The Dotties is a yearly event held by Dotmailer, a night full of awards ceremony highlights the best and brightest in digital marketing. Our CEO, Elliot Ross, was one of the very few picked to judge and assess some of the best email campaigns of 2018. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you found email?

Hey I’m Elliot, I’m CEO at Taxi for Email, Managing Director at ActionRocket, and general email marketing opinion-haver.

One of my first gigs as a junior designer was at a digital marketing agency in Camden. They had a pretty strong client list but at that time email always landed with the new designer - so I designed and built email there.

Then I freelanced for a bit, and one week was covering for someone’s holiday at eDialog (eBay Enterprise/Zeta Interactive). I ended up staying there for 6 years and led the creative team for London 2012, IKEA and British Airways campaigns. 

Email is a cool channel for design because it's so immediate — you can try stuff and get results much quicker than, say, building a website for 6 months. 

Tell us a little more about what Taxi for Email is about and your vision?

Taxi's about helping email marketing teams create email. I've worked in this space for more than 10 years, and a consistent theme is that the work of creating email has always been more complicated than it needs to be. It's a mix of process, technical and person challenges.

Every day we set out to help teams make better email, quicker, and at a larger scale. 

How did you feel to be picked as a judge?

Awesome! there’s a great judging panel that is full of people I admire from our industry, so it's a privilege. 

What was your favourite email campaign and why? 

I can share more once the winners are announced, but one thing I find impressive is small teams that use tech and innovative workarounds to address problems - so that they can really push the boundaries even with limited resources.

What key trends did you see in the top contenders?

It’s the dotmailer house awards, so one trend is they all use dotmailer! joking aside, the dotmailer platform is very capable and matches their clients’ needs well, so it’s great to see marketers getting on with the job, without tech restricting them. This is the third year I’ve judged the awards, and it’s really great to see the quality of entries get even better each year.

For me, the best campaigns combine creativity with data — we often talk about segmentation but it means nothing unless it benefits the message, and the best work here achieves that. 

What do you think we should expect in email over the next year?

That’s a whole other blog post, but in a couple sentences - Legislation such as GDPR will settle things down and focus marketers on providing a better experience, rather than chasing short term tricks. We’ll continue to improve mobile experience and accessibility, but go beyond thinking these are code-based issues. Outlook will continue to be a pain; people will continue to complain about it.

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