You may think that fans, in their nature, are more engaged with
the team or sport they support than your average customer. And, in some ways,
that’s true. Your fans are already engaged. They actively want to connect with your
brand. They’re emotionally invested in you.
But that’s what makes marketing in the sports sectors so
difficult. Sports conjure up a range of emotions you simply don’t feel when you
buy a pair of trainers or book a haircut.
Their connection to your brand is entirely emotional. So, when things are going well, especially on the field, engaging is going to be easy. Well, easier. But, when things are going badly, reactions can be erratic, to say the least.
As a sports marketer, you’ve got to stay highly tuned into your
audiences’ mood. This will keep you relevant, and relevance makes engagement a hell
of a lot easier!
This brings us nicely onto our first key takeaway from the
1) Treat fans like part of the team
Fans want to be part of the action. Regardless of whether
they’re regularly attending your events or matches, you should think about every
user in your database as a part of your brand.
Exclusive insights are gold
These can come in a variety of forms, from breaking the latest news to interviews with your players and ambassadors, and competitions to win memorabilia. Depending on the type of fan they are, some content may resonate better. This is where personalization and segmenting your database come into play.
If you’re upfront and open in your welcome program, you can
ask fans what they’d like to receive in their newsletter. If they’re a distant
follower, they might not want to be so concerned with player status updates,
but they do want to know what channel and time the next game is on. Get this
information as quickly as possible to ensure you’re delivering the insight that
will engage the individual the most.
Building your community is essential
Make it as easy as possible for fans to connect – with you,
and with each other. Fan forums can be added to campaigns by including RSS
feeds when building your emails. This not only helps raise the profile of your
forums, but it’s also an invaluable source of user-generated content.
Another way you can foster a strong sense of community amongst your fans is by connecting with your influencers. Whether its social media stars who love playing badminton, or a musician who grew up near your ground, it helps fans feel closer to you, and them.
Never miss a chance to surprise and delight
Take someone from a newsletter subscriber to a member of
your fan club, by offering them the chance to win.
What they win doesn’t have to be big. It could be behind the scenes access to the locker room or a shirt signed by the team. What is important, is that you’re rewarding your fans for their loyalty. Never miss a chance to say thank you – for their support and for staying engaged.
And, don’t forget to get your sponsors involved at this stage. If you’re offering fans the chance to win a tour around your stadium, team-up with your sponsors to help get them there in style. They won’t only be delighted with your brand, but theirs too.
Swansea AFC’s new American owners empowered them to try
something new –to launch an app unlike any its competitors had. It’s motivation
to do this was simple. It wanted to deliver an experience that had fans at its
With the new app, the Digital team at Swansea wanted fans to
be able to download tickets, access exclusive content and live streams, as well
as offer new opportunities for its sponsors through the creation of bespoke
Its goal was not about revenue, it was about the experience. By implementing single sign-on functionality across all its Swans Club accounts, the team empowered users to engage more, before, during and after games.
3) Champion collaboration
Following on from her amazing talk at the dotdigital Summit,
Fiona Watson from Science in Sport
showed the amazing power of teamwork and collaboration.
To increase its brand awareness, Science in Sport partner with brands that have similar customers but are more obvious competitors. These include the likes of Strava, Muc-off, and Garmin.
To capture new data, Science in Sport set up competitions with the chance to win free merchandise for its partners to promote across their channels. This ranged from a free signed jersey to a year’s supply of SiS sports nutrition.
4) Take inspiration from other industries
Chelsea Warrington, Partner Manager at Movable Ink, outlined three ways sports marketers can learn from other sectors to boost their customer experience.
Working for a sports brand, you more than likely have merchandise you sell to fans and members. Basically, you’re a retail brand yourself, so you should be using their tactics to boost your customer engagement.
Top retail brands are particularly efficient at using
behavioral data to influence customer actions. Using order confirmation pages
to push similar items in AI-driven product recommendation blocks, are an
amazing way to boost conversions and increase engagement.
Travel brands such as Best Western, personalize customers’ emails based on the location of their upcoming stay. It pulls in excursions and activities in the local area and suggests these to its visitors.
