Interview with an Email Expert: Liz Cordeiro of Whereoware

In our series, Interview with an Email Expert, we chat with leaders in the email marketing space about their background, favorite email campaigns, and more.

In this edition of Interview with an Email Expert, we caught up with Liz Cordeiro, Senior Digital Marketing Manager at Whereoware.

What was your path to email?

I stumbled into email. I studied communications in college with a concentration in public relations, and thought I’d join a PR firm after graduation.

I ended up working internal marketing for a software company, and found the PR work to be the least enjoyable aspect. (Submitting press releases just isn’t as glamorous as you think!) I most enjoyed the email and website marketing work, especially seeing instant results, like email opens and website visits and activity.

I was using Silverpop, a marketing automation tool and was eventually recruited by Whereoware because of my Silverpop experience and knowledge. I’ve been at Whereoware for four years now and continue to love all things email!

Why do you believe in email?

Email transcends generations and reaches people with the most buying power. For a while, everyone raved that social media was the way to go, because young people were on it, and we had to change tactics to reach them. No offense to teenagers, but their buying power doesn’t compare to people in their mid-20s to early 30s, and beyond.

The moment people start to really use email is the moment they have full-time jobs, disposable incomes, and actually want to buy things for themselves. Email has more staying power than any other channel, because anyone from a 21-year-old to a 60-year-old is using it. It’s also a lot less intrusive than other channels.

What’s the most innovative thing happening in email right now?

I love everything about mobile-first email design, since not all email clients are created equally. (I mean email clients as in Gmail or Outlook – I know that term means different things to different people.) I’ve noticed a recent trend with stacked navigation in the footer of desktop-version emails, which is generally more synonymous with mobile.

I’m also seeing a lot of single column, large type, full-width image design – again, a mobile-first approach applied to desktop and tablet. These techniques make mobile responsive design easier and faster, and it’s easier for people with poor vision (like me!) to read – even at desktop.

As a Senior Digital Marketing Manager at Whereoware, what are the most common email challenges you’ve seen recently? Do you have any tips for overcoming these challenges?

As marketers, a challenge we face is deciding whether or not A/B testing is effective. I’m a big believer in A/B testing, but it needs to be executed properly to offer significant insights.

Marketers tend to forget that all tests need variables and controls. You can’t change everything in your email and hope for the best – a successful A/B test keeps the majority of the email constant, and then tests a single change at a time. Testing also requires repetition over multiple emails before an outcome is determined. Test one thing, determine your path, and then test the next thing. Testing is a scientific endeavor, and should be treated as such – even for marketers!

What brands are sending the best emails? Name one of the most delightful/surprising emails you’ve seen recently.

Hands down, Chubbies sends the best emails. They are SO fun, and I laugh at every email. My whole team is obsessed. Their marketers just know their brand and their audience so well.

Every Friday, Chubbies sends a weekly roundup, where they find fun weekend stuff to do and write hilarious short articles about it. These Friday emails don’t sell any product and are 100% content-based. It’s brilliant! Plus, their product names are genius – a pair of women’s red, white and blue overalls are called the Betsy Rosseralls.

Otherwise, and this is going to be random, I love the emails my dog’s vet sends me. They sell flea and tick medication online and their emails show they know my dog (Kona!) and her weight. When I click through to a product, they’ve pre-selected her size. It’s a small thing, but it makes a difference knowing they’ve personalized my experience.

Finally, I love Stitch Fix. It’s a subscription service that sends you 5 pieces of clothing as often as you want, and you pay for the items you keep and return the rest. They know I am getting boxes already, so their emails don’t try to sell me anything, and instead, send me styling tips, trends, outfit ideas, and a reminder to update my Pinterest board, so my stylist can pick items I might like.

They occasionally send me content for men in case I decide to get a box for my husband. They clearly know who I am, and it’s meaningful to get content I actually want.

Clearly, I’m a sucker for great content and a personalized experience so any brand who can do both of those things is always going to rope me in!