Kristin manages email marketing at Girl Scouts of the USA (maybe we can convince her to bring us some Thin Mints at EiQ?) and has sent millions of emails over the years for brands including Warby Parker, Gerson Lehrman Group and Food52. She’ll be co-hosting a rousing game of Email Jeopardy! at EiQ 2017 and to get her ready for this dire responsibility, we thought we’d interview her about her experiences as a professional email sender.
BW: What was your path to email?
KB: Like most people, from a very young age, I knew I wanted to be an email marketer the first time I heard “You’ve Got Mail!” Just kidding. Although–humble brag—my very first email address was firstname.lastname@example.org. I wish I still had it.
I majored in public relations and graduated a year before the recession, and ended up in a copywriting job at a Life and Disability insurance company in Indianapolis. In 2008, I was just grateful to have a job that was tangentially related to what I majored in. Our sales reps wanted to me to send personalized emails to their customers/leads, so we decided to work with a little email company called ExactTarget that had an office in our building. I quickly saw that I liked building emails and figuring out personalization a lot more than copywriting. A year later when I moved to New York, I was in a community manager role at a techy startup, and the guy sitting across from me was having trouble figuring out how to upload a suppression list in ExactTarget. I quickly become the person doing email at that company and, after that, I’ve only worked in email.
BW: Why do you believe in the channel?
KB: Numbers don’t lie. It works! Everyone knows how much I love Twitter, but social media simply can’t personalize the experience at the same scale as email. I love that it’s difficult to do. I love email people – they’re so weird and smart and a little crazy. They’re my people.
BW: What is the coolest or most innovative thing going on in email?
KB: There are a lot of email designers pushing boundaries with interactive email and code. I’ve seen games and shopping carts coded in emails, and it’s really cool.
BW: What do you want non-believers of the channel to know?
KB: Email is not going to die. Email marketers have always had to be creative and scrappy when coming up with solutions. We’ve ALWAYS had to evolve with technology. And we always do.
BW: What is your favorite email that you receive? Which brands do email really well?
KB: I love Litmus and Action Rocket’s emails. Since they’re emailing people who sent emails, about email, via email – they really know their audiences, and do cool things with the code that they know their audience will appreciate. I also really enjoy Barkbox emails – minimal sales push, and lots of cute pictures and articles about doggos. Oooh, and Donors Choose is great too – they do a lot of interesting personalization with the data they have, and their emails have gotten me to donate to teachers’ projects on several occasions.
BW: Why does EiQ matter and why should anyone attend?
KB: I might be a little biased here as a co-founder of Women of Email, but I love that EiQ is featuring more women speakers than we usually see at conferences. I go to a lot of conferences, and it’s usually the same speakers at most of them. I’m excited to hear from new people! I think the content’s going to be great.
BW: What are you looking forward to at EiQ?
KB: I’m really looking forward to seeing Amanda Litman speak about the Hillary Clinton email campaigns! She and I have had a long DM chain going on Twitter for more than a year, and I’ve been fascinated by the volume and quality of emails she and her team sent. These are the REAL Hillary Clinton emails I care about and want to know more about! Email has enough pressure and challenges for most brands, but I can’t even imagine what it was like to send at that scale.
BW: What are you looking forward to experiencing in Atlanta, official home of EiQ?
KB: I’m excited about the food! Whenever I travel I like to eat at local restaurants. I spent a few days in Atlanta last year, and all the food I ate was awesome.
We’ve gotta agree there, Kristin. Our restaurant scene is pretty awesome. To register for EiQ and start planning your trip to Atlanta’s many fine dining establishments, go here.
To find more of Kristin’s wonderful email insights, visit her blog (emailsnarketing.com) or slide into her DMs on Twitter, @emailsnarketing.