It’s no secret that the right tech partners make us stronger. In fact, we’ve dedicated a whole event series to them that’s known around here as The Rising Tide. Once a month, we invite one of our partners to the office to give them a chance to show off their latest tools and capabilities and generally talk shop (and hit up the office kegerator) with the BrightWave team.
In January, we met with Courtney Shaffer Lovold, Director of Client Services at Emarsys. The Emarsys marketing automation platform is designed especially for B2C marketers and it’s helping drive highly personalized programs for our clients. Naturally, we had lots of questions for Courtney.
How and when did you get involved in the email industry?
My first exposure to ‘mass’ email marketing was in 2006 when I worked for a small market research firm and I had to manage a nationwide panel of research participants. We started messaging via Outlook on BCC and then discovered that there were actual companies that would help you send email in bulk AND provide open and click information at the individual level…it was revolutionary.
Had you always known you wanted to geek out in the email world?
From the beginning, I found it fascinating. But what I found even more exciting was the rate at which the industry was evolving. In the course of 10 years, email marketing and grown to be one of the largest marketing channels for all brands across the globe.
Whose email program do you like landing in your inbox?
I love brands that have fun and get creative with transactional email. Post-purchase, transactional emails are one of the most highly engaged email communications sent. Why not have some fun with the content while you have the consumers attention?
What are you and your clients looking for in a strategic email partner?
Empathy. The role of an email marketer isn’t easy. Email is such a profitable medium for organizations to reach their consumers and at a very inexpensive CPM. When Brands and Vendors partner, I think it is critical for the Vendor to help the Brand overcome the hurdles of day to day operation while continuing to challenge the status quo.
What is the value of companies investing in their email programs?
Email marketing has an average ROI of 3,800 percent. For every dollar invested, the average return is $38. That is one of the top, if not the top performing digital channel.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned while in the industry?
Get comfortable with change and evolution. Just when you think you’ve ‘nailed-it’ there is more to learn. Always be a student of the space, curiosity will be your best friend and keep you from going stagnant. Things can go wrong fast when you don’t test and Q/A all pieces of the communication. Learn to manage your own internal process and ensure the business understands the value of the testing phase.
What innovation(s) are you most looking forward to leveraging in the coming year(s)? In many ways, I think the space has forgotten about the marketer when developing innovative technology. At Emarsys, we’re really excited about the technology enhancements that put the marketer back in the driver seat. Very few marketers I know went to school to be coders, yet that is something they are being forced into learning as the technology continues to advance. We are building technology that is intuitive to use, giving the Marketer more time to think strategically about their business.
What makes BrightWave a critical partner for you and your team?
As a European company who has had an office in the US for a little under 4 years, brand awareness and thought leadership have been slow to gain traction. Through our partnership with BrightWave, we were able to gain a stamp of approval within the US email community as BrightWave has been around for 15+ years and are email trailblazers.
By combining forces with BrightWave, how have you helped take email programs to the next level?
The Emarsys platform offers advanced features and functionalities that BrightWave can use to create and implement sophisticated email marketing strategies. It is also easy enough for the Char-Broil team to quickly access and use as needed. In this way, email experts and general marketers alike can stay aligned.
What advice would you give to someone starting in the digital/email world right now?
- Always test – Let the data drive your decisions and help you ‘fight’ what might be political battles.
- Partner with your ESP vendor – They are there to help and if they aren’t, find a new ESP.
- Understand your KPIs – There is a lot of distraction. Know your drivers and use them as your compass to help quiet the noise.