It’s time once again for my annual Short List of Rising Email Stars.  In previous years client side email marketers have been acknowledged in even numbered years and the vendor side in odd.  As always the line between rising stars and veterans is seven years of email marketing experience.  As in 2014 this year’s list is both client and vendor side email marketers together.

And so, without further gilding the lily,

And with no more ado,

I give to you my 2015 list of rising email stars….

Stephanie DeWitt – Corporate Manager, Email & CRM at SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment: 4.5 years – I first met Stephanie a couple of years ago at Silverpop’s Amplify in Atlanta where she was a panelist in one of the sessions.  What impressed me most about Stephanie wasn’t just her knowledge of email marketing, but her willingness to share her real-world examples both good and bad.  Under Stephanie’s leadership Sea World’s email marketing has grown from a checkbox-channel into a powerful revenue machine.  Stephanie was also a finalist for the prestigious Stefan Pollard Email Marketer of the Year award this year.

John Koenig – Director, Enterprise Accounts at Liveclicker: 3 years – John was with WhatCounts when we first met before he moved over to Liveclicker.  I wish I had this guy’s energy!  Too many on the vendor side these days will smile at you politely while you speak, listen for keywords, then rattle off whatever part of their stock script most closely fits those keywords.  Not John; he actually listens and engages in conversation to try to help find a solution to fit your problem, rather than attempting to squeeze your problem into his solution.  Justin scored when he landed this guy!

Melissa O’Brien – Senior Email Campaign Specialist at Road Runner Sports; 4 years – To me there’s something extra special about femail (see what I did there@f0) geeks writing SQL, so Melissa gets extra points right off the bat.  Melissa reminds me a lot of me in my “in the trenches” days, except younger and with more hair – which is good with her being a girl and all.  Melissa totally understands the pressures of the “front line” of email marketing, and her skill set puts her toe-to-toe with industry veterans.  Building out and managing complex campaigns is just another day’s work for Melissa.  Keep an eye on this one; she’s going places in email!

Nick Wheatley – Enterprise Software Sales Executive at Liveclicker: 5.5 years – How did two guys from Liveclicker both end up on this list@f1  I swear that Justin has not been sticking any of those singles that he carries around into my bra (or any other) strap.  Like his colleague, John Koenig, above, Nick invests himself in understanding his clients needs so that he can detail a workable solution capable of generating the positive results his clients seek.  I saw Nick recently at Sherpa Email in Las Vegas.  I hear he got married while he was there; I’ve done that a couple of times, myself….

Ashley Scott – Sr Manager, Email Marketing at Competitor Group: < 1 years – Ashley is another very talented femail (see, I did it again) geek from Southern California living in the trenches of email marketing and cutting her own SQL code.  The shear volume of campaigns Ashley produces and deploys in a single day – and all for different project owners – would make the most seasoned email marketers take pause – and she’s been at it for less than a year!  The deep understanding of all things email that Ashley exhibits and applies is amazing for someone so new to email marketing.

Robert Beckman – Email Marketing Manager at CenturyLink: 2.5 years – I have spies; spies that point out email geeks like Robert; an experienced analyst that somewhere along the line decided to give this whole, “email thing” a shot.  Let’s just think about that for a minute; a numbers geeks turned email geek.  Cool.  Moving seamlessly between brands targeting both B2B and B2C markets, Robert knows what it takes to drive results.  Combining multiple disciplines from tactical and technical to content and design and more, Robert is sure to be an email powerhouse.

Nicole Martin – Email Marketing Manager at Swell: 4 years – Like I said, I’ve got spies….  And this is not a SoCal conspiracy, either.  Nicole reminds me a lot of 2012 Rising Star and 2015 Stefan Pollard Award Winner, Alessandra Souers, as a coder with a knack for writing compelling content – or is she a writer with a knack for coding@f2  Eh, whatever; she excels at both and it doesn’t stop there when it comes to understanding and maximizing all of the moving parts of email marketing.  Nicole is ambidextrous when it comes to enterprise platforms, too – something I can really relate to….