List Of Interview Questions For Email Marketers

This is a series of scripts I've been writing for digital recruiters. Today, we'll address an email marketer.

Here are some current requirements for Email Marketers posted as jobs. I'll go through the requirements and post my questions at the end.

Here's one that's posted for an Email Specialist.

-Develop and maintain email marketing campaigns that integrate with website and magazines. (Integrate email with the website and with print?)
-Create and manage Email lists. (what do you mean, create? Pull from a database? Excel? Actually build the list from scratch?)
-Day-to-day activities include email set-up, scheduling, tagging, targeting, and deployment of ESP's. (ESP normally means Email Service Provider. When you say deployment, do you mean, sending the email? Do you have multiple providers? Or is this internal jargon? Do you really mean, deploy the email through an ESP?)
-Other duties are assigned. (I think you mean as assigned)

Skills and Experience:

-Minimum 2 years experience in Email & Internet Marketing. 
-Proficiency in mass mail platforms. (Mass. Is that 1M, or 100M? And how many do you need to know? Silverpop and Salesforce and Eloqua? In only two years?)
-Knowledge of basic HTML, and Adobe Suite programs. (So, a coder and a designer? Or someone who can use Mail Chimp's templates?)
-Outstanding written, verbal communication and collaborative skills.  (Outstanding, or just, pretty good? How do you measure outstanding?)

Here's another one that's more detailed. 

  • Assume primary responsibility for deployment of email campaigns, including: scheduling, content/asset gathering, creative development, database management, client approvals, landing page creation, testing, troubleshooting, detailed reporting, and overall quality assurance.  (Okay, that's a pretty good description of everything you need)

  • Develop customized email invitations and registration forms. Registration forms? For the website? Do you want me coding forms?  

  • Gather requirements and create timelines for all email marketing campaigns.  good

  • Coordinate the cross-functional process to implement the campaign from project kick-off to delivery to performance reporting  good

  • Develop detailed documentation for best practices.  good

  • Maintain reporting log for email campaign performance. good

  • Analyze email trends and devise and develop new templates, ensuring best practices are followed and the creative is “on-brand.”  good

  • Develop list segmentation and email personalization recommendations based on data mining and email/website analytics.  Do you really mean data mining here? Or is that thrown in when it really means "eyeball the data and pretend you have a good answer?"

  • Conduct regular reviews and QA to ensure flawless execution of email campaigns.  Hopeful, but a good standard. 


  • Bachelor's degree

  • 3-5 years experience in content management, working on email campaigns, or comparable role. Law firm or professional services experience preferred. Experience with content management systems (CMS) preferred. (Law firm? That seems a bit strange considering all of the requirements you have. Did you copy/paste this from someone else with a robust department?)

  • Intermediate Web design skills including knowledge of HTML coding is required.  (Web design? What other language do I need besides HTML? Am I hand-coding the website? Or do I need to know enough to build a landing page and make changes in the design? Speaking of which - is there a designer, or an I the designer as well?)

  • Comfortable coding in foreign languages (not required to know the language). (I wasn't aware that you could code in another language. You can leave edit notes in another language, but that's not the same thing. Does this mean I'm working with overseas people who write other languages, and we're coding together? That sounds strange.)

  • Experience with Tikit or other email campaign software. (Tikit - that's a technology for the legal sector. I'm guessing you use Tikit. Can you just say you'd like Tikit experience? Why add the "or other email?")

  • Ability to identify, investigate, and act on opportunities to improve email performance/experience.

  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite. (Does someone on the planet that you'd hire not have this? What if they're only good at Google Docs or Pages?) 

  • Exceptional organizational and skills and attention to detail.

  • Excellent verbal/written communication and interpersonal skills.

  • Must be a self-starter who understands the details within a much larger context. (Oh, so I'm working alone?)

  • Ability to work in a teamwork/collaborative style and environment with a willingness to share information, goals, opportunities, successes and failures with the appropriate parties. (wait - nope, I'm part of a team. So you want a self-starter that asks the team what they think first? What if you were forced to pick one?)


The first posting is just bad. It doesn't tell you anything beyond the title, and in the case of the ESP, actually gets the term wrong. The second is more detailed, but as you read through it, you understand that this is a template for the perfect worker, and is very likely copied from somewhere else. When you add in that bit about foreign coding, you began to realize they just want someone who represents well, because they have no clue how to run the program.  Both job description should make it impossible for a recruiter to find someone of quality through anything but blind luck. Basically, you find someone who did email for a law firm and present them. If that's true, why the long description? 

But let's not just pick on others. Here is a list of questions I would want to ask to determine the level of experience for an email marketer. Feel free to take them apart in the comments. 


