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Who to follow: Jacques Corby-Tuech

Who to follow: Jacques Corby-Tuech (@iamacyborg)

Jacques Corby-Truech is the CRM marketing manager for ETX Capital, a financial spread betting firm based in London. In this role, he oversees the end-to-end implementation for all ETX’s marketing email content, and a large proportion of its transactional sends.

Jacques’s side project, “The No BS Guide to Email Marketing“, is a quickly growing knowledge-sharing community platform for client-side email marketers who want to talk shop, pick up new tools/tricks, or make connections in the email marketing field.

A 5-year veteran of the email marketing field, Jacques fell into email marketing completely by accident. A recent university grad with a digital art degree, Jacques brought his applicable skills in HTML (for which he states the credit should go to MySpace) to his first post-graduate job doing email marketing for an e-commerce store. The rest, as they say, is history.

These days, Jacques can be found photographing golden toilets whenever he comes across them, retweeting @grumpyskeletor (which is an awesome twitter account BTW), and sharing his insights on “modern computing”.

If you aren’t following him yet, you should be.

But is there more to this up-and-coming young email marketer than just fantastic tweets?

Let’s find out…

An interview with Jacques Corby-Tuech

First off, can you tell us a bit about the “No BS Guide to Email Marketing” project?

The No BS Guide is a project started up by Dan Grech with whom I collaborate closely, we reach out to awesome client-side email marketers who are fighting the good fight on a day-to-day basis and get them to write articles or be interviewed so that we can share their knowledge with the wider email marketing community. I think it’s really exciting to get marketers to share their tips and triumphs and to understand how they work. The client-side part is super important to us, there’s way too much garbage out there being passed off as marketing advice, usually by companies who have an agenda in selling you a platform, so we’re trying really hard to distance ourselves from that. We’re not interested in selling you any specific platforms or products.

As for your main role with ETX, how is email marketing applied to the financial spread betting field? Is it an effective channel?

Email is one of those channels that’s used very heavily in spread betting. For example, as we’re regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, any new clients we onboard have to go through a rigorous identity verification process that’s facilitated through automated emails. We also use it for more conventional marketing purposes, for example sharing significant upcoming market events with clients or significant market movements, like the Swiss event last year, which resulted in multiple financial spread betting companies being rendered insolvent. We’ve seen great results from email, and with a recent move to a new ESP we’re looking to take advantage of new marketing automation capabilities to really push what we can achieve.

What specific challenges does your business face in terms of email and what you can achieve?

I think we face similar challenges to most other businesses. We have huge amounts of data, but getting to grips with it and identifying the key signals is always a challenge. We’re also pushing hard on sending engaging and relevant campaigns but a lot of the time it’s just not worth building multiple segments for a fraction of a percentage gain in key conversion metrics. We’d love to run more a/b tests but due to the size of our audience and the fact that we optimise for conversions, a lot of the time it’s just not doable as any results we’d get wouldn’t be meaningful. One of the best things we’re doing is being reactive to what’s going on in the world and sending out content based around that. While I think the Brexit is going to have massive long-term damaging consequences to Britain, I’m not going to pretend it wasn’t a fantastic day to be involved in the financial spread betting industry, as the market was particularly volatile. Ultimately, like any other business we’re still figuring out exactly what makes our subscribers tick, and how best to position our campaigns around that.

How do your activities on social media sites like Twitter benefit you in your role as a CRM marketing manager?

I find that being active on social media, particularly on Twitter and the new Emailgeeks Slack channel gives me the ability to stay on the bleeding edge of what’s new in email marketing. It’s also a really good way to speak to your peers who might have a solution to a problem you might be facing!

What is currently on the “bleeding edge” of what’s new in email marketing? Have there been any recent developments that you are excited about?

Well, I think the biggest recent development is that Gmail now supports the <style> tag and as a result, media queries. While quite dull on paper, this means tens of millions of people can enjoy a better email experience, which ultimately should be one of the metrics we’re shooting for as email marketers. Technologically speaking, I think open-time optimisation and machine learning are fascinating, and are still not as widely employed as they could be. Anecdotally, I was lucky enough to go to the Wired2016 conference and caught some talks from Jürgen Schmidhuber and Mustafa Suleyman, it really bought to light just how transformational machine learning will be, particularly when it comes to meaningful personalisation.

In what way do you think machine learning tech in email could have a big impact?

I think the real opportunity with machine learning lies in meaningful personalisation, right now it’s very easy to build very generic customer segments and email them, but that’s often not very meaningful or optimised. With machine learning you can build hundreds or thousands of micro segments for your audience and optimise each of these to ensure that every email has the correct content for that individual subscriber. There’s also a lot of room to improve email sending infrastructure through machine learning, for example automatically spinning up new servers when you know load will increase. Google recently announced that with Deepmind, they reduced their cooling bills by 40%. That doesn’t sound very interesting, but it’s got a significant financial and global impact, with data centres currently consuming 3% of the global electricity supply and generating the same carbon footprint as the airline industry.

What do you think makes email an effective marketing channel? What advantages does it have over other available channels?

One of the biggest reasons email remains an effective channel is that you’re engaging people with whom you’ve already established a relationship, be that from them making a purchase from you or simply giving your their email address. Having that existing relationship is something no other channel (beyond other direct mail channels) can really benefit from. It’s also a channel that allows for a greater level of personalisation than others, which when combined with existing data on the subscriber can allow for really relevant messaging. I think ultimately it’s just one of many channels a smart marketer should use in their marketing mix, particularly when it comes to acquisition which email is very weak at.

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

It’s got to be Batman

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