Hiring Greatness: David Perry And Mark Haluska
Our New Dallas Location: Digital Marketing Headhunter Joins The Barista Ventures Family

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. 

EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE AND SKILLS REQUIRED:

  • 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). 

 

Comments