Laura Nelson Interview

Hello and welcome to this month’s interview on the Themeisle blog! For this one, we talked with Laura Nelson – content marketer at WooCommerce. She shared with us insights about her experience with WordPress, marketing tips, personal mission, and more.

Before letting Laura take the stage, don’t forget to read our last month’s interview with Val Vesa of Cloudflare. If you’re in the mood for more insights from WordPress professionals, check our entire collection of interviews, and pick your favorite ones for inspiration.

Laura Nelson Interview with Themeisle

Laura Nelson is an “Automattician” in charge of producing content that brings leads and conversions.

Her favorite marketing technique is email marketing. She actually just held a talk at this year’s WordCamp Europe in Porto teaching the audience how to create a paid newsletter subscription in WordPress (talk excerpt).

Her love for email marketing started at MailPoet, where she was in charge of their marketing strategy.

When MailPoet was acquired by WooCommerce in 2020, Laura joined the marketing team embracing the challenges of this new and exciting journey in her career. But here’s Laura telling the story herself:

Laura Nelson Interview – “TikTok enables brands to get super creative in the way they market their products, and offers a unique way of connecting with customers”

When and how did you start working with WordPress? Is there an interesting story here?

Laura Nelson:

My first experience with WordPress was back in 2011 when I was at University – I used it to start a blog on videogames, where I’d post reviews and analyse the ins and outs of games that I enjoyed playing. Unfortunately, I wasn’t super clued up on security and maintenance at that time and it got hacked, so I had to abandon that project 😅

But shortly after graduating, I landed a digital marketing role at a very small creative agency that specialized in WordPress websites, and that’s where my professional career in WP began. 😊

How do you define “being successful”?

Laura Nelson:

Ooh, good question! This has changed for me a bit in recent years. I used to think being successful was tied to fancy job titles and seniority, but I soon realised that the quest for this so-called “success” wasn’t making me happy. But now, I define “being successful” as getting enjoyment out of what I do on a daily basis and knowing that I’ve made an impact on someone, somewhere.

Describe the WordPress community in one word.

Laura Nelson:


What are some good techniques to market a product at this moment?

Laura Nelson:

I’m going to give an annoying marketing answer now – “it depends.” 😅 It really depends on who your audience is, and what type of products you’re marketing. But saying that, I’ll almost never not recommend email marketing as an effective technique for marketing a product.

It’s so versatile as a channel, and there are so many different ways of using it at every stage of the customer journey. I’d recommend setting up a “welcome email” following a customer’s first purchase at your store – you can use this email to thank them for making a purchase, introduce your brand, and promote other products related to their initial purchase.

Following that, you should try and personalize your email marketing according to your customers’ interests and purchase history, where possible, instead of sending just one general email to your entire audience.

I would also like to give TikTok a mention here – #tiktokmademebuyit is real! TikTok enables brands to get super creative in the way they market their products to their target audience and offers a unique way of connecting with customers.

What should never be missing from an effective email newsletter?

Laura Nelson:

I have two key pieces of advice – both of which might sound obvious, but they’re the two mistakes I most commonly see in newsletters! For a newsletter to be effective, it should:

Only contain the content that you promised when folks signed up. For example, if you encouraged signups by saying “For weekly tips and tricks on how to code using Javascript, sign up to receive our newsletter!” do not start using your email newsletter to sell your web development services, or share content that’s not related to that topic. It’ll only annoy people and they’re more likely to disengage with your newsletter. Instead, keep things on point, make sure you’re always providing value, and try and position yourself as the reader and really think about what they’d like to receive in a newsletter.

Include an unsubscribe link. This is a legal requirement in most countries and is so important for your reputation. You obviously want people to stay on your list, but the way to do that is to ensure that you’re consistently providing value – not by making it impossible for them to opt-out of receiving your emails. I’m still shocked by the number of emails I see without this, and it’s a sure-fire way to lose trust and respect from your audience.

What are the main changes that MailPoet went through since joining WooCommerce?

Laura Nelson:

I’m sure you’ll get a different answer to this depending on who in MailPoet you speak to. 😅

But for me, there was one very big change – after a couple of months, I was moved to a different team (the WooCommerce Marketing team), instead of being a dedicated resource for MailPoet.

I was the only person in MailPoet to completely change teams, and I’m not going to lie, that was pretty scary at first! However, it’s been such a positive change for me – I love working with fellow marketing enthusiasts!

Culture-wise, I feel that MailPoet and WooCommerce (plus Automattic as a whole) were pretty similar anyway. So the biggest challenge here was adapting from a 13-person company to one that was almost 1,300 when we joined.

What is driving you to keep doing what you’re doing? What’s your personal mission?

Laura Nelson:

My cat yelling at me for food. 😂 Just kidding! Our words hold so much power, and having the opportunity to spend my days crafting copy that can inspire, educate, or delight, really fills me with joy. Being able to make an experience better or clearer for someone through the use of copy is a challenge that I relish and enjoy.

That sums up our Laura Nelson interview. If you enjoyed it and want to learn more, please leave your comments in the section below. Also, if you have any ideas for who we should talk to next, feel free to share your suggestions with us!

Yay! 🎉 You made it to the end of the article!

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Or start the conversation in our Facebook group for WordPress professionals. Find answers, share tips, and get help from other WordPress experts. Join now (it’s free)!