In 2021, Webbula launched a video series where we sat down with email industry experts to discuss various topics within the email marketing world. Each month, Webbula introduced a new lineup of email experts with a new topic.
Follow along in 2022, for 12 new questions and a new lineup of email experts. Thank you to every email expert who participated in this video series and provided advice to other email marketers.
Video transcription completed with Descript.
- Yanna-Torry Aspraki
- Anthony Chiulli
- Guilda Hilaire
- Jeanne Jennings
- Andrew Kordek
- Gavin Laugenie
- Chris Marriott
- Tejas Pitkar
- Anne Tomlin
- Chad S. White
- Tom Wozniak
Head of Deliverability & CBDO, EmailConsul
The first reason I love working in email marketing is the community mixed with the fact that things change all the time. So the combination of the two of them makes me excited to figure out solutions to problems, figure out what problems even exist, to begin with, and have a community that backs everybody up is great you can ask people questions and when weird things pop up, it makes it a lot more exciting. I do like the brainstorming part of it and the analytics and the investigation.
And if not, the job descriptions and pay go with them. Let's all be honest. We're very, very lucky to be in the email industry. We're very specialized, and I feel the community works so well together because we don't need to compete. There's not enough of us, which makes it great.
Senior Manager, Product Marketing, Iterable
I think first, it's a resilient industry. I think this space at large is dynamic, it's ever-changing, and each year tends to bring something new and exciting and kind of keeps you on your toes. I do enjoy that type of environment of embracing chaos and kind of that freshness, if you will, of the uncertainty of what's coming or what pivots are going to happen in this space.
Overall, it's so adaptable, and that's what I really what I like about working in email marketing.
I think equally important is just the people and I know that's probably a cliche answer, but I think on brand side and vendor side i think there's so many creative people and a wealth of insights that this space continues to kind of serve as that in inspiration and motivates me to try to bring my best self to work, and increase my ability.
There's a lot of friends that I've made in this space and a lot of lifelong friends that I continue to keep up with from this industry.
Lastly, what I love about working in email marketing is the human connections that exist. I think if you zoom out and think about it, we all probably underestimate email because we are in the industry and it, and it's such a part of our lives, but it plays such a big role on the way that people connect with one another and the experiences they have with brands. It's just really cool to take a step back and realize that you're a part of that thread of the way that people have experiences with one another. So that's kind of cool too.
Director of Product Marketing, Salesforce
The community of email marketers, we're passionate, and we're a family we're creative. I'd have to say that's one of the reasons why I love the email marketing community and not only that we're unicorns. Email marketers are not just designers, we're data analysts, we're data scientists, we're developers, we're architects. We are a unicorn. You'll see us building a campaign, but we're not just building, we have to think, you know, strategically in the campaign that we're about to send, we have to think about the data. We have to think about the build. We have to think about the metrics, the reporting, AB testing, or multi-variant testing. We have to think about the platform itself, the system that's actually sending out these emails.
So for me, it's one of those roles, its not linear, and I think of an email marketer as a tree and different branches, different roles you can take as an email marketer.
It's fascinating, why wouldn't anybody wanna be an email marketer, right? Plus, you're in a community that are like-minded people. We all are experiencing the same issues, the same challenges, but there's a community where we can go to and and feel welcome and feel loved and know that if we have any challenges, there are at least ten people that are going to jump in and say, "you know what? I can help you. I've solved this before. Let me share my code. Let me see your code. Let me share my template."
So that's the reasons why I love being a part of this community.
Founder, Email Optimization Shop; GM, Only Influencers; Chair of Email Innovations Summit
The first would have to be the people. We are a really interesting industry in that, although we compete in some areas for the most part, everyone collaborates in others, and I absolutely love that. OI is a great example, the email community only influencers that I'm the general manager of. We have people who are competitors by day, and they're working on a committee together at night on OI. Again, so many people in the industry, Ryan Phelan, John Caldwell, Dennis Dayman, Lauren McDonald, Kath Pay, Karen Talavera. I can't even name them all who I'm friendly with, and we all help each other. It's just a wonderful, loving community of people, and that sounds crazy when I tell other people, I say, "oh, well, they're an industry friend." And they say, "well, what the hell does that mean? Did you used to work with them?" And I'm like, "no, we've never worked together, but we just know each other from the industry."
