Inbox Preview
  • Create a checklist of all the sections of your email and to make sure all areas are covered
  • Use a shared Outlook calendar or Google calendar that everyone on the team can see
  • Use a project management tool to help manage the workflow of tasks. Free tools include Trello, KanbanFlow or Slack
  • Set up reminders for recurring tasks, make it a team effort!