The dotlive roadshow team return home

It has been an action-packed couple of weeks for the dotlive roadshow team, who visited five cities over the course of nine days! In our quest to spread marketing inspiration to our friends across the country, we’ve now covered off The North, The Midlands and The South West.

If you didn’t manage to make it a dotlive location over the past few weeks, here’s an overview of what you missed…

The sessions took place in Newcastle, Nottingham, Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester, and we had the pleasure of meeting a great group of marketers in each city. The dotlive roadshow content aimed to inspire delegates, no matter where they are on their email journey. From beginners to maestros, there was something for everyone and Phil Draper, our CMO, kicked off each session with ‘How to move the needle in your email marketing’.

Phil began with emphasizing the importance of building an engaged list, throwing in real-life success stories to demonstrate how it can be achieved. The top example was a website popover, which helped one of dotmailer’s clients achieve list growth of over 175% (calculated over a three-month period). Not only does a website popover give marketers the ability to collect new contacts effortlessly, the data captured can help to create more targeted, relevant campaigns. For example, when you collect gender, DOB and geographical information, you’ve the ability to send gender-specific campaigns, automated birthday emails and campaigns based on the location of the buyer.



For all but one session, Phil donned his eye-catching sneakers which caught the attention and admiration of the crowd; however, the real show-stealer was Phil’s advice on subject lines. His advice on how to win the ‘battle of the inbox’ led to a story about his son, who one morning had decided to write a book. When asked what the book would be called, Phil’s son replied (and with the necessary pauses to enhance dramatic effect): My. Cat. Lays. Babies.



Not only did this allow us to include an adorable cat pic into our presentation, but it also demonstrated how important it is to flex the boundaries of what makes a great subject line. Phil’s point was that although we are educated to ‘not judge a book by its ‘cover’, in email marketing the ‘cover’, or the subject line, is all we have to evaluate if something is worth our time. My cat lays babies may not highlight that you’re having a 50%-off sale today, but it adds an element of intrigue and humor, and encourages cut-through/stand out in the inbox among the many other %-off messages.



Aside from shoehorning cat pictures into the presentation, Phil also covered off the importance of marrying design, message and ruthless simplicity to deliver your message with his ‘top tips for great email design’. From optimizing your prime real estate above the fold to the importance of anticipating a contingency for ‘images off’, the example-packed section gave easy-to-implement tactics for everyone to take away.

All of these elements combined sent our delegates home with the inspiration to become email marketing rock stars! (And yes, Ozzy was well received by the group in Birmingham as the ultimate role model in rock).



Following Phil’s trendy sneakers and cat pictures was our Senior Account Manager, Lucy Nolan. Lucy took the stage to talk through client success stories, giving our dotlive delegates some more real-life examples. Lucy covered four tips which would help time-poor marketers achieve everything that Phil had covered.

Her advice was simple:

Tip #1 – Start smart, scale quickly

The dotmailer mantra. By making time to implement easy tactics one by one, you’ll save time in the future as you build up towards bigger strategy.

Tip #2 – Put all of your data to work

Lucy recaps on the importance of having engaged contacts and the perils of buying lists. This is easily achieved by combining all your silos of data into one, merging the information and creating fuller profiles for each of your contacts. This in turn helps you to optimize campaigns, including being able to use the send time optimization tool and geographical targeting.

Tip #3 – It’s not the size of your list, it’s how you use it

While Lucy found it difficult to deliver this tip without a cheeky smile, it’s probably the most serious tip of them all. Looping in with the perils of buying a list, marketers can sometimes be blinded by the fact that their list is ‘too small’. However, Lucy outlined that when we are talking about lists, you will yield better results and a stronger ROI if you work with the list of engaged contacts that you have. Communications to old and cold contacts may not be relevant and are in danger of being sent to junk or falling prey to the dreaded swipe and delete.

Tip #4 – Make your marketing not feel like marketing

By having a roadmap of the customer journey, whether your audience is B2B or B2C, you will see key touchpoints along the way that allow you to communicate with your customers at a time when they need/expect it, making your marketing feel natural, not a hard sell. For example, using WebInsight data to follow-up on abandoned baskets or even when a customer bounces from a web page.

Phil Draper returned to the stage with his infamous Moment Marketing presentation, which was well received at our London dotlive session. The presentation covers how you can follow in the footsteps of moment marketing 101 leaders, Oreo, and create timely email marketing moments.

Unfortunately, we had to round off the session at some point. To close the seminar, our Senior Email Marketing Consultant Phil ‘The Power’ Holman took to the stage to give delegates a taste of just how easy it is to implement the advice we’d given in dotmailer. In just 10 minutes, Phil H had created a WebInsight segment based on transaction data and built a program ready to send to those key contacts, demonstrating how much time it takes to quickly adopt just two of our recommendations. We were pretty pleased with that and as we experienced minimal IT difficulties, figured it was the ideal time to wrap up.

We had a great time on the roadshow and want to thank the cities for hosting us; we couldn’t have done it without you. We had some great feedback and suggestions (comfier chairs are our no.1 priority, Manchester!) and we’ll be developing new and exciting content for when we get back on the road in the New Year. We hope to see you there.


In each of the cities we visited we asked delegates to tweet #dotlive. We had cat pictures, commendation of Phil’s footwear and great discussion points from the content. See what people were saying:

tweet1 tweet2 tweet3 tweet5 tweet6

How to create spooktacular Halloween emails

It is predicted that Halloween sales in the US will hit a new record, exceeding $10 billion in 2021. What a treat. Read on to learn some of our favorite Halloween email tips and tricks to bewitch…

In common: dotdigital’s new diversity series

If you were lucky enough to join us at the Summit earlier this year, you may have decided to pop in to one of our personal development sessions. Because to us, empowering marketers isn’t only about supplying…

Behavioral campaign ideas you can use

We’re coming to the end of our deep dive on using neuroscience and the purchase formula in your campaigns. We’ve discussed why the purchase formula is so important, and why increasing reward activation in the brain is…