Issue 45: Notecards from the Edge
From Serial Marketer: "The Cutting Edge of Marketing”

I'm back into the habit of sending notecards... from the edge.

They're not from the bleeding edge, but some kind of edge nonetheless - of online and offline, humans and robots, personal and distant, old and new. Is it any wonder I love them?

The past couple months, I started revisited Bond, a tech startup I got to know and love a couple years ago but never used quite enough. The team there, led by one of my favorite founders, Sonny Caberwal, created little robots that used real pens on high-quality notecards to simulate the feel of handwriting. Through their site, you could type out a note, and choose one of a number of handwriting styles (including many that were kind of messy, which is fitting for a doctor's son like me). You could also customize the cards with your logo and other messaging, and then Bond would send them out for about $5 apiece (less if you paid for credits up front). 

Just as I was sending more of these, typically as thank you notes to people I've met, Bond informed customers last month that it was promptly shutting down. It had been acquired by Newell Rubbermaid in 2016, and this was the end of the road (at least for now). 

I had heard of another service or two, but as I publicly lamented Bond's end and gave kudos to Sonny on Twitter, a company I never heard of, Handwrytten, tweeted me back introducing themselves. I don't know how it works behind the scenes, but the customer-facing offering seemed similar - send customized notecards (or actual greeting cards) with your preferred handwriting style, including on the envelope. 

I tried out Handwrytten, and I've sent a few since; it's my go-to service for this now; I've updated my Top 100+ tech recommendations spreadsheet accordingly. Handwrytten seems to send cards faster, and there are more varieties with the design of the card you can send. You can also send one of many gift card options at whatever denomination you want (just a $5 minimum). You can't get credits up-front, and I can't compare the paper quality head-to-head, but I'm sold.

When I spent some time with Sonny in 2016 and got to tour Bond's offices, I had some lengthy discussions with him about what it meant to send something so personal but to not use your own handwriting for it. It seemed like such a sacrifice, as handwriting is one of those telltale signs of who we are. 

I will in no way properly do justice to Sonny's response, especially years later, but the impression I was left with is that getting the stationary (especially high-end paper), coming up with the idea of what to write, writing it, getting stamps, and mailing it is such a hassle of a process that most never attempt it. Bond (and related services) reduced the number of steps. The biggest challenge by far for Bond customers was coming up with what to write, and then turning it into a habit. For me, the writing was relatively less daunting, the cost was worth it, and the process was much smoother. In short, it was probably better (nicer paper than I'd use, more legible handwriting) and definitely faster (I'm still working on mailing something my kid drew in November for her cousins), even if it isn't cheaper. Two out of three? Not bad.

And so, my writing has been imprinted via some invisible hand and arriving via the post. The back of the notecard has my Serial Marketer logo, and the front says "Serially Thankful" up top with my name and website at the bottom. I may not ever touch these missives, but they feel more 'me' than not, and they deliver an often-forgotten form of human-to-human connection. 

Toying with the art of being mostly human is mostly what I've been making of myself lately. What about you - what are you making of yourself?



I had seen New New York Times on Twitter before but hadn't followed it until a few days ago when I noticed a few followees, including Toronto Star ace DC correspondent Daniel Dale, jumped on board. The account shares words that appear for the first time in The New York Times, including occasional typos like "wrirting." What prompted all the new followers was the term "deadass," amassing 15,000+ likes and 4,000+ retweets. Of course, I had to research this further, and it seems like Urban Dictionary first defined the term in 2004. Also, I didn't know that Timberland is the brand of choice for a certain kind of New Yorker cited in the most popular "deadass" definition. My pair of Timberlands, which my mom would only get me when my feet stopped growing, is the only pair of shoes I've had since high school, and they should last a couple more decades of New York City snowstorms. What an adaptable brand.

After writing about names last week, including the damage that the Theranos founder did to the name Elizabeth Holmes, reader Jeff Sass sent me this piece about the 857 people now grappling with name infamy.

Speaking of names, the LA Times trolled New Yorkers in a biting parody - except that this parody had to not just mention Son of Sam but also his real name. This will also likely be one of their most-read stories of the year. Any wonder why I don't shed a single drop of blood pitying the Elizabeth Holmeses of the world?

