As a marketer and the Marketing Manager of Women in Digital I couldn’t miss out on the 10th anniversary of the Email Marketing Congress EMSA in Brisbane this year. Email marketing is an important part of the marketing mix to ensure you can build a story and foster relationships with customers. This was reinforced by Kim Bernard from The Urban List explaining how email is about the only “private” channel left to communicate one on one with your consumer.


The view from the EMSA venue, Sky level Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, was awesome. For me as a Dutchie – this view gets me every time!

The Sky room was packed with marketeers – about 300 of them – and all keen to know more about Email Marketing. Everyone with a smartphone in his or her hand because hey, this is 2016. EMSA arranged for extra chargers and I needed it after a morning of intensive use!

The day proceeded with plenty of awesome speakers. Key Note speaker Lincoln Murphy from Sixteen Ventures kicked off with a bold statement: Nobody wants MORE email, they want BETTER email. Personalised, perfect timing and content that relates to you. To realize this, you need to make your customers successful. If your customers succeed, you succeed. To maximize this you need a database packed with customers who are ready to succeed and have a fit with your product and brand.


Andrew Kolb from Pubilicis Pusher got the room thinking again when he stated e-mail is a conversation and you don’t need to squeeze your whole message in one e-mail. Think of it as a conversation and just keep the dialogue going over time. XXXX Beer has done this really well realizing that outdoor billboards are not enough with the new niche varieties in beer. Looking to email marketing to build this extra support.


Now we had an idea around why and how to do email marketing Vivien Fu from Winning Group took us on her journey about metrics and testing emails. When she mentioned she ‘a/b tested the crap out of her email database’ everyone was paying attention. She encourages everybody to look further than the standard metrics like opening rate, clicks and unsubscribes by also looking at read rates, shares, traffic, spam rates, device spreads and – when you own a store – ask and listen in-store what happens when you send an email. You could hear everyone thinking: she is right! That’s the interesting thing about e-mail marketing: because of metrics we can learn so much and adjust our email program to the different target groups.


A great piece of advice to ascertain if email marketing has been effective for your company is to look at the revenue x sent minus unsubscribes. How much is your email worth? With this information, you know how much you can invest in your email program.


The presentation from Kelly Newberry from Vision6 was in cooperation with the audience: she gave answers to pre-asked questions and that made it extra relevant. A few things I wrote down:

  • Are your open & click rates high? Send more emails
  • Just ask your customers what they would like to receive (like that!)
  • Birthday emails are still very much appreciated (that was my conclusion too at Sanoma –( the biggest media company in the Netherlands where I have been the Manager of the subscription department for a few years)
  • Top tips for email newsletters (as the traditional newsletter is a bit outdated):
    • Publish real stories instead of manufactures corporate news
    • Get creative with subject lines
    • Don’t forget the hook – tell me something I don’t know
    • Pick one primary call of action
  • Video’s in emails can be very attractive, you will have to redirect to a landingpage though


After the icecream break (how great!) everyone was happy and ready for the next speaker. Aside from the ice cream I had been super eager to learn today about storytelling in email marketing. Really connecting with your customers, sort of as a friend. You see so many great examples of new communities with experiences of bloggers. One of them is The Urban List. Kim Barnard clearly had a great passion and I guess that’s the trick. Do what you love, write about it and show what you do and how you can help others. That’s why Urban List is self written content and organic photos, supported by the fact that internally the content team manages the newsletter at Urban List not marketing. They also pay attention to their readers knowing what kind of content they want. I personally love the pop-up to subscribe to their newsletter:

Email Marketing Pop-Up

After a few other great stories and cases about email campaigns, it was time for that nice view again, drinks and networking! I had the pleasure of spending the day with a lot of motivated and inspiring Brissie marketeers like Lana Luise Thomas, Women in Digitals competition winner. She told me all about her experiences with creative social media marketing – which was also very inspiring.


A great day all around! And reminded me again how important emailmarketing is and all the options we have to achieve your branding and ecommerce goals.