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Email Snob Interview: Kent McGovern

Have you been enjoying the “Email Snob” Interview Series? I know I have.

For the next installment, I talk email marketing with Kent McGovern, Email Abuse and Delivery Team Lead for 1ShoppingCart.com.

KentMcGovernScottWritesEverything.com: Kent, thanks for joining me. Let’s start with your background. How did you get your start in email marketing?

Kent McGovern: I started working at 1ShoppingCart (a division of Web.com E-Commerce) in late 2006 in the Support Department. When an opening came up in the Email Delivery/Abuse Department, I thought it would be a great opportunity. I’ve been here for 2 years now, and I’m loving every minute of it.

SWE: Let’s talk about that love. What’s your favorite thing about email marketing?

KM: Besides the great people I interact with, I think my favorite thing is finally seeing a client who has struggled with spam complaints or their delivery in general finally get “It.” When the client finally understands that they don’t need to flood their list with email, they don’t need a huge list to profit, that following best practices are the way to go, it puts a smile on my face.

SWE: Speaking of getting “It,” if there was one thing you could tell an ESP or a client–whether it’s a frustration, some words of advice, or praise–what would it be?

KM:  Before you hit the send button, take a step back and ask yourself: “Would I be happy getting this email in my inbox?”

SWE: Let’s go to the other side of the spectrum. What would you say to someone who wants to break into the email marketing industry?

KM: Take care of your client list, and it will take care of you. I can’t count how many times I see clients with huge client databases, and they can’t even tell you who opens their email or why. Bigger is not always better nowadays. I would much rather have a smaller, more engaged list than a large list any day.

SWE: If you could name one book that you feel every email marketer should read, what would it be? Why?

KM: I hate to admit it, but I have never read a book on email marketing. For the past two years, I have been busy reading RFCs to ensure my technological knowledge was where I needed it to be.

SWE: I’ll be sure to ask you about the technical side of things, then. Okay, well how about a blog recommendation?

KM: The Deliverability Blog is great. While not a blog, I’d also recommend checking out the Email Marketers Club.

SWE: Who is your biggest influence in the industry? Why?

KM: We don’t have enough room to name them all. Email has a great tight knit group of people always willing to share their knowledge.

If I had name some, though, they would be Matt VernhoutChris WheelerAnne Mitchell, and Al Iverson, because they have always been open with their knowledge when I had a question, stupid or not. The blogs and articles they write provide a wealth of information, and they have years of experience that is invaluable.

SWE: Let’s talk technology. How do you think the iPad will affect email marketing?

KM: Who in the heck named that thing–that’s horrible! Overall, I don’t think it’s going to affect anything because we already send email to mobile devices. That said, we will have to see once it’s released.

SWE: What about mobile technologies?

KM: I believe the industry as a whole is starting to optimize email sent to mobile devices and things will only get better. It would be nice if there was some standardization with the way all the mobile devices rendered email–but I won’t hold my breath waiting for that.

SWE: Yeah, me neither. Okay, a fun question. What is one thing you’ve always wanted to try with email, but have not done to this point?

KM: I learn something new every day from the email world. One thing I have never done is create the content of the emails that go out.

SWE: Oh, very cool! Okay, last question, and I’m asking everyone: If you were stuck in an elevator with the CEO of a company that doesn’t utilize email, what is your “elevator speech” for email marketing?

KM: In 2009, the ROI of email was $43.52 per dollar spent, according to the DMA. It’s worth the effort.

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existing reviews (2)

  • Kent McGovern May 26, 2014 10:19 am

    Hey Scott,

    Hard to believe it’s been 4 years already since we did the original interview. So much has changed in deliverability and my professional life in that time, have you thought about doing follow up interviews with the people you originally interviewed?

    # · Reply
    • Scott Cohen May 28, 2014 12:22 am

      Hi Kent: I have thought about it. Things have just been crazy busy of late. But if you’re interested in doing a follow-up, I’d be happy to start it up again.

      # · Reply