BV Profile: Dan Black, Senior Email Manager

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You probably have received one of our emails. Beautiful, aren’t they? Meet the man who designs and sends them all day for a living:

What’s your name?

Dan Black

What’s your job title? and what does that really mean you do here?

Senior Email Developer: On paper I design and code HTML emails for the marketing team. In reality I do that, but also I spend a lot of time maintaining our email system, monitoring email performance, managing marketing and transactional email campaigns, communicating with stakeholders, and developing or overseeing development related to email technology systems. Basically I’m the resident email nerd 📧 . (Yes, that’s a thing. It’s a weird subculture that’s blossoming lately with lots of cool new tools and ideas. Email is like, half of the internet and almost always ROI positive.) I’m lucky to be able to work with lots of teams everyday: the data team, customer service, product development, marketing, and senior management.

How long have you worked at BV?

About two years.

What did you do before BV? How did you end up at BV?

I was the email developer and designer at Shutterstock. I went to a holiday party hosted by the founder of the digital agency where I started out doing HTML email coding and campaign management. He introduced me to a front-end engineer at BeenVerified and raved a bit dramatically about how cool my emails were. I showed off an example of some CSS3 animations in an email and before I knew it I was meeting with Josh and Ross, the CEO and COO of BV. Funny enough, at the time the Shutterstock office was literally across the street from the BeenVerified office. I wasn’t really looking to leave my last job. At the time I was there, it was a vibrant and amazing tech darling just coming out of its startup shell. They’d hired hundreds of people in the few years I was there, silo’d off product teams, and I started to miss that small-team/startup vibe. But when I met with Josh and Ross I was really looking for some off-hours consulting. They offered me a job pretty quickly, and I really liked the vibe of the company and the interview process (maybe because I didn’t really realize I was interviewing) so I followed my intuition on Josh and Ross and said yes!

What’s your day-to-day like?

This one may shock you: I start off most days by checking my work email on the train. I think a lot of people do that, or first thing they do when they get in to the office. I get monitoring reports for all of our email campaigns so I look those over to make sure they’re still running, being opened, etc. If everything’s hunky dory I usually get some coffee, sit back down and check more email for marketing email ideas. After a little bit of that (it gets a bit boring, but every now and then you come across an amazing email) I try to figure out which thing to work on for the day. At the moment I have 72 tasks or bugs in my sprint and 139 in my backlog. I get multiple requests, ideas, or bug reports per day, so there’s a never-ending supply of things to choose from. While I’m working on something I typically get pulled into a few conversations related to current email issues or upcoming projects, and I spend a good amount of time with our QA team making sure everything’s working and customer service to make sure our mailing practices are good.

What’s your favorite thing about the BV office? Or culture?

I love the open office culture. It’s really easy to get involved in lots of things going on, and the snacks, beer, and free lunch keep it easy to focus on work, but I do also like a few restaurants near here. In warmer months it’s nice to go to Bryant Park. On most days there’s a really authentic friendly vibe, and it usually gets pretty energetic for at least a few hours during the day. I love the company outings like the camping trip we took, and the comedy improv lessons at Upright Citizens Brigade. When we work, we work smart and when we have fun we have a lot of fun.

Tell us something surprising about you that not many people know:

I’m pretty open about anything anyone asks me. Sometimes I worry people know too much about me. I’ve lived in 17 different apartments since 2003.

What are your biggest outside interests and hobbies?

This one’s tough because I’m very interested in a lot of different things. I love making music. I used to make electronic music, but for the past year or two I’ve been focusing on song writing and training my singing voice. I really like the music I’ve been making lately and it’s such a different process than making electronic music. I also love abstract painting, vector art, bit art, fine art, old art, sketching, digital painting. I also love games. I used to play Magic: the Gathering but I wasn’t very good. Now I play Hearthstone when I can find the time. I’m probably decent enough at that game to do well in it, but it’s a huge time sink so I just play casually.

What is a book, movie, or song that inspires you?

Anything by NN Taleb.

What’s your favorite BV lunch that we have on free lunch Wednesdays?

Anything with pulled pork…. I’m salivating as I write this.

What is your twitter handle? Instagram? (or whatever profiles or blogs you want to mention) (all my profiles are at the bottom)

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