I love email agencies. They know what channel delivers the most value to brands and they’ve made it their mission to do it better than anyone. While the rest of us dabble, they are true masters of this domain and one look at their code and strategy shows you why. So being, I wanted to catch up with some of the brands I know and love. Today is Evan Diaz from Lucky Red Pixel.
Gregg: I'm gonna start with the one I'm most curious about; what's the story behind the name, Lucky Red Pixel?
Evan: Lucky Red Pixel came about because all the domain combinations of any two of those words were taken (lucky pixel, red pixel...) red is kind of cool and the shortest color so, Lucky Red Pixel :)
Gregg: Love it. So you're all in on email. There are so many technologies out there that folks are building agencies around, why did you choose email?
Evan: I like working with email because of all the strange constraints (outlook) with coding and designing for different email clients and device types, with image blocking in mind and all the various limitations and expectations people have of email. It's really a level of challenge not found in elsewhere in web design to make something that looks & functions well in spite of it all.
I love the data reporting available in email as well, it's just not as available in things like print or broadcast marketing.
Gregg: You're the face of things, but who else is involved?
Evan: We've got a small team of 5-7 folks who help out in various capacities, each one of us has our own specialties and handles different parts of projects. I'm out of Orlando, FL along with our copywriter Kelly; Mark - our integrations lead is by Houston, TX, Jeremy - developer, Atlanta, GA; Jodi - designer & programmer, Tuscon, AZ; Adam - strategy guy in Charlotte, NC.
Gregg: And how long have you been around?
Evan: As a company, we've been around for just about a decade. Individually, there's quite a few decades of experience amongst us all.
Gregg: I bet. So when you look at those clients you work with, what's the theme? When do they go "okay, i'm done doing this myself, I'm calling Evan."
Evan: Usually it's some sort of frustration. Most ESPs will have stock templates but they won't look or function how the client wants so we'll custom design templates that really nail their brand and has the sort of flexible layout options they want in order to keep things fresh.
Gregg: Any client or work you've done recently that you're especially proud of that really overcame the constraints?
Evan: One client in particular, a luxury car manufacturer, had pretty complex emails and they all had it be localized into about a dozen different languages. Their layout would often look good in English, but when translated the text length would vary pretty drastically, throwing off the look and making things feel cobbled together and unprofessional. So we redesigned their templates to look & function properly even after being localized, so they have more leeway in how much text differences the template structure would tolerate. Little things like that are often overlooked, but really matter to the client and end recipient.
Gregg: The other day a well-known marketing/tech/saas personality, DHH (creator of Basecamp) tweeted a link to a WSJ article saying that email was "the next big thing". What's your take on that?
Evan: I saw the WSJ article and I think they hit the nail on the head. Over the past few years, people and businesses have poured tons of money into building their audience within social media channels just for them to have the rug pulled out from under them when those platforms change the algorithm. They can't connect with their audience any longer because with social media it's not really their data; however, when people opt-in to your emails, you can connect with that audience whenever you like.
Gregg: And that’s not just on a brand level, right?
Evan: People are definitely limiting how much social media they engage with more and more. I know I am. I don't really care what my distant friends' or relatives' crazy political views are, I suspect a number of other people are tiring of it as well.
Gregg: Couldn’t agree more.
Evan: Email isn't going away any time soon, it's the unsung workhorse of any marketing team.
Gregg: Well, I’ll wrap things up here, but anything exciting coming up for Lucky Red Pixel?
Evan: We're doing some agency training coming up soon for a large client in CA, and regular Mailchimp workshops here in Orlando, pretty excited about those!
Gregg: Awesome, glad to hear it. Thanks again for the time and keep up the great work.
Evan: My pleasure!