For the last couple of years I’ve posted My Short List of Rising Email Stars.  The first year had most coming from the client side of email, and last year from the vendor side.  I like patterns, so this year it’s back to mostly client-side email marketers.  Once again I’m drawing the line on email marketing rising stars as less than seven years in email marketing.  In year’s past I’ve had the opportunity to work with several of the rising stars; this year most have caught my attention by their activity in the email space.

And so, without further gilding the lily,

And with no more ado,

I give to you my 2012 list of rising email stars….

Wai Lin Yip, Email Marketing Manager at Jetsetter.com; 5.5 years – I never got the opportunity to work with Wai Lin, she worked for a company that I did about 2.5 years after I left.  Having worked there myself as a one-man department and later as a consultant, I know that anyone in email at that company has been tempered by fire and has earned their street cred.  Wai Lin gave me one of the complements that I’m most proud of in my email career when she once said, “I used to work for… at … and he told me that you set up the all the (automated) emails there. It’s the most brilliant setup I’ve seen before or since.”  now if that doesn’t warrant the top spot in My 2012 Short List of Rising Email Stars I don’t know what does….

Chester Bullock, Senior Manager, Email Development at Merkle; 3 years – Chester has been around the Web as long as I have.  That leads a lot of people to believe that he’s been in email marketing more than the 3 short years that he has.  His years of Web Development, mad data programming skills and natural affinity toward marketing make Chester a triple threat.  One of the things that first struck me about Chester was his honesty in looking at a situation and his ability to clearly describe its options.  Chester is certainly one to keep your eyes on.

Kelley Grosskopf, Email Marketing Manager at Copart; 6 months – Kelley is my cousin; second cousin once removed to be precise.  So is this a nepotism thing? That might get you noticed, but it doesn’t get you listed here.  Kelley stands on her own skills and abilities.  She cut her database teeth as an intern at Neiman Marcus before plying her content skills at companies like the Everest Group and Xerox’s ACS.  While you’ll be reading a lot in 2012 about Content Marketing, Kelley’s already applying it in the email channel.  Smart marketers learning to craft value-based messaging will keep their eyes on Kelley.

Alexandro Romeo, Email Marketing Manager at Houseparty Inc.; 6 years – Here’s a guy named Romeo that works for a company named Houseparty; does it get any better?  I first came across Alexandro on Bill McCloskey’s Only Influencers.  The first rule of Only Influencers is that we don’t talk about Only Influencers.  I’m not sure if that comes from Fight Club or AA; whatever…. I can’t tell you about the conversations that take place on Only Influencers, but I can tell you that from Alex’s conversations he’s one smart well-rounded guy that knows his email well.

Samantha Iodice, Email Marketing Specialist at TransUnion; 3 years – Samantha first caught my attention on a couple of the LinkedIn groups that I moderate, where she quickly became a welcome addition that keeps the conversation going.  She’s like the Energizer Bunny of email that sometimes wears me out trying to keep up.  I’m not sure the last time I’ve seen someone so new in the space embrace it with such vigor; I wish more did; email marketing needs more people with the passion and energy of Samantha Iodice.

Nathan Fehler, Email Marketing Manager at SolarWinds; 6 years – Nathan and I first met back when he was with Datran Media handling Deliverability.  I’ve always known him to be a straight-shooter and someone adept at coloring within the lines.  It was great to see Nathan venture out to the client side where sometimes the lines blur, and sometimes don’t exist.  But Nathan doesn’t need lines; he has the knowledge and experience to make is own and make them perform.

Alessandra Souers, Director of Email Marketing; 6 years – I can’t remember who it was that pointed Alessandra out to me, but whoever it was I owe them some thanks.  A designer that codes and writes compelling content; you just don’t find those every day.  Actually it’s rare to find them at all, and even more so that truly understand the numbers behind it all.  It’s like her left and right brain are connected; all the time.  It’s weird.  It’s cool.  I wish I could do it, but I don’t think I have a right side to my brain.

Andrew Falwell, Email Marketing Manager at QuantiaMD; 6 years – Andy is another one from Only Influencers, and he’s a regular contributor on many email-related LinkedIn Groups as well.  I always look forward to reading Andy’s comments and opinions; they’re always well-thought and grounded in real-world experience.  That takes time and attention to detail, and that takes patience.  While he’s very smart, Andy is also very humble and that makes him easy to get along with.  I could probably learn a few lessons from Andy….

Ali Swerdlow, Director of the Email Experience Council; 6 years – Swerd Up!  Ali’s such a fixture in the email space and the eec that most forget, if they even knew, that Ali is an email number-crunching strategist from way back; like six years back.  Six years doesn’t seem that long ago to me, but  I’m old so we have to take that into account.  When I first met Ali I thought she was an acronym for Alice, Laura, and Ingrid, because she has the smarts and does the work of about three people.  I don’t think any one person is as plugged in to the Industry as Ali, and her experience speaks for itself.

Corey Bauer, Sr. E-Marketing Specialist at Land’s End; 6 years, 10 months – Just sliding in under the seven-year wire (because I did the math and bumped this post up a couple of months), Corey is this year’s rising star that most reminds me of me – a ten years ago email me.  I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing; the jury is still out on that one.  He knows all of the moving parts of email marketing, some that don’t move, and some that should but don’t.  He knows how to navigate his environment to get things done, done right, and done on time.  His passion for email is infectious and motivating.  Hell, just thinking about it makes me want to do a better job….