It’s the final days leading up to the last stop in our little #TEDC13 tour. And what a wild ride it’s been. It’s hard to believe that it was just six months ago when Paul walked by my office and said “let’s put on a conference.” From dozens of speaker submissions, contracts, prep calls, hurricanes and train delays, to that thrilling moment when we kicked off day one… I’m beyond proud of every speaker, every presentation, every detail of what we’ve accomplished. And if it’s even possible, I love email more than ever.

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Organizing 40+ speaker proposals

fell into email design because I was frustrated by print design. You just can’t measure how well a printed brochure performs after you hand it to someone. But watching, in literal real-time, as people click on your lovingly crafted bulletproof button is intoxicating. There is nothing more rewarding for a designer than to see their impact to the bottom line (except maybe meeting other people that get that high, too… but more on that later). Email design, for all it’s constraints and challenges, provides designers with tangible evidence that their creations are meaningful.

Excellent email design drives real results, and TEDC can help you make better emails. But it’s not all about making money, or getting more customers, or whether you should (or shouldn’t) make your emails responsive. Sure, it’s about those things, but it transcends all the buzzwords and marketing-speak we hear every day.

When we take a moment to hit ‘pause’ on the money-making machine that email is, we can talk about pushing it forward and giving it meaning. A moment to connect with someone who getswhat you do. For that moment when your mind is blown by SVG animation in email and you’re inspired to try a new trick in your next email. For when you laugh so hard your cheeks hurt at jokes only another email designer will understand. But most importantly, it’s for the people preserving the fine art of table-based layouts. The folks fighting for every block of live text. We’re giving them a voice, a platform to discuss and learn, share and grow. It’s about advancing email design as a legitimate craft and building a community around that craft.

For years, my ExactTarget colleagues and I lamented the lack of a community—or any resources at all, really—for email design. Surely we weren’t the only people pushing pixels and stacking tables? Then this opportunity at Litmus came along, and even though I didn’t realize it at the time, we started chipping away at building those resources, at building a community. It existed primarily in blog comments and on Twitter. But there are people behind that passion, and they’re here.

IMPACT AND INSPIRATION

It may well be a coincidence, but I’m going to selfishly take some credit for our little conference inspiring email designers to stand up, speak out and give back. In the short span since we kicked off TEDC London, I’ve seen Twitter accounts spring up, new blogs being created, companies making hires, fresh faces on webinars, and awesome new designs in my inbox… all demonstrating a love for email.

So come for the amazing speakers and their equally amazing content. Come to get your email reviewed, your voice heard, andsomething off your chest. Come to make your emails totally kick ass, and to meet other people that want to help you along the way. Hell, come for the awesome t-shirt and bulletproof button.

But above all, come for the love of email.

 

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