Okay, these lists are usually pretty hokey and obvious, but I saw a quite a few friends quoted here (Jeff Barrett, Ann Handley, Jay Baer, Ian Gartler and others), and a few have non-intuitive advice. Sorry to my buddies, but my favorite quote is from Guido Jansen at #3 because he includes the phrase, "They'll remember my stroopwafels." Worse catchphrases than that used to inspire SNL movies, and I'm going to try throwing that around out of context and see how that goes.

Mark Zuckerberg wants you to go to the library... of Facebook ads. This can be a resource for competitive intelligence or other research needs, as you can search the vast database of ads either about a topic or run by a page. Search the president's official page, for instance, and it's clear his team is very aggressive with A/B testing quite a few messages about how the Democrats are embracing "SOCIALISM" and how his administration is building "THE WALL" (their caps, not mine). You can also search other accounts where the ads aren't just old, white guys screaming at you.

As much as I tired of April Fool's stunts this year, prankster brand Burger King's timing proved brilliant, making quite a few people wonder if their Impossible Foods partnership was a hoax. This year, at CES, I had the Impossible Foods White Castle slider, and then I went back and had a few more the next day; it might be the best thing I ate that trip. I don't always love how restaurants cook the Impossible 'meat' (it is entirely plant-based protein), but White Castle's version was excellent. BK really is trying this out in St. Louis, and for those with any reservations about eating meat, whether moral or environmental or other, this could be a path to a less meat-dependent society.

P.S. You'll remember my stroopwafels!

(See, it works!)


Want to include your event below? Just reply with the details.

April 3, 1pm
What are the five main online advertising challenges blockchain solves? The Future of Blockchain Advertising webinar.  Register here. You'll hear from blockchain leaders Brave, Lucidity, and Rebel AI, hosted by NSM Research. Expect fraud prevention to be a hot topic. Register below.

April 3
Also the same day as the webinar, New Yorkers should attend this fantastic event series - one of my favorites. It's free, and they always get excellent presenters at the forefront of cutting edge ad tech.

April 5
Venice, Italy
The Crowdsourcing Week BOLD Awards, showcasing innovative businesses and individuals, will be a rewarding event for amazing projects, individuals and companies. Apply to attend.

April 10-12
The ANA Media Conference brings together media leaders to galvanize the industry and share actionable insights on the newest ways of connecting with today’s consumers.  Attendees will be able to network with more than 600 marketers to gain firsthand knowledge from those facing similar challenges. Speakers will cover the industry’s most critical topics including media agency reviews, e-commerce, voice/audio, GDPR, programmatic, transparency, data, owned media, in-house agencies, digital media, and more.  The agenda includes CMOs and Heads of Media from Procter & Gamble, The Hershey Company, JPMorgan Chase, MasterCard, Wayfair, GlaxoSmithKline, IHOP, Mars, Johnson & Johnson and more!  This conference was sold out ast year so register and reserve your seat.

April 11
Newark, NJ
Here's an afternoon event I'm excited to get to. "The Tech Council’s 22nd Venture Conference showcases the region’s most promising companies and offers insights from many of the nation’s top investors. We expect over 1,000 entrepreneurs, developers, angel investors, venture capitalists, investment bankers, lenders and business leaders as well as students and professional advisors from the region. The event will be held at the Wellness Center at NJIT in Newark."
Use code Sara25 for 25% off - an exclusive here from my friend Sara who's one of the organizers.

May 14-15
Techonomy is back with their next NYC installment, bringing together some of the world's foremost business leaders, pundits, and innovators - and it's the kind of event where practically every attendee could be a keynote speaker in their own right. They write, "Tech changes everything, which we love, but it can’t just be a way to make more money.  To figure out how to help the world move forward, we have to collaborate more. All this we discuss at Techonomy NYC." I'm looking forward to going to this one.

July 31-August 1
CommerceNext, the summit for next level customer acquisition (and one of the best events I've ever sponsored), is coming back to NYC. The 700+ person conference will have 80+ speakers from leading retailers, DTC brands and innovative tech companies. Speakers include Purple, TechStyle, Victoria’s Secret, Men’s Warehouse, Bonobos, Casper and more! Learn more: 


Reach out to me if you want introductions or any additional information. And let me know if you have other job postings you'd like to share.

