Ask the Experts: Who in the Email Industry Do You Consider A Mentor?


In 2021, Webbula launched a video series where we sat down with email industry experts to discuss various topics within the email marketing world. Each month, Webbula introduced a new lineup of email experts with a new topic.

Follow along in 2022, for 12 new questions and a new lineup of email experts. Thank you to every email expert who participated in this video series and provided advice to other email marketers. 

Video transcription completed with Descript. 



HubSpot Video


Anthony Chiulli

Senior Manager, Product Marketing at Iterable 


"Yes, I do, and I think it's I think it's a great question and one that I'm certainly happy to answer. Generally speaking, I think there are so many brilliant people that have impacted my career thus far. But that's what's great about this industry is for the most part it's, it's a really tight-knit community and a pretty intimate group of people that want to share knowledge and want to help the next generation.

For me, I think I've had a lot of people that have influenced my career in a very positive way, but one that sticks out is a gentleman by the name of Tim Moore. Tim was a colleague of mine in my early days at Return Path, where I cut my teeth in email. He was also my manager at 250ok. Which was an email deliverability and analytics company. He is currently the CEO at Socket Labs which is kind of a disruptor in the email deliverability and delivery infrastructure and technology space.

So Tim for me is someone who believed in me early on in my career and took me under his wing and really kind of taught me a lot about email, but also the ins and outs of navigating this business in this space. He's a utility knife. He has a wealth of knowledge about, and he seems to know just about everyone in this space, and I've learned a great deal from Tim over the years.

What I really enjoyed about him is, he really made me feel like I was empowered, and I've always felt like he gave me more time than I probably deserved, but that's just kind of the way that he's always approached peers and colleagues. So we've become really close over the years. We actually live fairly close to one another here in Colorado, and, our families have started to get together. We both got kids.

Tim is a phenomenal individual, a very bright person, and, has been a really good mentor. "



HubSpot Video


Matthew Dunn

Founder of Campaign-Genius


"Ryan Phelan top of the list. He's generous with his time. He knows the space inside and out. He manages to do stuff in just plain English. Why'd you do that? Do this, or have you thought about this, like, wow, thanks, Ryan. "




HubSpot Video


Nicholas Einstein

Vice President of Product Marketing, Netcore Cloud


"I have several mentors in the space. I cut my teeth in email marketing back in the day with Loren McDonald, who I worked with in the late nineties at a young startup in the bay area. We both learned a lot about email together. We both went on to do a lot of work in the space. I always respected his take on testing optimization and measurement. He's a much better public speaker than I, so I still try to emulate him. Loren would be one of them.

I worked for five years at the Relevancy Group with David Daniels, who was my partner there. He was the original email analyst at Jupiter Research and then for Forester Research and was absolutely one of the smartest minds in emails.

He coined the term ESP back in the day at Forester. He's an amazing guy and taught me a ton about the space. I love David. He's certainly a mentor for me.

And then David Baker, another great friend and a brilliant guy. He is another person who I consider a mentor in the email space. He had a rich career and did some amazing stuff.

The industry in general is really packed with some amazing folks. It's one of the reasons I love being an email. There are some great people out there. "




HubSpot Video


Skip Fidura

Fractional CMO, NED, Board Advisor, Public & Video Speaking Coach, Event Host and Keynote Speaker




HubSpot Video


Lisa S. Jones

Chief EyeMail Officer, EyeMail Inc. 


"Within the email industry in terms of mentorship, which is still important at any level, it's always learning from others and their thought leadership. It could be one segment of information that has an impact that creates value and inspire action. Thinking about my journey here at Eyemail, I would say my mentors that come to mind immediately; there are three of them.

Two of them are part and co-founders of Women of Email. And this is an organization, of course, that supports women globally in, I don't even know how many countries now, but it's really expanded broad and wide with the mission of empowering women who are in the email field in some capacity. From women of email, there are two co-founders that immediately come to mind.

Jen Capstraw and April Mullen. I met both of them in 2017. And what impressed me so much about them is their dedication to their craft. Whenever they have a webinar or any event, I'm like the first person to sign up and just send it out in my distro to anyone to listen. And the reason for that is because they provide such dynamic thought leadership.

They're always focused on trends; new ways to add spice to your campaigns and the do's and don'ts of communication. So all of their content is fresh, and I love the fact that they're like the dynamic dual together, and they're a team. I just admire that about both of them. So I would say Jen Capshaw and April Mullen.

A third one that comes to mind equally is Jeanne Jennings.

Jeanne Jennings is the general manager of Only Influencers. And she also has her own enterprise as a woman-owned business for her company. In her thought leadership, what she provides is found advice and principles for everyday use either on a corporate side or on a customer side of even smaller engagements all the way up to scale.

