It’s uncommon for an expert convention to provide the feels, however nobody escaped them at Really Good Emails’ first-ever UNSPAM conference this month. The weekend occasion in charming downtown Greenville, SC, drew practically 200 die-hard #emailgeeks to the center of the sunny, springtime south.
In addition to a roster of A-plus audio system, the temper of UNSPAM was one thing particular: camaraderie, group, and gratitude had been the prevailing sentiments. It was genuine. And most likely one thing that may by no means be replicated in simply the identical method.
If you’re not accustomed to the Really Good Emails web site, check it out. RGE is an amazing useful resource for anybody within the email area—it’s a curated, searchable treasure-trove of inspirational email advertising and marketing positive to carry out the giddy in any geek.
In the spirit of group, the UNSPAM presentation decks can be found to all for download here, sans paywall.
Here’s a recap of the classes:
Welcome & Behind the Scenes at RGE
Presented by the RGE Co-Founders
The RGE crew emphasised their Code of Conduct (“Return home with honor!”), defined the historical past of RGE, and advised us what’s forward for them.
- Founded by Mike Nelson, Matt Helbig, Matthew Lloyd Smith and Matt Cook (that’s proper—one Mike, three Matthews), RGE was initially a small side-project for the foursome starting in 2014, however developed into rather more, culminating within the second we had been sharing collectively in Greenville.
- RGE 2.0 is in beta! The new website permits email advertising and marketing examples to be grouped by assortment or theme, presents reside code view, and can allow for extra interactions between customers, much like Adobe’s Behance group.
- The good people at MailCharts had been instrumental within the enhancements to the RGE website—specifically, MailCharts Co-Founder and Marketing Director Carl Sednaoui, who died tragically earlier this 12 months on safari in Kenya. Carl’s passing is a giant loss for the email group and one which’s nonetheless recent. Watching Mike Nelson acknowledge his buddy and collaborator was fairly heartbreaking, and our first glimpse into how intimate UNSPAM would show to be.
Communicate Like a Friend, Not a Serial Killer
Presented by Dr. Cate Blouke, Freelance Writer/Digital Nomad
Former school professor Cate Blouke wrote a dissertation on humor. Today she writes for RGE and is available to write for YOU.
- Humor connects manufacturers with audiences. And that’s why Cate tells horrible jokes. Like this one: “Why was the chicken banned from sending emails? Too much fowl language.”
- Different forms of humor attraction to various kinds of folks. Know your viewers to know what sort of jokes will attraction to them.
- Humor can backfire when it alienates or offends audiences. Run copy by folks whose life experiences are completely different than yours to make sure it’s not misinterpreted or doubtlessly offensive.
- “Why don’t Vikings send more emails? Because they prefer Norse code.”
- I really like horrible jokes.
The State of the Email Industry & Where You Fit In
Presented by Mike Nelson, Really Good Emails
This session revealed the outcomes of RGE’s second business survey, and full particulars can be found in that download I mentioned.
Here are some key findings:
- 58% of email professionals are carrying a number of hats.
- Only 11% of brand-side #emailgeeks are totally distant.
- The common complete time it takes to develop an email is up 12%, from 5.1 days in 2017 to five.7 days in 2018.
- Email professionals give their ESPs a median ranking of 6 out of 10, so there’s a great deal of room for enchancment (and in the event you’re buying round for a brand new resolution, I’ve received a suggestion for you).
Leveling Up Your Career in Email
Presented by Anne Tomlin, Emails Y’all; Matt Helbig, Really Good Emails; Mike Nelson, Really Good Emails; Margaret Hamner, Mailchimp
This bunch provided quite a lot of different recommendation to #emailgeeks—typically it was somewhat in battle. Because one dimension doesn’t match all.
- Specialist vs generalist? There are plenty of opps for each.
- Learn to make use of Microsoft Excel!
- Email messaging should be helpful and actionable to achieve success.
- The debate on checklist dimension vs checklist engagement wages on.
