Summer is here! That means we’re half way through the year…Have you checked in on where you stand against your annual goals? Now is a great time to do so, before the holiday marketing season kicks into high gear in just a few short months.
In this edition of InsiderInbox, we head to the Netherlands to chat with independent email marketing and marketing automation consultant Jordie van Rijn of emailmonday. Jordie has more than 13 years of hands-on experience helping companies like KLM, Mitsubishi and Unilever improve their marketing results. Jordie is also a sought-after keynote speaker at marketing conferences and does in-company workshops and training.
If you’re in the market for new email marketing software or service provider, Jordie’s other company, Email Vendor Selection, can help you narrow down the choices to fit your needs and resources.
Let’s hear Jordie’s perspective on digital marketing and where we’re heading.
1. Why did you choose marketing, or maybe it chose you?
My first official job was at a household appliances store. Quickly I learned that it doesn’t matter what I thought was, for instance, a good iron, or jumping to list all the differences. If I just asked questions and listened, understand what the customers want and liked, then the items just sold themselves.
Marketing, database marketing, and especially email marketing, made total sense to me. I like being able to help people, add what I know and help make the best choices for them. It became sort of a theme.
2. What is your personal mission statement?
After eight years leading a team at an agency, I felt I could be free and do whatever I wanted to do. So when I started as an independent consultant, I wrote down a vision statement: “Be awesome, do awesome stuff and something with email.” Not kidding. It seems a bit tongue-in-cheek, but it isn’t.
The first, “be awesome,” means being awesome for other people and having fun while doing it. Be extra friendly or helpful when not expected. You spend a large part of your life working; better make that time well spent.
When a new inquiry comes in via my site, I try to NOT get the job. It is very liberating. If I can quickly help people out, or point them to a better solution, I do it for free. It’s a kind of business karma and it has worked very well for me.
3. Tell me something about your job that inspires you to keep working.
More than six years ago I founded Email vendor selection. The first two years it was only a time drain. But, knowing that there is a real need for good information on the topic and that many were struggling because there wasn’t a good source was a big motivator.
It is now the biggest site of its kind with over 190,000 unique visitors yearly and more than 350 articles by industry experts. That is just for selecting new email marketing software or a new marketing automation vendor! Crazy when you think about it, and it’s gone beyond my wildest expectations.
4. Offices or open work space?
Both are great for different things. Open is good for collaboration. When I worked at the agency, I used to work with four people in a room. With 4 people, you could do an ad-hoc brainstorm session or ask for help. On the other hand, staying focused while everybody is making noise, that is very hard.
5. What is a skill that every digital marketer should have and why?
The ability to prioritize. Knowing what is important and what you need to do first is an essential skill. It’s essential for strategy, budgeting and your day-to-day tasks. I wrote an article about email list growth that goes into that in detail.
6. What is the best part about your job?
I am very fortunate to have a full, yet very flexible, schedule. So, if I don’t have time, I can find a way to make time. There is a print out on the wall by my desk that reads, “Don’t plan any calls that you would not have made yourself.” Whenever I am talking to someone, they know I want to be talking to them.
Being an independent consultant means I am not a threat to anyone in the industry, and I’m easy to collaborate with. That is a very unique situation.
7. If you could suggest four marketing tools, what would they be? And why?
Very helpful online tools that I use, you might not know of, are:
• www.emailmarketingroi.com – a great little online calculator that lets you estimate ROI on your campaigns based on your send volume, spend and open, click and conversion rates. You can also benchmark your ROI stats compared to other companies of a similar size.
• http://www.hemingwayapp.com/ — helps make your copy clear, concise and impactful. Just paste in your copy and the site points out long sentences, passive grammar and better phrasing.
• www.draw.io – an online diagram builder that lets you create all kinds of flowcharts, relational and network diagrams and more. It helps with drawing event driven campaigns and mindmaps.
• A Sales CRM builder called Pipedrive, it lets you manage and view the sales funnel for your team, in my case, so I don’t forget to follow up.
8. Facebook or Twitter?
Personally, I spend more time on Twitter with a list of interesting people that I follow. Many readers share and react to articles or ask questions via Twitter. So I think I have a lot of great benefits from it. Some of the most popular articles have been tweeted over 1000 times. That is just amazing!
Facebook is better for sharing moments and experiences with friends, but too easy to get sucked into for me.
9. What is the biggest digital marketing trend that will drive success this year?
Every year I do a roundup and ask a group of experts a similar question: “What will be the biggest MarTech trends for 2017?” Everybody has great hopes for Artificial Intelligence making everything different. Unfortunately, people forget some of the exciting things from the past and where they are on the Gartner’s Hype Cycle. I’d bet on something that takes little effort to deploy and directly shows results–those get the highest adoption rates.
10. What’s your go-to karaoke song? And why?
I am not a karaoke king. But, you can’t go wrong with “I Like to Move It, Move It!”
Thanks, Jordie, for being awesome and sharing your insights on email marketing!
Keep checking back for more great information on marketing solutions from worldwide industry leaders. Until then, keep cool and keep working toward those goals! In the meantime, start making your emails awesome – contact us today.