Whenever there is a thought of how can we expand this market? How can we better perform split testing? How can we better consult our clients? My go-to thought leader that comes to mind is Jeanne Jennings because she always goes the extra mile to provide insights. She has an empathetic ear, and the reason that's so important is because we all need someone who takes the charge, who cares to understand what challenges we may be going through with marketers, but also takes the time to help craft solutions. And she is a solutions-oriented master of sorts of that. So those are my top three mentors in email. "





HubSpot Video


Andrew Kordek

VP of Customer Engagement, iPost


"I have quite a few mentors and influencers over my career, but one stands out, and his name is David Baker. He's on sabbatical and has been for the last year or so, previously from Axiom, cordial, and Razorfish. He always was able to write things and challenge me to think a little bit differently.

And I'll never forget, there was an article that he wrote and, I read it, and I didn't get it. That was one of the first times I ever read an article about this industry, and I was like, "I don't know what this guy is talking about." I remember pinging him and saying, "I'm challenging you to explain to me why you did what you did or what you said is what you meant."

He's an amazing individual. I met him many years ago when I was at Groupon, and he's challenged the industry to think, and think higher level, as opposed to just the tactical day-to-day things. So David Baker, without a shadow of a doubt for me."






HubSpot Video


Gavin Laugenie 

Head of Strategy & Insight, Dotdigital


"The list is endless. There are loads of people. I'll reel off a couple of people and apologies to anyone who I don't mention. I will probably start off reading off a couple of names. I'd say, Skip Fidura. I have to mention him. He took me under his wing at dotdigital and kind of showed me the ropes, whether right or wrongly.

Dela Quist because he is often very contrary, and it's great to take the view of someone else. Someone who might see things differently from yourself, and, Dela definitely has that.

Elliott Ross, because he's brilliant. I did a podcast with him recently and he describes himself as being email. He is email. He is very knowledgeable about design and all those bits and pieces.

I'd probably say Jenna Tiffany and Kath Pay. They are powerhouses, and their books are brilliant, so I have to mention them. And Ryan Phelan as well. He's prolific, he doesn't have a huge ego, so that's, that's brilliant.

Someone else has been really sort of interesting to me who I've only sort of come in contact with very recently is Kenda MacDonald. She takes on bits and pieces like the psychology behind why we do certain things is brilliant.

And I think taking that angle to understand more about what you do in your day-to-day marketing, whether it's email or just general digital marketing can be really powerful and really useful going forward.



HubSpot Video


Kath Pay

Founder & CEO, Holistic Email Marketing 


"Ryan Phelan from RPE Origin. He's my business mentor. He's just phenomenal. And then I have another one who's on the fringe of the email marketing industry, Riaz Kanani. He's based in England and he's also my business mentor and he is amazing too. "



HubSpot Video


Ryan Phelan

Managing Partner, RPE Origin


"Quite a few people. David Baker is probably at the top of the list. He, has been my mentor for a great long time. My close friends Kath Pay, Karen Talavera, Jeanne Jennings, my business partner and great friend, John Caldwell, Riaz Kanani over in the UK, and Skip Fidura.

There are a lot of people that I look up to and learn from every time I talk to them and their perspectives, and I try and surround myself with those people because that makes me a better strategist and a better leader."



HubSpot Video


Dela Quist

CIO, Alchemy Worx


"Most of the people that I would mention, are actually kind of like friends. And people that I view as being with them and hanging out with them. So, If I was to talk about, and as soon as I started mentioning names, I'm going to really upset folks whose names I didn't mention. But folks that everybody would know in Europe, in the UK, I've always enjoyed working with Kath Pay. I've always enjoyed working with Tim Watson. I've learned a lot from both of them. And when I say I've enjoyed working, It means we share stuff. So I typically will ring people and say, "I've got this idea in my head. How crazy is it?" Right, and they'll go, "that's totally crazy", or "no Dela that's actually a good idea" or we have a debate about it.

So I think the people that I can go to and sort of like go bluh, you know, and "what do you think of this? Is that a crazy idea?" That's, that's how I would say it. So in Europe those are the names that come to mind.

In the U.S., of course, Lauren who doesn't think about Lauren. Jeanne Jennings, obviously. She's been around for the longest.

I'm going to say Allan Levy. He's the CEO of Alchemy Worx and our merged agency. We share and bounce a lot off each other. We have very complementary skills and that's a very exciting thing to go with.

Just too many to mention.

Everybody thinks, "uh, you didn't mention me." I'm really, really sorry. Let me put it another way. When I look on Linkedin, I don't consider anyone close to me unless we have somewhere in the region of 250 to 300 mutual connections. That's what I call close. And that doesn't mean if you've got 50 or a hundred, you're not placed to me, but I'm saying there are people that I have 600 mutual connections with, and if I was to go through that list and go from the top down, the top 10 in terms of mutual connections would probably be my go-to guru list. And I love, I love them all. And by the way, I'm going to add you (Jenna Devinney) to that list. I learned a ton from you. So there you go. I think that they don't have to be gurus or goats or anything else.

Do you get what I mean? You just find folks who you think they're doing some really, really cool stuff and I've learned, and I learned from you. So I'm putting you into that list." 


If you enjoyed this post, be sure to look for future posts in this video series by signing up for our weekly newsletter!

Check back next month to listen to our next round of email experts' answers to, "What are your top 3 reasons why you love working in email marketing?"





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