At GetResponse, we love having new people on board. Some of you might know Jim Ducharme who has just joined the GetResponse Team and will soon start contributing to this blog, too. But before he publishes his first post here, I decided to ask him just a few questions, so you could get to know him first.
What made you come to GetResponse?
I can sum that up in two words: Enthusiasm and commitment. Your entire team from the CEO on down understand that social media is not a “bolt on” solution and you want to educate and support the efforts of your clients to not just do social, but be social.
What’s your experience with email marketing?
My first experience with email marketing was back in the dark ages before CAN-SPAM and other legislation. I managed (because no one else wanted the job) the email marketing for a chain of radio stations in Canada. It was flying by the seat of our pants with few rules and very little metrics. Email marketers using GetResponse are extremely lucky to have the kind tools and support they do today.
When I left radio I moved away from email marketing for a few years and became an editor with brands such as PC World Canada. From there I started to focus on new media and social and then came back almost full circle when I began editing The eMail Guide. It was something I hadn’t really expected, but as it turns out, my experience with traditional media and online communities gives me a unique perspective which I hope people find insightful.
What do you think are currently the biggest challenges for email marketing?
Email Marketers are faced with the same problem that confronts anyone trying to do business today, listening.
Marketers know how to talk, but in today’s social media world, they need to be accessible, listen, respond and offer their customers the power of choice regarding how they interact.
Effective listening means using analytics, testing and targeting your content so it is more relevant and engaging to your subscribers. Of course, it’s also about simply asking your subscribers/customers for input and listening to them. Having an ESP that provides the kind of advanced and intuitive analytic tools that GetResponse offers is key.
As well, anyone in marketing today has to understand the power of word-of-mouth and the fact that the push model is being replaced by pull marketing. Very quickly marketers will have to really become effective content producers and not just pay “lip service” to it.
Is social killing email?
Those who make a delineation between social and email are either misinformed or working from an agenda.
By definition, anytime two humans interact, it is social — the channel that interaction takes place on is largely irrelevant.
Each digital channel has its own strengths and smart marketers use a multi-channel, integrated marketing plan which effectively leverages the strong points of the individual channels.
Trust me, your customers rarely make any distinction between channels and move across them fluidly and intuitively — brands simply need to provide the choice to customers.
What do you do when you’re not working?
Oddly enough, pretty much the same things I do when I am working (blogging, forums, tweeting and so on). Online communities have been a big part of my life for almost 15 years now and the line between work and play is a bit blurred.
My first priority though is family and when I’m not working, it’s about my daughter (who is almost three and my whole world) and my wife and partner – a woman whose faith and strength inspires me everyday. No matter what I may accomplish in the future, nothing will ever be as important as bringing a child into this world and being the loving parent she needs.
I could win a Pulitzer and it still wouldn’t stack up to the joy and pride of being a good parent to my daughter.
I am going to start working on a book for my daughter which I hope might even be published some day so, if you know any good illustrators who will work on spec, please let me know!
I will admit to a few hobbies/indulgences though…
I am a huge military history buff and love to read about such people as Horatio Nelson (a personal hero of mine). I enjoy Xbox 360 multiplayer gaming when I have time.
Lastly, my biggest vice would probably be my addiction to fresh roasted coffee – I have a roaster in my garage.
Jim Ducharme is the Community Manager with GetResponse. He’s a veteran broadcaster and editor, having launched such brands as PC World Canada and The eMail Guide as editor. He also has a background in technical support and has built and managed online community networks with hundreds of thousands of subscribers. His traditional and new media experience gives him unique perspective and insight regarding integrated email and multi-channel marketing.
You’ll find jim writing for numerous blogs and speaking at events around the world. You can follow Jim on Twitter @hugeheadca.