Know Your Speakers for Litmus Live 2014: Mark Reeves

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Looking for this year’s Litmus Live?

Litmus Live (formerly known as The Email Design Conference) brings the email community together to celebrate their craft and give email professionals a platform to learn, share, and grow. With sessions covering everything from marketing strategy to innovative email development techniques and production processes, you’ll take away actionable advice that will have immediate impact.

Get all the details on Litmus Live →


Litmus Live is right around the corner and it’s packed with great talks from amazing speakers. The email community is a tight-knit group, but we can always get a bit closer, right?

With that in mind, we asked the speakers a few questions to get to know them better. We’ll be posting their responses over the course of the next few weeks leading up to the conference.

That guy above? That’s Mark Reeves. Mark is the Founder and Project Lead at Clearbold, a web and mobile agency. At Clearbold, Mark focuses on helping teams refine their tools and processes for an increasingly mobile world. You can catch his talk, Making Your Way in a Mobile World, on Tuesday, August 19th at Litmus Live.

How did you first get started in email marketing?

Back in 2005 I was responsible for reporting and list segmentation on campaigns for Lexmark, reaching over 1 million recipients. What was really interesting about that initiative was its role in a program where customers opted in to have their printer usage (ink levels) tracked through a desktop app, and we could detect upticks in printer usage following targeted email sends. We’d segment users into productivity or family-friendly interest groups based on survey responses, send out emails with links to corresponding printable activities or templates, and observe increased product usage with each campaign.

That was my introduction to the power of email. Later on I started picking up a few freelance gigs coding emails for agencies and learning the unique ins and outs of HTML email.

What’s your favorite part of working with email?

Email’s measurable results are very rewarding. Other marketing channels don’t offer the same ability to show clients how their investment is translating to results. And it’s a lot of fun watching real-time reports come in following a send.

For me personally, I love the finite nature of an email project.

Web projects have a much greater tendency to suffer scope creep or drag on, and nothing’s final on the web. It’s all a big work in progress.

With email, it all comes down to the send. There are no quick fixes, no do-overs. It’s out there in an inbox. Not only is this a refreshing experience in modern web work, it self-enforces a greater degree of diligence in our process.

What email client could you live without?

Gmail’s mobile app is the new Lotus Notes for me. I can live with Outlook’s shortcomings – workarounds are well-documented and there’s a level of baseline support to work with – but Gmail’s mobile app ignores some of our responsive techniques and is frustratingly fickle for what should be a modern context.

What can we expect from your talk at Litmus Live 2014?

I’m focusing less on how to code or how to design and more on how we develop an approach to email in a mobile-first world. A lot of my work goes beyond quickly adapting to the evolving mobile landscape, and includes supporting those we work with – clients and agency partners – in the evolution of their efforts.

How do you better identify with your users and their email behavior?

How do you manage a responsive design & development process? How do you approach content that users are interacting with across multiple devices or screens?

What was your first email address? – GiSCO was an internet service provider that started up in the Thousand Islands region of New York State in 1996. I was employee number 5, mostly doing tech support, the summer before I went to college and throughout breaks from college.

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