Marketing’s Weekly Dose of the Truth

Ken Magill

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Hey Everybody! Let's Crowdsource a Test!


By Ken Magill

The first time I moderated a webinar on email marketing, I was stunned by the low level of knowledge displayed in some of the questions that came in.

No longer. Now during webinars, I expect questions on email marketing’s most basic stuff.

As a result, in pre-webinar conference calls I always warn presenters that I will occasionally break into their talks to prompt them to define, explain or expand on something as a result of one or more attendees’ questions.

Email marketing is growing. People often move up and out of email marketing departments. Some leave the industry altogether. As a result, there is a constant influx of new people, many lacking even the most basic knowledge of email marketing.

What’s more, email is arguably marketing’s most quirky channel. What other channel mangles creative by default? Email turns a lot of traditional direct marketing on its head.

There is a certain base level of knowledge everyone in email marketing needs in order to operate competently.

Everyone in email marketing should know what a feedback loop is, for example. They should know that the terms “fully confirmed opt-in,” “closed-loop opt-in” and “double opt-in” are synonymous. They should know what Spamhaus is.

One way to teach them is to put together a multiple-choice test they can answer by doing simple Google, Bing or Yahoo! searches.

I plan on beginning work on just such a test this week. And here’s where I need your help.

I can’t think of everything, so I’m asking you to email me at and tell me what else should be on that test. I’ll craft the questions and try to inject a little humor to make it fun.

So please send me what you think everyone in email—whether they’re in deliverability or sales—should know.

Avoid opinion-based topics like engagement and optimal email frequency.

Hopefully we can get a good little gateway test everyone can use.


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Terms: Feel free to be as big a jerk as you want, but don't attack anyone other than me personally. And don't criticize people or companies other than me anonymously. Got something crappy to say? Say it under your real name. Anonymous potshots and personal attacks aimed at me, however, are fine.

Posted by: Glenn
Date: 2013-11-07 05:36:18
Subject: knowledge levels US vs EU

Nice initiative. I agree with your observations, but also found at several conferences that the average level of knowledge among email marketers in the US appears to be quite a bit lower compared to that of their European counterparts. Do they move in and out of the field a lot faster in the US? Or is e-mail marketing taking less serious as a specialized profession in the US ("if you send out paper brochures, you are qualified to set up an email marketing program as well")?