That would be the first reason. The second thing is I'm a little bit competitive, and so A/B split testing to boost performance is so easy with email, and I absolutely love that about it. The other thing I love about it is unlike direct mail, where you get your results in like weeks with email, you get results in days. And so I absolutely love the idea that you can put something out there, and a week later, you'll know which worked better, and then you can build on that. So all the A/B split testing just really jams for me, and I love the competitive nature of that.
I would say the third thing is that email is constantly evolving. I'm not sure that people outside the industry understand this. I've seen things written about how, "oh, email hasn't really changed since it was launched. " I'm living proof that it's changed since it's launched because I was doing email marketing in the early nineties, and it was all text-based, and there was no HTML email. And then we went into when AOL had their own proprietary code, so you had to do three versions, text HTML and AOL. And even now, it's evolving; things like AMP are really interesting. We see a lot more with real-time information and emails. I think even video now, with people who are on higher bandwidth, we're able to deliver video and email, which we didn't use to be able to do.
So that's the other thing I love about the space. It is constantly evolving. You need to have a good basis and the fundamentals of email, which we've built over the last 20 years, 25 years since I've been working in it. There are new things happening all the time. And I think that's really, really fun.
VP of Customer Engagement, iPost
The number one reason is an analogy that I use and it's like being the offensive line. So for those who are into American football, there's this thing called the offensive line, and they have never won a super bowl MVP. They are sort of the untold story. And I think that email marketing is like the offensive line for the marketing department. Without it, you can't score a touchdown. Without it, you can't, have a successful quarterback or running back.
They do a lot of work, push a lot of different things and make the company or the team successful. They do it without a lot of fanfare. So that's number one - being the offensive line.
The second is the community. I've been in many different communities, there's so many resources and people willing to help. Even your competitors are willing to sort of jump in and help. This is a community based on sort of profession, and I encourage anybody and everybody that if you're not participating in communities, even at the slightest level, even if you're a lurker, I encourage you guys to do that.
The last thing that I love is the challenge. There's a challenge that you have to be passionate for, to make sure that you do responsible email marketing. I love working in this because I feel like that's a challenge every day to work with clients, look at strategies, and look at different things.
And I can't be more proud to work through these challenges. And they're going to continue no matter how long I stay in this industry or not, they're going continue, and that's the beauty of it, and there are people to support me.
Head of Strategy & Insight, Dotdigital
I love working in email. It was more fun when we could get out a little bit more and get to events and meet people. But that leads to the first one.
The people - we are a strange and weird bunch and a wonderful bunch, I should say as well. That's kind of one of the reasons why I do my podcast naughty by nurture, because I've met so many weird and wonderful people across the industry. I like to understand what makes them tick, why they think the way they do and use bits and pieces of what they say to bolster what we also do.
Two, it's how flexible, how resilient, and how profitable the channel is. There's always been something each year that comes along and potentially threatens this channel that we know and love. And each time around, it takes the knock and moves on.
It is completely flexible. It changes according to the obstacles that are being thrown at it. It's resilient, and it remains profitable, and it's because our customers love it. That's the best way. The number one way our customers want us to communicate with them is via email.
So we don't want to abuse that. And I think finally, just the way it connects with other channels. It plays well with others, and we can drive people to other channels, and we can have other channels drive to it. Ultimately, it's what makes the conversions for us. So those three reasons are why I love email for.
President & Founder, Email Connect LLC.
Let's start with the fact that if you'd asked me 20 years ago if I saw myself in email marketing and enjoying it, I would've thought you were crazy. But the truth is email marketing is a great industry to work in. Here I am still 20 years later, working in email marketing.
