Kristen Haines is CEO of MailCon, an organization that holds email-focused conferences each year. MailCon attendees typically include email marketers, advertisers, publishers, agencies, and affiliate networks; this year, MailCon will be held in Las Vegas on April 17 through 19. I’ll be at the Possible Event in Miami that week, so can’t be in two places at once… Bummer.
I wanted to catch up with Kristen to discuss what’s on MailCon’s agenda this year, including topics for its popular workshop sessions. “We have another deliverability panel, and this is going to be led by some of those same speakers who did that workshop in 2022: it’s called ‘Deliverability: Past, Present, and Future.’ There are two additional speakers on this panel, and they’re all industry veterans; they’ve worked across a variety of different scenarios, so they’re very well-versed in providing this talk — that’s definitely one that we’re really excited about. We have a gamification and interactive email workshop… that workshop should be very advanced but it will also have some beginner content in there. What’s so great about that is that if you don’t have any knowledge of HTML or CSS, you can still build interactive emails… There are a couple of other sessions that are hosted by IBM and Deloitte that are going to cover omnichannel marketing, which is a very interesting topic to hear about — the issues that customers are facing and how they can navigate during a recession, but also, where we’re seeing an increase in demand for consumer privacy as well. So people are going to be talking about a lot of these issues that marketers are facing right now. In addition, we have a detailed compliance panel that’s going to be addressing specifically people’s questions about marketing compliance.”
MailCon also includes a SaaS pitchfest this year. “One of the things we noticed is there’s not a lot of events doing SaaS pitchfests since COVID-19,” said Kristen. “We’ve never seen an event that did a SaaS pitchfest around email marketing technology, and so that was something new that we wanted to bring in, as a kind of experiment, in our event, because we have a lot of startup companies, or smaller businesses that attend an exhibit, and we want to give them an opportunity to showcase their tools, because they’re creating innovative tools for marketers, and a lot of times they kind of go unnoticed, so we wanted to give them a platform to be able to showcase their new technology, some advancements in email, and it’s not just specifically for email; this one is also focused on omnichannel marketing and marketing automation as well.”
Kristen is excited about the future of email in 2023 and beyond. “What I’m most excited about in email marketing is the continued evolution of interactive and gamified emails. I think that for customers to have the ability to check out in an email or complete an application without being redirected to a landing page, that’s a huge advancement. And this technology isn’t brand new; it’s been around for a little while; there are certain inbox providers that support interactive and gamified emails; there are certain (providers) that don’t support interactive and gamified emails. But it’s something that hasn’t been widely adopted by brands, and I think the more that people start to see the benefits of it, and how it’s beneficial not just to e-commerce but to insurance… I mean, imagine that you start an application for insurance, and you can finish the application inside an email, you don’t have to be redirected back to a landing page — you can actually do that inside the email, conversion rates for companies that have adopted this — e-commerce companies, they go up by over 300 percent.”