As part of selling my previous agency, I signed a non-compete. With no income, three little kids, and one on the way, I needed a way to stay in touch with my network even if I could not work for them. During this time the U.S. government passed the CAN-SPAM Act (2003). Email marketing was a dirty word, and most companies were very reticent to use it.
In spite of the bad press, I decided to research the possibility of creating my own email to keep in touch with my contacts. I hit up my search engine, Ask Jeeves (this was 2003, baby), and found a little company in Tennessee that said they could do it. This little email provider called Emma (yep, I still use them today) was impressed with my thoroughness in vetting them, and the care I was taking to not spam my contact database. I remember the conversation clearly — they suggested I could help others run email marketing programs.
It hit me like a bolt of lighting!
Yes, I could, and this would make Spire2 unique. I recognized that email marketing was going to be a huge leveling field. In the past, it required a lot of money to reach your target audience frequently — repetition is a powerful fundamental of marketing. Because email costs only pennies per impression — everyone could now afford repetition. With a permission-based model, email marketing could speak to those who actually wanted to hear from you. I developed a process to grow a list that I called “explicit permission” to overcome concerns about spamming, and I became an email marketing evangelist.
This also became the pattern for my professional growth.
I regularly research technical trends that affect marketing. And boy, that has been the right space to be in over the last fifteen years — as technology continues to affect every aspect of branding and marketing. Content marketing, social media, and data marketing did not exist fifteen years ago. Knowing how to use all these channels has become more important as the channels have proliferated.
What worked yesterday won’t work tomorrow.
This is more true in marketing than ever before. If you are not trying new things and learning, your marketing will not stay relevant. Scary, but exciting. I would have it no other way. Email is still around and just as important, but that is another post in this series of what I have learned over the last fifteen years.
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