Email marketing could pose a stressful job when at a close view the nature of the job is examined. Email marketing being very analytical and creative in nature, demands from email marketers significant level of devotion, in the form of deep thought processes, to undiverted attention and focus when dealing with the daily hassle of optimising email performance—which could be mentally draining and consequently, trigger significant level of stress for email marketers.
While I was putting together the content for this article, I generated a list of questions I want you to think about as you read this article:
- Are you the only email marketer in your organisation?
- Does increased workload make you feel mentally stressed?
- Does being mentally stressed make you unwilling to be original in your email content creation and thus, make you want to rely more on cliche or rely more on tactics and strategies that have losed their charm?
- Does being mentally stressed make you create bad email content?
- Do you think if your organisation hired another email marketer to support you, it would help improve your productivity and work condition?
- Do you think with another email marketer you would have more time to be more creative and thus produce better email content?
In a 2019 Paychex Survey, 69.6 percent of marketers were found to be dealing with workplace burnout. In the same survey, almost 73 percent of people, across various industries, identified stressful workload as the major reason for work burnout.
Also, another 2021 Email on Acid and Ascend2 collaboration survey, 71 percent of email marketers agreed that their jobs were stressful.
Further investigation by member of Email on Acid revealed a list of 11 stressors that are themselves, daily tasks of every email marketers. This investigation revealed insights, not just about how the nature of each job task was related to stress, it also showed association between company size and the stressors: depending on company size—Big Enterprise and Small-Meduim Business—certain roles contribute differently in stress level to the email marketers working within the two different work environment.
The result of their survey revealed maintaining/improving engagement to be a major stressor—71 percent of the time—for email marketers working in Small-Meduim Business (which is in contrast to 31 percent for big enterprises), while dealing with marketing technology posed the significant stressor—44 percent of the time—for email marketers working in big enterprises (which is in contrast to just 29 percent for small-medium enterprises).
What the findings above thus informs on a solutions to reducing stress level for email marketers is that such solutions won’t just maintain a focus on cutting the workload of email marketers, but should take into consideration, the nature of each job role especially as it relates to business size in order to reduce stress for email marketers to bearable levels.
Such solutions would consequently, serve to boost email marketers’ creativity and promote better work performance and enthusiasm.
5 Solutions to Reducing Stress Level for Email Marketers
Spend Time Planning
Planning the process and workflow for various email marketing job tasks, especially those that occur on a day-to-day basis would prove a big advantage in beating down stress levels for email marketers, while helping to improve time and cost efficiency.
It is a hassle and an unnecessary sap to mental energy to re-walk through a process each time a repetitive task is to be performed. For instance, having to create from scratch emails—design structure and elements—each time a new campaign is to be created, when instead a dynamic template can be developed that makes for faster completion of email projects.
By planning thus, you want to get down to the actual task of breaking down a task to its processes and steps and then, mapping out how workflow tools can be utilized in performing the processes or steps.
Planning enable you think broadly, because it helps to pull into view a broad array of tasks you expect to perform on a daily basis, severally or on rare occasions, and then making necessary arrangement to ensure these tasks are all planned for to make for smoother execution when there is need to perform them.
Planning automatically leads into automation. Cutting down stress level for email marketers demands utilizing automation and workflow tools to carry out repetitive tasks.
With automation tools available in the form of email service providers (ESPs), such as MailChimp, Convertkit and Hubspot Marketing Automation tools, certain job tasks such as welcome email sequences, email marketing calendars, abandoned cart workflow, email campaigns can be easily automated, thus cutting down on manual tasks and freeing up mental energy for more creativity-oriented tasks.
Also, it is also important to continually develop and break down complex tasks into simpler tasks such that they can be set in a workflow that can then be automated utilizing a third-party workflow tool, or a software developed internally for that purpose.
Hire More Email Marketers
It might just be high time your organisation hire a new email marketer if your workload continually stresses you.
