One of the most persistent conundrums of e-mail marketing is its incredibly high ROI, yet it is often underfunded and understaffed. What’s more, those managing e-mail marketing programs are undercompensated. EmailStatCenter.com, an e-mail metrics portal my company founded with the Email Experience Council, set out to take a deeper dive into how e-mail programs really looked under the hood. What we found is concerning, though not totally surprising.
In the newly released Compensation & Resources Report, we surveyed over 200 e-mail marketing professionals on the client- and services- (agency, ESP, consultants) side. Our partner on this report, Morgan Stewart, director, research and strategy at ExactTarget, helped make sense of the numbers.
The Client-Side Challenge: Resources and Budget
- Over 40 percent of client respondents stated they had $100,000 or less of their annual budget dedicated to e-mail marketing
- Fifteen percent had $100,001 to $249,999
- Fourteen percent had a budget of over $1,000,000
- Additionally, 14 percent did not know their budget
- Thirty-seven percent of client-side respondents said they have only one to two people within their organization who are directly working on e-mail marketing
- Thirty-four percent said they had three to five on their team
While budget is always a clash in the e-mail world, larger companies (22 percent surveyed are companies of 1,000 or more employees) will have an uphill battle on maximizing their e-mail programs on a budget south of $100,000 and only a few people on the team. A major cause for concern: 14 percent did not know their budgets and almost 40 percent have one to two people working on these efforts. While this may speak to the often inexperienced teams managing e-mail programs, it also highlights the need for managers involved in this essential channel to better understand the broader business goals and restrictions they may be facing.
Service-Side Dilemmas: Spread Thin in Offerings and Accounts
Despite e-mail being a highly specialized area of digital marketing, it seems those working in the service-side of e-mail may be spreading themselves thin.
Other lines of business that e-mail service firms offer:
- Strategy and consulting (66 percent)
- General interactive marketing (53 percent)
- Social media (43 percent)
- Web design (42 percent)
- Search (34 percent)
- Mobile (30 percent)
Traditional advertising firms appear to be flat-footed in offering e-mail, despite its near universal adoption as a marketing channel. Only 36 percent say they offer e-mail marketing. It is also worth noting that 37 percent of survey respondents on the service-side said they work on 11 or more accounts, further supporting that service-side e-mail firms need to increase staffing.
Compensation in the E-mail Marketing Industry
Here you may find the ammunition to get a raise or conversely, you may find that you want to keep this data to yourself:
- Twenty-five percent surveyed said they make between $50,000 to $69,999 annually
- The next highest bucket was $35,001 to $49,999, closely followed by $70,000 to $84,999
- Less than 5 percent of participants make $200,000 or greater per year
Interestingly, marketers on the agency-side earn higher salaries than their client-side counterparts. However, those at the director level and above tend to earn higher salaries working on the client-side.
Our findings showed that the size of the dedicated team correlates with the overall e-mail marketing budget. Teams that run the majority of their e-mail marketing efforts in-house must staff their teams with more experienced, thus higher salaried, employees. The median income for employees managing programs with only one or two dedicated e-mail marketing resources ranges from $50,000 to $69,999 for companies with an e-mail marketing budget of less than $100,000. For companies with an e-mail marketing budget of more than $100,000, the median salary ranges from $70,000 to $84,999 range.
You can take these findings with a grain of salt or you can use them to help fund and staff your e-mail program to get the most from this highly targeted and measurable channel. The choice is yours.
Do you ever get the feeling that you’re being ignored? That despite your best efforts to ensure every email you write is a) highly relevant; b) succinct; and c) blurb-free, your message still gets overlooked?
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