RYAN PHELANRyan Phelan is Managing Director of RPEOrigin.

With nearly two decades of online marketing experience, Ryan has focused on driving successful growth strategies for high growth SaaS software and online companies.

Throughout his career, Ryan has focused on driving strategy and high growth SaaS software companies and advancing winning digital strategies. In working for companies like Adestra, Acxiom, Responsys, Sears & Kmart, BlueHornet and infoUSA, Ryan’s experience and history in the industry is unequaled.

How to succeed in email no matter where you are


One theme I've developed after 25 years in email is that it's important to give back to the industry, to contribute to our overall success by helping other people. Like you, I find myself talking with and advising marketers at conferences and on webinars, and when writing articles like these, working...

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Make 2024 the year you let strategy lead your planning


I made a big mistake at the start of the year. I began planning for my company’s year by asking myself, "What do I need to do this year?" You might think that's a normal question, but it’s really a muscle memory from the crazy days of 2020, early in the...

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RIP Jennifer Videtta, You'll be Missed


The email community is just now learning of the passing of Jen Videtta and for many of us, our heart shatters over this loss. Jen was a mentee of mine and a very dear friend. We talked often about email, her family, career, marriage and her son Henry. My last conversation...

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What are your big rocks for 2024?  


How does anybody have time to read this article right now? We are in the throes of Q4, the busiest time of the year! But if you’re thinking, “Eh – I have a little time right now,” I’ll do my best to make this worthwhile. My last OI column of the...

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How do you compare with your fellow email marketers on using AI?


Artificial intelligence, or AI, has been a regular feature here on Only Influencers, from conversations on the email lists and in our regular Thursday members-only calls to blog posts like this one. People like Chad S. White of Oracle Marketing Consulting, Dr. Matthew Dunn of Campaign Genius, and countless others have...

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It's time for marketers to lead on AI


AI and its associated technologies like ChatGPT have been major discussion topics at the martech conferences I've been to this year, not just on the stages but in conversations after sessions and during all the networking sessions. We're not just talking about what these models are, but how marketers are using...

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Why I'm celebrating a thrilling/humbling moment here


I had another topic queued up for my regular Only Influencers (OI) post, but I hope you will indulge me as I switch it out for some late-breaking news. I just received the ANA-Email Excellence Center's annual Thought Leader of the Year Award – an honor already bestowed on several long-time...

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Why email will survive 'earth-shattering kabooms' in 2023 


Hello, friends! It's November, and I am ready to dive into 2023. I want to get through these next six weeks and to be done with 2022. This is the time of year when people start predicting what to expect for the coming year, but I think it's equally important to...

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What to do when your email team breaks down


I don't know about you, but I am crazy-busy these days. Not to brag about my agency, but I think it reflects the general increase in email marketing and all the attention we and other marketers and agencies are getting lately. And while I love hearing the phone ring and seeing...

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Mid-year checkup: My 3 words for 2022


I'm not big on making predictions for year-end or new-year stories. The email industry can be unpredictable, as we saw in 2020 when COVID-19 brought email back to well-deserved glory. But I do like the approach Chris Brogan takes every January. He sums up his intentions for the new year with...

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What are your 3 words for 2022?


What are your 3 words for 2022? Welcome to 2022! I hope this is the year we crawl out of our collective hole, but I usually feel like I’m still the kid in the back seat asking my parents, “Are we there yet?” I'm excited to produce one of the first...

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5 tips for holiday email marketing in our crazy new world


Here we are in the middle of October. It's hard to believe how fast this year has gone. It seemed as if 2020 was like riding the slow boat to China, and now we're in the thick of holiday email planning again. I dug out an Only Influencers post I wrote...

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Moving: the life event marketers are overlooking


If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you'll know that I moved into a new house recently. Thanks to the hot housing market, moving is a life event that many of you likely are sharing with me this year. If you, too, relocated recently, you don't need me to expound...

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How Do You Define A Thought Leader?


Twitter is a funny place. I was cruising around it about a month ago when I came across a series of tweets by someone in our industry whom I'm declining to name. The tweeter was one of several responding to another tweet about why he limits responses to "Can I pick...

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Phelan: Digital Marketing: It's Not Just About Email


Having recently re-entered the job market (and thanks to Bill for the complimentary announcement here), I found myself looking back on the most recent phase of my career and realizing how much it has broadened my perspective on what mar-tech and ad-tech mean. You might know me as the pretty face...

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No Email Gloom & Doom – We're Getting Smarter


<Pick up microphone>

In my February blog post for Only Influencers, I asked you, "How strong is the state of our union?" My own answer was ambivalent.

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Phelan: How Strong is the State of Our Union?


A few days ago, I posted a link on my Facebook page to a blog post I'd written about an American Airlines year-end recap email. I praised AA for going above and beyond the call of email duty because it used my own data to hyper-personalize the message.

Then, a friend commented on that post, saying, "Does it ever bother you that we've been preaching the same things for the last 10 years?"

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Creepiness Comes in Many Forms. Don't Be Creepy!

Creepiness Comes in Many Forms. Don't Be Creepy!

If you work in B2B, getting spam is a daily occurrence. Not just the typical spam that vanishes into your junk file, but unsolicited one-to-one emails that are just as worthless.  

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First-Person Marketing: Why It's Here and Why You Should Embrace It

First-Person Marketing: Why It's Here and Why You Should Embrace It

From time to time, the discussion on the Only Influencers' Email list turns to whether we as marketers need to be complex or not. Some email marketers say "Blast away!" Others say, "Let's be smarter than the average bear."

Let's get one thing straight right away: if you see yourself as a button-pusher, and if your email strategy is just to blast out campaign after campaign, this article is not for you. Unless you hunger for more. In which case, stick around.

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5 Tips for Surviving the Holiday Season

5 Tips for Surviving the Holiday Season

Well, it’s past that time of year again. Yes, past. Many companies start planning for the holiday season back in March, so if you’re just starting now…..hurry. Even if you’ve started, begin thinking now about what you can do to juice things up, and survive the holiday rush. Because let’s all admit it, volume will go up and consumers will go crazy. How do you be a hero, try something new and survive the hectic holiday period? Let’s take a look at the things you can do to save yourself and your team.

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