PCH's Tripi Named Pollard Marketer of the Year
By Ken Magill
Sal Tripi last week was named by the Direct Marketing Association’s email experience council as the 2013 Stefan Pollard Marketer of the Year.
The assistant vice president, digital operations and compliance for Publishers Clearing House is the annual award’s third recipient.
Pollard was a respected email-marketing mentor and best practices proponent. He died unexpectedly in 2010.
Every year since Pollard’s death, the eec has bestowed his namesake award on someone they believe best exemplifies his mentorship and commitment to driving email best practices.
Tripi said the award is particularly meaningful because Pollard mentored him.
“When I was first sent back to work in the online division, I knew nothing from email,” said Tripi. “I signed with a company called Habeas that has since been acquired by Return Path and Stefan was my account rep.
“He was basically my mentor for the first six months,” said Tripi. “I was on the east coast and he was on the west coast. Each day we would talk from like 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. my time and we would go through what happened that day. … He helped me really get my program off the ground.
“It’s very sentimental for me to receive an award named after him,” said Tripi.
He added that when he signed with Habeas, Publishers Clearing House was not using email best practices and had the problems that go along with such behavior.
“That’s how we ended up going to Habeas,” he said. “We were not as disciplined as we are today.”
According to Loren McDonald, vice president of industry relations for marketing services provider Silverpop and chair of the eec awards committee, Tripi—who is also chair of the Online Trust Alliance—is an exemplary figure in the industry.
“Sal is one of those rare breed of marketers who is able to balance both the business needs of his employer and the respect of his customers and subscribers,” wrote McDonald in an email exchange with the Magill Report.
“Sal also embodied the spirit of Stefan Pollard himself - having worked with Stefan as a consultant and learning so much from him,” continued McDonald. “He has also stepped outside of his day-to-day role at Publishers Clearing House and taken a leadership role as chair of the Online Trust Alliance. Like Stefan, Sal is simply an awesome email practitioner, a huge advocate for the channel and just a great person to boot.”
Stephanie Miller, vice president of member relations for the DMA, credited Tripi for being open with the industry and sharing through writing and speaking his experience with buttoning PCH’s email program up.
“An organization like PCH which sends a tremendous amount of email, [and] has a very large list engaged in sweepstakes could have been a recipe for disaster,” said Miller. “It could be easy for an organization like that to not follow best practices. And yet PCH is one of the cleanest, most respectful mailers.
“I give Sal credit for sharing his journey along the way to get them to that point,” she said.