A sports brand can apply this when fans are traveling to an event or competition. Pull in suggestions for local bars, or car park information, to deliver relevant, engaging and helpful content to your supporters.
Media brand PaddyPower uses APIs to pull in content from other websites to give subscribers the latest information about sporting events.
Sports brands can drive anticipation for upcoming events or matches by pulling in the latest information such as traffic reports, live scores, or team updates. We’re already seeing this tactic being adopted by NHL teams in North America, such as the Montreal Canadiens.
5) Take personalization to new levels
Co-founder of Snaptivity,
Volha Paulovich, spoke about how new technologies are delivering perfectly personalized
At Snaptivity, there is a simple formula it believes creates
perfect experiences: content + context + timing = customer engagement.
Today’s experience economy means that people are constantly switching between information sources. While attending a football match, fans can be absorbing information from any number of sources, including the pitch, their phones, and the big screens. Keeping them engaged can be an uphill battle, and that is why context and timing are as important, if not more, than the content your delivering.
Keeping things contextual, such as bearing in mind whether a team has won or lost, is essential. It demonstrates that your there with them, through the highs and the lows.
By no means does that mean design is easy. Achieving simplicity in your work can be hard, but it’s definitely worth it in the end. By simplifying your creative you’re reducing the amount of delay, distractions, confusion and stress customers could experience when reading your email.
Simplicity in your creative matters
Today’s consumers have everything at their fingertips. Literally. Nearly 50% of all emails are now opened on mobile devices. As a result, smartphones have quickly become the consumer’s preferred device for online shopping. And, with social media channels like Instagram making it easier for small brands to reach customers, they’re more difficult to pin down, and even harder to hold on to.
Keeping it simple is more than an idea…it’s a philosophy
Time is a commodity for us all. As marketers we don’t have enough of it, and as consumers we don’t want to waste it. By dedicating just some of your time to our five, life-changing steps, you’ll soon be more agile and able to keep up with customers.
Read our latest cheatsheet
In it you’ll find all you need to know about how you can adopt these tactics today to start creating emails that are really resonate with your customers. Don’t forget to watch our quick demo to see first-hand how dotmailer can help you create simple, beautiful emails. Download today.
If you’re interested in refining your creative, our cheatsheet is an excellent place to start. But, if you want to take a deep dive into your creative, join our Creative Director for bespoke one-to-one sessions.
Hosted by Ger Ashby, Creative Director and presenter of the KISS dotlive, this is your chance to get expert advice on email design. To book in a one-to-one session, talk to your Account Manager today.
Although this stops you getting into your account right away, it’s a good thing – it offers an extra layer of protection for your account over and above your password.
But some of you were seeing this a fair bit. Others were seeing it… a lot. And that’s because it was triggered by your IP address changing. If you only ever used dotmailer at work, your IP address probably didn’t change. But if you were logging in at home, or over public wifi (because you were in your favourite coffee house, collaborative working space or gin parlour), your IP address may have been changing fairly frequently. This is because non-corporate IP addresses are often ‘dynamic’, which means they change every time you connect to them.
And when your IP address did change, you had to verify all over again. Some of you were telling us you had to do this multiple times a day – and that didn’t feel right, so we set out to do better.
From today, we no longer use IP addresses in the verification process. Instead, when you verify, you’ll be verifying the browser on your device. If you change device or browser (or browser profile), then you’ll verify just like before. But you’re likely to do that a lot less often than changing your IP address (which mostly, you would have had no control over).
You’ll also have to re-verify if you don’t log in for 30 days or more (so that if you do change a device, you don’t have to worry about it – it will become unverified automatically).
All this means that you are much less likely to have to repeat-verify, but that your account remains secure.
Email or SMS
Just like before, we offer two ways of verifying your account: via email or via SMS. Email is the default, so if you’d rather receive a text message instead, your account owner can set up two-factor authentication on your account by following these steps.
I’m going make an assumption here, and it’s this: by now, you don’t need me to tell you about the GDPR, or why it’s important, or even how it will affect you. You know what it is, and you’re already planning for it – and have been for months, or even years. I know this because that’s what you’ve been telling us. We’re fortunate to have customers that are so proactive.
