EiQ Sponsor Spotlight: Jen Capstraw of Iterable >

EiQ is fast approaching and email geeks from all over the country are getting ready to meet up with fellow fans of the inbox. One such geek is Jen Capstraw, Director of Strategic Insights and Evangelism for our sponsor Iterable. She spends her days spreading the gospel of email and Iterable — a cross-channel marketing platform that connects people with products that bring them joy. 

Capstraw describes herself as an “email mega-nerd.” And in addition to geeking out about the ways email connects customers with the brands they love, she’s also the president and co-founder of Women of Email, an empowered community with 4,000 members spread across six continents. 

Let’s hear what she has to say about finding email success, standing out in the inbox and what she’s looking forward to at EiQ.


What gets you excited about the email world?

The best thing about the email world is the sense of community, which is unique in the digital marketing world. Email marketers come from all walks of life, and when it comes to gender, we’re pretty evenly split. But what unites the die-hard geeks is a particular problem-solving savvy.

Email is hard! The sort of person who loves a good challenge is going to stick with email once they’re introduced to it. And when email folks come together, there’s a certain bond. We get each other. And from that sense of community springs a desire to knowledge-share and support one another — whether via online communities, or face-to-face at meetups and conferences like EiQ and Iterable Activate.


What part of an email is the most important to drive success?

I think absolute clarity of the objective is an essential but sometimes overlooked step. You need to know why you are sending an email campaign, and exactly what action (or actions, in the case of a multi-touch campaign) you want the recipient to take to achieve that goal. It’s important to employ a bit of empathy in this process too: Put yourself in the recipients’ shoes to consider how (or even if) your campaign offers value to them. All of that should be fully baked before diving into strategy, copy, design, and dev.


What advice do you have for newcomers to the email industry?

You’ll no doubt be doing loads of research to figure out how to do email right. But take so-called best practices with a grain of salt. There is some outdated and sometimes plainly bad advice that’s gotten a lot of traction through the years. When it comes to any best practice, ask yourself if it serves your audience as well as your objective. If the answer to either question is no, it might not be “best practice” for your brand. Always think critically and don’t be afraid to blaze a brave new trail.


Name a brand that does a great job with their email program?

Zillow is a brand that I have to give mad props to— real leaders in the email space in so many ways (and an Iterable customer!). Not only have they absolutely mastered relevance and personalization in email, but they live their values, and that spills into their messaging and strategy.

We also see Zillow and their brands leading the way on email design, such as their use of kinetic email and their implementation of a forward-thinking design system, which empowers non-designer/non-developers to deliver on-brand email campaigns.


What’s your favorite part of EiQ?

I have NEVER missed an EiQ conference — it’s definitely one of my favorites. There’s so much to love! BrightWave’s Atlanta pride is clear, and attendees always get a taste of ATL culture. I’m a big fan of EiQ’s single-track format, and the conference’s emphasis on new and emerging ideas, trends and thought leadership. Plus, it’s FUN! Every year the conference wraps up with a playful game show-style session, while the social opportunities make it easy for the introverted and extraverted alike to build relationships. 


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