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Romper Room and the E-mail Industry

  |  April 28, 2008   |  Comments

In the hard cold business world, how can we as grown-ups keep growing and learning along with our peers?

This column will be a bit different than my typical columns. I won't share e-mail strategies, bulleted suggestions, or even cool examples. Instead, I'll give some much needed and well deserved kudos to those professionals in the e-mail industry who keep the business alive and kicking. Hopefully it will inspire you and make you smile.

I'm going date myself with the next sentence, but don't care. Do you remember the TV show, "Romper Room," from the '70s? The show was filled with a lot of educational content and socialization skills all communicated through a friendly, fun, and socially supportive environment. My favorite part came at the end when the host picked up the "magic mirror" and told TV land who she saw having a great time along with the cast. As a loyal advocate, I always waited with bated breath knowing she was going to see me and say my name. (By the way, she never did.)

(You can watch it here to understand what's talking. Go to 6:13 to see the magic mirror section.)

Many of the TV shows of the '70s were like that. They offered us safe, fun social settings where we could learn along with our peers, and not be afraid to make a mistake every once and awhile. Out of that culture and era, it grew a whole big batch of 30-somethings who now have important jobs and make big decisions every day.

In the hard cold world of business, where' s the "Romper Room" for grown-ups? How do we keep growing and learning along with our peers? I think that the e-mail industry very well could be the "Romper Room" of our era. As I spend more time with the communities that exist around other industries such as search, mobile, social, online, high-tech, publishing, healthcare etc., I have yet to find a community that's as warm and inviting as the e-mail industry.

Over the past five years, I've watched this industry grow from a technically specific product-focused world into an industry of fabulous and intelligent people. Anyone who works in the e-mail industry should be assured of one thing: You will not only learn your craft from experts, but this community will be there to support and guide you along the way. You are fortunate to be part of this experience.

People like Dylan Boyd, David Daniels, Loren McDonald, David Baker, and Tamara Gielen are priceless. They tirelessly work to evangelize the successes and strengths of e-mail.

People like Stephanie Miller, Chad White, Justin Foster, Ali Swerdlow, Mark Brownlow, Joel Book, Lauren Skena, and DJ Waldow selflessly bend over backwards to help anyone who asks them for guidance, statistics or case studies, to ensure e-mail marketing remains respected and credible.

People like David Atlas, Kay Cavender, Deirdre Baird, Lana McGilvray, Kath Pay, Des Cahill, Skip Fidura, Richard Gibson, and Lisa Harmon push us to strive to reach the next level of excellence in everything we do with e-mail.

And I would be remiss to leave out people like; Matt Blumberg, Al DiGuido, Bill Nussey, Bill McCloskey, and Rob Fitzgerald who aren't satisfied with e-mail being considered a silo'd channel and have dedicated years and years to ensuring the level of respect and reach for the industry is broadened into the realm of "digital."

My list could go on for days. (Apologies to anyone not listed). If you haven't yet run into at least one of these industry icons (and Email Experience Council members), seek them out and introduce yourself to them. Through Facebook, Linked in, at a conference, or on the streets of New York, Massachusetts or even California. A quick chat, e-mail or even cup of coffee with any of these people will broaden your outlook on e-mail, challenge your thoughts (for the better) and leave you feeling excited, invigorated and proud to be a part of this very tightly woven and supportive community.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeanniey Mullen

Jeanniey Mullen is the vice president of marketing at NOOK by Barnes and Noble, focused on business growth and customer acquisition.

Prior to her role at NOOKTM Jeanniey launched a wearables fashion technology company called Ringblingz. Before getting into the wearables business, Jeanniey was the chief marketing officer (CMO) of Zinio, where she grew the business by more than 427 percent, into one of the largest global digital newsstands. Other notable roles in her career include her involvement as the executive director and senior partner at OgilvyOne, where she led the digital Dialogue business and worked with Fortune 50 brands including IBM, Unilever, and American Express, and being a general manager at Grey Direct. At Grey Direct Jeanniey launched the first email marketing division of a global advertising agency. Prior to her time in advertising, Jeanniey spent seven years in retail leading a variety of groups from Consumer Relations and Operations, to Collections and Digital at JCPenney.

One of Jeanniey's favorite times in her career was when she founded the Email Experience Council (which was acquired by the Direct Marketing Association). Jeanniey is a recognized "Women in Business," a frequent keynote speaker, and has authored three books and launched a number of companies ranging from entertainment to technology and fashion.

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