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25: The Truth about Email Marketing with Meredith Crawford

Email Marketing with Meredith Crawford- Business Brekathrough Podcast

Meredith Crawford was living in a trailer with a tarp as the roof when she had the brain-sight to get involved in digital marketing. Fast forward eight years, she completed her MBA in marketing, helped The Venetian and Disney earn millions in their revenue through email marketing and has recently begun her own agency. Meredith teaches us how the larger companies use list segmentation and targeting in email marketing that we can apply in our small businesses. She also shares with us the struggle of not being a salesman, and needing to spend 90% of her time on sales to launch her company, and the tricks she uses to do online marketing instead of direct sales.



My Guest: Meredith Crawford

Meredith Crawford is the founder of Solerno Media, a marketing agency that empowers small businesses and entrepreneurs focused on doing business with heart to tell and share their stories. She is also an advisory board to Hack the Hood, an Oakland-based non-profit that introduces low-income youth of color to careers in tech. Prior to founding Solerno Media, Meredith was the CEO of MindShare Design, and oversaw Savicom and Widi Emi email platforms. While she was there, Meredith added 18% to the multi-million dollar company’s revenue stream. Two clients—a business training company and a large Las Vega casino—had banner revenue years, both attributing their success to working with MindShare Design.

In 2017, she negotiated the acquisition of WorkStraight, a work order software solution. Meredith has written for outlets such as Business2Consumer, CustomerThink and FMJ Magazine. She has spoken in front of audiences at Facilities Management Expo and Marketing Sherpa Summit.


Pivotal Moments:

  • Living in a trailer with tarp on her roof, working for few various small business who were not quite making it
  • Realizing that so many people are struggling in business and that she doesn’t know the answer of how to fix it, but that she wants to find out
  • Getting an email from her friend regarding SEO job in Seattle that she didn’t take, but which sparked the idea of going into digital marketing
  • Getting her MBA in marketing and getting job with an email marketing company that worked with Fortune 500 companies
  • Learning email marketing analytics, helping Disney and The Venetian add 18% to their million dollar email marketing revenue
  • A shooting outside her office wakes her back up to original passion of helping small companies, not just the Fortune 500 companies


The Advice:

1. Email marketing is segmented into two parts; transactional and sales emails.

  • Transactional: includes everything from purchase confirmations to drip campaigns that are triggered when you step into a store.
  • Sales: one-offs that are not triggered by any action of the consumer but by the company themselves.

2. When you get an email from a big company, it’s very specifically sent to YOU on that particular DAY. Companies run huge drip campaigns and lists are segmented based on many factors e.g. demographics, purchase history, location, timing. The wording, imagery and deals and discounts that we get in any email are specific to us accounting for all those circumstances.

3. Meredith found that the demographics of respondents for her Facebook ads advertising marketing help was 99% female, but for financial and economical help the respondents were 99% male.

4. It’s important to be able to match expenses to income. There are three types of expense centers in business:

  • Profit Centers: The part of the business where you earn the most profit on your expenses.
  • Revenue Centers: Where all the money that comes goes towards covering expenses, but you still need to run these centers so that you can run your profit centers.
  • Expense Centers: Overheads which are not directly related to any specific income, like paying your accountant.


5. Using a specific setup in your spreadsheet can help match income to directly related expenses. Set out the spreadsheet vertically where the income streams go above the expenses so you can see the relations between revenue and expense easily.

6. The trends of mobile to desktop email usage are changing quickly. In 2014, 30% of emails were viewed in mobile and 67% desktop. In late 2015, it hit 50-50. Now, in 2018, 67% of emails are viewed in mobile. This means that it is important to optimize the design layout of your emails for mobile users rather than desktop.

The Struggle:

Meredith opened her doors in March 2018, and it has been a humbling journey. Even though her degree is marketing, it was focused more on the analytic and technical details, not on front-line sales. She has had a really hard time solidifying her sales pipeline using primarily online marketing through Facebook PPC ads and dabbling a little with local networking. But, it has been slow going and there is still lots of throwing things at the wall and trying to see what sticks.

The Breakthrough:

Meredith needs to stop trying to be generic marketing agency, that market is already saturated. Meredith‘s skill set in analytics, number crunching and financial modelling puts her in the perfect position to become the marketer’s marketer.  Many marketing agencies don’t have any expertise in calculating ROIs and statistics, but come into the field from the creative angle.

Meredith should be reaching out B2B and pursuing partnerships with other marketing agencies by offering her unique skill set, just like my friend, the hair dresser who moved to LA and broke into saturated market by being hairdresser’s hairdresser, doing things like coloring and weaves that other hairdressers didn’t do themselves.


We quote Solerno Media in the episode, but after our conversation, Meredith actually did a total pivot and went into marketing analytics. As this was recorded a little while prior to publication, Meredith can now be found at the following location:

Resources and Links:

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About the author, Estie Rand

I love turning ideas into money, and helping others do the same. I help small business owners with everything from marketing to fiscal management, business plans to staffing, database architecture to work/life balance coaching and I love it all! What do you need help with today?

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