And if you know about the GDPR, you’ll know about Article 7 – even if not by name. Article 7 is the section that deals with that tricky beast: consent.
But perhaps consent isn’t that tricky: isn’t it really just knowing who’s subscribed and who hasn’t?
Under the GDPR, not quite – because simply knowing that a contact is subscribed isn’t going to be good enough. In the post-GDPR world, consent will need to be specific.
Consent’s no luxury
If you have a signup form that contains an opt-in checkbox with, “Yes, I’d love to receive future emails”, then that’s going to cease being the gold standard on May 25. You’re going to need to come up with something more specific – something that says what those emails are going to contain, and how often you’ll be sending them.
But coming up with clearer, more specific opt-in text is one thing. The GDPR also says that you need to be able to demonstrate you have that specific consent.
You may well already be storing preferences in data fields, or perhaps with address books. That’s great, and you should carry on doing that. But being able to demonstrate why a contact has those preferences? That’s something that’s probably new to you – and it’s why we’ve built ConsentInsight.
As of today, you can now store – for free – the exact consent text a contact agreed to. Alongside, you can store the IP address they were on at the time, information about the browser they were using, and when they did it. And if their consent changes, we’ll keep the history too.
Get, store, demonstrate
You can request and store consent wherever you can add a contact (with the exception of adding individual contacts in the app).
The simplest way will be by generating a signup form, which will now get you to set your consent text. If you prefer creating signup forms with our surveys and forms tool, then you can use the new ‘Consent’ building block.
If you’ve obtained consent by some other means, you can set it when importing contacts by including the information in the file you upload (you can map the values just like contact data fields).
Of course, you may also be thinking about retrospectively gaining and storing consent for your current subscribers (we like to call this ‘up-permissioning’). For this, take a look at our two GDPR-themed program templates; you just need to fill in the blanks.
Let us do it for you
If you’d like a helping hand using ConsentInsight, or perhaps running an up-permissioning campaign, we have teams on hand that can help. Just let your account manager know.
Imagine two brands – not too dissimilar in their offering – looking to send out email campaigns to prospects and customers.
One company is better known in the market and has already built up a contact list full of email addresses from people who’ve opted in. The marketer in this business builds a campaign showcasing the brand’s latest products and blasts it out to contacts. There’s no thought behind who they’re sending to, but at the same time, their subscribers have signed up – so this should be okay, right?
The other company, a lesser-known brand, has no contacts to send to and needs to start from scratch. After finalizing a plan, the team sets up a sign-up form on their website, collecting key data and email preferences. Once they get the information they want, they dissect the insight and create some data-driven campaigns to send to new subscribers.
Which brand is going to drive more relevance? The one with an already-established list of contacts? Or the start-up that’s attentive towards its contacts’ preferences and recognizes this will help improve its email performance?
The answer is – you guessed it! – the less known brand. They’ve asked their subscribers what they want to receive and what interests them. This will ensure that the brand’s future email campaigns are tailored to customers, driving the right amount of relevancy to generate the desired levels of engagement.
Personalization and segmentation are key in driving relevance-rich emails
This isn’t a top-secret, ‘mission impossible’ task; learning more about your contacts will allow you to craft personalized emails that engage your audiences and compel them to act. Tailoring the experience ultimately leads to greater returns from email, still considered the most lucrative of marketing channels. Let’s not forget that for every £1 that’s invested, £32 are generated (DMA Marketer email tracker 2018).
The Relevancy Group compared the email marketing performance of traditional campaigns to personalized emails, and in all metrics, the latter delivered healthier results; for instance, personalized campaigns generate an average order value $7 higher than that of batch and blast campaigns (The Return on Email Personalization report, 2017).
To ensure your email program is relevant for the entirety of the customer relationship, it’s crucial to request data that will help enrich your insight. Preferences to ask for include:
identifiable data such as email address, first name, gender, location and date of birth
interests in product categories, services, themes and topics etc.
channels such as email, SMS and direct mail
type and frequency of communications (i.e. weekly, monthly, promotion vs. editorial)
The beauty of aggregating key information from your subscriber base is that it enables you to forge a personalized message and offer a tailored proposition; nurturing your contacts may be a longer process of generating net sales, but it’s more effective, as you’re showing consistent value, building customer interest and laying the foundations for higher levels of ROI.
