Email is one of the most widely used communication tools in the world today. While email is still the go-to–tool for many individuals, businesses often find the drawbacks outweigh the benefits when messages are not effectively deliverd to recepients. Common problems faced by businesses is the size and format of email communications which includes sending video and audio messages.
A company that has revolutionised email communications, through advance features that drive and deliver actionable results, directly from the inbox is EyeMail Inc. In an interview with Industry Wired, Lisa S Jones, CEO, Founder and Technology Officer of EyeMail Inc, shares her inspiration behind developing the innovative solution that delivers measurable campaigns to enterprises.
Kindly brief us about the company, its specialization, and the services that your company offers.
EyeMail Inc. is a multi-patent pending marketing technology company that enables instant play of a full video in email, webmail, and mobile. The complete video-in-email is delivered in less than 15K in size with no downloads or clicks to external websites.
We believe everyone deserves the best visual and engaging email communication experience. When using EyeMail technology, combined with your video, an average of 60% unique views can be achieved along with a minimum of 38% click-through rates compared to standard email metrics.
Such high engagement rates are because the full-length video begins to play automatically when the viewer opens their email. The industry definition of video-in-email, at present is adding a picture or a 10–second clip of the larger video, both with a hyperlink to a website where the larger video is stored and can be played.
Currently, EyeMail Inc. offers:
- EyeMail, a video-in-email technology and supplemental consulting services across email, webmail and mobile,
- EyeCon, a customized animated brand logo also delivered in 15K in size,
- EyeViewer, seamless technology enabling a user to tag keywords that monitors and prioritizes all incoming emails to remain at the top of the inbox, so they are not buried and forgotten.
On our roadmap for 2021, EyeMail Inc. will launch the ability for the full play of video-in-text and a self-service portal.
Give a brief overview of your background and your role in the company.
Originally from Montgomery, Alabama, I am a long-time resident of Atlanta, Georgia. I graduated with a BS in Logistics & Procurement and an MBA in Marketing. I continued my education with advanced studies at the Tuck School of Business, and currently pursuing an executive degree at Harvard University. My professional career started at NASA as a Logistics Specialist, and then transitioned into the telecommunications industry for several years before becoming a full-time entrepreneur.
As the Founder, Chief EyeMail and Technology Officer for EyeMail Inc, I am responsible for the strategic vision, technology innovation, and facilitating the international expansion of EyeMail to Canada, India, the UK and Africa. I also have oversight into the marketing and sales divisions to ensure the quality of the brand messaging is consistent and remains relevant as the world around us consistently changes.
What were the past experiences, achievements or lessons that shaped your journey as a successful women leader?
Many planned and unplanned experiences have shaped my journey. The milestones with the most impact:
The increase in layoffs in corporate America charged my drive to accelerate my timelines and take control of where I wanted to go. I recognized there was never going to be a ‘right time‘ to step away from my corporate career. If I continued to wait for the ‘right time,’ I would never get started at all.
I worked directly with chief architects at Microsoft’s Incubation Lab and with individuals who had the same creative concepts about our technology roadmap. This milestone was key in developing the foundational architecture that supports EyeMail today. As an African American woman in technology, it also showed me that I was accepted for my merit of who I am based on my innovation and contribution from individuals I consider my technology peers.
Receiving multiple awards for innovation and technology solidified my confidence in my abilities and gave me the boost I needed to keep progressing forward.
Kindly mention some of the primal challenges you faced during the initial phase of your journey.
Throughout my 16-year journey, I had to overcome many obstacles and challenges, from legal disputes, finding the right team with the technology skills to support my vision, current industry application limitations, and my personal struggle with imposter syndrome.
In collaborating with a 3rd party, I saw my intellectual property repackaged and rebranded. Legally protecting you and your interests against those whom you may feel confident in trusting, only to discover the opposite, was critical for market position, brand recognition and continued growth.
Finding the right resources to support a vision for something not yet created, was more difficult than I expected. Frequently, I would hear ‘email is working just fine‘ or ‘why would you want to add video into an email.’ After working with seven (7) different technology teams, I was able to find the right blend of skills, team dynamics and collaboration.
As catalysts for digital disruption, we tend to find ourselves either waiting for the technology of the world to catch up with our vision or try to create the technology ourselves. With multi patent-pending technologies that don‘t exist anywhere, to developing solutions around current webmail and mobile platform limitations, I had to do both.
The life of an entrepreneur has lots of peaks and valleys. Isolation can lead to thoughts of self-doubt; listening to your imagination run in the opposite direction. I use the following tools to help combat imposter syndrome: surround myself with a personal advisory board tailored to me, listen to business podcasts, have inspirational photos where I can see them every day from my office, and I play my favourite clip from a Rocky movie for a quick motivational kick.
Describe some of the vital attributes that every transformational leader should possess.
When I think about transformation, the word that comes to my mind is change. A transformational leader requires the ablity to recognize when a change is needed, define alternatives, and select a new direction. As a result, every transformational leader should have the following key attributes:
- Learn to embrace being agile and flexible in your approach. While it is good to have a plan, you must also be open to changing direction and not attribute that change as a negative.
- Maintain a team-first attitude, knowing that collaboration from many cultures, experience and ideas will yield positive results.
- Be receptive to new ideas as they may open amazing opportunities you never considered. Also, challenge yourself to say ‘yes’ to new opportunities.
- Remain proactive in taking a calculated risk and think about the risk before you act versus looking at risk in hindsight. This has helped me avoid ‘I should have’ and have confidence in the decisions I make.
How do you innovate your solutions/services that appeal to your target audience?
EyeMail was originally inspired after I read through 100+ emails. They all had the same black and white text format, links to other sites, but perhaps the most innovative idea was a picture someone had placed in the email. The initial idea for EyeMail was born from recognizing a problem when no one else thought the problem even existed.
Our target audience is large and every email is an opportunity for EyeMail. Talking and engaging with as many of the people in our target audience is the key ingredient to consistent innovation. The EyeMail team is often inspired by new ideas gained through those insightful conversations.
For example, at a conference in 2019, I was talking to an individual who said, “if you could do X, then it would make my life easier.” That conversation led to an idea we expect to launch later in 2021.
How do you see the company and the industry in the future ahead?
The future is bright and full of promises, as it’s always the perfect time to introduce innovation, gain buy-in, and support from early adopters. Email has never been more alive, even in the midst of continued rumours that email is dead.
EyeMail is a horizontal technology with limitless opportunities for expansion in various verticals from Entertainment, Hospitality, Healthcare, Retail, Insurance, Finance, and beyond. In the next 1-2 years, EyeMail will introduce several new enhancements to our existing communication experience that further advances mobile and text messaging capabilities.
What is your advice for budding or emerging women leaders?
There are so many lessons I wish I had known before. Passing those teachings along to others is how we continue to help each other to be successful.
Always stay true to yourself and your vision, even if no one believes in it. Not everyone is going to ‘get it,’ and that is OK.
Celebrating a small success has the same meaning as the big successes. It is those small successes that keep you going.
Practice stepping back and lean into the fear to try something new outside of your comfort zone. Surround yourself with others who are inspiring and can mentor you in several phases of your journey both personally and professionally.
Get some sleep!
If sleep is not an option, then take time away from the computer or work to relax, laugh, meditate, and smell the roses. The goal is to find the best work/life balance. It was often during those times of relaxation, I would find a different perspective, or the spark of innovation would come to mind.