What are the things that make it interesting? One, it's constantly changing. You never know everything you need to know and that's because it's an evolving industry, and the tactics and practices are evolving, and sometimes it doesn't feel like that. Sometimes feels like we're always discussing the same things and writing about the same things. But in truth, if you look at the evolution of the platforms themselves from 2000, even just 2010 to 2021, where we are now they've made they've dramatically increased in terms of features and functionalities and the expectations that brands have for what an email platform should do and can be.
Number one is it's a constantly changing industry, despite the fact that many people on the outside don't think so, and you never have stop learning.
Number two is the people that work in it are great, and I'm sure others will say the same thing, which is that the people in it are great. While we compete with each other, and I'm gonna say exactly what I've heard Ryan Phelan say many times, and if you have him on, he's gonna say this, but we compete against each other during the day, and we gather around cocktails at the bar at night. And, and that really is true, and it's an industry where people are very generous with their knowledge and are very generous with their time in helping people that are new to the industry get their footing and, sort of sharing what, what they've learned. So answer number two, the people are great.
And I think lastly, answer number three it's a very good career. It's a very good area where you can make your mark where you can if you want to become an expert. There's a lot of opportunities to become an expert. If you work at it, it's not gonna happen overnight. When I say an expert, somebody who's writing columns or speaking on it. I'm avoiding the term thought leader because I think that's overused, but where again, you can really make something of yourself if again, you're willing to give and share your knowledge, and you're willing to work at it in terms of moving up the ranks of the sort of people that people turn to for again for advice. Because it makes companies so much money, and it makes companies so much money, and it makes vendors so much money, and it's lucrative. It's not a bad place.
On the brand side, we see people often times anxious to get out of Email Marketing. If you look at who are the old timers in this industry, they tend to find them on the vendor side because they're people who love email marketing and stick around.
My only piece of advice for brand people, not that you asked for advice in this, would be, don't be in such a rush to get out of email marketing. You're going learn a lot, it's a great place to be, and it's a lucrative position. And even on the brand side, if you're that if you're the email gal or guy, you're in a good place.
Outbound Marketing Strategy, Hurix Digital
I would say the number one is that email has been a direct, one-to-one channel. It's been there for decades now, and it's still pretty much alive. It's a channel where you can just send campaigns that provide value over time to your customers or subscribers before you move them into the funnel for the decision-making process. It's like a perfect channel for say, even a product marketer to handhold your new prospect from product discovery to them making the purchasing decision. I think every email will count. So it's the least cost and high return channel of all the marketing channels.
That's one reason. The second one is that email is a very important tool for communicating with all your customers and educating them. COVID 19 has been such a huge global event, but email has been very effective in the whole crisis time for the last two years that we have seen where, you know, it.
COVID19's response by brands has been a really excellent example of how effective emails can be made to stay in touch with your subscribers, even during such non-social times, and help them with their needs in such times as well.
Right now, email is going through a huge evolution. It has been for the past two or three years and with some new technologies on the block, I think it's one of the best marketing channels right now that any marketer would like to work on.
The last one is that I think the email marketing community as a whole is very close, friendly and open-minded community. We have collaborated in the past as well, right. It's it's all based on collaborations. I'm not seeing that in any other industry. There's a general bond home, I think, between even competitors too. There are, of course, the very approachable experts, we can learn terms from them. There's so many great email events and conferences that happen during the year that there's just a lot of support, knowledge, networking opportunities, and you get to know some really smart people if you attend them for free. It's a perfect industry in order to get some great individual opportunities.
