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We are working with Orvis in their search for an Email Marketing Manager based in scenic Sunderland, VT.

In 1856, Charles Orvis founded the Orvis Company in Manchester, Vermont, offering the finest fly fishing equipment, and priding himself on customer satisfaction and service. Today, along with its world famous fly-fishing gear, Orvis offers distinctive clothing, home furnishings, gifts, and dog products. Each item is rooted in the firm’s heritage of authenticity and the outdoors, and is backed with a no-questions-asked guarantee.

As the longest-running mail order business in the United States, and with its flagship retail store located in the same Vermont village as the original store since 1856, Orvis offers experience and knowledge that no other retail company can. Each day, the Orvis team strives to apply what it knows to bring its customers even better service and products tomorrow.

Orvis Company associates take pride in their world-class service and products, treating customers, vendor partners, and each other with integrity and mutual respect. The team works in a supportive, team-oriented environment, focusing on performance, continuous improvement, and exceeding its customers’ expectations. The Orvis Company and its associates are committed to giving back to their communities and protecting nature.

About the Role

The Email Marketing Manager will be the key leader and champion of email marketing at Orvis in both the US and UK. This individual is the business owner for email who drives the email channel forward by collaboratively working with multiple distinct, functional partners. In this email marketing job, the new hire will be in a position to own and inform email channel operations by setting clear direction and processes while also building a strategic vision for the channel within the Digital Marketing group.

The successful candidate will be someone who possesses a strong vision of the email channel from both a strategic and tactical level. The individual will bring a proven track record managing email program(s) of significant complexity across multiple categories/business units with sometimes competing interests.

This position reports directly into the Director of Digital Marketing. There will be regular interaction with Merchandising; Business Intelligence; Web Content; Web Design; Web Development and Executive Leadership.

HARRY’S COMMENTS: Orvis is a phenomenal brand, and email is one of the most high potential growth engines for the company. We’ve all heard the statistics on email: Worldwide, there are 168 million emails sent every minute, and over 188 billion emails sent every day. Everyone has an email address, and the volume of email in our lives continues to skyrocket.

According to Dileep Thazhmon of PowerInbox, “top online retailers sent their customers 177 emails a piece in 2011, and 211 emails apiece in 2012, an increase of 19% over one year, and 120% over 5 years. This number is going to keep its hockey stick growth mainly because email is one of the most effective forms of marketing, and the channel still has an incredibly low cost associated with sending it.

“Additionally, there’s a strong push by consumers towards email usage and consumption on mobile devices, which has upended how retailers create and deliver content. In 2012, 43% of email was opened on a mobile device and more people now use their mobile phone to read email than to make a phone call (79%).”

So, how does an online retailer cut through all that clutter?

Well, it starts with sending consistent, relevant, anticipated, and personal white hat e-mails to people who have double-opted in for them. Like Orvis does. But, like most etailers, the company has a way to go to optimize this channel.

Orvis’ ecommerce business continues to grow like a weed, and email is a significant engine for that growth. For this reason, the client seeks a seasoned email marketer who has spent a significant portion of their career working within the email channel. Two years of experience won’t cut it. 5 to 10 years experience is more like it. Ideally, the client seeks an A-player who has managed complex permission-based email marketing programs at the corporate level, possibly reporting to a VP level executive.

No ordinary email marketing job.

If there were “black belts” in email marketing, we want you to have one for this role. Meaning, we need you to be an expert in email list building, targeting, promotional calendaring, copywriting, design, production, deliverability, dynamic content, triggered programs, list management, A/B and multivariate testing, and segmentation.

The whole ball of wax.

Obviously, you will need an analytical bias to the way you make decisions, and you’ll need to understand which metrics to benchmark depending on the nature of each campaign. For example, acquisition oriented campaigns might involve an analysis of the campaign’s acquisition rate, cost per acquisition, or ROI. Whereas a campaign specifically designed to improve awareness might involve an analysis of number of unique website visitors, the number of impressions on a particular digital asset, or the campaign’s open (or click through) rate.

And it doesn’t end there.

We expect you to have a vision and a teachable point of view on industry trends such as the convergence of social and mobile and how it might impact the email channel. Given the level of exposure this position will have to Orvis’ CEO and all of its merchants, we would expect you to be highly polished. Poise counts, as does being able to speak your piece in plain English.

Email marketing is both an art and a science.

Like most IR-500 members, Orvis is working hard to reduce the number of “emotional unsubscribes” in this channel. Accordingly, you’ll need the hypothesis-driven approach and analytical rigor of a scientist, while designing and delivering emails that improve the “emotional payoff” a recipient gets when he opens an Orvis email.

Meaning, we want Orvis’ emails to have a flair that reflects favorably on the firm’s vaunted brand. That means developing a “feel” for the right images, copy, and offers for each email campaign – and knowing how they will render on a variety of platforms and devices.

Perhaps most importantly, you’ll need to elicit the best efforts of others as they become involved in your work. This particular email marketing job is all about bringing everyone’s energy, excitement, and enthusiasm to this vital marketing channel.

As usual, I have tons of excellent information on the size, scope, mailing frequency, and profitability on this client’s email initiatives. This role is not a turnaround. There’s nothing broken about Orvis’ email initiatives. The client is very excited about its new ESP, e-Dialogue, and it’s ready to seize the potential of this channel.

General Responsibilities:

This position is responsible for the development and successful execution of email marketing initiatives that meet or exceed the short and long-term goals of email marketing at Orvis.

Responsibilities include:

  • Full ownership of the email program including sales, selling profit and subscriber engagement
  • Responsible for all aspects of email planning and analysis including by program-Standard Promotional Message; Triggered Marketing; Triggered Transactional.
  • Creation of comprehensive email marketing plan for year/season/month/week which supports overall Digital Marketing goals.
  • Work in close collaboration with eMerchants to create detailed email plan by category for each quarter (by month/week/day) which balances overall growth and profit needs of Digital Marketing while also supporting the shifting needs of categories from Catalog to Digital.
  • An email strategy focused on relevancy
  • Work with Business Intelligence team to evolve capabilities of email segmentation from current RFM waterfall to predictive model.
  • Work with Email Service Provider and Database Marketing team to create and implement a horizontal email contact strategy
  • Management of email subscriber list. Develop and implement strategies to identify and grow engaged subscribers.
  • Develop, implement and manage standards and standard processes which increase efficiency, mitigate risk and reduce reactive situations.
  • Develop, test, implement, publish and continually refine best practices for email marketing.
  • Work closely with eMerchants; Web Content; and Web Design to optimize session conversion by landing visitors on most relevant and highest converting landing pages.
  • Creation of relevant reporting and analytics which provide insight into issues and opportunities leading to action.
  • Manage relationship with Email Service Partner and all other email vendors.

The KPM’s for this function include:

  • Email sales
  • Email selling profit
  • Engagement as measured through key performance indicators specific to email (Open rate; Click thru rate; Browse; Order and Unsubscribe)

Also critical determinants of success include:

  • Philosophical alignment and support of the company core values.
  • Ability to effectively build relationships with other functional areas in the organization.
  • High degree of respect and credibility as a functional expert.
  • Maintains strong network of external resources.


  • Ideally 8+ years of experience working in and managing email marketing.
  • Strong project management skills.
  • Strong network of external peers and experts in Email Marketing.
  • Enthusiastic self-starter who is comfortable working independently and as part of a team.
  • Customer centric. Passion for the Sporting Traditions Lifestyle a plus.
  • Ability to grow professionally as the business grows.
  • Never ending curiosity and love of learning. A passion for new technology and email marketing.
  • Experience in a Consumer Direct retail environment a plus.


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