Only Influencers 2016: Our Best Year Yet. Check Out What We Have Planned.
January 2016 marks the beginning of Only Influencers' 6th year! We are hoping to make it our best year yet, and I'm excited by many of the new initiatives we have planned. For this first post of 2016, I want to share with you my plans for the future and also ask for your help to make OI even more responsive to your needs as an Email Marketing Professional.
A Bit of History
Before we talk about where we are headed, let's talk about where we came from. While OI, as a company, has been around since December 2010, the OI community itself has been around since 2003, when it was called The Inbox Insiders. Back then I had just launched the first Competitive Email Intelligence tool, Email Data Source (now eDataSource.com). For the first time ever, eDataSource was able to independently show the power of email to drive traffic.
Today there are many conferences, newsletters, and resources aimed at the email marketer, but back in 2003, there was almost nothing to educate the email marketing industry. Almost no one was writing about Email, none of the conferences at the time took email seriously, and, for the most part, the only press coming out about email marketing was negative: stories about spam and how everyone hated it. But there were no stories about what I was seeing my data. What I was seeing were the HUGE spikes in traffic to websites that corresponded directly to email campaigns. I made it my mission to change that.
I approached Mediapost about writing a series of articles based on the data I was getting using the eDataSource tool. I called it The Email Insider, and based on the overwhelming success of that series of articles, the "Insider" tag was used by Mediapost to launch a whole series of new topics covering the full range of digital marketing. Later I collaborated with Mediapost on a new conference series as well, and the Email Insider Summit was born.
And as part of my efforts to bring community to the Email Marketing world, I started a small invitation only listserv for those movers and shakers in the industry called The Inbox Insiders. And the daily conversations from that list have been going on uninterrupted for the last 13 years.
I also chided the industry, getting up at Ad-Tech to rant: ""How much longer are we going to support endless and pointless committees whose sole purpose seems to be the aggrandizement of members' resumes? When the hell are the millions spent in supporting these organizations going to be used to hire someone who can actually GET SOMETHING DONE! E-mail marketing needs help NOW. We can't wait any longer." Shortly after this rant, discussion on the Inbox Insiders list formed the basis of what eventually became the Email Experience Council.
Initiatives for 2016
In the 5 years since Only Influencers launched we have grown tremendously. When we started, we were still pretty much an “insiders” list, with little publically facing information. Everything was still behind closed doors. But slowly we began expanding into a more public forum. We created a website and began publishing articles by some of email’s leading thought leaders. And two years ago we launched the Only Influencers newsletter. Here are some of the things to look forward to in 2016:
- The Email Innovations Summit. In partnership with Rising Media, Only Influencers will be launching our first email conference on May 18-19 at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas (website to be up shortly). We also hope to bring this conference to London in October. With a focus on “innovation” it is our goal to make the Innovations Summit the premier conference for the introduction of the latest technologies and strategies in acquisition, design, copy, and engagement.
- Email Innovation of the Week. Last year I launched a new service for the members of Only Influencers: The Friday Pitch. This gave vendors the opportunity of introducing any new innovations they had developed. In 2016, the best pitches will be published as the Email Innovation of the Week in the newsletter. This initiative is designed to keep you informed of the very latest advancements in the world of email and digital marketing.
- The Unboxing Series. I started this series last year in order to showcase email marketing technology products and allow readers to get a peak under the hood of some of the latest innovations and products. This year, I’ll be expanding this series to take a look at the Brand side as well and “unbox” the email marketing programs of some of the leading brands out there. How do they grow their lists? What is their strategy? And what works to drive opens and engagement?
- 2016 Email Salary Guide. This year, I’ll be doing our bi-annual survey of the email marketing profession and finding out what people are actually making as a professional email marketer. We’ll be releasing the findings at the Innovations Summit.
I Need Your Help
In order to make Only Influencers even more responsive to your needs as an email marketer, I have created a short survey to find out what kind of topics you'd like to see more of over the next year. And also to ask you which features you've enjoyed the most over the past year.
The Survey is a short one and will only take a minute to fill out. Go Here to give your feedback on articles you'd like to see over the next year.