On this day before Thanksgiving, I am reminded just how thankful I am for the email marketing industry that has been the center of my life for the last 15 years. I was extremely fortunate to be involved early in the industry and I was able to play a significant role in the creation of the Email Intelligence Industry. And it all started in my garage.
Back in 2003, my company at the time, Emerging Interest LLC, was a matchmaker between advertisers/agencies and the technology vendors who wanted to reach them. One day one of my clients asked me to find them a specific vendor. Someone who could provide competitive intelligence and monitor their competitors email marketing campaigns. After researching all the traditional competitive intelligence companies, I discovered no one was covering the email space. There were companies that could supply your competitors print campaigns, TV ads, Radio spots, direct mailings and even banner ads, but no one supplied emails. Why, I thought?
And that is when I decided to do it myself. The problem, I decided, was that there was no easy way to automate the process of collecting the data. My big idea? Why not sign up for every email list out there. In fact, why not create a "virtual panel" of fake people, each with a specific demographic, and then sign up multiple times to the same list with different demographic information. And that is what I did.
Soon I had another problem. How to organize and archive all these emails I was collecting.
I decided to organize them by category and brand. Every night I would process all the days emails and every day I would be on the phones selling the tool. We relaunched the company as Email Data Source and I became the first company in the email intelligence space....