Founder/Responsive HTML Email Developer, Emails Y'All
When I started email marketing, I was a brand new email coder. I've had some background in HTML and CSS, but I wasn't really finding web to be very fulfilling. I was asked to make an email, which immediately made sense to me. It was like the spaciousness of how you create an email just made a lot more sense to me than regular web development. I found that to be extremely fulfilling because not only is it difficult, it's also like the exclusivity of the club of email developers. It's like if you know email development, you are awesome. I love the sense of accomplishment that comes with it as well. When you finish an email, and it works in every single major email client, that's a huge accomplishment, especially if you do it on the first try.
I have to mention the community. Being a part of the email development community is amazing. We all help each other. There is no kind of rivalry type of thing. It is all just, Hey, let's get together and find out new ways of making emails work in every major email browser like that.
That actually happened with the dark mode Gmail app and Outlook. We found a way to keep the text white in the dark mode, and that was because somebody in the community spent the time to try it out and find the way, and that's how the community finds things out and gets more knowledge. A then we share it with each other!
The community is a really fun.
I feel really privileged to be part of it.
Chad S. White
Head of Research, Oracle Marketing Consulting
Well, I certainly do love email. I've been in the industry for about 15 years. I think it's fantastic. So three reasons; the first one is, is I love change. I'm formerly a journalist trained as a journalist. I like the new story, and there's always a new story in email marketing. There are always new wrinkles, and new developments. I know that probably a lot of people listening to this right now would prefer that there was maybe a little less change than we've experienced over the last couple of years, and I would certainly agree with that. I would love for it to slow down just a little bit, but that's one of the things I really like about email marketing is it is always constantly evolving.
I like to say that when people say that email hasn't changed in like ten years or whatever that tells me that they know absolutely nothing about email marketing, This is a very, very fluid, evolving industry. I think that's great's. It's always adapting to the new, and that's what keeps it relevant. It keeps me interested, and I think it keeps email marketing relevant.
So number two is that I like numbers. Back before I was a journalist, I trained as an engineer. So I have like an affinity for numbers, and email marketing is this great mix of sort of like the art and the science. But science is increasingly important with AI and machine learnings and being data-driven, so having a mind for numbers is definitely a big plus, and it's one of the things that I find very attractive about it. But it's not just about the numbers. Everybody can read numbers and, do you know, basic math about how numbers are changing and what have you. What I find really fascinating is looking behind the numbers for what the trend and what do the numbers really mean? And sometimes we get that a bit wrong where we misinterpret what the numbers are really telling us. So that's one of the other things I really like about it is it's focus on numbers, focus on data, like interpreting the numbers.
And then the last thing I love about email marketing, frankly, is the people. We have a fantastic community. It welcomed me in when I joined this sort of family 15 years ago. I wouldn't be in it if it weren't for the actions of a small number of people that were super welcoming. And I hear that like over and over and over again from other people who've been in the industry for a while, as well as newcomers, that they really love this community and how open it is and how welcoming it is and how everyone's willing to help out a fellow email marketer, answer some questions, direct them to resources. Honestly, I think that's really special, and I hope nobody takes that for granted. It's not that way in every other industry.
So I think there's something really special about our community.
Executive of Marketing, Optizmo
I've been in email for a really long time, since the late nineties. And I think some of what I like working on is just that staying power. I mean, there is no other digital marketing channel that's been around for 40-plus years and continues to go strong. I think it's both really fun and enjoyable, but also it's a great industry to be in because it does have that staying power.
I personally like it too, because it marries what I would consider to be old-school direct marketing with digital. I really got my start in direct mail. So email was such a natural progression from true traditional, offline, direct marketing, and direct mail that to be able to translate that into the digital channel was a perfect fit for me.
So I totally love that. And as a content generator, email is all about content. No question the design's important, but at the end of the day, it's about the words you put on that electronic piece of paper and put in front of an audience. So, as a content marketer, I love that.
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Check back next month to listen to our next round of email experts' answers to, "Do you have a specific campaign/project you worked on that's most memorable to you? If so, what is it, and why is it your most memorable?"
What's the impact of Apple MPP on email?
How do you think the email industry did during the pandemic? Any lessons you took away from it?