Email Evolution Conference — Day 2

Just finished another day of the Email Evolution Conference. Overall the day was good and had lots of great networking opportunities with the email marketing elite. Here are a smattering of thoughts from the day:

  • The keynote started off at 8:30 and was so-so. Instead of something forward looking that provided a strong vision for the future, the keynote felt a bit disjointed with four smaller presentations from the different presenters. However, I did enjoy the presentation from Craig Spiezle, Director of Online Safety & Security at Microsoft, although I think that his information would have been better served in a more tactical session. As an added twist, everyone in the audience got to vote on different questions posed with handheld voters. Personally, I thought it was a bit gimmicky but I respect the technique to engage the audience. This is the conference’s first year so hopefully the EEC will step up their game next year and built their keynote around one very strong speaker.
  • Following the keynote, I attended two sessions — one on integrated campaigns and another on internationalization of email marketing. Oddly, I enjoyed the second one more even though most of the conversation debated the merits of centralizing or decentralizing ones email marketing efforts globally. As a 30-person company, this is not an issue that we see a lot. It was clear that the presenters were fairly knowledgeable and the presentation would have been even more effective with some more structure.
  • After lunch, I jumped into the session “Getting the Most Out of Your ESP Relationship” by Skip Fedura of Oglivy and Dori Thompson of Silverpop. The topic was setup to be fairly basic and I think that the presenters did a good job of keeping it light and enjoyable. Skip, in particular, was fairly sharp and made a simple topic engaging enough to follow. I tried to jump into “How To Build a Smarter Email Program Including Landing Pages and Website Analytics” but it was too full. Analytics is certainly a hot topic and a lot of marketers are curious in how they can optimize their landing pages and website to maximize their email marketing.
  • I finished the day with the session “Even CEOs Read Email: Addressing the C-level B2B Target”. Carol Krol of B2B Magazine moderated the topic and did a good job. The session was interesting, not because of its relevance to email marketing, but rather because I am CEO and completely understand the issues in getting my attention and the challenges in targeting C-Level executives in a mass marketing fashion. The biggest take home message — the sole goal should be so that the CEO forwards the emails to appropriate the functional leader in their business and it because the email comes the CEO it will hold more weight and be more likely to be acted on than if not. Make sense.

The day ended with a nice cocktail party outside looking out on the harbor. The Bronto crew and I got to catch up with our peers at number of different email marketing firms and marketers in firms across the country. Good time.

More to come tomorrow.

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