- Modular email design is getting traction.
- Inspiration is in all places—B2Bs ought to take cues from inventive B2Cs.
- Automation will not be set-it-and-forget-it. Revisit your triggers on the reg.
- Do not reply” email addresses are nonetheless a nope. Accept replies and also you’ll be taught loads.
- Fake “oops!” messages work. But finally they’re dangerous on your model. Don’t do it.
Trends in Email Design
Presented by Meghan Sokolnicki, Emma
This presentation was 100% 🔥 🔥 🔥. Meghan served up a hot-or-not-style session that stored the viewers in continuous stitches. Honestly, no recap might seize the magic of this one.
Feeling the FOMO? You ought to.
- Rounded edges
- Photos in email signatures
- Diagonal design components
- Faces and arms on inanimate objects
- Neon inexperienced on black backgrounds
- White textual content overlays on images
In memoriam: Wood backgrounds, b. 2014, d. 2018
Feeling Triggered: Email Automations You Need and How Lenovo Rebooted Their Welcome Series
Presented by Betsy Grondy, Lenovo
Three triggers it is best to do ASAP:
- Abandoned cart
Why? Because 75% of email income is generated by triggers.
Betsy lately overhauled the Lenovo welcome marketing campaign. Today it’s a two-message marketing campaign over the course of seven days for 2 segments (purchaser and subscriber). Don’t let its seeming simplicity idiot you—she reeled in dozens of disparate campaigns and carried out a sturdy take a look at plan and multi-language assist.
- Think long-term when organising
- Make it simple
- Create accountability
- Have a plan to replace—don’t set and neglect
Untapped Potential: How To 3X Email’s Impact in One Year
Presented by Jorge Selva, G2 Crowd
Jorge Selva recapped the lately rolled-out personalization technique for Reverb, a web based market for musicians. Personalization is a troublesome nut to crack, and Jorge confirmed the trail from easy to stylish.
Jorge presents this recommendation for entrepreneurs seeking to implement personalization at scale:
- Start small—decide the place you could have protection and which segments drive essentially the most worth
- Prioritize initiatives with the best influence potential
- Test shortly (and manually if needed), then automate what works
- Refresh content material ceaselessly
Reverb’s recent personalization technique drove $50M in a single 12 months with the next campaigns:
- A personalised weekly e-newsletter, together with a rad retargeting module
- Cross-channel post-purchase campaigns
- Feed emails primarily based on browse historical past
Future Thinking in Email: Expanding Your MarTech Strategy
Presented by Bethany Prettyman, Toast
Bethany Prettyman included a meme in her deck which learn, “Lady in the streets, freak in the spreadsheets.” I preferred her immediately.
Her goal was to elucidate a technique for choosing expertise distributors, however she communicated an underlying message that’s maybe much more vital—how you can set up your self as a pacesetter and driver of change in your group.
- Take possession of automation in your org. Drive new concepts, carry folks collectively, and champion new expertise.
- Prioritize effectivity and develop into proficient in explaining ROI.
- Much analysis and planning is required to make vendor choices. Be prepared for it.
- Apply a scoring methodology to match distributors with ease: make an inventory of necessities, charge every vendor a rating of 1, 2 or 3 on every requirement, then calculate separate scores for “must-have” vs “nice-to-have” necessities.
Why Personality Matters
Presented by Matthew Lloyd Smith, Really Good Emails
Matthew Lloyd Smith kicked off this session with profound vulnerability. He revealed some troublesome private life experiences, what he’d discovered from them, and the way that interprets to efficient communication. Matthew’s concepts had been related to executing nice emails, however his recommendation could possibly be utilized to nearly any communication.
Later, he put a slide on the display that merely learn, “The fold is real.” I heard a collective gasp. Way to throw down the gauntlet, Matthew—the controversy continued for days on Twitter! BTW, this was one other session the place the gifs had been 💯.
- The key to efficient communication is understanding what sucks on your clients.
- Inspire curiosity, supply worth and be relatable.
