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Who to follow: Anne Tomlin

Who to Follow: Anne Tomlin (@pompeii79)

Anne Tomlin is a Responsive HTML Email Developer currently under contract with the vehicle side of SiriusXM satellite radio (although she has still been known to freelance periodically).

Based in Austin Texas, where she lives with her husband and “cantankerous but oft-misunderstood” cat “Caesar”, Anne has worked exclusively in email since 2013. She remains (4 years later) “extremely enthusiastic about email code” and participates actively in Twitter’s email marketing community which she says helps expand her email knowledge and techniques.

Anne’s awesome email portfolio is cat-rich (always a good thing) and her Twitter gif game is consistently on point.

She can also be found on Linkedin, presumably keeping the email marketing torch burning bright there as well.

So we know Anne has a black belt in Twitter excellence, but does she know her onions? Let’s find out…

Who to follow: Anne Tomlin

Anne Tomlin tale of the tape:

Favourite food: Easy. Pepperoni pizza.

Worst fear: Flying bugs that sting. I WILL use you as a human shield and push you in front of a bee or wasp while running in the opposite direction.

Dream job as a child: “Scientist.” You don’t need to specify a field when you’re 8, apparently.

Last big purchase: A Sleep Number bed. SO. TOTALLY. WORTH. IT.

Guilty pleasure:  I dance while I code. I sit on my couch, turn on my favourite pop playlist, and dance. I swear, I get fewer edits back if I chair-dance during the initial coding.

An interview with Anne Tomlin

How did you find yourself in the email marketing game?

It certainly wasn’t a straight line! I studied Classics (Latin and Greek) for 10 years, but when I graduated from college, there weren’t any jobs for people who knew dead languages. Knowing my propensity for languages, my brother gave me a PHP book and suggested I learn it. It never really stuck, so I found myself doing front-end. After a few web dev jobs, I was asked to code an email. I loved it immediately. It seemed to just click with me. I read everything I could get my hands on and joined Twitter once I knew there was a community.

What was it about email that you “loved instantly”?

The structure, the challenge, the sense of accomplishment … The rigidity of tables feels more substantial. They’re here, they’re rectangular, deal with it. With that rigidity comes many challenges with CSS. Not all CSS can be used in all email clients. You have to find the right combinations of CSS that provide the best outcomes for as many email clients as possible, while ensuring no extra bloat in your code. It’s thrilling to discover and implement new and better ways to accomplish design goals within those constraints. Add in some necessary email hacks, and there’s no wonder that there’s such a sense of accomplishment at the end of a build.

What kinds of emails would a satellite radio service like SiriusXM need coded?

I work on the vehicle side, so the emails I work on are about the service, not the content of SiriusXM. I work with many vehicle brands on co-branded welcome, engagement, and transactional emails.

What advice would you give to someone just finding their feet in the HTML email development game?

1. Join Twitter! A community is the best and fastest way to learn and stay current in email development. Follow and get in on the emailgeeks slack channel. I firmly believe that the best way to acquire skills is by learning directly from others, because it leads to a deeper understanding of the material.

2. Sign up for every newsletter you come across. You can learn so much — what to do and what not to do — by scoping others’ code. Pro tip: Create a separate email address for this.

What makes a Twitter account worth following?

I look for other email marketing folks whose majority of tweets are about email. Bonus points if email development is the main content. Props if the content keeps me up to date with new techniques and development news (e.g. Gmail update rollout).

Which email marketing newsletters do you think are most worth signing up for?

In no particular order: Really Good Emails, table tr td, display block, Litmus, ActionRocket, EDMdesigner, and of course Phrasee’s!

What is your biggest pet peeve about email development?

ESP-specific quirks. The most recent one that comes to mind is a ghost space between a word and a sup tag. It just takes up time I could be doing something more fun.

Final question, for branding’s sake, who is your favourite superhero?

I am Groot.

Image credit: Marvel


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