Email Mythology, Part I: Goddesses of Email Deliverability

What if we created mythological characters for the world of Email?   In Greek mythology, a large number of gods and goddesses live together among the impeccably shaped clouds on the peak of Mount Olympus.  On the mountainside, they work together, occasionally squabble, and use their powers to meddle in the affairs of humans.  Hermes the “messenger” God, (appropriately named) was the master of meddle..:)

The world of email deliverability seems, at first glance, to bear little resemblance to Greek mythology.  However, there are some similarities.  In the email industry, many dedicated professionals use their talents to make sure that email keeps progressing as new innovations come to light.  A particularly fine group of individuals are responsible for overseeing a crucially important aspect of the email industry: email deliverability.  After all, if emails never make it to the inbox, they cannot do anyone any good.

The purpose of this two-part series is to profile a few of these “gods and goddesses” who keep watch over the inboxes of the world, ensuring that legitimate email can be delivered.  This installment will take a look at some of the goddesses of deliverability, highlighting their invaluable contributions to the industry.   It is important to note, there is no special pecking order of the Godesses highlighted below; and more importantly omissions are evidence that on Mount Olympus, that Gods, especially Hermes, possessed of fallibility..:)

Alyssa Nahatis is the Director of Deliverability Operations at Experian CheetahMail.  She specializes in global email deliverability and oversees CheetahMail’s virtual global deliverability team by coordinating with counterparts in the UK, France, Germany, Australia, China & Japan.  According to the website http://www.emailresponsibly.com, “If this blog were a deliverability dojo, Alyssa would be the sensei and we’d all be her best pupils.  She shares her black-belt level deliverability tips with us (to be used only for self-defense, of course).”

Kelly Hogan is a deliverability services specialist at Experian CheetahMail.  One of Kelly’s areas of expertise  is on display in a blog post she published on her company’s Email Responsibly blog, titled “Best Practices for Cross-Promoting Sister Brands.” Kelly provides would-be email marketers with a set of do’s and don’t’s that are very helpful in learning how to “cross-promote the right way via email.”

Laura Atkins is the owner of Word to the Wise, a well- respected leader deliverability consultancy and services provider.  Laura lives and breathes email deliverability and her consulting company has not only earned astonishing word-of-mouth praise, she’s also proactive in industry specific conferences.

Tara Natanson is Constant Contact’s manager of ISP relations. She focuses on increasing email deliverability and staying current with email best practices. With more than 10 years of email industry experience, she is a member of the Email Senders and Providers Coalition (ESPC) and is the co-chair of the Senders group within the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG). Within these groups she collaborates gracefully with other email service providers and ISPs to reduce network abuse. Tara works hard to make sure the email industry continues to have a place for small businesses.  (from http://blogs.constantcontact.com)

Nancy Harris is the Senior Manager of Deliverability at Fishbowl. She works tirelessly to improve email marketing campaigns at restaurants and other businesses.  Nancy’s passion for email deliverability is pronounced and always proactive at industry events.

Kelly Molloy works at SpamCop and has been described as a member of the “Anti-Spam Army.”

Christine Borgia works as Senior Director of Receiver Services at Return Path.  Christine writes, “I am an accomplished Senior Email and Deliverability Professional with experience managing an international team of diverse technical and services professionals. I have a proven track record of excellent executive-level email deliverability support, have professional contacts industry-wide, and am a leader in the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group. I have experience building teams from the ground up to meet changing business needs, a passion for process improvement, and a strong history of turning around broken processes and underperforming teams.”

Additionally, the Return Path website sings Christine’s praises, saying “Christine Borgia worked on the email frontlines every day as the leader of the AOL Postmaster team. In her role as Senior Director, Receiver Services at Return Path she will work closely with all ISPs and enterprises using Return Path’s tools and reputation data. Borgia will act as a resource and facilitator to help ISPs and other email receivers integrate and maximize their use of Return Path’s services and tools to help themselves save time and money.”

Tami Forman is the Senior Director of Global Corporate Communications at Return Path. She is in charge of internal and external messaging strategy, including public relations and content development.

Heather Lord works as a Senior Engineer for Comcast.

Stephanie Miller is one of the “goddesses” at the forefront of the industry.  She currently works for Aprimo, Inc. as VP of Digital Messaging Solutions.  The website http://www.emarketingandcommerce.com calls Stephanie “a relentless customer advocate and a champion for amazing inbox experiences.  An email, deliverability and social marketing expert, she helps retail, travel, financial services, B2B, publishing and other marketers to optimize response and revenue from their online channels. She speaks and writes regularly for the industry and is very active in several direct marketing and anti-spam organizations.”

Margaret Farmakis is the Senior Director of Response Consulting at Return Path.  Her area of expertise is email campaign strategy and branding.  She uses her extensive knowledge to help email marketers grow their subscriber bases and improve their programs.

Karen Balle works at ExactTarget email marketing, in her role as deliverability consultant.

Michelle Eichner is Vice President of Email Products at Unica Corporation.  She is recognized as a leader in marketing software solutions.  Michelle is one of the most accomplished Goddesses in the Email Deliverability space.

Annalivia Ford, according to her website http://wwww.annaliviaford.com, is a long time anti-spam expert.  She has been in the profession of blocking the bad guys and helping to translate ISP requirements into language that senders can understand for nearly a decade now. She got into fighting spam as an amateur 13 years ago.

Kiersti Esparza works as Director of Email Delivery at VerticalResponse.  Her areas of expertise include increasing email response rates and keeping subscribers engaged.

Each of these goddesses has made a unique and vital contribution that helps keep the world of email deliverability innovative and vibrant.  Because of these accomplishments, each of them has earned a place on our email version of Mount Olympus.   Mount Olympus is an equal opportunity destination point, so in the coming weeks we’ll be exploring the (male) counterpart, and recognizing a few distinguished deliverability “Gods” of Mount Olympus.

Disclaimer: Writing articles like these can put the Mount Olympus selection committee at risk, given that everyone in deliverability should be recognized.  Once again, please forgive any omissions.

This article was inspired by Ryan Phelan of Blue Hornet and Bill McCloskey of Only Influencers.

Fred Tabsharani

Port25 Solutions, Inc.

@tabsharani

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2 Responses to “Email Mythology, Part I: Goddesses of Email Deliverability”

  1. Tara Natanson
    March 21, 2011 at 7:18 pm #

    Thanks Fred! As long as there's ice cream on Mount Olympus and bottle of Opus one, count me in.

  2. Annalivia
    March 22, 2011 at 7:13 am #

    Thanks for the mention, Fred. I would like to note that there is a serious lack of Nectar of The Gods, as well as Manna from Heaven, though. Being a Goddess isn't what it was, since the boxes of meat stopped coming.

    ;)

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