The best content to start with is the value-added – don’t jump in straight away with sales-blasting. Look at what subscribers have signed up for in their preferences and compose messages accordingly.
For example, you could send a birthday discount to customers or promote a local flash sale based on geolocation. What’s more, dotmailer’s dynamic content functionality allows you to populate relevant products, promotions or editorial pieces for different segments based on the data you’ve captured. If you’re a fashion retailer this might be a gender-specific range of apparel, or if you’re a kitchenware brand it could be some vegan-inspired recipes. Plus, subscribers who select communications based on a certain type or frequency can be enrolled onto automation programs that correspond with these preferences.
One thing is clear, steering the subscriber journey off the back of data will ensure you remain relevant to recipients and beat the clutter in the inbox – that’s 281 billion messages a day. And in the long run, personalizing emails through segmentation tactics will nurture subscribers into loyal customers and ignite their brand affection.
Email marketing that’s tailored to the individual is proven to promote higher levels of customer engagement and ROI. Why? Because by sending the right message, to the right person, at the right time, you’re aligning all of the variables for relevancy to flourish. It’s the winning formula.
As marketers, we all know this. However, we’re often faced with obstacles – such as time, resource and data restraints – that impede our ability to deliver relevancy. This makes the simpler tactic of batch and blast more appealing, yet in today’s hyper-connected world, it won’t suffice.
But fear not – dotmailer makes creating relevant emails easy with our automation tool and segmentation builder. If you’d like more advice on how to make your emails more targeted, please reach out to your account manager.
I first got to know dotmailer when the company was just a bunch of young enthusiastic web developers called Ellipsis Media back in 1999. I was introduced by one of my suppliers and we decided to bring them on board to build a recruitment website for one of our clients. That client was Amnesty International and the job role was Secretary General. Not bad for a Croydon company whose biggest client before that was Scobles the plumber’s merchants. So, I was probably dotmailer’s first ever corporate client! After that, I used dotmailer at each company I worked for and then one day they approached a colleague and me and asked us if we wanted to work for them. That was 2013. We grabbed the opportunity with both hands and haven’t looked back since.
Tell us a bit about your role
I’m the Global Head of Technical Solutions which actually gives me responsibility for 2 teams. First, Custom Technical Solutions (CTS), who build bespoke applications and tools for customers that allow them to integrate more closely with dotmailer and make life easier. Second, Technical Pre-sales, which spans our 3 territories (EMEA, US and APAC) and works with prospective and existing clients to figure out the best solution and fit within dotmailer.
What accomplishments are you most proud of from your dotmailer time so far?
I would say so far it has to be helping to turn the CTS team from just 2 people into a group of 7 highly skilled and dedicated men and women who have become an intrinsic and valued part of the dotmailer organization. Also I really enjoy being part of the Senior Technical Management team. Here we have the ability to influence the direction and structure of the platform on a daily basis.
Meet Darryl Clark – the cheese and peanut butter sandwich lover
Can you speak a bit about your background and that of your team? What experience and expertise is required to join this team?
My background is quite diverse from a stint in the Army, through design college, web development, business analysis to heading up my current teams. I would say the most valuable skill that I have is being highly analytical. I love nothing more than listening to a client’s requirements and digging deep to work out how we can answer these if not exceed them.
As a team, we love nothing more than brainstorming our ideas. Every member has a valid input and we listen. Everyone has the opportunity to influence what we do and our motto is “there is no such thing as a stupid question.”
To work in my teams you have to be analytical but open minded to the fact that other people may have a better answer than you. Embrace other people’s input and use it to give our clients the best possible solution. We are hugely detail conscious, but have to be acutely aware that we need to tailor what we say to our audience so being able to talk to anyone at any level is hugely valuable.
How much of the dotmailer platform is easily customizable and when does it cross over into something that requires your team’s expertise? How much time is spent on these custom solutions one-time or ongoing?
