Experimental email code
Niche. Super niche. Of all the niches I find myself in, this one is a very snug fit. But I fit. I fitted right in and people spotted the fit. I got to meet some cool people through this community. #EmailGeeks. I changed a whole corporate’s creative approach to emailing. I was invited to pitch for Google and YSL. Clients I wouldn’t be able to get anywhere near without Email Geekery knowledge.
It sounds like an outrageous claim: I had the answer, to a problem that Google had created in one of their own products.
But didn’t email die in 2002? It’s a staggeringly obvious question. Gary Vee describes this as the cat and mouse effect. In the 50s radio guys got nervous about selling ads when they were in competition with TV. Email at it’s peak (late 90s - early 00s, prior to AdWords) had a near 50% engaged audience. Email isn’t redundant, it’s just different now. Once upon a time it was the tailored feed, the curated view. Social is that now. But unlike social - you weren’t the curator - the marketing person was. Now, email is the informer. A more straightforward friend to say - you’ve completed, bought or need to do something next. That’s the case at scale. Still, rightly so, at a boutique and independent level there’s lots of wonderful, well curated emails.
There’s some really brilliant minds in the world of email. People who I’ve learnt heaps from and love to push the boundaries of what can be done with email code. And trust me, that’s really tough to experiment with. Without these people, the truest definition of an #EmailGeek - there wouldn’t be the solid foundation of testing and pushing the limitations of email code. I learnt some of my best tricks and creative show stoppers from unpicking work by:
Being an email geek girl opened a lot of doors for me at one time. I relished the challenge of problem solving and testing experimental code. Have a look at this accordion email on your phone (or pull in your browser). At that time I was a huge advocate of specialism - the hard to find expert. That was a fair few years ago, and now the broader seat of creative lead really excites me.
Experience only truly wins you that seat. It’s a great place to lead from, especially if you want to see other designers succeed. I would argue that’s an essential quality of leadership. It takes empathy, challenge, a big heart and boldness. That’s the stuff that only gets cultivated in the design trenches over time - you have to be like that with yourself before you can impart it in other people. I’m really glad for my journey and exposure in that tightly fitting place.
Check out this Animated CSS Grid email on theemailgirl.com