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The Size of the Gender Pay Gap in Email Marketing


Women are a vital part of the email marketing industry. Overall, women make up 47.3% of the email marketing workforce, according to Litmus’ State of Email Survey of more than 3,500 marketers. And at companies with more than 500 employees, exactly half of email marketers are women.

Email marketing professionals wear many hats, performing on average 4.4 of the 10 email tasks that we surveyed them about. Women lead the way on three of those tasks. They hold 55.2% of the email marketing jobs that involve email copywriting; 52.1% involving email planning; and 51.2% involving oversight of all marketing activities.

Men dominate three other email tasks. They hold 53.3% of the email marketing jobs that involve email design; 57.8% involving email coding; and 64.6% involving oversight of all business activities.

Men and women essentially evenly split jobs involving email strategy; email performance analysis and analytics; management of email marketing accounts, clients, or projects; and oversight of all email marketing activities.

Gender Balance in Email Marketing Roles

While some of those differences in gender roles are significant, like the well-documented one in coding and in leading overall business operations, all but three of the 10 roles we asked about differed by less than 7 percentage points. So if men and women in the email marketing industry are roughly doing the same jobs, does it mean they’re also paid the same? According to our research, that’s not the case.

Women earn just 89 cents for every dollar men earn in the email marketing industry ($65,000 for women vs. $73,000 for men). [Tweet this →]

First, let’s acknowledge that, at $68,000, the average salary for full-time workers involved in email marketing in the U.S. is comfortably above the median household income in America of $59,039 in 2016. That validates email marketing as a valuable profession and healthy industry. And, second, let’s acknowledge that while that gender pay gap is sizable, it’s about a third smaller than the national average of 17 cents on the dollar.

Even so, the gender pay gap is troubling so we sought to control for as many factors as we could to try to narrow or eliminate the gap by creating better apples-to-apples comparisons.

Factors that Affect the Gender Pay Gap

For instance, younger email marketers are paid much more fairly than older workers. Email professionals who are 45 years old or older see the gender pay gap balloon to 16 cents, up from the average gap of 11 cents.

The larger the company you work for, the more likely women are to be paid fairly. Working at a company with 5,000 or more employees reduces the gender pay gap to 7 cents, whereas the gap at companies with fewer than 100 employees is 16 cents.

Working in the B2B industry narrows the gender pay gap to 8 cents, compared to 12 cents at B2C companies and agencies, and 14 cents at nonprofits.

Looking at regional differences, the gender pay gap in the email marketing industry was largest in the Northeast, where women earn 80 cents on the dollar—a 20-cent pay gap that’s higher than any other part of the U.S. In the South, the gap was 11 cents; in the West, 8 cents; and in the Midwest, just 6 cents. (We use the four Census Bureau-designated regions.)

The Gender Pay Gap in Email Marketing

Comparing Lookalikes

To make the truest comparisons, Litmus identified 80 nearly identical male and female lookalikes—working in the same region of the U.S., in the same industry, at companies of approximately the same size, being roughly the same age, with roughly the same years of email marketing experience, and performing mostly the same email marketing tasks.

For example, we identified a man and a woman working at nonprofits in the Northeast with 500-1,999 employees who are 25-34 years old with 1-2 years of email marketing experience and performing email design, coding, planning, strategy, performance analysis, and managing accounts, clients, or projects—and with the female also doing copywriting. The man earns $70,000 a year and the woman $65,000. That gender pay gap is very close to the average of 6 cents on the dollar for this group of 80 nearly identical lookalikes.

To take our comparisons a step further, we identified 15 identical lookalikes who also performed exactly the same tasks. For example, we identified a man and woman working at marketing, advertising, or digital agencies in the Midwest with 100-499 employees who are 35-44 years old with 3-4 years of email marketing experience and performing email coding. The male earns $93,000 a year and the female $77,000. That gender pay gap was very close to the average for this group of identical lookalikes, which was 16 cents.

Where the Gap Is Smallest

No matter which factors we look at, the gender pay gap persisted. However, when we look at men and women 24 years old and younger, the email marketing industry’s gender pay gap shrinks to just 2 cents on the dollar.

This is in line with other research showing that the gender pay gap is small and getting smaller among millennials due to more women than men earning college and graduate degrees. This trend should help shrink the gender pay gap in the years ahead.

State of Email Salaries & Jobs in the U.S.

State of Email Salaries & Jobs in the U.S.

In this report, we take a detailed look at how various factors affect the salaries of email marketers in the United States.

Download the free report →


Chad S. White

Chad S. White

Chad S. White was the Research Director at Litmus