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Why are you an #emailgeek?

There are all sorts of reasons so many marketers call themselves email geeks. From the expansive opportunities for creativity to the psychology of customers’ reactions to campaigns and the potential for AI and machine learning to personalize content, email has tremendous potential for igniting the passion of a wide range of marketing professionals. And how many industries have so many people who find the work that stimulating?

We wanted to tap into that passion a bit recently when we were preparing a contest to give away a ticket to next month’s Litmus Live event in Boston. So we asked the email marketing community to tell us why they consider themselves email geeks. What, specifically, is it that draws you into this industry? What gets you excited about doing your job every day? And our favorite answer would get into Litmus Live for free.

We received dozens of answers from email marketers across the country, some lengthy and others that got quickly to the point, some heartfelt and some funny. But all of them, in their own way, underscore why we love this industry. We love the variety of people who find their way to email, and the myriad motivations that drive them to stay for decades. We love #emailgeeks. And our favorite answer is one of the best showcases of why we do.

Alex Orton, SoFi: Email is a treasure, you can measure and deliver all the shivers to the spines of stakeholders. My shoulders are back and my channel on slack is filled with sweet memes cause my team’s coding up templates you only see in your dreams. Email’s a way you can politely say, “I just want you to know I can help you today” be it via promotion or putting tan lotion on that spot on your back that’s escapes all your motion. I sound like I’m crazy, but it’s just as of lately, I’ve been waxing poetic about my career and I hear that if this answer is anywhere near to what you expect – just maybe – I might find myself at Litmus live baby.

It only takes a moment to realize that you’re not just reading a love ode to email marketing, but that it’s in the form of what seems to be an old-school rap. We love the creativity and guts it took to even attempt this, and he pulled it off not just with flair, but also with an expression of excitement about email. We feel like Alex’s entry is a great example of how email can inspire devotion and wholly original expressions of what it means to be a part of this field. Alex, for his creativity, gets to go to Litmus Live in Boston on us.

But it was far from the only terrific entry we got with this contest. There were so many, in fact, that we had a really difficult time narrowing it down and picking a winner. There could only be one recipient of the Litmus Live ticket, but we wanted to recognize a few of our other very favorites below, all of whom could easily have won, and were deserving of recognition.

Kristina Moy, Eversource:

“I owe it to email marketing for opening up a new career path I never even considered. I would not be where I am today if email had not been introduced to me.”

Email somehow found me, and I’m glad it did! I’ve had experience for promoting initiatives for university student organizations, and for non-profits and my even my own art brand. I’ve always been used to sending emails out in the most creative ways, either directly, or using a custom tool or a simple ESP like Constant Contact. For me, getting the best message out to subscribers has always came naturally since I’m a creative person who enjoys building great user experiences for people.

At the time I delved into email marketing, I was a marketing specialist who wore multiple hats. Having access to a robust ESP and CRM and being given the big task to “make our campaigns work”, I decided to play catch-up and figure what I was getting myself into. I instantly fell in love with email marketing, because the things that can done in email are mind-blowing!

Knowing how creative developers can be when it comes to designing emails was an eye opener. I’ve worked with developers to create some cool emails for nurture programs, and also brushed up my HTML and CSS skills to create some of my own. And as a typography nerd, being able to incorporate web fonts was a big deal! Email has also helped realized many things I didn’t know about myself.

Learning the nitty gritty about what it takes to pull off a successful campaign has shown me exactly how big, complex and ambiguous the email marketing world is. And that’s totally okay. I’ve learned a lot and help build tools for different teams to make their email processes better. And, as a marketing automation expert, I’ve learned how to troubleshoot issues and learn about a lot of technical lingo. The fact I now have the confidence to translate marketing strategies and ideas into actual workflows and assets in an ESP is something I’m proud of.

Logic and numbers have never been really something I’ve been crazy about, but when it comes to email, I can easily use logic for segmentation and crunching numbers for C-Level reports makes sense to me. For all the companies I’ve worked with in my career, I’ve always been the advocate who has gone through their ESP to figure out how we can do a 180-degree turn and improve their email campaigns (ie. data cleansing, email templates, strategy, you name it).

