[Podcast] Pushing Send Episode 46 – Lisa Jones

Lisa Jones

The founder and CEO of EyeMail, a company whose technology allows brands to embed 60 seconds of video into their email marketing messages. This isn’t just a link – it’s actually in the email and you can play it right there. Lisa tells her personal story and what led to her building a business focused on email. This is Lisa Jones’ story about Pushing Send.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Lisa majored in logistics and procurement because she loved processes and things of that magnitude. When the opportunity became available to be a logistics specialist director at NASA, she jumped at the chance. 
  • It’s been said that we receive 120 emails a day on average, and we send out 40 of that. 73% remains unread.
  • It’s been said that 95% of us retain what we see in video versus 10% of what we read.
  • The EyeMail team is very proud of their diversity. The youngest team member is 23 and the most senior team member is 75.
  • Email is here to stay. Some people will say that email is dead, but we just have a love, hate relationship with email. We send emails, but then we don’t like receiving all of these emails that we’re inundated with. However, email is here to stay.
  • Is EyeMail an email service provider? No, they’re not. They bring email to life and they’re focused on that.

 

Tweetables:

“I used to always and still, do, ask the why question. why does this work? How does this work and how can it be better?” – Lisa Jones of #EyeMail on Pushing Send the podcast by @rasa_io

“What if email could be brought to life? What if email could generate emotion and have video directly in the email inbox? I wonder if that would create a spark in a global community and with that EyeMail was born.” – Lisa Jones of #EyeMail on Pushing Send the podcast by @rasa_io

“I always knew that there was something unique about my life in terms of my direction. I didn’t want to stay on one path. I wanted to have an adventurous career.” – Lisa Jones of #EyeMail on Pushing Send the podcast by @rasa_io

“I’ve always had an affinity for email. Email, because it’s a channel that we all use.” – Lisa Jones of #EyeMail on Pushing Send the podcast by @rasa_io

“We’re all inundated with messaging in our inbox. We’re flooded. It’s been said that we received 120 emails a day on average, and we send out 40 of that. 73% remains unread. So that’s the core problem is how can you allow your marketing messages, your communications to stand out from the clutter?” – Lisa Jones of #EyeMail on Pushing Send the podcast by @rasa_io

“But you know what? At the core of it all, we’re all looking for human connection, human connection, as close as possible. And we know that video is primary for wanting to view content.” – Lisa Jones of #EyeMail on Pushing Send the podcast by @rasa_io

Episode Transcript

Brian:

From rasa.io, the tool for sending smarter and better email newsletters. This is Pushing Send, a show featuring people who send emails, their subscribers actually want to read. I’m Brian Kelly and on today’s show the story of an email tech company founder, and how she created a tool that embeds 60 seconds of video into email marketing messages. Here’s Lisa Jones. I understand that you started your career at NASA. Now, how the heck did you get into email?

Lisa:

Well, that goes back to my DNA of always being curious, always wanting to explore. I used to always and still, do, ask the why question. why does this work? How does this work and how can it be better? My major in college was actually logistics and procurement because I loved processes and things of that magnitude. So when the opportunity became available to be a logistics specialist director at NASA, I jumped at the chance because it was part of my dream of wanting to support NASA. And I did that for a few years and I decided to pivot my career. I always knew that there was something unique about my life in terms of my direction. I didn’t want to stay on one path. I wanted to have an adventurous career. So with that, I moved to Atlanta, Georgia, and went to IT, as you mentioned, in different capacities and managing technical resources, but I’ve always had an affinity for email. Email, because it’s a channel that we all use. It’s been said, according to foresters research, 81% of us prefer email over any other form of communication as primary. And for me, email found me email was like a saving grace for me because prior to me starting the company, there was a catalyst for me starting in email. So there’s a whole story around how I started. I mail that led me down this email journey. So here’s my, here’s my story. And here’s my testimony. As I mentioned, email found me one morning, I was driving to work. It was 8:24 AM. I’m originally from Alabama, Montgomery, Alabama. And I got a phone call from one of my sisters. I have two older sisters and the phone call went, something like this. Brian said, Lisa, our mom has passed away at home alone at the age of 61. And I remember the impact that that one communication had on me and my life going forward. And when I went to her services was a graveside service. When I went to her services, in my experience, the services lasted seven minutes. I remember thinking that I was going to get up and speak at her services. I wasn’t on the program, but in my mind, I was going to get up and speak. When the time came, I was not able to do that. So as people went back to their cars, Brian, I was still standing there. And those seven minutes and I was thinking, you know, is this what life comes down to with seven minutes of time, my mom raised three daughters, all successful terms successful. And it comes down to seven minutes. So the prayer I made to my mother at that moment was that when I go back to Atlanta, I want to start a company and I want it to be inspiring. I want it to be global and to create a legacy in her honor, but to primarily make up for those seven minutes. So the seven minutes where the catalyst was the catalyst for how I started EyeMail. So when I came back to Atlanta, I thought about communications and how one communication changed my life. And I said, okay, well, I’ll start a communications business. I was still in corporate America and I thought about communications in different ways, but I thought about how it email touches in one click anywhere in the world. So I signed up for like 150 different email marketing signups. It could be anything you can make, any company that you can name. I signed up, there was one commonality. I did not feel inspired to take that next step for a call to action. I didn’t feel special. I didn’t feel inspired. There was a hyperlink or there was a button I had to click to go to another browser. And I said, wow, this is taking time from my life to do all this. It’s not exciting. I said, so what if email could be brought to life? What if email could generate emotion and have video directly in the email inbox? I wonder if that would create a spark in a global community and with that EyeMail was born.

