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The UNSPAM Edition

...it depends
...it depends
If this is your first time getting …it depends, hi! These emails are usually shorter, so if you’re like “woah, too long!” please hang out for a little while longer, I promise these are usually pretty short.
Also, if you were at UNSPAM and got any photos of me speaking, send them my way? Love you, mean it.

I'm in the pink jacket. To the left: my awesome coworkers Dianna, Julia, and Trevor. To the right, the amazing Nout and Guilda!
I'm in the pink jacket. To the left: my awesome coworkers Dianna, Julia, and Trevor. To the right, the amazing Nout and Guilda!
UNSPAM: Email’s Big Ideas
It was great to see folks in person and meet up with old and new friends.
Before I begin my recap, I know people’s thoughts about in-person events are all across the board, so I was to iterate here that everyone at this conference had to provide proof of vaccination. Masks were optional (I wore a mask for the majority of the time, but was okay unmasked in the smaller group of people I spent the majority of the conference around).
If you’re still not comfy going to in-person conferences, I want you to know that’s okay.
I’m so glad I went. Here are some of my thoughts.
RGE is 8 years old and has over 10,000 emails on their website!
Congrats to the RGE team on these milestones! How amazing is that? And the team does it all PART TIME! Fun fact: I have three emails on the website, which is pretty cool!
They celebrated this milestone by launching the next iteration of Really Good Emails. With a new Parcel integration (finally, that split screen functionality so you can change the viewport and see the code and design in desktop and mobile!) and the ability to send emails into your Pro account via their new chrome extension, RGE is adding even greater value to its website.
EmailGeeks, it's time to get that $$$
One thing I appreciated about this conference is that UNSPAM paid all its speakers. The team was really transparent about this in their opening session, encouraging folks to make sure speaking opportunities are paid. I’m curious to see what happens when other well-known conferences open up speaking proposals and if paid opportunities will become more wide-spread.
The message: You have knowledge. Don’t necessarily give it all away for free. There’s value in what you know.
Work Trends: Email demands more experience than it used to
We know that the job market it HOT right now. More than a third of emailgeeks left their job for a new one in the last year. It seems that 93% of folks from the survey are now working remote. Is remote work here to stay? I sure hope so! It also seems that companies are dedicating more resources for copywriting, and less to designing. This could be because there are more tools coming out to help people create great looking emails without a lot of technical lift.
Designers/Developers, I don’t think we need to despair about this, there is always a need for specialized roles. (I like to think about this like really good iPhone photography vs. wedding or family photography: lots of people can take very good photos now, but you always want an expert to do the specialized things.)
The message: Email is more important than ever. Things are always changing, and emails career prospect is on fire right now. Stay flexible, the opportunities are abound.
The Talks
Sadly, I had to take off after my talk on the second day so I could beat a Nor'eastah home. Overall, there was a huge sense of community, and an acknowledgement that the last few years have really been a hot mess.
In response to the last few year, CM Group’s Senior Email Designer/Developer Meghan Sokolnicki noted that that emails are going retro, bringing in lots of rounded corners, waves, and fun, pastel colors.
The message: Retro brings in that nostalgia factor and makes us feel good. So … make your subscribers feel really good. But don’t overdo it! Keep it in line with your brand.
Gregg Blanchard spoke at length about the value of storytelling. I was particularly moved by the story he told of his mother, and how she booked a trip to Hawaii. But it wasn’t just any trip to Hawaii. This trip had special meaning, because she had been fighting cancer, so to be able to go is magnificent.
Gregg also featured my girl Samar Owais‘ newsletter Emails Done Right. I absolutely love Samar’s style of writing, so if you’re not following and subscribed to her newsletter, get on it.
The message: Stories are powerful. Use them, and use them often.
Robbie Fitzwater, Stephanie Griffith, Avi Goldman, Me, Jen Capstraw.
Robbie Fitzwater, Stephanie Griffith, Avi Goldman, Me, Jen Capstraw.
Other bits and bobs
I spoke about email accessibility! You can read about my speaking experience on Twitter.
Humans of Email, the brainchild of Jen Capstraw and Natalie Jackson, made their debut at UNSPAM, and this week it launched with episode one, interviewing the incomparable Mark Robbins. I highly recommend giving it a listen, as this podcast takes a dive beyond the technical and into its guests’ stories. I can’t wait to hear more!
Parcel is officially out of beta! With a free version and two different price points, there’s a plan to fit every sort of need. My favorite feature is the incredibly powerful components. I’m able to have a single set of code and switch between brand styles as necessary (more on this in the coming months. Also I was able to code 52 emails over three days right before Christmas because of components. My love of this feature runs deep).
In the tradition of UNSPAM, be really good. Talk soon.
Megan
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