What’s your name and role at Brew Digital?
I’m Mark Bundle and I’m the Senior Email Marketing Manager at Brew Digital, though that’s a lot to say, and I normally just refer to myself as ‘the email guy’.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Typical? What does that mean?
In all seriousness, apart from a few checks to ensure automations are all functioning as expected, there is very little the same in my work from day to day. I spend most of the time either in our CRM, HubSpot, or playing with various different documents making sure that we have processes and best practices to maximise the effectiveness of our clients email marketing initiatives and presenting new solutions as tools and times move on.
What’s your favourite part of the job?
Weirdly for an introvert like me it’s the people. I have amazing colleagues that I can have a genuine chat with. Even though we are all fully remote, we’ve been careful to make sure that there is a real family feel about the business and that anyone can feel free to open up about whatever is happening at work, or at home if they want to.
Work wise, I love solving a problem that people say can’t be solved. Whether it’s an innovative approach, knowing a feature of a tool that maybe others don’t use in their day-to-day lives, or just seeing a gap that others can’t, when I present that solution back, it always feels great.
What are the bits that are most challenging?
When something doesn’t work how it looks like it should work. Tech stacks are getting ever more complicated and when systems don’t integrate like they should, it causes immense frustration for everyone.
Email marketing is quite a niche! How did you end up specialising in it?
Weirdly through telesales! I worked for a couple of years for a publisher, just as online marketing was coming to that company. I helped in launching a couple of emails, got interested in how they were built, started writing a little bit of HTML and got hooked.
I ended up moving into a fully email based role and supporting that company's first online specialist team before going deeper into the email world by moving to a marketing automation platform, helping a whole range of companies across different industries make the most of their email marketing efforts.
Do you have a secret skill or talent your work colleagues don’t know about?
Not so secret, I probably over-share, but not everybody knows that I wrote a children’s book. It’s not published or anything, but it was a fun project during the pandemic. It’s about a dog and a duck and a series of moral stories about their lives, designed to be read by parents at bedtime.
Is there anything about the job that surprises you? Or something people might not know about what you do?
Something that a lot of people not in email marketing might not realise is that relatively little time is actually spent on emails themselves. Good email marketing is based on good data, so email marketers often have more of a hand in data, analysis and CRM administration than their job titles suggest.
Have you seen any changes to the industry since you started?
Just a few! People keep claiming that email is dead, but I argue it’s more like a phoenix, you might think its gone a little quiet, its feathers are looking a bit worse for wear, then whoosh, some new idea, some new evolution and its right back again. Kinetic email is my favourite growing trend, especially in the B2C space, having a shopping checkout right there in the email? Genuinely impressive stuff.
What is a common misconception about email marketing that you’d love to correct?
Spray and pray still works. Just kidding, unlike dodos, I hope that never comes back. People do tend to think we are all about spam. To be fair there are more spam emails sent in the world than good ones, but very few of those are sent by good marketers. Honestly, we want to prevent spam every bit as much as you do!
Do you have a top tip for companies either wanting to try email marketing, or that want to improve their campaigns?
Gather data by providing value to your audience, and make sure that at all times you have a ‘why’ you are sending that email. If it’s for you, don’t send it; only send if it brings value to your intended audience.
Is there a particular project you’re particularly proud of?
Yes, but I’m pretty sure it’s confidential!
It wasn’t anything clever, but I once got 56 emails built, in 14 languages, in a day to hit a European client’s last minute brief. I was proud of that in a whole different way, just by getting through it all and keeping the client happy against all expectations. Note, this is not an excuse to any clients to brief things late in the future, I don’t want to do that again please!
How do you spend your ‘off-time’?
Gaming and reading. Anywhere where I can wander off into another world where magic and dragons exist. I was going to add ‘and where good wins’, but then realised that half the message in several of my favourite series’ is that balance is all, either good or bad winning is catastrophic!
Do you have any book, film or TV recommendations?
The Dragonlance Chronicles by Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weiss
The Drenai Saga by David Gemmell (or anything else he wrote in honesty)
The Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett (as above, everything he wrote is awesome)
Tolkien (I’m not picking any book, just all of them)
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (I went through a classics phase)
Remember the Titans
Man in the Iron Mask
Flight of the Dragons (very old, very bad, but still a favourite for nostalgia sake)
Lord of the Rings Trilogy (not The Hobbit trilogy, I’m not getting into that argument!)
Superstore/Trollied (both supermarket based, depends if you prefer US or UK comedy)
Game of Thrones
Is there an upcoming or emerging technology that has you really excited?
AR. I think it’s going to end up as pervasive as the internet eventually, why just ask for answers when I can see visual representations of them in 3D.
Why do you love working at Brew Digital?
I get to work on exciting projects, pushing boundaries (even if just internal ones to those companies), and surrounded by creative, talented colleagues that are all pulling in the same direction.