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Playing Nine Questions with Email Marketing Expert Scott Hardigree

In our ongoing series checking in with email marketing experts blazing new trails, we had the opportunity to chat with Scott Hardigree*. Scott is the CEO of the email marketing agency Indiemark, a company founded by email marketing veterans dedicated to building on insights and passion for email marketing. Scott was so insightful and candid, it was a fun experience digging into his vast experience. Here’s what he had to say about some concepts and trends in email marketing today:

How important is design to email marketing?

In a word, very. I published a post about this last week titled Emotional Email Design and Copywriting: The Secret to Driving Engagement and Sales. Specifically, both design and copy can and should be used to trigger the desired emotions in your prospects; emotions that lead prospects to click, inquire and ultimately purchase.

How can you derive revenue from an email marketing program? Any secret steps?

I hate to sound like a consultant, but It really depends on the marketer’s industry. For example, cart abandonment and welcome emails are gold for retailers. So is using transactional data to suggest products they might like. However, the universal secret for most marketers is to make their emails as relevant as possible; this usually requires the marketer look at the data provided by their subscriber’s stated preferences as well as data derived from their unstated actions; marketers can then use this data to segment their lists and go so far as to build triggered campaigns around this data.

Marketers seem to be moving away from value selling to emotional selling, how should marketers incorporate emotional selling into their email campaigns?

This post speaks to this point, exactly. In email marketing, selling requires far more than a solid value-proposition. For example, social proof can be used to verify the marketers pitch and bolster the prospect’s confidence.

Email marketing is evolving as a more integrated channel than even, how can you effectively integrate traditional, maturing, and new media, channels, and tactics? Where does email marketing fit in?

In the end, email is nothing more than a distribution tool. However, it is currently so valuable to marketers because:

  1. it has a high level of user adoption;
  2. it is inexpensive compared to other distribution channels;
  3. it plays well with other channels; and
  4. unlike social media email is far more direct.

In short, email is the glue that holds that holds most marketing channels together; it’s the common denominator.

With APIs, social integrations, advanced segmentation, automation – Is email marketing becoming too complicated for the average user?

Email certainly is becoming more complicated but most marketers don’t use each and every advanced tactics that is available. However, as the ESPs continue to make these tactics/integrations easier to execute and measure, usage will certainly increase.

With mobile on the rise, what’s the next two years of email look like?

Integration with location-based apps, like Foursquare, will be huge for some sectors like retail but the one thing that any marketer can control is mobile usability. This goes far beyond mobile-friendly emails; it will be about making the entire mobile experience convenient and rewarding for the user who is on a mobile device at that moment. For example, mobile sites and apps should have all the functionality as traditional websites, maybe even more in the case of apps. From the subject line to in-app or on-site conversions, the experience should be equally easy for smartphone, tablet, desktops, and/or interactive TV users.

Bio: Scott Hardigree is Founder of Indiemark, a full service email marketing agency. He can be reached at or @indiescott.

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Playing Nine Questions with Email Marketing Expert Scott Hardigree
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