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My coworker recently posed this question: Tell me about your first time you heard of email or email marketing. How was it explained to you? What did you think of it? Do you have a funny, weird or interesting story to share?
Thinking back to when I first started using email brings me back to college in the early 90’s. We had Unix terminals in our computer labs and a group of us used them to send messages back and forth to chat, plan get-togethers, and if I remember correctly, flirt. I don’t think anyone called it email back then.
When I started my first job in 1993 at IRI, we were given email addresses, but could only use them internally. Within a year or so, we got the ability to send emails to clients and other people. My family and friends started getting email addresses and it became clear that this could be a great way to communicate. It was definitely a social/personal thing though and I never thought about it as a marketing vehicle (despite being a marketing undergrad.)
After business school, I went into consulting (which so many of us did) and got to work on various portal and early CRM strategies for some pretty big companies. It was all about websites in the late 90’s for me still – no email.
Then one day in early 2000, another consultant told me about a job at a company called Bigfoot Interactive which did email marketing. Ready to quit the life of a management consultant and loving email as a personal communication method, I was very intrigued.
Did I really understand what I was getting into? Not so much. But did I end up loving it? Yeah, I did.
In those early days, it was so much fun introducing big companies to the power of email marketing. It was all about building lists, creating preference centers and testing to see what would work. Hey – things haven’t changed all that much since we still do a lot of that now!
Thus, my career path was determined and 10 years later, I am still doing email marketing and loving it.