Tell us a little bit about yourself and how did you get to where you are today?
I am Annett, an email designer, and developer. My passion is to make email creation easier for anyone who is faced with the task. I think a lot about how workflows and processes that can make email development faster and more efficient.
How did I get here? I keep asking myself the same question.
After working for a few years for several tech companies and start-ups as a front-end web developer, I thought it would be nice to work on different brands to gain more experience in different industries. I applied to an agency and they said: ”The good news is you can have the job, the not-so-good news is, it’s 100% email.” “Oh!” I replied.
When I checked into my first tasks at the agency, I had a flashback to the late 90s. The code looked like some of the first websites I ever worked on. I was stunned that not much seemed to have changed in email development while the web evolved so much faster. How was this possible?
And that is when I started digging. I finally discovered Litmus’ Email Design conference. My manager at the time could not promise me a budget. So I negotiated that I would have paid time off to go to Boston. There I found my people. We all thought we were alone in this. That’s how everything started.
How did you manage to work and travel at the same time? How did you get buy-in from your manager?
I work for Shopify as a Senior designer. The company offers a program called Destination90 to every employee. That means everyone who likes to work from anywhere in the world can do that (as long as there is a work permit in place of course). I tried it out at the end of last year and it was great. I traveled to Germany to see my family and friends and to Spain to explore. I stayed either with friends and family or at an Airbnb. In Spain, I found interesting co-working spaces. I met locals who would give me insider info on places to sightsee. I even made some new friends who are interested in visiting me in Vancouver. This was a really great experience. I consider myself very lucky to work for a great company like Shopify. I understand not everyone has that flexibility.
My family is back in Germany, so I like to visit them as often as possible. My granny turns 100 this year, so I will be back there in October to celebrate with her!
What’s your advice for new email marketers entering the industry in 2023?
I would suggest networking and joining the #emailgeeks on Twitter and the Slack channel as well as the Women of email. These are the best resources in the industry. Since we are still lacking sufficient education in this field the only way to learn is to find mentors ar connect with people who are already experienced in the field.
What’s in your email marketing toolbox?
- Thunderbolt monitor
- A mac
- Many mobile devices
- A standing and sitting Ikea desk
- And a Autonomous ErgoChair which I really love
- Litmus & Email on Acid for email testing
- I have also worked with 37 different ESPs
How do you manage work/life balance with your full-time job and EmailBoutique?
Still working on it. I try to take a one-hour break at lunchtime. I do my grocery shopping and get some walking in at the same time. I schedule a gym or yoga session after work.
I take care of meetings and work planning for EmailBoutique in the early mornings and later in the evening since I have clients in different time zones. I also am partnering up with other professionals in the field, because working with awesome teams makes a huge difference.
For other fun stuff, on the weekends I like to be off-screen if possible. Again, still working on it! The weekends usually include meeting friends, roller skating, and food prepping, so I don't end up ordering meals. Eating healthy used to be a problem working from home. I like to be in charge of it.
On Sundays, I visit my favorite florist. We have a chat and I’ll buy a bouquet. Life is always about finding the right balance and this is different for everyone.
How do you spark creativity?
My goal is to take care of good email design layouts and functional templates. The goal is to take care of the limitations that email imposes so that designers and copywriters can do their magic happen without worrying about the technical stuff.
I like to talk a lot about email design and development and hope to help understand how and why it is different from web design. If this sparks creativity I am in my happy place.
What email marketing tool can you not live without?
Since I am more of a designer and developer I would say Figma for the design systems and Parcel to code emails, as well as Litmus and Email on Acid to test the results across different email platforms.
Follow Annett on Twitter --> @The_Annett