Life as a Digital Marketing Apprentice

I thought it would be a clever idea to document my journey through my digital marketing apprenticeship. It may help some of you that are also thinking about undertaking the course. Not only that, but I love to write so what better excuse than to waffle about my personal experiences!

Welcome to Series 1 of my life as a Digital Marketing Apprentice!

I am currently undertaking a 14-month digital marketing apprenticeship that requires me to go to a QA Training Centre in Birmingham for the dates that are given to me.

QA has been a professional training industry for 30 years. They help individuals develop their careers and organisations build the skills to transform performance. There are over 20 QA learning centres and many other sites spread across the UK, but I will be talking about my time with the training centre in Birmingham. This is in a shared building on the 10th floor, to give you an idea of the area, here is a spectacular look of Birmingham’s Centre with drone footage!

Digital Marketing Apprenticeship Courses

Here is the list of different courses I will be doing in my Digital Marketing Apprenticeship throughout the year:

  1. Universal Apprenticeship Induction | 23rd Jan – 24th Jan
  2. Email Marketing | 8th March – 10th March
  3. Search Engine Optimisation & Pay Per Click | 10th April – 13th April
  4. Photoshop Level 2 & Video Editing (Adobe Premiere) | 22nd May – 26th May
  5. Functional Skills ICT Workshop | 7th June – 7th June
  6. Business & Marketing Concepts | 26th June – 30th June
  7. Social Media Marketing & Advertising | 29th August – 1st September
  8. Copywriting, CMS & Collaborative Technologies | 18th September – 22nd September
  9. Data, Metrics & Analysis | 23rd October – 27th October

My Experience So Far

Out of these courses, I have currently done the Induction and Email Marketing. Not only has this apprenticeship giving me life skills such as using a public train for the first time, but also insightful information about digital marketing which I’ve never known about before. I’ve learnt email terminology, for example:

  • Transactional Email – When there is something to interact with such as PDF and a newsletter.
  • Marketing Email – When there is just text and information such as a blog post.

Click to open rate (CTOR) is the number of total clicks on the email vs the number of unique people who has clicked the email. As well as this, A/B testing is when you send out variants of an email design to different recipients to see which one works best and achieves the most click to open rate.


For this course, we also got taught about the legal considerations of email marketing. The list as follows are either illegal or frowned upon:

  • Not including an “unsubscribe” option on your emails
  • Not including your company information
  • Sharing or selling emails and other personal info without the consumer’s explicit consent
  • Deliberately offending recipients
  • Organisations must only send marketing emails to individuals who have agreed to receive them, except where there is a clearly defined customer relationship


There are also technical obstacles that can be encountered when email marketing. Such as email client rendering issues, this is where your email may look different on separate email clients. For example, sending a mail from Gmail to Outlook may look different, even if it’s sending between unique versions of Outlook (2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016). Another obstacle could be the Network/Corporation that you are sending the email to may have rules or filters to block out certain words. Lastly, another example of a technical obstacle is using HTML to create the email however one simple and small mistake is done in the code which could completely break the email layout.

I have really enjoyed my time and the amount I’ve learnt at QA so far, and I’m excited for what’s to come further on in the course. There is much more than this that I was taught and I’ve only done one of the courses so far!

If you’ve got any questions for me I’d love to connect with you and share my experiences. Leave a comment below or reach out to me on Twitter @sambaylis2 and I will get back to you promptly.

life as a digital marketing apprentice series 1