Here are my template questions for email marketers. After each, I'd ask them to explain, and push past the simple answers: 

1) What did you do last Tuesday 

2) What kind of testing do you do? Which parts of the email (subject line, data sets, graphics load, bounce rates, open rates, forward rates and social share rates)

3) What software platforms have you used? Why did you like them? Are you expert in those? Do you code them yourself or use the template? Do you make the graphics or do you insert them into the email? 

4) Who compiled your data sets? Who managed them? Was that you? 

5) What was the behavior of the list (people bought, people opened, people called in, people clicked on a list to a landing page)

6) Did you create and test your own landing pages? 

7) Do you still send text versions of the email? Why? 

8) How much oversight did you have on this? Approval? Contribution, Interference?

9) What did you do with your data after you tracked it? (how was it used, disseminated to the rest of marketing)


Note that the questions I ask will give you the answers that fit your requirements, but they don't allow the candidates to simply say "yes," "no," or "I sent a lot."

And for extra credit, here are the answers I don't like to hear from candidates. 

1) We sent out 10 million emails a month (and no explanation of what they were). 
2) We did extensive A/B Testing of the emails. (what does extensive mean? what did you test? Was that a test each week before the send?
3) I've worked with all of the email software programs and know them well
4) We were CAN-SPAM compliant. 
5) Our data team would pull the lists each week, and we'd work with the graphics department to get the right images, and then the IT department to code the email. I would test and send the email (nothing wrong with that, but it suggests someone who is only good in a large operation, and will need each one of those components to work. But at least they know it takes more than one person. Those who don't know this and assume they can do it all, are often lacking in experience). 


Hiring Greatness: David Perry And Mark Haluska

I've spent the last seven months traveling back and forth to New York City working with a spirits brand for the launch of an exciting new product. Building up their team in digital marketing, operations, and finance has been a great ride, and it gave me the opportunity to work with one of the finest recruiters I know (or have even heard of), David Perry of David and his partner Mark not only are doing a great job on an important role, they also just launched their latest book, Hiring Greatness. 

The book, available at Amazon, is designed to teach executives and their board members how to work with headhunters

Those of you who have known me for a decade would remember David from his books Guerilla Marketing for Job Hunters, as he engaged early recruiting bloggers at 

The book is a mix of how-to and personal experience - a description of what it takes to get the results you want from a headhunter, but also a map for headhunters to understand what they need to get from their clients. 

It's difficult to explain to people not in our industry how complex a search can be, especially at the top of a company, where value and salary have less correlation than anyone would like (what do you do for a CEO who can turn a $100 million into a $1 billion?. How do you compare that CEO to one who can get you to $150 MM?).

After some late discussion over szechuan and very early mornings meeting with candidates (he's forever changed my view on how many candidates are acceptable to screen in a search), the data point that stuck out most was his idea of multi-dimensional recruiting. 

On the plane home last week, while reading the hardcover, this is what I wrote.

"The best search professionals can't be taught. Their talent exists or it does not exist. And yet there are no naturals in our business. Raw talent has to be uncovered, and then refined. Your ability to do the job is not on the surface, but instead comes from deep within you, and has to be brought to the surface as a result of the extreme pressure that comes from repetition, rejection, and reward." 

That's the kind of book this is. It's makes you write long, thoughtful sentences that open a debate. If what I wrote is true, the next question is, how do we learn to surface that talent? David and Mark have learned the hard way, and they share it in this book. 

Digital Marketing Video Topics For 2016

One of the more successful things I've done as a blogger is the listing of questions for popular jobs. This drove over 100,00 page views for Java Swing back in the day, and I'll be replicating this in 2016, focused on digital and social marketing. 

So - obviously, watch this blog. 

But I'm also going to be doing video descriptions of how to hire - in the hopes that if people see how I work, they'll be more likely to hire me as a headhunter. 

So in that vein, here are the topics I have the expertise to cover. 

Digital Topics/Interviews

  • Hiring a social media content writer
  • Hiring a social media specialist/manager (customer service)
  • Hiring a social media specialist (product)
  • Hiring a social media specialist (B2B)
  • Hiring a social media strategist  (B2B and B2C)
  • Hiring a Manager of social media
  • Hiring a director of social media
  • Hiring a web designer
  • Hiring a social designer
  • Hiring a creative director
  • Hiring a director of digital marketing 
  • Hiring a director of content marketing

Keep an eye out. This blog will be filled with a lot of content that you'll need in 2016 to hire. And if you already know you need help hiring in the digital/social realm - now you know a guy.

