So about a year ago I did a post on My Short List of Rising Email Stars.  Just like last year, I draw the line on email veterans as more than seven years, so once again I’m drawing the line on rising stars at less than seven years.  Last year all but one on my list came from the client side.  This year I’m going to flip that around with all coming from the industry side but one.  Once again, all are people that I know, have worked with, or have caught my attention for one reason or another.

And so, without further gilding the lily,

And with no more ado,

I give to you my 2011 list of rising email stars….

Shannon Holato, Sr. Email Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Red Pill Email; 3.5 years – I’ve known Shannon for a few years.  She’s smart, she’s funny, and she can Wii bowl like nobodys business.  Very detailed and excellent with both prospects and clients, Shannon knows what to ask to get to the heart of the client’s needs and wants and knows the difference.  Her recommendations to clients are always spot-on and brings a positive impact to their bottom line.

Kelly Lorenz, Email Marketing Strategist, Bronto; 3 years – One of the things that I find most impressive about Kelly is that she’s not afraid to “get into the mix”.  Where many people young in the email space voice an opinion and then try to back it up later, Kelly does her homework and then forms her opinions based her own observations and research.  When Kelly talks, be sure to listen!

Jessica Best, Marketing Manager, emfluence; 2.5 years – While Jessica is relatively new to the scene, what struck me right away was her spunk and energy.  Not only to get into a conversation with someone, but a willingness to learn and listen. Jessica is not afraid to come up to any seasoned veteran and introduce herself either.  She wants to learn and is not afraid to ask the hard questions that keeps the long-time pros on their toes.

Justine Jordan, Marketing Director, Litmus; 1.5 years – Justine is an up and comer that started out with Exact Target, and in a daring move, moved half way across the country to work for Litmus; a little company with big ideas and great movement forward.  Her involvement in the industry to date has been one of learning and questions, but also taking a stance on issues and getting her name and thoughts out there. 

Amy Garland, Marketing Manager, Blue Sky Factory; 2.5 years – This is Amy’s second year on this list of rising email stars.  She made the first list due to her position email marketing for an ESP.  I still can’t imagine what it takes to find a balance in sending email for an ESP, but I think that it’s pretty safe to say that she’s lived the email life from both sides – all at the same place.

Amanda Gagnon, Education Marketing Associate, AWeber; 1.5 years– Another relatively new face on the email scene, Amanda writes educational materials for AWeber.  In order to effectively write educational materials in  an industry you need to roll up your sleeves and learn everything about it that you can.  That can be pretty intimidating knowing that there are guys like me ready to call you out at the first hint of BS.  I don’t expect to be calling BS on Amanda any time soon….

Justin Premick, Director of Educational Marketing, AWeber; 6.5 years – Justin just makes it under the wire as one of the 2011 rising stars of email marketing; another couple of months and he’ll fall into the email veterans category.  Justin works hard in helping to move the industry forward by educating not only AWeber clients on how to become better email marketers, but non-clients as well.

Kent McGovern, Email Delivery and Abuse,; 5 years– Kent is one of the behind-the-scenes unsung heros of the email industry interfacing with both clients and ISPs.  He helps to teach clients how to stay out of hot water with ISPs, while at the same time monitoring complaints and mediating an equitable resolution between client and ISP alike.  He is the abuse department for, and I’m sure that he gets more than his share on a regular basis.

Jim Ducharme, Writer & Digital/Social Media Analyst, Hugehead; 1.5 years– What can I say about Jim that he’d pay me for, or not bitch-slap me for?  From the hours that we’ve spent on the phone, on Skype, email, or Twitter, I can say first-hand that Jim researches his topics in great detail before he puts fingers to the keyboard.  Jim’s thought provoking style always causes me to dig a little deeper when forming an opinion.

Erika Roe, Matching Gift Manager & Email Marketing, NC State University; 5 years – Erika is the only one on this year’s list of rising email stars that comes from the client side.  Very detailed, well-spoken, and sweet as can be, Erika’s talents go beyond that of your average email marketer.  She understands the nuances of good website design (which leads to good landing page design), and email design and messaging alike.  Erika not only knows email’s Best Practices and how to implement them, but how to get executive buy-in as well.  Keep your eyes on Erika!