One year is ending and another beginning, which usually brings with it a sense of promise and potential, as we look ahead to everything that could happen in 2017. What better time for me as a marketer to take stock of the up-and-coming bloggers in the email marketing field to whom we should be paying attention in the months, right?
As I came up with this topic, it sounded like an easy enough task, and one that would ensure I was up-to-date with my industry. It wasn’t an easy task. And it turns out I wasn’t ever out of step.
How do you find young email marketing experts anyway?
To start my search, I asked friends in the email marketing industry to suggest young email marketers we should be paying attention to during this coming year. Here’s what happened:
- I got names of people known for great marketing advice, but not for being email marketers. (And a few weren’t exactly young and new to the scene either.)
- I got names of people who tweet but don’t blog. Sure, they’re in email, and yes, they are young, and apparently they have a lot to say. But they say it in 140 characters, not 1,400 words—not so useful, that.
- I got names of people who already have a reputation in the industry for being thought leaders and experts. (I didn’t need those names. I had them.)
- And one blog post that was recommended to me was supposed to list 20 email marketing experts, yet one-fourth of those on the list were copywriters, and only two of the others were email experts—and they were already known to me. Not that I have anything against copywriters! I simply don’t understand why they would make up a list of top email marketers when email is so much more than content alone. Nor am I clear why a list of 20 top email marketers only included two email marketers…
As all of this played out, I realized this wasn’t going to be easy. And Google? Google wasn’t much help. You can find all kinds of lists of marketing blogs you “should” be reading, but email marketing experts specifically? Exact search results = zero.
In the end, I got a little frustrated, I admit. But I persevered.
There ain’t a lot of blogging going on
Here’s what I did: I checked out everyone recommended to me, to see whether or not they’re producing useful content that will help people like you and me do a better job at email marketing in 2017. And here’s what I learned:
- There’s more tweeting than blogging going on among the younger email marketers.
- It’s really really hard to find people who are recognized for being experts in email marketing—not digital marketing, not online marketing, not content marketing—email marketing only.
What does this say about our industry that we seem to have a dearth of young marketers writing in-depth, useful, practical content for others to learn from?
I have nothing against Twitter. I love Twitter. Heck, I’m on Twitter (@indiescott). But there is only so much wisdom to be gained from a tweet, and I wonder what this says about how our industry will share (or won’t share) advice and best practices in the future…
The young ones aren’t necessarily blogging, but they have lots to say
So the young email marketers, they are on Twitter. I didn’t include anyone in this post that was only on Twitter, because I don’t find that to be useful information. Unless the marketer was tweeting as well as producing some kind of other content, they didn’t make my cut. (You can argue with me about the fairness of that decision in the comments below, but hey, it’s my list.)
Here are the four young email marketers who did make the cut:
More than one person suggested Jaina Mistry as a young email marketer to watch. I like Jaina. As with the other young ones, Jaina isn’t a prolific blogger, with only occasional posts on the Litmus blog, but she is active on Twitter @jainamistry
Phrasee.co led me to Jacques Corby-Tuech, on Twitter @iamacyborg. Again, no blog although plenty of cool tweets, but what drew me to this young email marketer is a side project: “The No BS Guide to Email Marketing.” With this project, he and others are helping email marketers to help themselves to do email better. (And maybe that is what will replace blogging as the information source for email marketers seeking out best practices?)
There is one young email marketer who is blogging, however, and that’s Justin Khoo. His posts are highly technical and deep dives into email development. They aren’t for everyone, obviously, but he is one to watch as he is creating the kind of rich content we seem to be lacking.
Another young one, Kristin Bond is also blogging (on occasion only) at Email Snarketing, and she’s busy on Twitter @emailsnarketing, calling out silliness in the industry. Her writing style is fun and she makes good points, but you’ll likely find more from her on Twitter than in the blogosphere.
Then I turned to the tried-and-true
That’s admittedly a short list—too short. Four? Just four young, up-and-coming email marketing bloggers to watch, only one of which is really actively blogging? Yep.
Ironically all of this effort led me back to the tried-and-true email experts who are blogging and creating the content that’s truly useful. I’d be remiss to ignore them in pursuit of the new when they offer what I was hoping to find elsewhere: knowledge and wisdom that’s current with the ever-changing field of email marketing.
I offer you my five favorites here:
Chad White remains a voice of reason in the industry blogging at Email Marketing Rules, a guide to email marketing best practices. On Twitter @chadswhite.
One of the “founding fathers,” if you will, Loren McDonald is another seasoned, experienced and wise email marketing expert who continues to offer in-depth and practical content via his blog. On Twitter @lorenmcdonald.
Email consultant Jeanne Jennings will pick apart an email message to make points in her blog, and all of her advice is stuff any marketer can learn from. On Twitter @jeajen.
Ryan Phelan blogs on practical matters, sometimes calling us out when it needs to happen, as in his post on nothing will change in 2017 until we change how we think about email. On Twitter @ryanpphelan.
Jordie van Rijn is known the world over as a prolific email content producer, he’s my partner in Alfred Knows and the author of the annual Future of Email Marketing compilation that he pulls together each year by surveying other industry experts for their predictions. On Twitter @jvanrijn.
So, young email marketers, should you have made the cut but didn’t? That’s probably because I haven’t seen your stuff. Send it my way. I could use a little reassurance that creating rich content still has its place in our busy email world…and I’d love to champion your cause as one of the up-and-coming young marketers I was seeking out when I started this journey!
And let’s not forget the ever on the rise Roland Pokornyik who blogs at chamaileon.io and Zoran Orak who’s off to a strong start with zoranorak.com.
Thanks for the shout out! zoranorak.com is not more than 2 weeks old, but the goal is to be a place where every week you’ll be able to find a high quality long content related to email marketing.
We definitely need to show people how powerful emails still are if used properly.
Thanks for the mention Scott, really appreciated! On the blog of http://chamaileon.io I strive to publish top quality, less boring articles compared to what people can usually read on most email marketing blogs.
I especially like your approach for content production, since you don’t focus on “mainstream” questions and always publish interesting reads, like this one.
Congrats. 😉 Keep up the great work!
Thanks for the inclusion, Scott—a nice surprise to wake up to on a Thursday morning 🙂
Twitter is becoming the defacto standard way of bringing something to the attention of the masses. Something that’s a little harder to do on blogs. But you’re right—140 characters is nowhere near enough characters to truly get any deep point across. Your post has inspired me to get blogging again 🙂
There are a ton more out there, but I totally agree with what you’ve put together so far. Some of my favorites include Carl at MailCharts (always doing a lot of analysis in each weekly blog post), McKenzie Gregory at Emma (her showdown articles are great), Kevin Moran and Jason Rodriguez at Litmus (in addition to Jaina), and Elliott Ross at Action Rocket / Taxi for Email.
Right on Mike, thanks so much. Another one I forgot was April Mullen (@aprildmullen) who writes on email for Mediapost.
Great recommendations for new and established email bloggers! I’m now going to follow the ones who are new to me. Thanks!