“No, not spam! People opt-in for our emails, and we create newsletters, auto responders, retail emails, things like that” is how Jordan Hellyer describes his business in layman’s terms to colleagues at cocktail parties. Starting a business during a recession might hold some back, but not this YP, eager to make his dream a reality in today’s YED…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I’m the President of Easy Email Solutions. We’re an online marketing company specializing in email marketing. The company kicked off in 2008, and since then has grown to 170 clients, three permanent employees and five part-time freelancers.
Why did you start your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
It was the fall of 2008. The downturn was happening, people were panicking, and I was working at a big, well known ad agency. Many were just happy to have a job, but all I could think about was running my own company! I thought that, in the face of economic crises, small and mid-sized companies wouldn’t cut advertising all together – they’d just stop expensive advertising, and switch over to tactics with better ROI, like email marketing and PPC. A small, nimble company would be well-positioned to help them with that. Thankfully, it worked out, and we’ve gone from zero to 170 clients in three years!
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part of my job is when we have a new client relationship, and it’s up to us to chart a course forward for their marketing. It’s exciting, challenging, and thought provoking – and the results let you know if you were right or not! The most challenging part would be occasional server crashes and things like that, but they’re not too common (thankfully)!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I’m not sure email marketing will exist in five years, (perhaps we’ll be chatting to each other via holograms instead of smart phones?) but I think the base values of running a good marketing business are timeless: solid strategy, responsiveness, collaboration with your clients, and strong execution. In five years hopefully we’ll be a major player on the Toronto agency scene with excellent, cutting-edge clients. How does “Easy Hologram Marketing Solutions” sound as a company name?
What does success look like to you?
Dollars and cents are always a factor, but to me success means being able to follow your passions. Running Easy Email Solutions is the overriding passion for me, but I’m also passionate about other areas of my life. The nice thing about running your own company is that you’re able to dedicate a bit of time in a day to those areas as well.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
When I started the company, getting our first client was a big and memorable milestone –it proved that you could get a client! Then we passed 100 clients – even better! More recently, I was very excited to be one of the finalists at the Notable Awards.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
A lot of potential entrepreneurs get hung up on the first step – starting the business! They’re afraid of making the leap and what that could mean. My advice: Go for it! Jump, and you’ll find yourself very dedicated to landing well!
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I’m lucky enough to sit as the Vice President of the Audrey S. Hellyer Charitable Foundation, which is a family foundation that my great grandfather started. Through this association I’ve had the pleasure and opportunity to work with a number of not-for-profit and charitable organizations, and help them reach their goals.
What to you is notable?
Passion is notable. There’s nothing better than chatting with someone who is clearly passionate about something, should it be a business, a film, a band, or a not-for-profit. I think we live in an age that encourages being slightly interested in everything, and discourages being truly passionate about specific things, and I’m always in awe of people who can buck that trend.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
My last iPhone met an devastating end this weekend during an unfortunate incident (flying out of my hand and onto the sidewalk) but a quick replacement has me back in business!