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Who to follow: Frode Myklebust

Who to follow: Frode Myklebust (@famyklebust)

Frode Myklebust is the Senior Digital Manager at Beyond Retail, a multi-channel online retailer specialising in quality home goods based in Bournemouth, UK. He began working with Beyond Retail as a member of their digital team straight out of uni just over 2 years ago, and hasn’t looked back since.

Frode is actively involved in all aspects of Beyond Retail’s online presence, including product management and running the ecommerce team, tech and IT management, and working with Beyond’s development partners. But it’s email marketing that makes his heart flutter, and he currently functions as a self-described  “one-man email band” responsible for all of Beyond Retail’s email activities.

He is also a damn good photographer! His photos can be viewed on his website.

An established Seinfeld gif aficionado, Frode combines his passion for email marketing and all things digital with a sense of humour which could be described as “a bit blue”, to create a twitter presence that makes us laugh out loud on a regular basis.

Frode offers the email marketing Twitter community that rare combination of impressive comprehension/competency and a lighthearted/self-deprecating approach, which has made him one of our phavourite follows for quite some time now.

So, now that we know the guy can tweet, let’s see what else he has to say…

An interview with Frode Myklebust

How does your social media presence tie in with what you do at Beyond Retail?

More than anything I see social media, and especially Twitter, as the best way to get inspiration and learn from people who know more than me. There’s always something going on in email marketing, always something new to learn, and following the right people makes it easier, and a lot more fun, to stay on top of that and push email forward. Also, there’s not enough Seinfeld gifs on Twitter, so I’m doing my part.

And how do you know who the “right people” are to follow on Twitter?

For me it’s all about personality and what they’re sharing. If you share things I find interesting, insightful or funny (funny = all the bonus points), I’ll probably follow you. If you’re some kind of “guru” sharing growth hacking tips and trying with all your might to be a brand rather than a person, I probably won’t. Basically, I follow people I think it would be fun to have a chat and a beer with.

What do you think the biggest developments in email marketing have been over the past 2-3 years? How has the field changed?

Judging from my own inbox, the stuff on Really Good Emails and what’s being shared in the community, it actually looks we’re on our way to fulfil some of my hopes and email dreams, and a lot of that has happened in the last couple of years. So many brands are now sending well-designed, relevant, subscriber-centric emails that it’s a joy to receive them, and more are joining the party every week it seems. Whether this is down to marketers having more data or knowing what to do with that data I don’t know, but I feel like there’s been a shift towards serving the subscriber rather than yourself, and I believe that our always-on, phone-in-hand way of life has been the main driver for this. We’ve gone from spray and pray to understanding that an email address is a direct line into an actual human being’s pocket, and that’s a very powerful thing that should be taken very seriously.

What should email marketers do/focus on to take that power seriously and hold up their end of the bargain in the context of that dialogue?

Actually thinking about it as a dialogue rather than a place for you to just shout your message is a great first step, I think. There’s an abundance of tricks and awesome tools out there that can help you send more relevant and smile-inducing emails, and while I’m all for cool tech, fun GIFs, and click-bait headlines, there’s really no substitute for getting to know your subscribers and why they want to receive your emails. That’s a lot easier said than done, of course, so here’s a little 4-point recipe that I’ve found quite helpful:

1. Realise and internalise the fact that your subscribers are actual human beings

2. Remember that you are a human being too

3. Imagine what you’d think/feel/do if you received the email you’re about to send

4. Adjust accordingly

How does remembering that your subscribers are human beings and that you are a human being too affect your personal approach to email marketing?

It makes me try harder. Knowing that at the other end of my email there’s a person just like me, sat on the loo scrolling his way through a barrage of information, makes it so much more real and personal. I’d like marketers to try their best when they email me, so why shouldn’t I do the same?

Speaking of awesome tools, where do you think a tool like Phrasee fits into the B2C and B2B dialogue?

I’m a die-hard Phrasee phan.

Understanding your subscribers and what they respond to is one thing – using that knowledge to do better is a completely different animal. Phrasee’s not only an exciting and interesting piece of tech that makes me all tingly inside, but it takes the guesswork out of the “what did this test really tell me and where do I go from here” equation. It basically makes ordinary marketers into language superheroes, and I’m so excited to see where you go next.

In your time in your current position with Beyond Retail, what have been some of the biggest takeaways?

Communication is difficult, and people are strange animals, but giving a sh*t and trying your best goes a long way.

Final question, for branding’s sake, who is your favourite superhero?


Image credit: DC Comics


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