Brian:

Well, I think that’s awesome. Now, can you describe exactly what EyeMail is as a solution?

Lisa:

We at EyeMail Believe that your messages deserve to be seen, heard, and felt. What that means also is that we’re all inundated with messaging in our inbox. We’re flooded. It’s been said that we received 120 emails a day on average, and we send out 40 of that. 73% remains unread. So that’s the core problem is how can you allow your marketing messages, your communications to stand out from the clutter? We have a patent-pending marketing technology that allows the video content to play directly in the email inbox, but it plays on mute. So as soon as you open up your inbox or view your preview pane, the video will engage and start to play at that particular juncture. You’re able to watch a full 60 second high-grade HD quality video in your inbox at 15 kilobytes in size. So now you don’t have to worry about bandwidth issues. And when you choose to engage the sound, you’re going to click to engage the sound. But the video experience is going to remain in your, your email inbox.

Brian:

Now, what year was it when you signed up for all of those uninspiring emails that you mentioned earlier in your story?

Lisa:

I started EyeMail in 2004. Okay, gotcha. Yeah. Like a trailblazer, right? 2004, that was before what? Like social media had taken off fully anything. Right? 2004.

Brian:

So, I would dare to say the use of email as an engagement channel has changed since 2004, but have you seen more attention-grabbing emails coming in your inbox today compared to back then in 2004?

Lisa:

Definitely from 2004, because in 2004, it was a hyperlink. Like literally it’s just a link. It was the beginning. So it’s definitely evolved. But you know what? At the core of it all, we’re all looking for human connection, human connection, as close as possible. And we know that video is primary for wanting to view content. And it said that 95% of us retain what we see in video versus 10% of what we read. So it’s definitely prevalent. We’ve been able to align with market leaders and early adopters in the email space who are seeking to create more value for their, their customers, and their communications because time is a commodity and you have to be quick. You only have a few seconds to capture someone’s attention before they go on to the next. So at the core foundation, it’s all about personalization and that human factor of connection.

Brian:

Yeah. Sadly, we easily forget that there’s a real person at the other end of that email campaign we’re sending.

Lisa:

Exactly. And when someone sends out a message, Brian, that says from sales at X company or infomatics company, we as the viewer or the recipient, we don’t necessarily like that. And the reason we don’t like that is because we want to talk to a human, we want to feel like we’re having a connection, not with your sales team, email address, or info, give it a name.

Brian:

Well, email sounds like it definitely changed your life and the trajectory of your career path, but how has it been key to the marketing of your business?

Lisa:

EyeMail is what EyeMail does, which is amazing. The idea of sending out this EyeMail experience to an inbox and then someone deciding to say, wow, what is this? How can I find out more about it? And then reaching out to us, that’s like the best. So our first client, our roster, and this was actually when I was still in corporate America, I was trying to figure out my process and my way to continue to grow. And we launched a nonprofit organization, the first EyeMail for the president to send the communication out to the distribution. Well, I knew that there were 12 board members that were corporations on there. And so when the EyeMail went out to maybe 400 people, the first company that came back and said, wow, what is this? It was Time Warner. So Time Warner became the first client on the roster. And what’s happened is when time Warner sends out a communication, then someone possibly let’s say at Coca-Cola or another enterprise brand or organization sees an EyeMail. And they say, well, what is that? We need that my emails suck. I mean, I hear everything. I can hear anything you could imagine, or, you know, we’re looking for more engagement. How do we get, how do we get more click-throughs we want to see higher numbers? And that’s where the conversation starts. So it has changed my life. It’s changed my team’s life. As a result, EyeMail has been able to grow as my commitment, as I mentioned to my mother, I wanted, EyeMail to be an international brand. That’s inspiring. So we have team members in Canada and Pakistan in the UK, in Africa. And it’s the premise that video can be in any language. So that’s part of our global outreach. And I would also like to mention, Brian, on our team, something that I’m so proud of, that we’re all proud of is that we’re a diverse team. Our youngest team member is 23 and our most senior team member is 75. Yes. And it brings together all of these wonderful, wonderful concepts and ideas, ideas, and cultures and experiences together so that when we collaborate for our clients, we’re giving our best from all of our experiences to deliver value.

