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One of the coolest email marketing jobs around!

We are working with Balsam Brands in their search for an Email Program Manager based in Redwood City, CA 94063. Balsam Brands is a multi-brand ecommerce retailer with roots in holiday and home décor. The firm manages a portfolio of ecommerce brands and businesses that sell specialty products in various niche markets. Its brands include Balsam Hill®, the leading online retailer of high-end artificial Christmas trees and related home décor products; and Backyard Ocean™, an online source for backyard pools, filters and accessories.

HARRY’S COMMENTS: As usual, we are proud to offer an excellent opportunity in a great location with a fantastic, high-growth company run by smart, down to earth people. The company has been the recipient of multiple awards, including:

  • Inc. 5000: America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies (2012, 2013)
  • Internet Retailer: Top 500 Retail Websites (2011, 2012, 2013)
  • San Francisco Business Times: Fast 100 – Fastest Growing Bay Area Companies (2012, 2013)
  • Silicon Valley Business Journal: 75 Fastest Growing Private Companies (2012, 2013)

Balsam Brands is a fast-growing innovator in ecommerce strategy and marketing. Its current array of brands and businesses have benefited from its deep understanding of organic and paid search in addition to online customer experience. In addition to its competence in SEO / SEM, Balsam Brands’ strengths include a rigorously analytical culture coupled with an ability to secure exclusive products.

About the role:

The company seeks a talented email marketer with a passion for taking initiative, learning, testing, analyzing – and driving results. Balsam Brands prides itself on being staffed with folks who are down to earth as they are smart. (This is the first time I’ve worked with an HR executive with a Stanford MBA!) The role is an excellent opportunity for a sharp, business oriented email marketer to have a significant impact on my client’s business.

As the key email lead for Balsam’s brands, this individual will have broad, end-to-end responsibilities for the firm’s email campaigns from strategy development through the analysis of the financial impact of each email program. The Email Marketing Manager will be involved in email campaigns across all of the company’s brands, targeting a wide variety of consumer segments.

There will be a variety in the Email Manager’s activities, too, with an opportunity to improve the email program’s copy, merchandise selection, promotional calendar, triggering and sequencing, and more. This position combines planning with action and implementation, which should appeal to a candidate who is both a leader and a doer who gets energized by both setting direction and making things happen in the trenches.

Should you apply for the job?

This is a great role for someone who wants to have full ownership of an email program at a company with really smart, driven, interesting people. Balsam Brands is placing big bets on the email channel, and this is a nice chance to align yourself with people who are insatiably curious about how to improve their business both incrementally and with broad strokes. The company will look to you to determine things like …

  • What’s the value of a desktop email versus a mobile click?
  • Can the company use responsive design tools like Ink to close the gap?
  • In the next 12 months, how will email grow versus search and social? What are the ways to combine these channels so that, when used together, they generate more business than they would as standalones?
  • How will Google’s new look for the Gmail iPad app impact response rates on the iPad? What’s the best process for creating simple, honest, actionable, compelling, and personalized subject lines? Seriously: PROCESS. Great email marketing isn’t just about the technology. It’s about making your customers look forward to hearing from you – and they’ll only do that if you are consistently great. (And consistent anything requires a process.)
  • Are there ways to improve the efficiency of Balsam Brands’ content marketing efforts – like say, turning blog content into email newsletter content? (As it turns out, yes.) As Balsam Brands’ email guru, what other ways can you reuse and recycle the firm’s content from season-to-season?
  • Video in email: What’s the plan?

Balsam Brands is growing like a weed, which means the NUMBER and COMPLEXITY of its marketing problems are increasing. (This is normal, btw.) Email isn’t going anywhere. If anything, its efficacy is growing. Therefore, Balsam Brands will be relying on YOU as this channel’s steward to improve the emotional resonance of its family of brands while – what else? – selling more stuff to more people, more often, for more money. If these kinds of issues keep you up at night, then we’d love to hear from you.


  • Developing and executing email campaigns that drive revenue growth across our brands through retention, cross-sell and up-sell
  • Driving email list growth strategies and execution across multiple channels, serving as email acquisition authority across the organization
  • Prioritizing emails based on revenue potential and overall corporate strategy, as well as resource allocation
  • Designing and executing tests that support key hypotheses and deliver actionable learnings that contribute to business growth
  • Overseeing effective customer segmentation and highly persuasive creatives/offers driven by customer insight and email best practices
  • Managing the creation, scheduling and deployment of all email campaigns – including copywriting for emails
  • Partnering effectively with cross-functional teams to drive successful campaign execution—including reporting/analysis, brand/business leaders, web development, etc.
  • Analyzing the data from email marketing programs to develop internal best practices
  • Proactively identifying opportunities for process improvement and reducing execution complexity

Required Skills and Experience:

  • 3-5 years experience in email marketing
  • Expert knowledge of email best practices including targeted lists, subject lines, messaging and deliverability
  • Experience building business requirements for list segmentation, work flows and triggered events within an ESP, such as Bronto, Silverpop or Vertical Response
  • Strong analytic skills, including experience with quantitative test design, customer segmentation, tracking results and interpreting key learnings
  • Consumer-centric mindset
  • Proven experience participating in cross-functional teams
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Demonstrated history of successful project management
  • Detail-oriented
  • Work well in fast paced, team-oriented environment
  • Undergraduate degree


PS – If you’re thinking about changing jobs this year (though us or anyone else), you might want to check out this post on why even TOP candidates get rejected.

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