We Know Email Series: Grayson DeYoung
The following Question and Answer series profiles Return Path employees in a variety of roles and locations. Join us as we find out what they do, what they enjoy, and most importantly, what email campaigns they are loving lately.
Senior Technical Writer
Describe your job to someone who is outside the email industry.
I’m a writer. The best way to explain what I do is to break it down by the two main types of writing I do:
- Product: I write and edit help content and microcopy found within our different products.
- Help Center articles: I write, edit, and help take care of articles in Return Path’s Help Center.
At the end of the day, all of my writing has the same goal: let’s help someone. (Typically, that someone is our customer.). Clear, consistent, and smart writing can help meet our customers’ differing needs while also creating great experiences at the same time.
And I couldn’t do any of this without great collaboration between my team, knowledge & training, and product, UX, engineering, client services, marketing, and so on.
What initially brought you to Return Path?
I was graduating from my university and hoping to find a role (outside of teaching) where I could use my English and Writing degrees. While looking through LinkedIn job postings I stumbled across a really interesting writing internship with the Knowledge team at Return Path. After reading the description and looking into the company, I thought it could be a great fit.
It was about writing, collaborating, and learning about an entirely foreign world to me: email.
What energizes you about your role at Return Path?
The people I work with. Return Path is filled with inspiring, smart, fun, and amazing people. And I get to work with a lot of them. My role is largely collaborative, so whenever I write something I typically have to work with different people like our product managers, subject matter experts, engineers, UX designers, and more. Everyone is committed to building great products and great experiences for the people that use Return Path.
What problem is the most fun to solve for you at work?
Recently, the most fun problem to solve is related to working on our new, unreleased products. We’re re-designing a lot of our tools, and with a new look we want to include a new voice. That means we want the writing in our product to sound more lighthearted and more conversational. But we have to balance the less formal tone with a variety of factors.
For example, when I write something I have to ask myself: is this the right level of information, how can I balance technical information with a casual tone, will this sentence or word localize, etc. It’s definitely a fun challenge.
What about you might come as a surprise to those that work closely with you (hidden talents, etc.)?
If I have a hidden talent, it’s still hidden from even myself… but outside of work, I’m currently focusing on my poetry! I’m in the midst of doing a deep dive into the hundreds of poems I have amassed over the years. I took a break from my own writing so now I’m trying to get back out there, write, and submit to publications!
What’s the most memorable email campaign you’ve seen lately?
I recently signed up for a membership at Costco and their welcome series was fantastic! It was a three-part video series that focused on “making the most of your membership.” They let me know up front that I would be getting two more emails introducing different aspects of their stores and brands to me.
Tell me something I don’t know about writing.
Non-writers wouldn’t believe the amount of time and energy writers put behind the very small, but very important details. Like the Oxford comma, sentence case versus title case, and other microcopy sentences. We really obsess over the details, because the details matter.
What emails can we find in your personal inbox (i.e. what do you like to do outside of work)?
- Sephora—all of the cosmetic items I do not need
- Poem-a-day by poets.org—who doesn’t love to start their day with a poem?
- The New Yorker’s The Borowitz Report —fake news!
- Madewell—my all-time favorite retail store
What’s your favorite thing about working at Return Path?
My favorite thing about working at Return Path is continually growing as a writer, and the help I get along the way from all of my fabulous co-workers.
Thanks for chatting with us, Grayson. To learn about how Return Path can improve your email marketing, schedule a demo today. Tell them Grayson sent you!
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About Brittany Luebke
Brittany is a Digital Marketing Coordinator at Return Path. You can find her writing through our corporate social media channels - Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Outside of work, you can find Brittany spending time with her family, walking her dog, or cooking up something in the kitchen a la Martha Stewart. Connect with her on LinkedIn.