I’ll let you in on a little secret here. We don’t actually do anything that our customers can’t do with dotmailer given the right knowledge and resources. This is because we build all of our solutions using the dotmailer public API. The API has hundreds of methods in both SOAP and REST versions, which allows you to do a huge amount with the dotmailer platform. We do have a vast amount of experience and knowledge in the team so we may well be able to build a solution quicker than our customers. We are more than happy to help them and their development teams build a solution using us on a consultancy basis to lessen the steepness of the learning curve.
Our aim when building a solution for a customer is that it runs silently in the background and does what it should without any fuss.
What are your plans for the Custom Tech Solutions team going forward?
The great thing about Custom Technical Solutions is you never know what is around the corner as our customers have very diverse needs. What we are concentrating on at the moment is refining our processes to ensure that they are as streamlined as possible and allow us to give as much information to the customer as we can. We are also always looking at the technology and coding approaches that we use to make sure that we build the most innovative and robust solutions.
We are also looking at our external marketing and sharing our knowledge through blogs so keep an eye on the website for our insights.
What are the most common questions that you get when speaking to a prospective customer?
Most questions seem to revolve around reassurance such as “Have you done this before?”, “How safe is my data?”, “What about security?”, “Can you talk to my developers?”, “Do I need to do anything?”. In most instances, we are the ones asking the questions as we need to find out information as soon as possible so that we can analyse it to ensure that we have the right detail to provide the right solution.
Can you tell us about the dotmailer differentiators you highlight when speaking to prospective customers that seem to really resonate?
We talk a lot about working with best of breed so for example a customer can use our Channel Extensions in automation programs to fire out an SMS to a contact using their existing provider. We don’t force customers down one route, we like to let them decide for themselves.
Also, I really like to emphasize the fact that there is always more than one way to do something within the dotmailer platform. This means we can usually find a way to do something that works for a client within the platform. If not, then we call in CTS to work out if there is a way that we can build something that will — whether this is automating uploads for a small client or mass sending from thousands of child accounts for an enterprise level one.
What do you see as the future of marketing automation technology? Will one size ever fit all? Or more customization going forward?
The 64 million dollar question. One size will never fit all. Companies and their systems are too organic for that. There isn’t one car that suits every driver or one racquet that suits every sport. Working with a top drawer partner network and building our system to be as open as possible from an integration perspective means that our customers can make dotmailer mold to their business and not the other way round…and adding to that the fact that we are building lots of features in the platform that will blow your socks off.
Tell us a bit about yourself – favorite sports team, favorite food, guilty pleasure, favorite band, favorite vacation spot?
I’m a dyed in the wool Gooner (aka Arsenal Football Club fan) thanks to my Grandfather leading me down the right path as a child. If you are still reading this after that bombshell, then food-wise I pretty much like everything apart from coriander which as far as I’m concerned is the Devils own spawn. I don’t really have a favorite band, but am partial to a bit of Level 42 and Kings of Leon and you will also find me listening to 90s drum and bass and proper old school hip hop. My favorite holiday destination is any decent villa that I can relax in and spend time with my family and I went to Paris recently and loved that. Guilty pleasure – well that probably has to be confessing to liking Coldplay or the fact that my favorite sandwich is peanut butter, cheese and salad cream. Go on try it, you’ll love it.
Your welcome email is the first email that your customers are likely to receive from you. It typically has the highest engagement of any email you are likely to send, and it’s your opportunity to show off what you do and how great you are. It is also a way to thank your customers for buying from you and begin building a relationship with them; yet too many retailers miss this great opportunity. You only get one change to make a first impression.
Office, Sweaty Betty and Hotel Chocolat didn’t send a welcome email at all after signing up. There was no thank you, no offer, and no attempts to capture extra data. This is a lost opportunity for these three companies.
Charles Tyrwhitt, Reebok and Urban Outfitters did send an email after signing up. But their subject lines and content don’t come across like a welcome email and can be easily missed for instance, “15% off your Reebok gear”, “Start Urban Outfitting”, “Hurry, your £10 offer is waiting!” However, their emails are on brand and offer an incentive to take action.
