Principles for Marketing Managers to Live By
What EmailSoldiers Team Prizes Above All
When a new recruit joins the ranks of EmailSoldiers, they embark on their journey to expertise to learn everything from the basics of coding to building CRM strategies. With a mentor by their side, they investigate the world of marketing through blogs, articles, and manuals. With a training program like this, anyone could become a marketer. Still, there is more to training than mere knowledge acquisition: people should be introduced to corporate values, learn to be proactive, loyal, and sensible.
One day I decided to make instructions for newbies based on best practices. Note that some of the rules apply only for people working for an agency.
Client = Partner
Don’t think of them as your boss, a villain, or a fool. Remember that you have a common goal — to create high-quality content that is valuable, effective, and aesthetically pleasing.
You Are the Source of Expertise…
… in this relationship. At the early stages of communication with the client, the sales department shapes a certain image of people who work in the agency. You need to go with this image. Your hard skills and level of expertise must not affect the way you communicate with the client. You’re like an older brother who should be patient when your client doesn’t nderstand something — your task is to help them figure everything out.
Don’t Be Afraid to Say “No”
There are cases when both businesses and clients benefit from this skill. Your team doesn’t always have to give their all because some tasks simply don’t fall under your scope of expertise.
Remember to use this rule wisely.
Answer Messages From the Client as Soon as Possible
Try not to keep the client waiting longer than 10 minutes, but it’s better to answer at once.
If the question requires a detailed answer that can take you more than 2 hours to prepare, let the client know you saw the message and when you’ll come back to them. The same goes for interacting with your colleagues — answer every email or message.
You Represent the Agency Every Time You Communicate With a Client
Keep this in mind and remember that you protect the interests and values of the agency. Agency interests = team’s interests = your interests.
You Represent Your Client Within the Agency
If you think the client won’t be satisfied with the results of work done by your colleagues, don’t approve it.
Don’t approve a project if you are sure that the specialist can do better. Strive to make the best version of a product and take an active part in this process.
You Are Responsible for the Team Working On Your Project
Human resources, healthy relationships, and a friendly environment are essential when it comes to creating an effective and high-quality product. The manager’s task is to keep up the team’s morale and make sure they look at the product positively.
Try to Keep the Team Engaged
Every specialist who works on your project should understand what value they bring. Everyone should be completely immersed in the project and be aware of what is going on at every other stage. That’s why you need to share details, metrics, and the results of research with your team.
Support Your Colleagues
Give quick and thoughtful answers to their questions and come to meetings if necessary. Propose ideas and solutions.
Maintain Work-Life Balance
The team shouldn’t work overtime, especially at night or on weekends. The agency doesn’t have to waste money paying for unscheduled work hours. Always track time spent on a task — if you notice a specialist dealing with a task longer than necessary, it may be a sign to audit the process and solve the problem.
If you’re a freelancer, you risk getting sucked in the endless number of tasks and wasting all of your resource.
Respect the time of your team, client, and your own time.
Discuss Performance Issues With the Team
If you notice that someone on your team struggles to meet their goals, talk to them to find out what is bothering them. If it doesn’t help, go to the head of the department or contact HR. Although it might feel uncomfortable, remember that this will help the specialist grow and bring more value to the client and, ultimately, the agency.
You’re the driving force of your communication with the client. You should offer new ideas to improve the client’s product and bring the agency more revenue.
Your Contributions Need to Be of Value, but the Value Should Be Measurable
It’s always better when the value is backed up by revenue. After all, we’re working here, not fooling around.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions: Come for Answers to the Client, Team, and Yourself
Every time you need additional information, make sure to ask the right questions: you should have a clear understanding of why you need it and how it will help you and your client achieve the necessary results. Don’t be afraid of looking stupid. Still, try to find the answer yourself at first: look through manuals, your chat with the client and the team, and even the Internet. Consult an expert to see if you got everything right.
Set a Deadline for Every Task
At least, let the team know when you’ll get to it.
If you can’t tell the deadline at once, get back with it later.
Set realistic deadlines: the time it will take you to complete the task + 20% of additional time.
Avoid breaking deadlines.
If you see you won’t be able to make it on time, tell the team about it immediately and explain why it happened.
Always Check the Product Before Sending It
I could provide a million examples here: emails with coupon codes that don’t work, grammar mistakes in the banner, non-clickable buttons, and so on. Experienced marketers who’ve taken the bumpy road of these mistakes know that they can and should be easily avoided.
Make Revisions Clear and Easy to Comprehend for Everyone
If you received a list of chaotic comments from your client, you have to sort them. You can either do it in Figma or create a Google doc — this will save the team’s time.
A better way to approach revisions is to discuss them with the client to see why they made this or that decision. You should be able to understand when to step back and let the client have it their way (I mean cases referring to mere preferences).
It’s a little bit trickier to edit things that can ruin the end product. In this case, provide conclusive arguments in a respectful manner. Offer alternatives but remember that the client has the last word. Your goal is to help them arrive at their own conclusion, you don’t have to force your opinion on them.
Make Revisions Yourself When It’s Possible
This is more time-efficient than involving another specialist.
However, let people on the project know that these are your comments. Direct their attention to a mistake or offer a possible solution in case a similar problem happens.
A Correct Brief Will Save You Half of Your Time
Formulate the task in such a way that there is no misunderstanding. The entry data needs to be sufficient, clear, and structured. Place emphasis on key points and speak the client’s language (if they are okay with it). You should have a picture of the final product at the stage of preparing the brief.
Once you have created a task on the CRM platform, take time to discuss it with the person who will work on it — make sure the task is clear and go through all nuances. The discussion may take more time than preparing a brief, but this will save you time in the future.
At the same time, don’t go too hard on instructions: leave the team space for creativity and remember they have expertise in their sphere.
Track the Document Flow
Set a task for preparing an invoice and services agreement beforehand. Proofread contracts and check the invoice details to make sure they are logically structured and realistic.
Calculate the Project ROI
You should know how much money you bring to the agency as a whole and as a percentage. You should know the revenue that is brought by your department, leading manager, and the strongest managers in the agency. Analyze profit margin results to see how far you’ve come.
If you’re working ahead of the schedule, think of ways to turn the saved time into value for the client: perform analytics and generate hypotheses, create strategy branches.
This goes both for your client and team. Show your appreciation to your team and give them tasks in a polite manner. Always check if everyone is comfortable with the deadline and working conditions.
The revisions shouldn’t sound harsh: if they are introduced by a client, you can formulate them in a more team-friendly way. If the revisions are from you, introduce them in an objective way.
Don’t Let Things Spiral Out of Control
Once you notice even a smallest problem on a project, go to someone who can help you with it: it can be a leading specialist or an outsourced expert.
If you feel frustrated with something, you’d better give it a moment before you provide feedback. This way you’ll be able to express your thoughts in a rational and constructive way.
Make a Habit of Consuming Professional Content
Read articles, attend webinars, complete courses, take part in meetings, and sign up for newsletters from professionals.
Here are some email marketing blogs the newbies can follow:
- Email on Acid
- Campaign Monitor
- Really Good Emails
- Email Uplers
- Only Influencers
Write Reports and Read Reports from Others
Write weekly reports to go through the work the team has done so far and read the reports from your colleagues — you can find a lot of new and interesting things there, so feel free to ask questions.
Take Care of Yourself
Weekends and time off are a necessity. Don’t ignore the first signs of burnout and give yourself time to recharge.
My team and I believe that we ought to stick to these rules. I feel like breaking one of them would result in absolute chaos, so we stick by them — to keep the balance in this world.