The skills and learning I’ve picked up from successes (and some really BIG failures) taught me how to make email better. At the same time, I’m still constantly learning new things and overcoming different obstacles. As I learn more about email, I know it’ll prepare for whatever challenge I’ll face next. I have to say, I owe it to email marketing for opening up a new career path I never even considered. I would not be where I am today if email had not been introduced to me. It was definitely a perfect match! 🙂

Veronica Nelson, Rev:

“Email Marketing is both an art and a science. It is both data and design driven. It is the whole brain, and nothing about it makes me feel like I need to choose.”

When I was growing up I figured that you could primarily use either the left side of your brain or the right side of your brain and that was it. You were either analytical or creative, and you were inherently better at one. I always considered myself fairly creative but not very scientific. I’m a writer by heart and I figured that anything I did would be in the pursuit of creativity — that there was some inherent divide between me and those with more technical skills. I especially thought that I would never have an affinity for analytical thinking myself. My favorite thing about Email Marketing has been figuring out that this doesn’t have to be the case. Email Marketing is both an art and a science. It is both data and design driven. It is the whole brain, and nothing about it makes me feel like I need to choose. And there are endless (ENDLESS) things to learn about the way emails are executed. I’m using a “new part” of my brain every day and learning something new every day. The opportunities for learning and execution are endless.

Ashley Banks, Bluepoint Commerce:

“It takes work, it takes skill, and out-of-the-box thinking. As email geeks, we have to get creative.”

Dear Email, Why I Love Thee

I’m passionate about email, because it’s an often unloved and underappreciated, but beautiful craft. And, I don’t use the word craft lightly. It takes work, it takes skill, and out-of-the-box thinking. As email geeks, we have to get creative. Things don’t just work, we often have to make them work; figure something out, build something incredibly hacky or unconventional. But when it works, it works. And it’s not just a sigh of relief when it happens; it can feel like magic. It’s allowed me to be obsessively curious about what I do. I love that I’m constantly figuring things out, constantly learning. There’s always something new to be excited about building or executing. Not to mention, you always get a second chance with email, a do-over after a failed send or poorly written subject line. I’ve been doing this for almost 8 years now, and I never get bored. It’s been amazing to see how things have progressed, and how creative the community has gotten with this uniquely complex industry. (Who would have thought I’d ever be able to buy from the inbox!) For all of the above, that is why I love you.

Yours truly,

An Email Geek

Colleen Cardarella, Peak Marketing Communications:

“Email marketing has become a science of creating lasting relationships. Get to know your contacts and build your relationships. Send what they care about.”

Email marketing is the science of creating meaningful relationships with customers, just as we do with friends. When you make a new friend, you exchange information. When you gain a new email contact, you make a connection with someone who said -hey, I want to hear from you, “Here’s my email address, the key to my personal inbox. Write me sometime.” Unlike other marketing channels, when you send your contact an email, you’re not posting a message hoping it’ s going to show up in an algorithm and be visible at the time and day someone checks a data feed. Instead you have the key to the inbox and you can deliver a message that will be waiting wherever, whenever your contact is ready to check messages. People make a lot of friends in a lifetime. Some connections are deeper than others and some last longer than others. People keep friendships with the individuals who really get them, who keep in touch, who talk about the things they care about. In email, it’s up to the marketer to keep that relationship. Email marketing has become a science of creating lasting relationships. Get to know your contacts and build your relationships. Send what they care about. Show them you really get them and you’ll build a long and meaningful connection.

Michelle Fay, CheapCaribbean.com:

“Email is so much more than a blast; it’s a few seconds to inspire and standout in the inbox because your email is the best one to open among the crowd.”

I live, breathe and eat email! Working in email is thrilling. I love being able to create the most personalized message for a customer in marketing across all the channels, and really hone in on what works for each individual. Email is also constantly changing and evolving to become more dynamic across ESPs, which just increases the fun in how to make sure you’re being innovative with your marketing style in email and best using the new features available. Email is so much more than a blast; it’s a few seconds to inspire and standout in the inbox because your email is the best one to open among the crowd.

Thanks to everyone who entered our contest! We hope we can do something like this again soon.

Will Devlin

A 15-year veteran of the email marketing industry, Will has been focused on leading marketing strategy and execution for MessageGears since 2014. He has extensive experience on both the retail customer and service side of email marketing, and he’s interested in helping businesses better understand how they can make the most of the work they put into their email campaigns.

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