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Director for Email Marketing

Urban Institute

Urban Institute

Marketing & Communications
Washington, DC, USA
Posted on Thursday, May 11, 2023

Director for Email Marketing (Brand and Audience Engagement)

About Urban Institute:

At the Urban Institute, we believe in the power of evidence to improve lives and strengthen communities. As a nonprofit focusing on social and economic policy, our researchers and policy entrepreneurs open minds, shape decisions, and identify transformative solutions to the most pressing issues of our time.

Our Mission

To open minds, shape decisions, and offer solutions through economic and social policy research.

Our Values

Collaboration, Equity, Inclusivity, Independence, and Integrity

For more information on the Urban Institute, please visit

The Opportunity:

Central to Urban’s mission is fostering a truly inclusive community that ensures ongoing relevance to a changing world. The Director of Email Marketing will develop, execute, and manage the email strategy for key stakeholder audiences including government, community leaders, philanthropy, business and advocates

Reporting directly to the Senior Director for Brand and Audience Engagement, the Director for Email Marketing is responsible for developing and executing a personalized email outreach strategy that positions and centralizes Urban’s research, publications, and tools—and Urban itself—with key, lapsed, and prospective audiences.

The Director will plan, create, and execute email campaigns and manage email segmentation, personalization strategies, technology implementations, email delivery and acquisition efforts, and oversee email data analysis and best practices for email design and listing quality. The candidate will also lead a team of communications professionals focused on audience outreach and engagement.

What You’ll Do:

Email Strategy and Planning

  • Lead Urban’s email marketing strategy and editorial calendar to drive traffic, engagement, leads, visibility and support.

  • Manage email marketing campaigns end-to-end, including planning, targeting, set-up, testing, technical execution, QA, reporting, and optimization.

  • Develop documentation and road maps for processes, A/B tests, and promotions that succeed through email.

  • Write email copy to translate and promote Urban research, analysis and reports and craft messages for specific audience segments.

  • Champion continuous advancement of our email features to deliver highly targeted/segmented marketing campaigns, lifecycle emails, retention/reactivation programs, and loyalty-building communications.

  • Stay current with best practices, strategies, and industry standards related to email marketing.

CRM and List Management

  • Direct activities related to Salesforce and Salesforce Marketing Cloud case management, ensuring that internal and network partners are maximizing the value of tools and platforms, always with end-customer experience in mind.

  • Manage a growing network of Urban users across multi-tenant Salesforce Marketing Cloud instances, including necessary development and platform customization.

  • Segment lists based on behaviors like past email engagement and website interactions (content downloads, site page visits, etc.).

  • Purge non-deliverable email addresses and opt-outs and follow up on interested respondents.

  • Create scoring models, such as Engagement, Inactivity, Loyalty and such, while reporting against their effectiveness.

  • Research and make recommendations for list development and reaching new audiences.

  • Conduct micro-targeting of key policymaker and practitioner audiences.

Research and Reporting

  • Create email reporting dashboards and custom reports analyzing campaign performance in order to provide actionable recommendations and deliver continuous improvements to Urban’s email program.

  • Design qualitative and quantitative audience research plans for Urban programs and products in all stages of the email life cycle.

  • Analyze and synthesize market research, primary/secondary research, and survey data to inform email marketing campaigns.

  • Work closely with other team members to create reporting dashboards and analyses that will help drive the overall email strategy.


  • Build and lead a highly efficient team of communications professionals focused on audience outreach and engagement.

  • Supervise and develop performance standards for direct reports whose primary roles are list management, email creation, reporting, and implementation of Urban email marketing tasks.

  • Recruit, hire and onboard candidates for positions and recommend appointments, promotions, or reassignments to such positions.

  • Plan and schedule ongoing production-oriented work to be accomplished by subordinates, set and adjust short-term priorities, and prepare schedules for completion of work. Assign work to subordinates and evaluate their work.

  • Give advice, counsel, or instruction to employees on both work and administrative matters.

Who You Are:

Essential Skills

  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing, analytics or statistics, communications or related field; or commensurate experience.

  • Minimum seven years of experience developing and managing optimized email marketing campaigns in a nonprofit, political or public policy setting with increasing responsibility

  • Ability to translate complex and varied inputs, including digital behavioral data and analytics, market research, industry and competitive trends and more, into a clear, cohesive narrative that leads to actionable strategies.

  • Excellent understanding of email marketing concepts and metrics such as Sender Score, deliverability, and sender reputation.

  • Demonstrated interpersonal, communication, project, time management and analytical skills.

  • Highly analytical and able to derive meaning from data through A/B testing and email optimization.

  • Knowledge of HTML, CSS and email design best practices.

  • Experience writing email copy to translate and promote complex materials and craft messages for specific audience segments.

  • Experience with audience segmentation and list management.

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including editing and proofreading and attention to detail.

  • Experience building campaigns within Salesforce, ExactTarget and/or Marketing.

  • Experience supervising a multidisciplinary team.

Preferred Knowledge

  • Solid understanding of web and email metrics, digital analytics, and ability to generate, analyze and interpret data.

  • Highly analytical and able to derive meaning from data through A/B testing and email optimization.

  • Salesforce Marketing Cloud certification

  • Previous experience working with a premium positioned brand and understanding tactics that can both build and potentially erode brand equity.

What You’ll Experience:

No matter your role with Urban, you will contribute to meaningful work that makes a difference for people and communities across the country. And whether you call the Washington, DC area or elsewhere home, you can expect to be part of a welcoming and hybrid workplace. We are committed to cultivating a community and working in a manner defined by collaboration, equity, inclusivity, independence, and integrity.

Urban’s greatest asset is our people.

The target salary range for this position is $110,000 - $150,000. Salary offered is commensurate with experience and considers internal equity. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. Salaries are just one component of Urban Institute’s total compensation package. Urban is committed to supporting our staff’s physical, emotional, and financial well-being through a robust benefits package for yourself, eligible dependents, and domestic partners. It includes generous paid time off, including nine federal holidays, medical (including prescription), dental and vision insurance, and transit benefits. Urban is unique in that we offer 403(b) retirement plan participation immediately after you’re hired and a generous employer contribution after six months of service and 500 hours, with immediate vesting. You’ll also have access to a health advocate, personal finance coaching, an Employee Assistance Program, and educational assistance for undergraduate and graduate degree programs. This position has the opportunity to be fully remote.

As a federal contractor, Urban will comply with Executive Order (EO) 14042 that requires federal contractors, subcontractors, and their respective employees to comply with Covid-19 vaccinations. All Urban Institute employees must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by January 18, 2022, and comply with masking and distancing requirements, regardless of responsibilities or work location. New hires must also be fully vaccinated before starting work. Employees may request exemption from vaccination against COVID-19 based on either a medical condition or a sincerely held religious belief that prevents them from being vaccinated. Where such an exemption is approved, Urban will discuss with each employee potential accommodation.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of the work being performed by the people assigned. This posting is not an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, and requirements. Urban management reserves the right to amend and change duties, responsibilities, and requirements to meet business and organizational needs as necessary.

The Urban Institute is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace. All qualified candidates will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender or gender identity, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, veteran status, pregnancy or family responsibilities, matriculation, disability, political affiliation, or any other protected status under applicable law.