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Five Years of Email Marketing

As I’m sure most of you saw a few weeks ago, Facebook turned 10. In celebration, they released “Lookback” videos. During mine, I was told I joined Facebook in 2004.

It is hard to believe I’ve been a member of any social network for 10 years (okay, email for closer to 20 years). And after recently hitting my 5-year anniversary on Twitter a week or two ago, I can’t help but think that I joined both Facebook and Twitter as a lark (Facebook when it was moving campus to campus, Twitter when I realized I could potentially connect directly with those I needed to learn from).

While I’ve been on Facebook for 10 years, it’s really the last five years that have changed my life considerably. But I’ll skip the obvious personal story (yes, having a kid definitely changes your life).

What happened five years ago? I got the email marketing bug*.

Five years ago, I went to Email Evolution Conference for the first time–as a copywriter who needed to learn some email tips as part of taking new responsibilities at work. I know it sounds cliche, but those three days in Scottsdale (yes, Arizona, not Miami) changed my life. I left that conference with a thirst for knowledge and a new direction to pursue: email marketing.

Five years ago, my life went online. I began blogging–not just for myself here, but also on the Inbox Group blog, the OnlyInfluencers blog, Email Critic, ClickZ, and a host of other guest writing opportunities. I did online radio shows and podcasts about email marketing.

Five years ago, I found an email marketing industry that was filled with people like me: Slightly crazy, good at what we do, with an underdog mentality.

Five years is a long time, particularly in this technological age. And after hitting these social network milestones, I thought it was a good time for some reflection on where my career has taken me. And, as I continue to determine what I want to do with this space (as it hits the 5-year mark of existence in July), I’m intrigued by what the next five years will bring.

What are you looking forward to in the next five years?

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* Editor’s Note: Having not been born when the Jonestown Massacre occurred, I was reminded of the very negative connotation surrounding the phrase “drink the kool-aid.” I have updated this post to reflect this.

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