1. How did you get started in Email Marketing. I was working for IndyMac Bank running a huge direct mail operation when I saw the handwriting on the wall and got out of mortgages. In 2007 I ended up getting hired by Live Nation to be their VP of Direct Marketing, even though I had little experience with email marketing - because they wanted someone with a strong direct marketing background. I jumped at it because (a) it was a relatively new channel and (b) it was in the concert industry…which really is as cool as you think it is.
2. Tell us about your current role and what a typical day is like. My current role at Zeeto is as the VP of Technology. I am responsible for the email program, our business intelligence team, our optimization team, our coders and our dev ops team. My job is relatively straightforward in that I spend most of my days either helping my teams solve problems or creating new problems for my teams to solve. In a typical day I might talk about redesigning a site, eCPM results from the dozens of test we run every month, helping my team negotiate a deal with a vendor, doing a deep dive on email delivery issues, educating myself on what’s new and interesting in the tech marketplace, revisiting our project management processes to make sure our projects are all on track and/or writing a blog post on Only Influencers that manages to tick at least a few people off. It’s really a bit of a hybrid role that continually presents me with new and interesting challenges. Or, in the words of the esteemed Vanilla Ice “You got a problem, yo I’ll solve it”…we even have an in-house DJ who can “revolve it.”
3. What do you see as the future of email marketing. I think the future of email marketing is brighter than ever for two reasons – (1) the (begrudging) recognition of email’s power by finally understanding the “non-linear” nature of the medium and (2) the fact that email marketers have come to accept that more frequent communication is not the road to eternal damnation. However, I don’t see a massive amount of change in emails themselves due to restrictions at the ISP level. The most interesting question will be around how the massive sizes of new phones change how we present emails to consumers.
4. Why should anyone choose email marketing as a career. If you’ve got any level of scientist in you, email is a fantastic career choice for one simple reason – you get to replace “I think” with “I know.” You’re able to strip away the fluff and get to what’s really happening…which I think is tremendously cool. Even if you’re not terribly analytical, email will force you to look at things more pragmatically. Which can be a tremendous boost to your career.