Jen Capstraw is a consultant at Adobe where she is a subject matter expert on email marketing, personalization, and cross-channel strategy. In 2016, she co-founded Women of Email, an association aimed at promoting leadership and cultivating professional growth among women in the email space. A noble mission, indeed! She’s come a long way from hosting TV lottery drawings in 1998.
Jen will host a Women of Email panel at EiQ in Atlanta on March 30 so we recently interviewed her about her background and her plans for her Atlanta visit.
BW: What was your path to email?
JC: A meandering path, like most. I made a career change in 2000 that led me to online and offline marketing, and by 2001, email newsletter content and dev fell on my plate. My next role was at a B2B manufacturer where I led corporate communications and digital marketing. Email was naturally among my responsibilities, but I didn’t become entirely enamored with it until my lead gen/lead nurturing program exceeded projections—by 1000%. That success put me squarely on the email strategist path.
BW: Why do you believe in the channel?
JC: At an agency a few years back, I used to deliver a pitch deck called “Email is Awesome!” Our CEO was so amused by my freakish enthusiasm for email marketing. It’s a channel that really delivers unmatched ROI, and there are so many creative ways it can be leveraged to achieve business objectives. Plus, it’s always evolving—which advances its potential while keeping it fun and challenging for folks like me who thrive on that.
BW: What is the coolest or most innovative thing going on in email?
JC: I’m pretty excited about two things. One, the burgeoning use of AI in email. It’s in its very early stages still, so there’s room for loads of innovation in the coming years. And two, the hints of movement toward greater standardization among email clients. Creativity will reach new heights as marketers are burdened with fewer and fewer rendering challenges.
BW: Adam from Movable Ink had a similar answer! You two should chat about AI at the event. Next question: what do you want non-believers of the channel to know?
JC: You are leaving SO much money on the table by not investing in email marketing. Stop thinking of email as a necessary evil that is relegated to junior staffers. A mature email marketing strategy delivers exponential revenue gains that will make you a marketing hero.
BW: What is your favorite email that you receive, or what brand does email really well?
JC: I guess your typical #emailgeek would get psyched about boundary-pushing design and quirky brand voices. But to be honest, I’m all about the Benjamins. Email that converts gets me excited. The brand in my inbox I’m most likely to respond to right now is CVS. Messaging and offers for ExtraCare Rewards customers is incredibly contextual and very well-integrated with their app. I don’t know anything about the good folks at CVS behind that magic, but clearly they’ve knocked down the typical silos between the various channel stakeholders and IT team to achieve great things.
BW: Why does EiQ matter and why should anyone attend?
JC: In addition to some killer topics and speakers, there looks to be a new approach to socializing that will help support camaraderie and networking amongst the geeks. I always get a handful of fresh ideas from conferences, but what I value most is the new relationships that form. Email marketers are a special breed and it’s always a blast to meet new ones.
BW: What are you looking forward to at EiQ?
JC: I’m thrilled that diversity within the email niche is a priority for conference organizers. It’s an issue that’s really come to light over the past year, and that led to the founding of the new Women of Email association. You benefit from greater problem-solving capacity and innovation when you are exposed to diverse points of view. That’s something we’ll be touching on during the Women of Email All-Star Diversity Panel.
BW: What are you looking forward to experiencing in Atlanta (home of EiQ)?
JC: Well, I’m a southerner! So it will be nice to escape the NYC area for a few days of southern hospitality and spring temperatures.
Sounds heavenly, doesn’t it? And you can experience it for yourself by registering for EiQ at eiqgathering.com/registration.