Starting a new position is usually a challenge, and when that new position is in email marketing, it can be even tougher.
Email marketing is an industry that evolves almost overnight. On top of that, starting at a company means not only learning office dynamics, but how each team and person approaches that company’s email marketing program.
Everyone’s been new at some point, and it’s always a relief to know someone who can give you the inside scoop to help you get a running start in your new position.
An email marketer’s first week on the job isn’t about proving yourself, and it’s not about showing off how much you know.
Instead, the first week of an email marketer’s new position should be spent delving deep into what the industry is and how the company differentiates itself in the industry. Then in following weeks, you can take the email marketing program to the next level.
Some specific tips?
#1: Read as much as you can
Is there a better way to understand a concept than to read as much as you can about it? An email marketer’s first week on the job should consist of content immersion. Dive into topical books, industry blogs, discussion boards, website articles, webinars, and any other type of tutorial or informational content you can get your hands on.
Additionally, read the content your company has published. This is intrinsic in familiarizing yourself with your company’s position in the industry, as well as its stance on controversial issues, best practices and strategies.
You can use all the help you can get the first week in a new position, and the less you read, the less help you’ll get.
#2: Talk to your co-workers to learn from them
The talking part may seem obvious, but as you chat, work industry-related topics into the conversation. Find out what industry blogs and websites they follow, read, and contribute to. Where do they see opportunities in the email marketing program at the company? Form ideas about where your co-workers see gaps in the projects you’ll be handling. When the time comes to plan, you can revisit these suggestions.
As you receive answers to these questions from different people, it will help you get a feel for each team’s responsibilities and the best way to interact with each team. For example, you may need to nail down who will be responsible for creating the images, as well as templates, for your email marketing program. It differs at each company, so it’s important to know what particular pieces you can ask the creative team to handle without stepping over boundaries.
#3: Connect with industry experts outside your company
In addition to learning from your co-workers, connect with industry experts to gain from their experience.
See if there are any local events your first week you can attend to meet peers. If there aren’t, find out how to get notified when these events happen. A great place to start is local marketing associations. Remember those co-workers you’re meeting your first week? Ask them what events they attend and how you can get an invite to tag along.
If you’re lucky to attend a local event your first week on the job, make the most of the opportunity. Shake hands and talk to attendees about their industry knowledge and what they recommend for email marketing programs.
Whether you think you have a handle on email marketing as a whole, or you’re a newbie to the industry, writing is the best way to make concepts stick.
Consider taking on a blog post about a best practice or strategy. The research and interviews you’ll undertake will solidify the ideas in your mind. Not only will you have learned something valuable about your industry, you’ll feel much more confident about your email marketing position your first week on the job.
A related tip: As you’re taking notes before writing your piece of content, don’t jot them down using your laptop. Instead, use a pen or pencil and paper. Results of a recent study suggest taking notes with a pen and paper, rather than a laptop, leads to higher quality learning, as writing is a better strategy to store and internalize ideas in the long haul. Writing by hand strengthens the learning process, while typing can impair it.
It’s nearly impossible to fake knowledge when giving a presentation; you have to know the information thoroughly and be ready for any type of question.
That’s why in addition to the other items email marketers should do the first week on the job, they should put together a presentation of the core thesis of an email marketing best practice or, if they’re familiar with the topic, a presentation about a hot topic in the space.
Present to your immediate team or a group of co-workers. They’ll be able to give you constructive criticism and ask the questions to get you thinking.
Ready to start?
Sure, the email marketing industry moves at the speed of light – or so it seems – but with the right game plan, an email marketer’s first week on the job can be productive, helpful, and positive.
The point bears repeating: Learn as much as you can. Read, write, and talk to people. Soak it all in. You’ll have plenty of time – and will be better equipped - to address the strengths and weaknesses of the company’s email marketing program in the future.
The most important tip? Walk in with an attitude of willingness to sit back and learn from others. Your attitude reflects your leadership.