Reebok’s welcome email
If UO replaced its hero image with an animated GIF they would probably see an increase in engagement with their emails.
Urban Outfitters’ email has a nice graphic but a GIF would be more eye-catching
Diesel, Footlocker, Havaianas, Hugo Boss, and Uniqlo also send a timely email shortly after signing up. Yet their emails need a lot of work. They are text-heavy, aren’t on brand and are not particularly engaging. Diesel’s email copy is confusing and tries to get you to create an account.
Lack of branding let Diesel’s email down
All of these brands create a poor initial experience. Footlocker, Fossil and Hugo Boss’s emails are double opt-in emails. This is good for data quality, but it is at the expense of great customer experience. At least Fossil and Hugo Boss’s actual welcome emails are on-brand. But since signing up and confirming my subscription, Footlocker hasn’t sent me a single email.
The welcome email from Hugo Boss
Adidas, Allsaints, Cath Kidston, FootAsylum, Forever21, Jack Wills, Kuoni, Levi’s, Schuh all sent what in my opinion are good welcome emails. They had clear subject lines that welcomed or thanked the user. The copy and design of these emails are on brand and again welcomed the user to the company.
Levi’s welcome email is image-heavy and on brand
Some of the brands like Adidas and Forever 21 included a discount to encourage the customer to engage further, and followed best practice elements to create a positive customer experience.
Adidas offers an incentive in its welcome email
However, the outstanding winner of the welcome emails goes to FootAsylum.
The email has great use of microcopy throughout.
It contains a clear benefit statement of being a subscriber. The benefit statement also set the expectations of what you’re likely to receive.
They use a great Call to Action “Stop Reading. Start Shopping!”
They are also the only company to use their welcome email to collect further data by having a very obvious preference centre within the body of the email.
Finally, the email is clearly on brand.
Foot Asylum wins the welcome email contest
Tips for welcome emails
Make sure you send it immediately after the customer signs up.
Keep the subject line clear and obvious that it’s a welcome email.
Set expectations for what the customer will receive and how frequently.
Provide a benefit statement for signing up.
Use this email as an opportunity to find out more about your customers.
Use preheader text as a follow on from your subject line.
Provide a safe sender message to encourage customers to add your email to their safe senders.
The top three reasons were People, Product and Opportunity. I met the people who make up our business and heard their stories from the past 18 years, learned about the platform and market leading status they had built in the UK, and saw that I could add value with my U.S. high growth business experience. I’ve been working with marketers, entrepreneurs and business owners for years across a series of different roles, and saw that I could apply what I’d learned from that and the start-up space to dotmailer’s U.S. operation. dotmailer has had clients in the U.S. for 12 years and we’re positioned to grow the user base of our powerful and easy-to-use platform significantly. I knew I could make a difference here, and what closed the deal for me was the people. Every single person I’ve met is deeply committed to the business, to the success of our customers and to making our solution simple and efficient. We’re a great group of passionate people and I’m proud to have joined the dotfamily.
Dan Morris, dotmailer’s EVP for North America in the new NYC office
Tell us a bit about your new role
dotmailer has been in business and in this space for more than 18 years. We were a web agency, then a Systems Integrator, and we got into the email business that way, ultimately building the dotmailer platform thousands of people use daily. This means we know this space better than anyone and we have the perfect solutions to align closely with our customers and the solutions flexible enough to grow with them. My role is to take all that experience and the platform and grow our U.S. presence. My early focus has been on identifying the right team to execute our growth plans. We want to be the market leader in the U.S. in the next three years – just like we’ve done in the UK – so getting the right people in the right spots was critical. We quickly assessed the skills of the U.S. team and made changes that were necessary in order to provide the right focus on customer success. Next, we set out to completely rebuild dotmailer’s commercial approach in the U.S. We simplified our offers to three bundles, so that pricing and what’s included in those bundles is transparent to our customers. We’ve heard great things about this already from clients and partners. We’re also increasing our resources on customer success and support. We’re intensely focused on ease of on-boarding, ease of use and speed of use. We consistently hear how easy and smooth a process it is to use dotmailer’s tools. That’s key for us – when you buy a dotmailer solution, we want to onboard you quickly and make sure you have all of your questions answered right away so that you can move right into using it. Customers are raving about this, so we know it’s working well.
