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Email Vet Phelan Joins Brit ESP Adestra

By Ken Magill
U.K. email service provider Adestra has been eying establishing a significant presence in the U.S. for some time now. And the company has just taken a significant step in that direction.
Adestra has hired email-marketing veteran Ryan Phelan as its vice president of marketing insights, it was announced today.
Phelan has extensive experience in all facets of email marketing on both the vendor and client sides.
Most recently Phelan was vice president of global shared services at data giant Acxiom. He left that position in March, he said.
Prior to Acxiom, Phelan held senior-level digital marketing positions at Responsys, Sears, BlueHornet and infoUSA.
He is a regular speaker at industry conferences and events, and chairman of the member advisory committee for the Direct Marketing Association’s Email Experience Council.
Phelan’s job at Adestra is to establish the company’s brand and value proposition in the U.S. market.
“I’m running the marketing and thought leadership for the U.S. business,” he said. “My job is to conceptualize the story of Adestra’s 10 years in the U.K. and how that translates into the story of Adestra in the U.S. … and show U.S. marketers what real service is like.”
According to Phelan, top-notch customer service is one of Adestra’s strengths.
“They take a survey of everyone who calls in for service,” Phelan said. “Out of a five-point score they have consistently over the last year and a half rated 4.7. They’re really dedicated to that. I realize everybody in this industry is, but they are beyond customer obsessed.”
Phelan said he will be drawing on his experience conceptualizing brand strategy and voice for companies like Acxiom and BlueHornet “through thought leadership, going out on the road, going out on stage, talking to clients, putting out white papers and webinars.
“I know how to market companies in this space because I’ve worked for Responsys and infoUSA and I worked at Sears on the brand side,” he said. “So I’m one of the few who has really done both. I’ve been on both sides of the fence. I’ve seen how agencies run their businesses and I’ve seen the struggles that companies and marketers go through to get campaigns out the door. I have pushed the [send] button.”
Adestra’s target is mid-market and lower enterprise, according to Phelan. “Logos that you know but they may not be public,” he said.
The company’s vertical focus is “retail, resellers and agencies, publishing and hospitality,” said Phelan.
Adestra is also hiring as part of its U.S. push, said Phelan.
“We’re currently looking for sales people and who’s in market,” he said. But not just anyone, apparently.
“The company has for the last 10 years been very particular about who they hire in wanting people with deep roots in the industry and a knowledge of email,” said Phelan. “Not college kids who just want to get their hours and paycheck. They focus on people who know email, who get email, who get the ecosystem. We’re really looking for the best and the brightest and if we have to create a position for them, we’re open to that.”
Phelan is relocating from California to Dallas and will be spearheading Adestra’s U.S. marketing from there.

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