Brian:

When we come back, Lisa talks about how the EyeMail technology is best-utilized plus why this is different than animated gifs. I’m Brian Kelly, and you’re listening to Pushing Send from rasa.io.

rasa.io:

You deserve to get more from your email list, more sales, more leads, and more engagement, but publishing a consistent newsletter that gets you more, it’s time-consuming. So at rasa.io, we’ve simplified the process. We’ll automatically personalize emails for each of your subscribers based on their interests. And when your subscribers get more of what they want, you get more of what you want. Everybody’s happy. You want to see how it works? Visit www.rasa.io and click how it works.

Brian:

Welcome back to Pushing Send, I’m Brian Kelly. Lisa Jones has been focused on innovating email technology to allow for a more enriching in email experience for subscribers. And there’s a very specific use case for how and why to do this. Here’s Lisa explaining this further. Is the EyeMail technology you’ve created for email have an ideal use case? Like who is the tool best used for?

Lisa:

What we’ve seen on the enterprise scale is there are three primary areas, one being customer-facing external communications, maybe it’s for your sales and marketing or your product launches. It could also be for virtual events. Now, your invitation for your thank you message or survey that you send out in more of a personalized manner on the internal side there’s employee engagement. So we have some customers who want to send out training information. They know employees are not necessarily clicking to complete their training. So there are messages from executive leadership, warm, personal messages targeted for the employees. For the organizational side, one of our clients that we support is the make a wish foundation. And they’re using it for more personalization in the inbox and to generate more donations because in the midst of the pandemic, of course, they’re looking for more donations for critically ill children, which is an important cause. For emerging businesses, as well as mid-tier businesses. We’re in the process of right now, which is a great season because we are in the next 16, 30 to 60 days. We’re launching the software as a service platform that allows each customer to upload their video, their MP4 video, and the EyeMail system in seconds will compress and encode it down to the 15 kilobytes. And you’re able to take that snippet and upload it into any third-party email service provider.

Brian:

Nice, and it’s when you say any it’s like, you don’t have to have a special integration or anything with email, just drop it in?

Lisa:

Drop it into, when I say email service provider, I’m speaking like a MailChimp, a salesforce.com marketing cloud, or even a constant contact for that matter. But right. So I’m saying, choose which one you prefer and you don’t have to switch. We get that question. Sometimes they say, well, is EyeMail an email service provider? We’re not, we bring email to life and we’re focused on that, that niche layer.

Brian:

That makes sense. Well, I think there could be some very interesting things that come of that. When is the SaaS aspect going to be launched?

Lisa:

It’s going to launch at the end of second quarter and we one other, we have two other products that are scheduled on the roadmap. One of them is for video and text messaging on a mass scale. What that means the video can deliver directly to a text message strain so that as soon as you open the video, it will play on mute. It will only be 15 kilobytes in size. If you choose to want to download and save it to your gallery, you will be able to, but visualize all of the implications. There are exciting applications for how much of an outreach you can make to your target audience directly in their text messaging.

Brian:

Hmm. Well, that’s a big initiative. So very exciting to hear. Now, I wonder, are there other things on the horizon that you’ve got on your roadmap that you can share?

Lisa:

For Eyemail, we are purpose-driven accessibility and inclusive organization. We’re always focused on how can we create value? How can we help customers and organizations? One of our key areas that we just launched is with closed captioning on the EyeMail experience. So what happens is the IML delivers in the inbox with the video playing now, the closed captioning is also playing while the video is on mute. So you’re able to follow along with the messaging. Some people prefer not to have sound, or if it’s a, we also support the visually and hearing impaired. It’s the idea of let’s make this experience exciting for everyone so that everyone can engage. So that’s one big one. A second big one is we have so many great things. I can’t tell all of them because we’re in patent pending on some of those. But another one I’ll share is we have a product called Eyecon, E-y-e-C-o-n. We all have an email signature. And most of us, I would like to think we have an email signature and we have our logo possibly in our email signature. With EyeCon, We bring the email signature to life. That means that it’s interactive, it’s animated. It’s a first of mine recognition so that your, your signature line stands out. So it’s a really cool technology that we use to deliver that directly in the inbox. And not only could it be used as a signature line, it could be used as a banner on your website in different ways, but it’s just all about how do you have your brand to stand out, to be different, to be more compelling so that people think of you at any second of the day and say, oh, I need that service. Or I need that product. And that’s what it’s all about.

