Email Peeps 20: Logan Sandrock Baird
Tell us a little about yourself and how you got to where you are today.
I started in email about 12 years ago in 2011 when I got hired at Emma for a role that involved scoping and quoting email design and development work. I got the job in part because I had a graphic design background and knew how to build a basic HTML and CSS website. I knew nothing about email.
I worked to move the team I was a part of out from under the marketing org and established it as a customer-facing email design and development services team in its own right, helped build out our implementation, strategy and training side of services, and eventually managed and then directed the professional services team as a whole as we transitioned from being just Emma to Emma/Campaign Monitor and then CM Group and Marigold. All the while, I was cramming everything I could learn about email marketing into my noggin.
As a result, though my job title has never been “email marketer,” I’ve designed and coded emails, set up segments and automations, and consulted on strategy and implementation with hundreds of brands. I’m not as skilled or as knowledgeable as gentles who have specialized in one aspect of our work, but my experience has offered me an interestingly holistic perspective.
Back in 2016 I spoke at my first Litmus Live conference, which was my real introduction to the wider email geeks community, and I was immediately smitten. I went on to speak there every year up through 2019, and over the course of that time built some lovely friendships with the folks at Litmus. When the opportunity arose to join Litmus as their community evangelist, it felt like a natural evolution, drawing on both my holistic knowledge of the industry and my deep love for the people in our community.
What’s your favorite email design or coding hack?
For design, not so much a hack as just an understanding of how we process information as human beings. I love negative space, giving our poor overstimulated minds enough room to process the next bit of content.
For development, being able to use VML to build ghost tables, keep Outlook from defaulting to Times New Roman, and assure buttons look correct still feels very satisfying. Outlook is such a ubiquitous and challenging part of our landscape, but VML makes it navigable.
What are your go-to email marketing resources?
What’s in your email marketing toolbox?
These days it’s a Macbook Air, a second monitor I only plug in for special occasions becuase one of my cats likes to chew on unattended cords, AirPods, and a chaise lounge. I break out the adjustable ring light and Blue Yeti mic for webinars.
- Google office apps
What’s your favorite email campaign of all time? Why?
The one that’s brought me the most consistent delight has been Grammarly Insights. No, Grammarly, I will never upgrade to your Premium package, but I will take great pleasure in knowing how many unique words I used each week. They do an excellent job of giving dynamically-relevant stats that I find affirming.
Whose email newsletters do you consistently make time to read?
How do you manage work-life balance?
To me, it’s about pushing back against the sense of constant urgency that can inundate our days in this industry. I curate my email and Slack notifications pretty tightly, don’t have any work notifications on my phone (but do have the apps to access), schedule breaks in my day to get up and walk away from the computer (and kiss my cats on their heads), schedule lunches out with friends, don’t check work things in the evenings. Each day I hit the OneTab extension and it zips up all my open browser tabs, which feels like the equivalent of sweeping all the work stuff off my desk into a big drawer at the end of the day. “It’s just email,” I have to tell myself. It’ll keep until tomorrow.