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October 18, 2023 - Articles

Email Peeps 27: Kay Peacey

Kay Peacey

What attracted you to email marketing, and how did you get to where you are today?

Automation was my gateway drug to email marketing.

A school-run parent buddy needed someone smart who could work ActiveCampaign, and apparently I seemed a likely suspect. 

How she trusted me on this is a mystery (I was 45 and had been parenting for 15 years,  mostly out of the workforce), but we got lucky, and her hiring instinct was bang on. 

I learned the awesome ActiveCampaign marketing automation platform from scratch, picking up a world of fun skills in design, marketing, email (naturally!) copywriting and human behaviour along the way.

The efficiency, scalability and pure badass creativity of email automation hit all my buttons in the best way.  And a major part of the appeal for me is how it allows small businesses to play on an equal footing on the global stage.

In fact, I think most SMEs have, if anything, more power in the email landscape compared with the big globals – because we’re way more human, way more fun, and way more determined. They just need someone to teach them the skills in a fast, fun way and to cheerlead as they grow.

Cut to now:

I host my ActiveCampaign Academy for training, support and strategy with members from all over the world, unlocking much bigger ROI from ActiveCampaign with them.  This rocks!

And I’m on the actual Customer Advisory Board for ActiveCampaign themselves because they recognise that I understand how their users think, feel, and use the platform in the real world better than literally anyone else.  Which is pretty darned cool for someone who knew nothing about email marketing automation just 6 years ago!

What’s your favorite automation hack?

My favourite and most high value automation moves always involve strategic deployment of the irreplaceable human touch.

Thoughtful automation can watch for the hotspots where someone is ready to buy, or get a step closer, and tap you on the shoulder to go connect with them, human to human. And having the automation on watch means you never miss the moment to lean in, and also don’t waste your energy leaning in to the ones who aren’t ready yet.

Automation done well elevates the human touch, and makes it possible to deliver at scale, no matter the size of the business.

What could most ecommerce brands improve when it comes to email marketing?

Oh my gosh, this is an easy one for me.  Emails need to respectfully pay attention to how real humans behave at the inbox.

My 3 C’s manifesto for getting radically human at the inbox:


Right information, right time, in a format that time-poor stressed humans can digest. 

Quick example – give dates in human-friendly words that includes the day of the week so we don’t mess up, turn up on the wrong day and feel stupid.


Ditch the no-reply thing – literally everyone hates that – and reply to the replies you get, like the actual humans you are. 

Your deliverability will thank you for it.


Let them choose their own email adventure in a way that goes beyond all-in daily emails or all-out unsubscribe. 

Quick example – Give them a pause button, or a go-faster button so they feel in control – and are in control.

The tech you use can do this stuff (well, ActiveCampaign can, for sure!) so learn to use it, and use it for human good.

End Radically Human Email manifesto!

What’s in your email marketing toolbox?

Hardware: My WFH Setup

  • Shure Mic with Rode desk arm, Rode headphones & Rodecaster Pro mixer for epically good sound on training videos, lives and podcast guest spots (I LOVE podcast guesting btw)
  • Three monitors for all the screen-real-estate to make integration and automation easy
  • Desk riser with space underneath for notes, planners, cables etc
  • Cork mat to absorb tea spills
  • Lego ActiveCampaign Academy with min-figs and interior lighting (not pictured but I love it because my kid made it for me when we launched in 2021)


  • ActiveCampaign (naturally!)
  • Slack for chats
  • LifterLMS for full courses
  • Circle for our incredible member community
  • AirTable for documenting and organising all the things
  • WP Fusion for WordPress to ActiveCampaign integration
  • Google Workspace for the stellar Gmail integration with ActiveCampaign
Kay Peacey

What’s your favorite email campaign of all time? Why?

Easy winner for me is the Postmark newsletter.

Transactional email is arguably a very dull topic, but the Postmark team consistently send highly engaging, properly human, and funny emails.  Wow!

This is creativity at its very best, and I salute them for it, and look forward to their emails.

Even their own transactional emails are fun – it’s a great tool and I’d buy it anyway, but omg it’s worth signing up just to see how transactional email can be done truly well, no matter what your service or offer is.

(Postmark are now owned by ActiveCampaign, but I’ve loved them from before that happened)

Whose email newsletters do you consistently make time to read?

Anne Handley on writing – honestly just go sign up today.

Zapier updates because those guys are on fire with properly useful new features right now.

My business bestie Melissa Love at The Design Space for rock solid marketing-ready website design and marketing strategy – she’s the school-run parent buddy who started me on the road to ActiveCampaign Queen, and taught me all the marketing joys.

How do you manage work-life balance?

Stay with me – this gets a little weird…

I do a lot of creative things to occupy my hands and mind long enough to stop it thinking about ActiveCampaign literally non stop.

Non-complete list of things I do:

Meditation outside and singing along to Lianne Le Havas “Unstoppable” while doing stretches and balance practice every day; Scribblegroup art class; singing in a community choir; bodyboarding on the North coast of Cornwall; making crazy creatures out of discarded or abandoned socks (the sockimals then star in my live videos on email marketing); sea-swimming; making dens in the woods; collecting endless beach pebbles; rockpooling, watching tv in languages I don’t speak…

It’s not perfect, and I still work too much and get stressed, but it stops me from breaking myself.

Much love,

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @emaillove


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