Brian:

I remember seeing a video on your website, like an example with the Porsche brand, they were using a 60-second video that played in that email message. Are those the best kinds of videos or is there a specific best practice you recommend to clients?

Lisa:

So as you mentioned with Porsche North America, and they’re one of our clients, they have their full production, High-quality, multi-million dollar videos produced, but also for additional brands, you can include your personalized communications. Now, when I say personalized, that means I personally believe as the chief EyeMail officer, you have to invest in your brand. You could take a video of yourself. Now, I don’t know the quality cause it might be shaking or so I don’t recommend that personally, I believe you should deliver the best first-class delivery to your customers. They expect it, they deserve it. So that means that you need to either have someone to film you with great lighting, hire a company to film you, or your company, but definitely, it could be used as a sales tool for business development. It could be used as a training tool. It could be used in so many different ways, as many touchpoints as we have an email for product releases for those communications at any level that thank your customers, holiday messaging, anything you could think of, it could be used. So definitely personalization is, and I think it’s here to stay. And I just think it’s a matter of the creativity of what are the goals and the vision or the brand and thinking through what type of video content can be surrounded and wrapped and insulated around the messaging.

Brian:

Okay, well, what’s the difference between EyeMail and a GIF?

Lisa:

I love the concept of a GIF because it depends on the experience of what you’re aiming for. It’s fine. If you want to loop a three-second of five seconds, a ten-second experience, just to show something that generates emotion, because our eyes naturally go toward motion. But when you want to deliver a full experience, because it’s about, you know, what, that’s, what life is about. It’s about experiences. And if you’re not delivering the experience, or as you said, and your mental on the, wow, what are we doing? So from the comparison, I think that the difference is you’re able to share the at full flow process of that video for that full HD quality that you’re going to deliver to someone’s inbox had only 15 kilobytes. So now they’re not mad at you or feel some kind of way because it’s not a large file size and they’re instantly captivated in their inbox and in their mobile devices. So EyeMail works both in the inbox and the mobile tablets everywhere. So that’s cool.

Brian:

Yeah, I think you’re right. I agree.

Lisa:

Oh, but we’re going one point I should clarify. Now I’ve had the question that said, well, Lisa is EyeMail a replacement for email. The answer is no, it’s not. It’s not email is here to stay. You know, some people, of course, Brian will say that email is dead, but then it’s like, we have a love, hate relationship with email. We send emails, but then we don’t like receiving all of these emails that we’re inundated with. However, email is here to stay. EyeMail is a different niche within the email family. It’s an extension. It’s a personalization. You have a message that you want to send out when you want someone to pay attention to, or a marketing communications or personal communication. But it’s something more than you just touching base, sending something. It’s something where you want a call to action. Let’s say someone is interested in EyeMail services and they send us, hello. That’s our email address? hello@eyemailinc.com. So when they send to that, hello@eyemailinc.com, what’ll happen is they’ll get a message, an EyeMail message back to them of an example of EyeMail that saying, thank you so much for your interest. And so you’re able to see the technology. And then we follow up with an email, a short email, not long and convoluted, but a shorter email that has some additional examples and next steps to set up, to learn more about your operation. What our experience has been. It’s a balance of knowing when to send a traditional email, if it’s a follow-up or let’s say in the past, or even forthcoming, and you go back to a trade show or event, what an awesome way to stand out from the clutter, because other people are exchanging business cards, you know what they’re doing? They’re going back to their offices or their desks. And they’re going to send him an email with an attachment of a PDF or a media kit that no one’s going to read. So why not stand out from the clutter with some personalization? Now we can, all these business cards, we exchange it. But do we remember the person? The EyeMail is gonna allow you for someone to remember something about you that may stand out to them. It could be your hair. It could be your voice. It could be your smile. And that’s where that that’s the value proposition as well is the differentiator of having something different that’s sent out. So again, there’s a time for an email and there’s definitely a time for an EyeMail when you need to bring something to life.

Brian:

Coming up on our next episode, we’ll hear from Jean Jennings an email marketing consultant and expert. Who’s also an adjunct professor at Georgetown. Jean shares, how she helps her clients get more from their email marketing, making it more effective and more profitable. You won’t want to miss what Jean shares during our conversation. So if you’re listening to Pushing Send for the first time, be sure to subscribe at Apple podcasts or wherever you’re listening. So you don’t miss an episode. And if you’ve enjoyed what you’ve heard today, I’d encourage you to check out a few other episodes while you’re here. Lastly, leaving a review will help us share these stories with others, just like you. Thanks in advance for doing that. I’m Brian Kelly, and you’ve been listening to Pushing Send from rasa.io.

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