- Connection is vital—that’s the function of personalization.
- Don’t assume you perceive your viewers. Find a technique to ask them what they worth, and mirror again what they are saying. It works—it’s neuroscience!
- Surveys can take an excessive amount of time, and asking for one thing with out giving is narcissism. Offer your viewers one thing that’s higher than the time they provide you.
- Content will not be king. Content is a Jedi. Jedis can kill kings.
- Help others. Be Yoda. Help Skywalker be the hero.
- Own your errors.
ESP Panel: Insights From Vendors to Marketers
Presented by Zack Gholikely, Iterable; Logan Sandrock Baird, Emma; Spencer Burke, Braze
Yup, we shared a stage with our competitors. And yup, we’re sharing their POV right here too. Why? Because it was clear that this panel of vendor-side professionals had been all on the identical web page.
The new technology of email and cross-channel expertise permits entrepreneurs to create significant human connections with audiences in ways in which weren’t potential earlier than. Everyone was aligned and united at UNSPAM—the sense of group was deep, even among the many fiercest opponents.
Also, I gotta give a shout-out to my colleague Zack Gholikely on making an amazing debut as a convention speaker. ✊ Way to go along with that Star Wars callback, my buddy.
- List-buying: Don’t do it! It’s dangerous for deliverability. And it’s most likely a violation of your MSA. You shouldn’t purchase relationships anyway.
- Marketers can get a bit too myopic in figuring out their expertise necessities and hung up on particular techniques. Collaborate along with your potential distributors and open your self as much as new methods of fixing advertising and marketing challenges and reaching goals.
- You have many options to select from nowadays—and there’s room on the desk for everybody. Choose fastidiously although—you’re most likely making a five-year resolution.
- Your viewers deserves autonomy and management over their information and their relationship along with your model. An emotional connection is essential to success, and you may love or you possibly can management, however you possibly can’t do each. (AMEN.)
- Don’t get hung up on arbitrary finest practices. Build campaigns across the actions you need subscribers to make—not a dated how-to rulebook. (I’ll be tackling this matter at Iterable’s Activate 19 convention subsequent week through the Best Practices are Bullsh!t! session!)
- Artificial intelligence nonetheless has a really lengthy technique to go. Ultimately, it’s going to switch mundane and mechanical duties—however #emailgeeks will nonetheless be the Jedis of the digital advertising and marketing universe, placing the center in email advertising and marketing.
Other Highlights From UNSPAM
UNSPAM prioritized gender parity on stage. The convention boasted a close to 50/50 gender cut up amongst audio system, and RGE made it a degree to achieve out to Women of Email to assist this precedence. Well achieved! 👏
- Alice Li of Litmus joined Matt Helbig of RGE for a reside suggestions session of choose emails. They geeked out on cool interactive email techniques in motion, and Alice mentioned purchasers who’ve taken the plunge into interactive have seen excellent ROI.
- Anne Tomlin of Emails Y’all, Shani Nestigan of Target, and Ryan Field of Purdys Chocolatier comprised the profitable crew within the UNSPAM email design problem.
- Chef Daniel and Methodical Coffee stored us fed and caffeinated! The paellas, grits bar and barista service had been completely excellent. (Insert Fyre Festival joke right here.)
- And most notably, day two ended with the RGE crew taking a while on stage to specific gratitude to all who made RGE and UNSPAM successful in a beautiful, heartfelt second. Then they invited the viewers to do the identical—to call the names of those that’ve made a distinction for them, and be part of a bunch train in gratitude. There had been tears, people. Tears. It was a fairly magnificent, actual factor to be part of.
If you missed UNSPAM however you need an IRL RGE repair, you possibly can catch Mike Nelson and Matthew Lloyd Smith subsequent week at Activate 19 in San Francisco. They’ll be presenting a reside email evaluation session on Wednesday, April 24.
I’ll be at Activate too, and also you wager I gained’t miss UNSPAM 2020. I hope you don’t both.