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Journalism 2.0 with email marketer Jessica Best

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Jessica Best is a Digital Marketing Evangelist with Emfluence: Digital Marketing. “The subject line of an email is like a headline, but you only have 40 characters to get the job done.”

By Emily Wicht
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Digital Marketing Evangelist Jessica Best considers her role at Emfluence: Digital Marketing to be Journalism 2.0 because in strategic communication, she uses both her journalism and creation skills in equal parts. Emfluence is an email platform that clients can use to create marketing campaigns.

Before diving into the world of strategic communication and email marketing, Best attended the University of Missouri-Columbia as an elementary education major, then a nursing major, then computer engineering major before graduating with a degree in journalism/strategic communication in 2005.

After college, Best began writing ad spots on the radio, which helped land her a job with Theater League, a touring Broadway presenter, where she marketed season tickets. It was during her time with Theater League that Best got her first taste of learning about email and how to use email to its full capacity.

Best was also on the Board of Direct Marketing Kansas City, when she began using Emfluence first as client. After becoming an enthusiastic fan and advocate of the Emfluence platform, a fellow board member offered Best a job as an advocate and marketer for Emfluence.

At Emfluence, Best wears many hats.  She act as an educator on the power of email and social media in the office, but she also works with clients to help them see what new and creative ways they can use things and how to build up and manage their email lists.  She helps manage the Emfluence Twitter and Google+ accounts and works as an account rep of sorts for the marketing association. Best also works with trade clients and clients that Emfluence sponsors.

In addition, Best also works on email nurture campaigns, the Emfluence newsletter and writes and edits for two Emfluence blogs. “It [my job and strategic communication] makes me feel like my own small business agency,” she said. Best says that her favorite part of her job is the strategy portion because email marketing is “an avenue where [clients] can make sales using something they already use [email].”

Email marketing is unique because it is completely data driven. As Best said, “you are mining for people who you know use something.” You know they will use it because you know they already buy it, which increases the return on investment.

One goal of email marketers is to “send an email to 200 people but making it feel personal,” Best said.

Her journalism degree has been helpful. She wants wants students to know that advertising, public relations and marketing all crossover. She believes that it is more about getting the technical education to implement your skills that is important. “A catchy headline is a Tweet,” Best said.

Becoming a professional can be intimidating, but Best said it was important to know that even when you are a professional “you are still not a grown up. There is never a point where you are grown up. You never stop changing your mind; You never stop learning.”

The best advice she has ever received was: “You have to be OK with failing and understanding that you will be learning something.”

She said, “You are more apt to learn if you are willing to fail.”

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