Romper Room and the Email Industry

This column is a bit different than my typical column. I won’t share email strategies, bulleted suggestions, or even cool examples. Instead, I’ll give some much needed and well-deserved kudos to those professionals in the email industry who keep the business alive and kicking. Hopefully it will inspire you and make you smile.

I’m going date myself with the next sentence, but don’t care. Do you remember the TV show “Romper Room” from the ’70s? The show was filled with a lot of educational content and socialization skills all communicated through a friendly, fun and socially supportive environment. My favorite part came at the end when the host picked up the “magic mirror” and told TV land whom she saw having a great time along with the cast. As a loyal advocate, I always waited with baited breath knowing she was going to see me and say my name (although sadly she never did).

(You can watch it here. Go to 6:13 to see the magic mirror section.)

Many of the TV shows of the ’70s were like that. They offered us safe and fun social settings where we could learn along with our peers, and not be afraid to make a mistake every once and awhile. Out of that culture and era, it grew a whole big batch of 30-somethings who now have important jobs and make big decisions every day.

In the hard cold world of business, where’s the “Romper Room” for grown-ups? How do we keep growing and learning along with our peers? I think the email industry very well could be the “Romper Room” of our era. As I spend more time with the communities that exist around other industries such as search, mobile, social, online, high-tech, publishing, healthcare, etc., I have yet to find a community that’s as warm and inviting as the email industry.

Over the past five years, I’ve watched this industry grow from a technically specific product-focused world into an industry of fabulous and intelligent people. Anyone who works in the email industry should be assured of one thing: You will not only learn your craft from experts, but this community will be there to support and guide you along the way. You are fortunate to be part of this experience.

People like Dylan Boyd, David Daniels, Loren McDonald, David Baker and Tamara Gielen are priceless. They tirelessly work to evangelize the successes and strengths of email.

People like Stephanie Miller, Chad White, Justin Foster, Ali Swerdlow, Mark Brownlow, Joel Book, Lauren Skena and DJ Waldow selflessly bend over backwards to help anyone who asks them for guidance, statistics or case studies, to ensure email marketing remains respected and credible.

People like David Atlas, Kay Cavender, Deirdre Baird, Lana McGilvray, Kath Pay, Des Cahill, Skip Fidura, Richard Gibson and Lisa Harmon push us to strive to reach the next level of excellence in everything we do with email.

And I would be remiss to leave out people like Matt Blumberg, Al DiGuido, Bill Nussey, Bill McCloskey and Rob Fitzgerald, who aren’t satisfied with email being considered a siloed channel and have dedicated years and years to ensuring the level of respect and reach for the industry is broadened into the realm of “digital.”

My list could go on for days. (Apologies to anyone not listed). If you haven’t yet run into at least one of these industry icons (and Email Experience Council members), seek them out and introduce yourself to them—through Facebook or LinkedIn, at a conference, or on the streets of New York, Massachusetts or California. A quick chat, email or even cup of coffee with any of these people will broaden your outlook on email, challenge your thoughts (for the better) and leave you feeling excited, invigorated and proud to be a part of this very tightly woven and supportive community.

—Jeanniey Mullen of the eec