Sean 's Bio
Sean is a Sr. Marketing Operations specialist and oversees email operations at Zapier, the leading automation tool for connecting over 4,000 different tools and services and automating workflows. Over the last 15 years, he has worked in web development, design, and content writing—but has spent the last 10 years specializing in email marketing. He’s also one of the co-founders of Really Good Emails and enjoys sharing email inspiration and discussing ways to make email better.
Previously living in Vancouver, BC, Sean now calls the Okanagan Valley home where he can be found going for hikes, wine tasting, working in the garden, and spending time with his wife and two kids.
Growth marketing is about incremental growth by trying new ideas, experimenting, and analyzing your data for gems.
When and how did you get your start in marketing?
I got my start by working in sales as an account director at a boutique web agency in 2009. I had recently finished my business degree and went back to school for digital media design. I’ve always loved technology and helping create solutions and experiences for people.
So while I learned how to design and build websites, I gained experience by handling sales and helping market the business. This was great for me. As I gained technical experience, I eventually started moving from sales into other roles within marketing teams for web agencies.
What do you love about your role?
The thing I love the most about my role is that I get to focus on helping and advocating for our users to make their lives better. Whether it’s developing education solutions to help them use our product better or working on our email and communication strategies—everything comes down to giving our customers a delightful experience. There’s always more work to be done but I really do enjoy the problems we’re solving and the projects I get to work on. I think working in email as a whole is also exciting because it’s a niche that—when done well—can really impact a brand and surprise or delight the customer. And creating those moments make all the hard work worth it.
What does growth marketing mean to you?
Growth marketing is about incremental growth by trying new ideas, experimenting, and analyzing your data for gems. To me, this means having an eye on all parts of your funnel and continually tweaking and updating each area to improve—whether it’s new user activation, expanding usage, or retention. As a growth marketer, it’s not only about making big swings or finding quick hacks. It’s also about searching for all the little wins that optimize your marketing program and when compounded lead to large returns.
What do you like most about using Iterable?
I think the biggest thing I appreciated when we moved to Iterable was the ability to leverage our data. We have millions of customers and each has a lot of data connected to their account. While we were able to use the data in our old in-house system, Iterable has made it easier for me as a marketer to use that data to create personalized experiences for our users. Our less technical team members are able to create emails more easily now too, which makes processes easier.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
When I was in school, I got to interview the CEO of a very well-known web studio. His advice was this: “Take risks, be ready to be ‘wrong.’ This is the path to creating work that is original, interesting, and often groundbreaking.” I’m not sure if it’s the best advice I’ve ever received, but it’s definitely something that has resonated with me throughout my career.
The other good advice, which is super cliché, is to “treat others as you’d expect to be treated.” (Thanks, mom!) This applies to your personal life, but I think very much to your work life as well—especially in email.
If you weren’t a marketer, what would you be?
If I weren’t a marketer, or even in tech for that matter, I think I would have become a chef. There was a point when I was in school and had to choose between culinary school and business. I’m happy I made the choice I did but if I needed to do it over and fall back on a different career, that might be where I’d go.
What apps, gadgets or tools (besides Iterable!) can’t you live without?
I hate to say it, but my phone has become such an extension of my life. I’m not glued to it and on it all the time, but as we move into a world where more and more things are being automated and digital, it becomes my go-to interface for everything, from managing my schedule, staying connected with friends, getting alerts and updates, to even home automation, like controlling my yard’s sprinklers.