What early accomplishments are you most proud of from your dotmailer time so far?
I’ve been at dotmailer for eight months now and I’m really proud of all we’ve accomplished together. We spent a lot of time assessing where we needed to restructure and where we needed to invest. We made the changes we needed, invested in our partner program, localized tech support, customer on-boarding and added customer success team members. We have the right people in the right roles and it’s making a difference. We have a commercial approach that is clear with the complete transparency that we wanted to provide our customers. We’ve got a more customer-focused approach and we’re on-boarding customers quickly so they’re up and running faster. We have happier customers than ever before and that’s the key to everything we do.
You’ve moved the U.S. team to a new office. Can you tell us why and a bit about the new space?
I thought it was very important to create a NY office space that was tied to branding and other offices around the world, and also had its own NY energy and culture for our team here – to foster collaboration and to have some fun. It was also important for us that we had a flexible space where we could welcome customers, partners and resellers, and also hold classes and dotUniversity training sessions. I’m really grateful to the team who worked on the space because it really reflects our team and what we care about. At any given time, you’ll see a training session happening, the team collaborating, a customer dropping in to ask a few questions or a partner dropping in to work from here. We love our new, NYC space.
Guests and the team at dotmailer’s new NYC office warming party
What did you learn from your days in the start-up space that you’re applying at dotmailer?
The start-up space is a great place to learn. You have to know where every dollar is going and coming from, so every choice you make needs to be backed up with a business case for that investment. You try lots of different things to see if they’ll work and you’re ready to turn those tactics up or down quickly based on an assessment of the results. You also learn things don’t have to stay the way they are, and can change if you make them change. You always listen and learn – to customers, partners, industry veterans, advisors, etc. to better understand what’s working and not working. dotmailer has been in business for 18 years now, and so there are so many great contributors across the business who know how things have worked and yet are always keen to keep improving. I am constantly in listening and learning mode so that I can understand all of the unique perspectives our team brings and what we need to act on.
What are your plans for the U.S. and the sales function there?
On our path to being the market leader in the U.S., I’m focused on three things going forward: 1 – I want our customers to be truly happy. It’s already a big focus in the dotmailer organization – and we’re working hard to understand their challenges and goals so we can take product and service to the next level. 2 – Creating an even more robust program around partners, resellers and further building out our channel partners to continuously improve sales and customer service programs. We recently launched a certification program to ensure partners have all the training and resources they need to support our mutual customers. 3 – We have an aggressive growth plan for the U.S. and I’m very focused on making sure our team is well trained, and that we remain thoughtful and measured as we take the steps to grow. We want to always keep an eye on what we’re known for – tools that are powerful and simple to use – and make sure everything else we offer remains accessible and valuable as we execute our growth plans.
What are the most common questions that you get when speaking to a prospective customer?
The questions we usually get are around price, service level and flexibility. How much does dotmailer cost? How well are you going to look after my business? How will you integrate into my existing stack and then my plans for future growth? We now have three transparent bundle options with specifics around what’s included published right on our website. We have introduced a customer success team that’s focused only on taking great care of our customers and we’re hearing stories every day that tells me this is working. And we have all of the tools to support our customers as they grow and to also integrate into their existing stacks – often integrating so well that you can use dotmailer from within Magento, Salesforce or Dynamics, for example.
Can you tell us about the dotmailer differentiators you highlight when speaking to prospective customers that seem to really resonate?
In addition to the ones above – ease of use, speed of use and the ability to scale with you. With dotmailer’s tiered program, you can start with a lighter level of functionality and grow into more advanced functionality as you need it. The platform itself is so easy to use that most marketers are able to build campaigns in minutes that would have taken hours on other platforms. Our customer success team is also with you all the way if ever you want or need help. We’ve built a very powerful platform and we have a fantastic team to help you with personalized service as an extended part of your team and we’re ready to grow with you.