Digital Marketing Manager - National Spirits Brand, Parsippany, NJ

The Digital Manager manages the online presence of all Bellion properties, collaborating with employees, agencies, and consultants to integrate all relevant media and channels into the right platforms. It’s a pivotal role as it serves as the foot-on-the-gas role for project completion 

Regular Duties:

Develops media strategies and campaigns across all digital mediums including:

  • Prioritize and execute the setup of multiple campaigns across numerous networks
  • Actively manage and scale multi-channel campaigns on a daily basis
  • Optimize channel investments based on proven performance through bidding to reach desired KPIs
  • Provide creative direction for banners, text ads, images and landing pages
  • Build and maintain working relationships with creative, design, and development partners
  • Analyze data against the defined campaign success metrics
  • Knows and stays up-to-date on all relevant market and consumer information necessary for the preparation of the most effective and efficient media planning
  • Determines best use of multi-channel media mix including traditional, digital, and social media outlets to best meet clients goals and objectives – using constant optimization practices
  • Gathers, analyzes and reports on metrics on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis
  • Leads the creative team in strategizing sessions
  • Manages vendor budgets and resolves invoicing discrepancies as needed
  • Negotiates best rates, CPM’s, CPP’s, special time parameters, value-added sponsorships and promotions, bonus impressions, e-newsletters
  • Understands rating estimates as well as digital performance metrics such as CTR and conversion rates
  • Works closely with all assigned media personnel in the group with evaluation of media information necessary to the preparation of the media plan that best implements the media objectives and strategies

Desired Skills and Experience 

  • 4-10 years of marketing communications experience related to branding and product sales: designing, implementing, measuring and improving integrated marketing campaigns that leverage marketing technology, content, and measurement
  • Proven experience creating ROI-driven marketing program strategies/plans
  • Demonstrated proficiency with multiple channels and tactics used in demand generation, including, but not limited to email, website, paid search, organic search, content marketing, social media, traditional advertising, and PR
  • Demonstrated understanding and experience in modern marketing fundamentals

The video announcing the product launch. They're live in one state, have license for 10 more, and will be national this spring. 


Dallas Job Post: B2B Content Marketing Manager

A client of mine needs a tactical lead in B2B content to manage content producers here in Dallas.

Backed by a seasoned management team in the dental industry, my client needs someone who understands what motivate medical professionals, with experience in the dental mindset a huge plus. The company fields a great product and their sales and marketing strategy is set.

They need someone to execute and drive the content for webinars, lead generation, and conversion. Primary needs are digital marketing savvy, experience with email and webinars, and the ability to manage remote teams. Our customers are dental practice owners, and we need to determine how to get them to sell our product within their practice.

Job Description:

There is a “company” description that’s not half bad, but to help filter out specifically what we’re looking for, we’ve condensed it to these primary “Day in the Life” examples.

-Manage a team of four that includes content, design, video, and SEO

-Collaborate with a sales VP on how social/digital can integrate with Direct Mail, Email, Radio, Events, and Sales

-Test and perfect B2B digital messaging

-Integrate Social Media with Mail Chimp to improve opens, address collection, and tracking

-Lead the long-term technology project to create appointment setting software to deliver to retail clients

-Identify areas where social/digital can be used to improve customer acquisition cost both for the manufacturer and for the retail seller

-Serve as a digital/social consultant and champion to the CEO and the investor board

-Work with the external marketing agency, guiding and approving content and digital properties.

That inbound marketing piece is going to be a big part of the eventual job, but the first step is understanding the market and getting more dentists to sign up. We don’t have a sales force, but we do have a 12% response rate, and the company is not a start-up. We do expect rapid growth out of the 8 figure range into the 9 figure range in just a few years. The key is first expanding the retail base, while planning on how to use a larger marketing budget in the future to demand generation.

Key Needs:

Messaging Ability: Finding leads is not the problem, especially for licensed practitioners. It’s getting return calls and emails. You’ll need to have that creative spark on how to pitch a small business owner.

Digital Experience: You have to have led a technology project for inbound marketing. We’ll want an example.

Social Experience: I’m not looking for Facebook posting. I’m more interested in social media for analysis and general branding.

PPC Experience: You need to be able to manage this - not on the minute level, but if you had to hire someone, could you do it?Can you ask the right questions?

Marketing Experience: I need someone with end-to-end marketing experience. This is still a small business, and if you can’t understand and empathize with the retail seller, your digital expertise won’t accomplish its goals. This could fall under the more generic, business experience, but we’re looking for someone who has done more than work in an agency or as a brand manager.

Final Thoughts:

Ultimately, we need someone who likes taking product to market, not someone who wants to be a senior manager at a large firm. It’s a different mindset. We need the more than mom and pop experience, because it’s a national product, not a micro-business. But it’s not a corporate job needing a corporate experience - yet.

So to apply - just send me an email and title it B2B Content Manager - Dallas. Write a very short description of a project that shows you can handle inbound, and send me a way to call you.