A Beginners Guide to the Email Marketing Industry

Kristen Haines
Kristen Haines

CEO, MailCon

About the author

Published on: October 22, 2021

Last updated on: April 28, 2022

By Kristen Haines, CEO of MailCon

If you’ve decided to begin or pivot your career into the email marketing industry, as I did two years ago, there’s much to learn. However, you’ll be pleasantly surprised that there’s nothing to be intimidated about because the email industry offers abundant growth opportunities and a wealth of resources.

Here are my principal pieces of advice that should help any beginner advance in the email industry.

A Strong Sense of Community and Longevity

The use of email marketing, and the industry as a whole, has grown immensely over the years. As a result, the core of the email industry has been built by a community of industry influencers and self-proclaimed “email geeks.”

Groups such as Only Influencers, the emailgeeks Slack channel, and the MailCon Community have contributed to this community by centralizing critical industry conversations and knowledge and making them readily available to anyone eager to learn.

Additionally, organizations such as Women of Email, a professional network that promotes female leadership in the industry, have been pivotal in providing opportunities for women.

If there’s one thing you’ll notice as you integrate into this community, it’s familiar faces and brands. When I attended Opt-in by Sparkpost in 2019, much similar to MailCon’s events, there was a strong sense of familiarity and community even as a first-time attendee. I soon realized that many of the industry-leading brands had been established by those who’ve been working together for years in the same space.

Unlimited Resources to Learn And a Willingness to Help

With community at its core, there are endless resources to learn everything you could ever need — or want to know about email marketing.

Blogs like Litmus and EmailMonday provide in-depth insight into email marketing best practices. Campaign Monitor’s Benchmark report allows readers to compare their emails with industry statistics like average email open rates, click and bounce rates.

You can also connect with and learn from industry experts and veterans by attending in-person and virtual events like MailCon and the InboxExpo. Here you’ll find there is something for everyone at every level and no shortage of people willing to help you grow in your career and share their knowledge with you.

Terminology (It’s a Little Messy)

A fundamental thing I quickly realized as I submerged myself in learning all things email was a mix-up in terminology — specifically with email acronyms. With so many resources available from multiple different sources, this is no surprise.

It may take some time to learn the fundamental differences between an ESP, ISP, MUA, and SMTP. Still, thankfully, there are some reliable resources that you can cross-reference to ensure you understand the lingo correctly and fully understand the differences between the vast array of email marketing solutions and services.

It’s Not Rocket Science

When you take the time to learn from the email experts and understand each aspect of how email works, you may realize it’s simpler than you may have thought.

Effective email marketing is not difficult; it is, however, time-consuming. Regardless of the type of emails a marketer is sending, at the end of the day, the ultimate goal is to send the right message, to the right people, at the right time.

How a marketer can achieve that is highly dependent on how well they manage their data, how personalized the campaigns are, how well they follow best practices, and of course, what type of product, service, or information they are providing. In short, how relevant is the email they are sending to the recipient at the time they receive it. And, how well have they managed their sender reputation to position that email in the user’s inbox.

Thankfully, there are a multitude of tools and solutions designed to take the guesswork out of mailing and help make the process of effective email marketing less time-consuming.

Email Isn’t Dead or Going Anywhere Anytime Soon

Email is still one of the most affordable forms of marketing with the highest ROI. With trillions of emails sent each year — and rising — email continues to gain more popularity with the widespread use of mobile devices and enhanced personalization.

The industry continues to become more advanced with new developments in AI technology, making it easier for marketers to create more effective campaigns and leverage their email data across channels such as social media.

Statistics show that email marketing is not only here to stay but is thriving and growing. As a result, there is an abundance of career opportunities in the email industry. If you’re beginning your career in this industry, the best way to learn is from those who have made it.

Attend the events, sit in on the webinars, read the articles, and connect and participate in the conversations.

Networking is Key & You Should Do It

The phrase “your network is your net worth” rings true for all marketing professionals. Regardless of when or where you start your career in email marketing, I’ve learned that having strong partnerships with industry thought leaders and professionals are crucial for success.

Whether your networking begins behind the computer screen on LinkedIn or during events like OptIn by Sparkpost and MailCon, being an active networker helps boost your profile and reputation within the industry.

For anyone that’s a beginner in email marketing— MailCon 2022 presents the perfect opportunity to get out of the online forces and join us at the largest email marketing gathering that will introduce niche-based tracks, speaker sessions, workshop events, and networking opportunities.

After all, consistent and strategic networking holds great value for all of us marketers when it comes to future partnerships, recruitment opportunities, outside endeavors, or even private equity marketing.

MailCon 2022 is scheduled to take place from Jan. 11 to 13 at the Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Follow this link to learn more about the event or to register for the event.

About the author

Kristen Haines
Kristen Haines

CEO, MailCon

Kristen Haines is the Chief Executive Officer at MailCon, where she oversees its strategy and operations. She is well-known for her passionate and savvy marketing and sales approach in both business-to-business and business-to-consumer marketplaces. When Kristen is not planning MailCon’s next big event, you can find her in the gym or reading books on business and technology.


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