Like a lot of teams, we’ve been talking about some of the things we’re grateful for. Now, I’m not a sentimental person. I don’t hold on to old pictures. I don’t spend a ton of time thinking about the past. And I don’t have a gratitude journal (I’ve tried, but it never sticks).
But 2020 has been a year. And, as the world has changed, I’ve found myself changing, too. A lot of that change is the result of external forces: the pandemic, rampant racial injustice, a historic election… In response, I’ve found myself looking to the past more frequently. Not only by learning about our world, our country’s history, and the struggles of others, but through my own history, too. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my family and friends, my colleagues, my local community, and the email community that I’ve called home for the past decade.
And what I’ve found is that I have a lot to be grateful for.
November is a good time to reflect and give thanks. Yes, it’s the month of Thanksgiving in the US. But it’s also Native American Heritage Month, the time of Diwali, Veteran’s Day, Transgender Day of Remembrance, the month of the US elections in 2020, and even National Calzone Day.
So, with all of that in mind, I wanted to spend a little bit of time talking about what I’m grateful for as an email marketer and how we can all give thanks to our subscribers and our communities.
What I’m thankful for in 2020
Despite all of the chaos 2020 has thrown our way, there’s a lot to be thankful for—especially in the email marketing industry.
I’m thankful for being in an industry that’s been less affected by the pandemic than others. Yes, a lot of people have been affected by the pandemic personally and professionally. But, as more people go remote due to lockdowns, email volumes have increased and email marketers have been called on to provide the link between folks at home and the outside world.
I’m thankful for being in a field where working safely from home is relatively easy. I say relatively here because it’s still challenging. A lot of us are trying to work while parenting or caring for family members or while managing our mental health in the face of anxiety-inducing news delivered 24/7. But a lot of the work we collectively do can be accomplished remotely so that we can reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission and keep our larger communities safe.
I’m grateful for work that’s challenging. Don’t let anyone tell you that email marketing, design, or development is easy. Even with the most thoughtful copy, the most creative designs, or the most robust code, email will challenge the hell out of anyone. No one I know in the industry is here because it’s easy. They’re here because they care about the work and making their subscribers’ lives better. It’s hard work, but it’s work worth doing.
I’m thankful for being part of a professional community that’s welcoming, inclusive, and caring. So many people face discrimination, prejudice, and violence on a daily basis. Even in the larger tech world—which is supposed to be a paragon of meritocracy and equality—women and people of color face massive amounts of discrimination and harrassment. But, based on what I’ve seen in my ten years in email marketing, our industry is filled with kind, generous, and welcoming people from diverse backgrounds. People that are willing to share their experiences and their knowledge. People that are willing to have difficult conversations and help each other out. While we’re not without our own challenges, I’ve learned that email geeks are committed to creating an inclusive community. And that’s worth celebrating.
Give thanks to your subscribers
That last thing I’ll say is that we’re extremely thankful for our customers and our subscribers. It may sound like a bad Oscars acceptance speech, but honestly, without you all, we wouldn’t be here.
So I’ll wrap up by saying that we should all find ways to thank our subscribers through our work—now and moving forward.
Take some time to pull back on promotional emails and send your subscribers an email expressing your gratitude. Thank them for their time and attention, on top of the money they spend with you.
Longer term, show your gratitude by continuing the hard work to understand their struggles and their needs. Start a conversation now, but make sure you keep it going so that you can continue to email them campaigns that are actually useful and valuable. Show your gratitude by thinking of them as people (which they are) who are going through struggles just like you. They’re not just names in a database, so stop treating them like it.
If you do, I’m sure there will be a lot more to be thankful for this time next year.