How much time is your team on the road vs. in the office? Any road warrior tips to share?
I’ve spent a lot of time on the road, one year I attended 22 tradeshows! Top tip when flying is to be willing to give up your seat for families or groups once you’re at the airport gate, as you’ll often be rewarded with a better seat for helping the airline make the family or group happy. Win win! Since joining dotmailer, I’m focused on being in office and present for the team and customers as much as possible. I can usually be found in our new, NYC office where I spend a lot of time with our team, in customer meetings, in trainings and other hosted events, sales conversations or marketing meetings. I’m here to help the team, clients and partners to succeed, and will always do my best to say yes! Once our prospective customers see how quickly and efficiently they can execute tasks with dotmailer solutions vs. their existing solutions, it’s a no-brainer for them. I love seeing and hearing their reactions.
Tell us a bit about yourself – favorite sports team, favorite food, guilty pleasure, favorite band, favorite vacation spot?
I’m originally from Yorkshire in England, and grew up just outside York. I moved to the U.S. about seven years ago to join a very fast growing startup, we took it from 5 to well over 300 people which was a fantastic experience. I moved to NYC almost two years ago, and I love exploring this great city. There’s so much to see and do. Outside of dotmailer, my passion is cars, and I also enjoy skeet shooting, almost all types of music, and I love to travel – my goal is to get to India, Thailand, Australia and Japan in the near future.
At dotmailer we try our best to keep the bad guys out, but if they already have your password, there is very little we can do to detect, and stop them logging in as you…unless, of course, you have already turned on two-factor authentication (2FA). Two-factor in most cases is something you know (your username/password), and something you have (a single use access code or authentication link).
But how do can they get my password in the first place?
There are various ways an attacker may have access to your login details, but some of the possible methods include:
If the computer you use to log in to your online accounts is infected with malware, it is possible that your keystrokes and even screen captures are being logged and sent back to the bad guys…..yep, including your passwords, and other authentication details.
Snooping on the network
If an attacker has access to the network from which you are logging on to an online service (e.g. public Wi-Fi hotspot), in some cases it may be possible to capture the data as it passes to the server…..yep, including your password, and other authentication details. This is where looking for HTTPS in your browser address bar becomes very important. At dotmailer, all authentication data passes over a secure channel, thus protecting you from this sort of attack.
It’s really important not to use the same password across different services. We’ve seen an awful lot of very big data breaches in the news recently, and the attackers have been using the stolen authentication details from these breaches to try and log on to other online services…with what seems to be a great deal of success! This sadly means that many people are still using the same password everywhere they go online. This is one of the reasons why your dotmailer password is set to expire, and you are asked for a new one every 90 days; and why you should be choosing something completely different every time. Simply incrementing that number at the end of your password is not cool!
As we get better at using good passwords, and preventing malware infections; sometime, the bad guys just find it easier to ask us for our passwords. At dotmailer, our support team will never contact you asking for your password.
If one of the above unfortunate events were to happen, 2FA adds another layer of defense, as the attacker would also need access to the authentication link or SMS code. In reality that would mean having access to your mailbox, or mobile phone. We’ve already seen that it’s possible that an attacker has obtained your password due to a compromised computer, or network; which is why we would always recommend using an “out-of-band” communication such as SMS as the means to deliver the 2FA authentication token where possible. dotmailer offers SMS 2FA to all customers. It’s simple to setup, and its free!
Without access to the authentication token, the attacker could of course try and brute force the code, but that is where our other controls such as failed login account lockouts kick in.
How to turn on 2FA in dotmailer
Log in to your account, and click the user icon in the top right, and select Account:
In the resulting window click on the “Account Settings” tab, and scroll down to the “Security” section. Simply tick the Two-factor authentication box, and enter your mobile phone number, and hit save settings at the bottom of the page.
Done! Congratulations, you have just gone one step further in protecting your valuable data.
Now you have protected your dotmailer account, check out TurnOn 2FA and see which of your other online services offer a similar feature, and SWITCH IT ON!
Note: If you are a managed user, you will need to ask your account administrator to do this for you. For obvious security reasons, you will not be able to disable this feature without the help from our support team.