In Appreciation of Email Rock Stars

  |  April 7, 2011   |  Comments

A look at the daily schedule of an email's crazier than you would think.

The day in the life of an email marketing manager can be a neverending series of challenges, requests, and navigating data and marketing mazes. All said and done, these marketing mavens and mavericks generally don't get a whole lot of appreciation or enough compensation for the crucial tasks they perform and manage (25 percent of email marketing professionals said they make between $50,000 and $69,999 annually).

Let's look at a typical day for an email marketing program manager or digital director that handles the email channel, in order to gain better appreciation of the endless campaign cycle that is better known as the email marketing calendar. This is from the daily journal of Marty, the "interactive marketing guy who handles email" at a mid-sized brand.

8:04 a.m. – Check metrics from email campaign that deployed last evening

8:27 a.m. – Catch up on, what else: email

8:51 a.m. – Check tweets, industry articles, and peer discussion forums for the latest insights on best practices, case studies, and the like

9:00 a.m. – Meeting with IT to discuss automated emails that still contain random numbers in the "from line" and text that has not been updated for four years

9:45 a.m. – Coffee break

9:50 a.m. – Meeting with email marketing partner to discuss upcoming campaign creative, strategy, and execution

10:57 a.m. – Return voicemail from legal asking why we use logos and images in our emails

11:11 a.m. – Work on campaign brief and strategy document for upcoming team meeting

11:57 a.m. – Lunch and learn digital meeting on social and mobile – no mention of how email will complement and integrate with these channels so need to set up meeting with these program managers

1:12 p.m. – Unexpected conversation with the CEO on the elevator – asked what I do again and told him my elevator pitch about our recent successes. Conversation made me think of this cartoon:


1:37 p.m. – Catch up on emails and competitive analysis

2:15 p.m. – Review reporting of email campaigns that deployed this morning

2:47 p.m. – Work with email partners on planning for monthly enhancements: reactivation campaign, new creative, mobile versions of email, list hygiene, testing subject lines, automated series focused on loyalty, Facebook acquisition efforts, new preference center, and about seven other things that will have to be addressed on the next call

4:14 p.m. – Production meeting and discuss proofs, edits, database segmenting, and related issues for series of seven campaigns that are being deployed tonight

5:04 p.m. – Meeting with boss about upcoming vacation (hoping hotel doesn't have Wi-Fi)

5:27 p.m. – Research and respond to email from department supervisor inquiring how much budget we can shave off email budget for the remainder of the year

5:39 p.m. – Research and respond to email from head of sales asking how much more revenue we can "get from more blasts"

5:50 p.m. – Coffee and break room talk with head of creative about "awesome online promotion launching this week." Was not aware of said promotion; plan on eating dinner at desk tonight

5:58 p.m. – Search daily deal emails for best (read: cheapest) delivery option since company won't approve meal expenses at work.

6:12 p.m. – Update email and digital calendar

6:27 p.m. – Catch up with deliverability guru on nasty issues that have surfaced with large ISP of late

6:45 p.m. – Send team weekly email brief letting them know of challenges with frequency and internal communication and need for more time and planning for promotional emails and the need for content for monthly newsletter that deploys in two days.

6:56 p.m. – Send note to web development team asking for better placement for email sign-up since it is not on home page and hard to find and new goal of 40 percent annual list growth will be difficult to achieve otherwise

7:26 p.m. – Review daily metrics, update production schedule, and can't help but notice job description (below) that friend tweeted to me.

8:04 p.m. – Go home and shut off smartphone. At least until 2 a.m. when international email campaign is being sent

Knowing all email all-stars have crazy and long days (everyday), what should be added to the typical day for all non-email marketing folk to see? Thanks in advance and let's hear it for Marty and all email rock stars.



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Simms Jenkins

Simms Jenkins is CEO of BrightWave Marketing, North America's leading email marketing-focused digital agency. The award-winning firm specializes in elevating email marketing and digital messaging programs that drive revenue, cut costs, and build relationships. Jenkins has led BrightWave Marketing in establishing a world-class client list including Affiliated Computer Service (A Xerox Company), Chick-fil-A, Cox Business, Phillips66, Porsche, and Southern Company. The agency was recently ranked among the fastest growing private companies by Inc. Magazine.

Jenkins was awarded the prestigious AMY 2010 Marketer of the Year from the American Marketing Association for being the top agency marketer and the Email Marketer of the Year at the Tech Marketing Awards held by the Technology Association of Georgia. Jenkins is regarded as one of the leading experts in the email marketing industry and is regularly cited by the media as such and called upon by the financial community to provide market insight and consulting.

Jenkins is the author of two definitive and highly regarded books on email marketing; The New Inbox (published in April 2013 by ClickZ/Incisive Media) and The Truth About Email Marketing (published by Pearson's Financial Times Press in 2008). Jenkins is currently the Email Marketing Best Practices Columnist for ClickZ, the largest resource of interactive marketing news and commentary in the world, online or off. His industry articles have been called one of the top 21 information sources for email marketers.

He has been featured in Fortune Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Adweek, Bloomberg TV, Wired Magazine, and scores of other leading publications and media outlets. Jenkins is a regular speaker at major digital industry and general business conferences.

Additionally, Jenkins is the creator of and, the leading authorities on email and social media metrics. Prior to founding BrightWave Marketing, Jenkins headed the CRM group at Cox Interactive Media.

Jenkins serves on the eMarketing Association's Board of Advisors among other civic and professional boards. He is also a mentor at Flashpoint, a Georgia Tech-based startup accelerator program. Jenkins is a graduate of Denison University in Granville, Ohio and resides in Atlanta's Buckhead neighborhood with his wife and three children.

Follow and connect with Simms on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, The BrightWave Blog, and his book websites at and

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