Marketing Lead, Skillshare for Teams
A friend just joined, and I can connect you with her if you're interested: "As a Marketing Lead, you'll own all marketing activities related to our Skillshare for Teams (SFT) business. This includes planning, executing and measuring lead gen initiatives, owning our content marketing/ lead nurturing efforts and working with our sales team to optimize conversion. The ideal candidate is highly entrepreneurial and is comfortable wearing a large number of hats. They are skilled at both the quantitative and qualitative aspects of marketing, are ambitious, and adept at managing multiple projects simultaneously. Above all else, this individual needs to be highly impact-oriented and be able to work collaboratively across multiple teams."

Director of Product Marketing
Here's the listing, and I'm in touch with someone there (who's very active in the Slack group) if you need an intro. "The MightyHive Marketing team needs a Director of Product Marketing who can help communicate our singular expertise to prospects, clients, and partners. We’re looking for someone who has gotten their hands dirty in digital media and ad tech, and has the ability to communicate effectively, develop clear and impactful marketing materials, and cut through the noise. The Director of Product Marketing would join our US-based team, but would champion efforts that help define MightyHive’s offering across the world. This is a new role that is a perfect fit for a seasoned operator with the ability to bring attention to detail, enterprise-level polish to communications, and has a desire to build a function from the ground up. This role reports to the CMO.,%20Product%20Marketing/

Business Development Manager
"Come grow with us! Mattr is currently looking for a talented, driven individual to help grow and build awareness of our influencer marketing solution. As a Business Development Manager, you will be responsible for executing all steps in the sales cycle and closing new business." I can connect you with the CEO if you're interested.

Via Marc Blumberg in Slack: "5 open positions to fill here at Sellics, the leading all in one Amazon software, across sales and marketing." I can connect you with him, or DM him if you're in the Slack group.

Director, Revenue Generation
Director, Product Marketing
Botify is hiring a lot in marketing roles thanks to their new CMO, who just shared these in the Slack group. If you want an intro, let me know (or if you are part of Serial Marketers, you can find her posts and reach her directly). About Botify: "There are approximately 80,000 queries done every second on search engines. But more than 50% of pages on enterprise websites are not showing up at all in organic search results. That’s a ton of missed opportunity! Enter Botify. We are building the new standard in enterprise search marketing."

Demand Generation Marketing Manager
I met this company when they were launching and loved what they've been doing in the event space. This role could be more director-level for the right candidate. It was posted in Slack if you're in there, and I can connect you with the hiring lead. "SummitSync is the first Meeting Automation Platform (MAP) that helps B2B companies across the entire event arc - pre-show, real-time and post event analytics. We help companies drive more meetings and track the ROI across every event, year-over-year."

Senior Art Director
The A Team, is looking for a talented SENIOR ART DIRECTOR to join our NYC team.
Specific Job Requirements:
•    Responsible for the execution and on-time delivery of high quality creative materials.
•    Confers with the Creative Director and Account team to determine objectives, budget, background information, and presentation approaches, styles, and techniques.
•    Responsible for managing creative projects from inception to final release
•    Responsible finalizing the creation of all print/digital visual design, including typography, visual concept and logo design
Contact: Owen Boland - oboland (at)

Senior Manager, Performance Marketing & Analytics
A lead via a member of the Slack group: "Responsible for end-to-end project management of social media amplification and performance marketing for our influencer marketing and branded content business. This is a mid-level role with an emphasis on campaign management, reporting and performance analytics."

Content Manager
Via E.B. in Slack: This is a fun, fast-paced environment. Position includes client-facing opportunities. Must be strategic thinker with excellent writing, editing and organizational chops as well as deep understanding of this industry/terminology/issues and obstacles faced by both agencies and marketers.
Basic deliverables include:
1)    Manage proofreader and also help edit high volume of articles on media, marketing and advertising
2)    Support the publishing process between MediaVillage, our member partners, columnists and Head of Content Strategy
3)    Help build and manage multiple Editorial Calendars
4)    Ensure all publishing is on schedule/coordinate details internally and with clients
5)    Review all initial social media posts for accuracy and style
6)     Work with journalists to schedule interviews and participate in the approval process with clients
7)    Train to upload member content to CMS, and be a resource for miscellaneous publishing support
More details to the right potential candidates. EOE!
Please email me at Insites @


David Berkowitz, publisher


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(c) 2019 Serial Marketer
PS: Thank you so much for reading this.

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