Our Learnings from Inbox Expo

Written by
Laura Sullivan

March 6, 2023

We had an absolutely brilliant time last week connecting with email geeks of all stripes (and nationalities!) at Inbox Expo in Valencia, Spain. The sense of community and collaboration at this event was overwhelming. Here are just a few of the nuggets we walked away feeling inspired by: 

Social lead generation is a powerful way to feed your program.

Arthur ten Have, Spotler

No matter your industry or audience, attrition is a battle we’re all fighting. According to Arthur, your list will naturally shrink by 22% per year, leaving you with an empty database if you do nothing. Using pre-populated signup forms, natively integrated into your preferred social channels can be a huge help–and the targeting means you can find very specific custom audiences that yield high-quality results. Email + social are besties, afterall. 

Reputation is hard to gain and easy to lose–and with the art of deliverability, it always depends. 

Nicola Selena, AcitveCampaign

We believe an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so we couldn’t agree more with Nicola’s approach to protecting reputation up front instead of waiting for things to go wrong. But in the worst case scenario, a good recovery plan has to have a clear timeframe, be built on testing and monitoring and… be flexible. So much depends on your audience, your list, your situation. Preach! 

Composability is an intriguing way to think about email tech stacks. 

Tom Blijleven, Flowmailer

Composability was a new term for us: It essentially is an approach to building a tech stack that allows for multiple, lightweight, single-purpose tools, rather than the traditional “monolith” tools that purport to do everything. With this philosophy, you intentionally find tools that can solve one or two problems for you really well. If that tool is no longer serving your program, it’s easier to change things up. Color us intrigued–especially as a tool that plays well with others. 

Brand building can–and should–be done in the email channel. Leading with brand storytelling can even be better for the bottom line. 

Mily Barnet, Paul Smith 

Chantelle Knoetze, Dotdigital

Getting a peek at the strong culture and backstory of the iconic menswear brand Paul Smith was inspiring in its own right–seeing how Dotdigital has partnered with them to create a brilliant cross-channel strategy that is true to that culture was even better. They illustrated how brand storytelling can strengthen email messages at every stage of the customer lifecycle, including a brilliant use case for winback campaigns that yielded an impressive impact on sales. 

Delight your customers in the inbox by showing them content that feels great and is just what they’re looking for, not just selling. The result can be millions of new data points for you, too. 

John Conway, iota-ML

Tony Allen, Volvo UK

Volvo UK’s brilliant reinvention of their CRM channel answers this question: Can something feel relevant and also non-salesy? They’ve adopted a high-frequency, high-engagement strategy all around the concept of Frika, which we’ll imperfectly translate as “delight.” Using the iota-ML machine learning platform, they are able to serve up highly relevant and segmented content that simply delights the recipient. The byproduct of this approach is that they’ve created a maelstrom of first-party data points about their customer preferences–pretty incredible. 

Spamhaus will soon add more dimensions to their data feeds, empowering marketers with more context. 

Matthew Stith, Spamhaus 

Spamhaus has shown the community that it is listening–and based on feedback, Matthew announced that additional data points for domains would be made available via their API. This will include “Reputational Dimensions,” giving more insight into the associated infrastructure, identity, and human input relating to any domain queried. Simply put, the amount of intel present for any domain will increase. He mentioned that the beta for this new approach is coming in mid-March, so standby deliverability fam.


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