Brands, especially, small-meduim enterprises, might be tempted to deligate the email marketing role to just one person to cut down on cost while expecting their marketing issues would be well taken care of, and then they can start optimizing their ROI. That’s nice to imagine and fantasize about, but the truth is, this mindset is plain wrong.
And the reason is simple: a plain misconception and lack of in-depth knowledge of the email marketer job role.
Campaign monitor talked about how brands can build an email marketing team—that’s right, an email marketing team, not a single-man team. They broke down the email marketing team into four key roles: the strategist, project manager, the creative team (writers and designers) and the technicians.
Most email marketers, initially, can jungle the four roles. This is because initially, with a small email list, there might not be need for a lot of strategies (low strategist activity) or a lot to do in terms of list management or project management (low project manager activity) or much to worry about as regards the technicals ( thanks to third-party tools, freelancers and email service providers), so they can just focus most of their time, energy and resources on getting creative: designing and creating email copies.
In essence, while you are just starting out, you could have a single person handle it all, but as you grow as a brand, then you want to supplement the team with extra roles and persons to keep a motivated and productive email marketing team.
Maintain a Healthy Work Environment
It is important to realise how fatigue can drive certain unwanted irrational behaviour. An email marketer that is mentally stressed could send out emails riddled with a lot of errors or fail at carrying out proper testing of the emails before sending them out—which could result in costly mistakes.
A poor work environment increases stress level and curtials the ability of email marketers to utilize their creativity to the fullest potential, which isn’t something any organisation or brand wants. The email marketer’s main tools are their creativity and sense of analysis which allow them to constantly think up new strategies, email designs, insights, and much more.
In essence, healthy job conditions must be in place to allow for email marketers to be able to engage with their tools in order to optimize their work performance, and hence, achieve crucial marketing goals.
Also important for an healthy work environment is professional growth and opportunities. In the 2019 Paychex Survey, lack of professional growth opportunities made people feel work burnout in the workplace 54.7 percent of time, making it second top reason after stressful workload.
Consequently, a work environment that provides an avenue for professional growth and opportunities to email marketers is sure to be healthier, and thus, pose as vital in dealing with stress level of email marketers.
To achieve this, an organisation or brand must be interested in maintaining strong teamwork culture, job autonomy as well as access to health, work and other benefits such as vacation.
It is very annoying and anxiety triggering when a campaign or an email sequence didn’t perform as much as expected. Such failures is always followed by series of test, checks and analysis to discover where exactly the problem is: is the link not working (but I tested it ten times before releasing the campaign)? Is it possible some code broke on the landing page? What is the unsubscribe rate? What is the CTR?
This could be the typical task daily—improving engagement—of an email marketer in small-meduim business as statistics by Email on Acid revealed—which I mentioned at the beginning of the article as it represents the top stressor to email marketers in SMEs.
Myriads of questions could pour through your mind as you try to get at the problem, and not taking time properly to get at the issue layer by layer could easily result in being mentally drained or stressed. This can result in a situation where you are incapable of doing any useful stuff for the rest of the workday: low performance. Which isn’t something to desire.
Instead you want to take the needed time to review the email strategy, review if you are targeting the right audience, if you have the right personas, whether you know well the customer journey (you might be sending the email or conducting the email campaign at the wrong time), and also reviewing your copy and twerking some elements and then doing A/B testing to fix your copies. In essence, you review and readjust your strategy, copies and email design with patient, one after another until you discover what the problem is.
Managing stress level of email marketers to a bearable minimum is very vital to improving job performance of email marketers in their place of work.
In order to achieve this, planning workflows of job tasks performed by email marketers and incorporating automation tools for carrying out repetitive tasks is vital to reducing stress level and boosting time and cost efficiency.
In addition, increasing the size of the email marketing team to keep the job manageable for each individual member would also prove useful in ensuring the email marketing team remains of top performance as the brand grows.
Then, maintaining an healthy work environment would prove, on the long term, very significant in helping email marketers cope with stress.
And lastly, exercising patient when solving problems and unexpected outcomes also help to mitigate against stress by preventing anxiety and worry, hence, maintaining mental health and energy.
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