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8 Email Marketing Skills You Need To Know In 2021

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email marketing skills

Email marketing is an essential part of any digital marketing strategy, but it can be hard to know where to start.

Reading this guide, you’ll learn about the list of email marketing skills that you need to learn and develop in order to send successful campaigns and set up high-performing strategies. 

We’ll cover the 8 must-have skills that any email marketer should pay attention to.

You don’t have to be an expert in all of these skills right away, but you should at least be aware of the sort of things you can do to improve.

We all have to start somewhere, and this guide will give you a good foundation whether:

  • You’re applying for an email marketing position,
  • You’re a freelancer/consultant who’s looking to improve his/her email marketing skills,
  • You want to improve your email marketing skills, or
  • You’re interested in increasing your email marketing performance

Let’s get to it.

1. Strategic Thinking

A good email marketer understands the basic frameworks and how the email marketing efforts add value to the whole business.

We all know about the ROI email marketing provides and how much $1 can bring back.

But in reality, email marketing should have a strategy on its own. A strategy that brings the results not just a bulk email sent once a month.

A lot of companies think that “email marketing works, therefore, let’s do it”. And they implement it without any strategy. So, they perform lots of ad-hoc campaigns without real results.

Email marketers should have a deep understanding of:

  • Lead generation strategies
  • Nurturing contacts
  • Sales strategies

Inbound marketing strategy is one of the key elements here.

As part of your strategic thinking, you must understand the different life-cycle stages of subscribers and how to engage them.

The motivation to deeply understand your target audience is also a very important skill of a good email marketer.

Here is a list of resources that you can use to learn how to be more strategic with your email marketing:

2. Automating Lead Nurturing and Lifecycle Emails

Email marketing is not just about sending newsletters and special promotions. 

Automating lead nurturing processes is one of the best things to do to save time and get a higher ROI of your email campaigns.

Today’s email marketers should have a deep understanding of email marketing automation, such as how to:

  • Collect data and synchronize it between systems
  • Segment contacts based on data
  • Build workflows and follow-up sequences
  • Personalize emails effectively

To learn more about how to set up automation to nurture your leads better, here are some resources you can go through:

3. List Management and Segmentation

As an email marketer, it’s no question today that you have to develop advanced skills on how to manage your contacts.

Back in the day email list management was about putting each segment or a group of contacts in a separate list. So by the end, if you had 50 segments, you had 50 lists. 

Yeah I know, weird, but that was a thing a few years back.

Why is it not a good practice today? It results in a lot of duplications from one list to another.

Also, it makes things confusing and complicated.

This old list-based contacts’ management got demolished by the appearance of list segmentation and contact tagging.

Today’s marketers know that the fewer the number of email lists, the better the data and the experience is for contacts.

They segment their database based on Contact Tags and Custom Fields to avoid spamming and email duplications. It also helps them send highly relevant emails in their campaigns which results in higher open rates and click-through rates.

Here is a list of resources that you can use to learn how to manage your contacts and email lists:

4. Copywriting

Email copywriting is one of the most important skills a marketer should have. 

Every day tons of emails are fighting for contacts’ attention – good copywriting skills is what makes a difference between a successful campaign and one that will end up in spam.

An email marketer should know how to write subject lines that increase email open rates. 

In fact, there are free tools like Automizy’s Email Subject Line Tester that scores your subject line so you know if it’s good enough.

This tool will put your subject line copywriting skills to the test and help you optimize your copy.

It’s quite easy to use, you just have to write your subject line in the designated field and click “Test”.

test your subject lines to improve your email marketing skills and write better subject lines

Or you can also rely on Email Subject Line Generator to generate high-performing subject lines based on your email copy.

Writing subject lines shouldn’t be only based on gut feeling. You might feel positive about your own subject line, your contacts might not.

Here is a preview of how the subject line generator works:

Subject line generator of Automizy

Besides writing snappy subject lines, you should also:

  • Make email newsletters more exciting for your readers by including storytelling.
  • Write effective call-to-action copy that prompts visitors to do the desired action.

Here are a couple of resources to learn how to write better copy for your emails:

5. Analytics and Testing

Today’s email marketers must understand the most important metrics and how to measure the efficiency of their email campaigns.

Here we’re talking about email marketing KPIs that helps you monitor your success and predict future performance.

Overall email marketing KPIs displayed in Automizy's performance dashboard

Here is what you need to look for when reviewing your email marketing metrics:

  • What makes your emails successful?
  • Which tactics work best to increase open rates and revenue?
  • What can I do differently next time to improve my email performance?

Understanding the metrics of email campaigns is key in executing a profitable email marketing strategy.

Many marketers believe that if someone opens an email then they’re far more likely to click through and read your message, which usually leads to a transaction.

This is incorrect because there are other far more important email marketing metrics that need to be considered.

Here is a list of resources that you can use to learn how to be more strategic with your email marketing analytics and KPIs:

6. Email Design and Visuals

More and more people use phones to read their emails. This means that your emails must be responsive.

Responsive email means that your email can be read and looks good on all devices.

By default, most email software such as Automizy offers responsive email builders to design responsive HTML emails that are compatible with different screen sizes. 

But still, always test your email and make sure it’s responsive.

Lastly, your email design and layout affects click rates and conversion. Make your layout and design appealing and click-worthy.

Email layout best practice to increase engagement

Refer to these resources to learn how to design high-converting emails:

8. Email Protection and Authentication

Sending emails does not happen in a vacuum. 

You have to learn the technical jargon that is involved with email sending and delivery.

Understanding the back-end processes involved in making sure an email will get sent all the way through timely delivery will make your life much easier. 

Not to mention earning the respect of your tech teammates when they see that you know what you’re talking about.

If you haven’t heard about the following expressions, don’t even try to apply for an email marketing position. You have some homework to do: 

  • SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)
  • Sender Policy Network (SPF)
  • DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM)
  • Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC)

Understanding these terms and knowing how they work is critical to your email deliverability rates.

It’s not just your job to understand sending processes, however, it’s the designer and copywriter’s job to ensure that deliverability standards are met.

Refer to this complete guide that includes all the details on email protection and authentication to avoid landing in spam folders.


With what tools have to offer today, the landscape of email marketing is changing and it constantly requires new skills and knowledge.

Make sure you’re always on top of your game and brush up on your skills. 

I hate self-promotion just like the next guy. But we do our best to give you actionable articles packed with value.

At Automizy, we’re always publishing up-to-date educational content, so make sure to subscribe to our blog to get the latest email tips and techniques.

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