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Before spending the summer at Trendline Interactive, email was just another mundane part of life: One more thing to check on the bus after Facebook and Instagram. Neither of us thought about the process behind email or the goals it was trying to achieve (even if we occasionally couldn’t resist clicking through to check out that sale). However, after only a few months of learning, we now approach emails and email marketing from a completely different perspective, thanks to the knowledge shared by the awesome people and company culture of Trendline, who answered our questions — on everything from industry jargon to how to operate complex data collection systems — and welcomed us into the company. In the following, you’ll find a rundown of our summer highlights.
Sonali Arora, Data Analytics Intern
My main goals during this internship was to learn as much as possible and meaningfully contribute to the company while learning things I can’t learn in a classroom. Trendline definitely provided me with that opportunity. Working with Sundar, the director of analytics, and Sara, the marketing data analyst, I’ve been exposed to the quantitative side of marketing and learned the extent to which data can drive marketing. It’s been fascinating to see the insights that are generated from the data we analyze and how numbers can translate into real marketing strategies. One of the projects I worked on was the development of a cost calculator for a client to determine spending. There’s a lot of data coming from different sources, and we needed an efficient process to aggregate this data. By combining the data in an organized way, this calculator allows us to determine how much we’re paying our partners to generate monthly conversions. From this, we can adjust our media spend based on these calculations. It’s been really interesting to see how the courses I’ve taken in school can actually be applied in the real world. I now see how much thought and time goes into one email, and how much can be accomplished with an email, especially in terms of improving customer engagement through data analysis.
Klarissa Fitzpatrick, Creative Copy and Accounts Intern
Essentially, email is a form of publishing. And I have experience in publishing — newspapers, which are essentially email’s opposite: enormous, with hundreds of words to convey a point. One of the biggest challenges this summer has been embodying the style and voice of an organization in the space available, which is usually a fragment of a sentence. One of the most valuable skills I’ve learned over this internship is how to adopt the written voice of another company or brand, and how to communicate a complex idea (or a SALE!) in as few words as possible. I’ve watched several emails go from zero percent complete, to deployment, and finally to data. Despite what many people may think, it’s that last step, the data, that is the most informative and impactful step. Before entering this internship, I always erred on the side of giving as little data as possible because I wanted to preserve my privacy. But after seeing how much data can benefit our clients and improve the emails we send, I realize that data can improve my customer experience and lead to better deals and content being sent my way.
Email marketing might seem simple when you’re on the receiving end. But in reality, it’s a complex industry that requires an appetite for exploration, attention to detail, and never-ending patience.