Five minutes with… TLA Email Manager Kristian Brown Email marketing plays an important role in how we connect brands with in-market consumers. We sat down with email marketing manager Kristian Brown to discuss his career to date, the role of email at TLA and what’s next for the channel. How did you get involved in Email & Digital Marketing? I’ve been interested in marketing and business since an early age. I had an excellent Economics teacher at school, and I then went on to study Economics and Business Studies at University. I started off volunteering at a Theatre school building email campaigns, then moved on to other Marketing roles around the North West before starting at the The Lead Agency in 2015. Tell us about of your role at TLA Started at TLA back in August 2015 – I’m the first email manager so I’ve been the only person to manage the email marketing side since then. I’ve brought in A/B Testing, email series, personalization and segmentation, automation and many other best practices. My role has evolved to include landing page conversion rate optimization which involves A/B testing to increase the number of website enquiries. So my role is varied and involves a lot of building and optimising email and landing page campaigns, managing automations, data management and working with publishers. It’s also important in my role to keep on top of latest innovations and best practices. I work closely with Design, Development, Compliance and of course the rest of the Digital Marketing team. Current state of email How do you feel GDPR has impacted email marketing? GDPR was a very daunting time for email marketers across the EU. In general I think a lot of people expected the worst – that email marketing would die and email marketing lists would be decimated. But the reality is that GDPR has been very good for email marketing, with quality improving massively to the point where email as a channel has gained increased importance. At TLA we’re big believers in the quality of our data, and working with our compliance team to ensure all our practices were compliant was a good challenge. It’s not only led to increased engagement, improved deliverability and revenue but ultimately happier email subscribers. Why do you think email marketing and conversion rate optimisation is so important? Like I just mentioned, quality is one major aspect. There’s no other marketing channel as good as email that allows you that personal touch with your loyal customers at a time that suits. There’s also massive reach, with over 3.7 billion people using email. It consistently delivers excellent ROI, it’s an open channel which is highly measurable and optimisable. I think email is here to stay, and with advanced automation and other innovations I believe email marketing is imperative for every company to take seriously. Conversion rate optimisation is equally imperative for a company like The Lead Agency as it helps us grow significantly. It helps us lower our acquisition costs, generate higher quality enquiries and create a better experience for our customers. What are your key tips for successful email marketing? Long gone are the days of mass emails being acceptable. So at The Lead Agency we really try to understand our customers, tailoring each campaign to their needs with advanced segmentation. We optimise each email for performance, create automated campaigns that tie in with customer’s journey and try to be more personal with campaigns that our customers appreciate and value. It’s also important that the messaging is consistent, ties in with other marketing efforts and that your interactions with the customer are relevant and timely. Future of email How do you see email marketing evolving? I think everyone in the email marketing industry is eager for more advanced technology like interactive emails and proper video embedding that works for everyone. Personally, i’m eager to try AMP for email, which should allow for greater innovation in our campaigns in the not too distant future. Also looking forward to see how AI can improve email marketing and the associated challenges that will come with it. What do you think are the main upcoming challenges? Being increasingly personal with our customers is a great challenge. We always seek to ensure our customers get the right message at the right time with information that is relevant to them. So we’ll continue using advanced segmentation, personalisation and automation in order to build this out further with more complex nurture programmes. Technological advances such as dynamic content and increased integration with other platforms should help with this going forward. Email also faces ongoing challenges such as staying on top of the latest trends, improving the quality of our data and customer insights, and doing what we can to improve deliverability. What changes would you like to see in the email marketing industry? Harmonisation across the different email service providers so that emails work better for everyone. More innovation in email can’t come soon enough, and i’d like to see much more integration of email campaigns and data with other channels and platforms to improve their performance. I’d also like to see email marketing finally get the respect it deserves. Every year there are predictions email is dead and every year the stats show how valuable an asset it is. It is a channel consistently worth investing in as it delivers ROI, quality and growth year after year. Drop us a line to find out more about the role of email marketing at TLA.