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Leading Team ‘Femail’: A Conversation with Lindsay Mudd

"I’ve learned that there’s no limit to how capable, hardworking, and innovative the women on my team can be. They are all rockstars."

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At TechnologyAdvice, there are two teams that are made up entirely of women; the Media Relations team (that’s us!) and the Email Marketing team. It wasn’t planned that way, and it isn’t something that our teams are hyper-aware of day to day, but it has become our new normal. We recognize that it’s rare to see predominantly female teams in the technology space, and we are proud to be one of them. 

According to Statista, women make up on average 35% of the total workforce at America’s largest tech companies and occupy 1 in 4 technical roles at those companies. TA’s Senior Email Marketing Manager, Lindsay Mudd, and her team of 6 women are currently smashing these barriers. Our goal in the conversation below is to learn more about Lindsay and the Email Marketing team as a whole, and to encourage other people and businesses to find ways to celebrate their team members.

MRC: Hi Lindsay! Thanks for chatting with us. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your role at TA.

L.M: I am the Senior Email Marketing Manager at TA, which means that I manage our outbound email marketing team. We are a team of six and our job is to fulfill client campaigns, both lead generation and advertising programs.I never really expected to end up in this business – I actually have a Masters degree in Early Modern European English history and thought I might teach college, but this opportunity came up after graduating with my M.A. and the rest is history! In the meantime, I’ve become a mother of two and gained a lot of experience across the field of operations working in the B2B lead gen and publisher business.

MRC: Very cool. What’s the story behind the nickname, Femail marketing team?

L.M: I came to TA through the acquisition of Quinstreet’s B2B division back in February 2020, and a long-time coworker, Melinda Simpson, also joined me on the Email Marketing team here at TA. Melinda has worked in the B2B email business for 14 years – predating me at our original company by two years. As we joined our new Slack channel with the team, Mel ended a Slack message with #FemaleEmailRocks, after which Clarissa Ceffalo coined the term #Femail in her reply. We all thought that was pretty clever and funny and continued to use the term in our shoutouts to each other until other teams started to pick it up, as well. Everyone seemed to get a kick out of it and so the nickname has stuck ever since!

MRC: We’d love to learn a little more about your team. Who are they? What are their day to day responsibilities?

L.M: Aside from myself, there are five other Femails on the team: Claire Buerger, Clarissa Ceffalo, Gracen Carlson, Heidi Johnson, and Melinda Simpson. All of the team members work to create daily email campaigns, putting together the email creative and written abstracts that encourage our audience to click on our emails and learn more about a client’s technology solutions.I can honestly say that each of these women are incredibly capable, bright, and innovative, and I feel very fortunate to lead them and learn from them.

MRC: What lessons have you learned from leading a team of women in a male-dominated industry?

L.M: It can be intimidating to work in a male-dominated industry as a woman, and not being afraid to try something new and fail is crucial to success, as hard as it may be to make that leap. I try to encourage the ladies on my team to do that, and to also remember that they know their work better than anyone else – they are the experts at what they do here at TA and they should be confident about that fact when they are interacting with those on other teams. I think that sometimes it takes more encouragement for women to be more vocal and take more risk in this industry, but there’s no question that women are master multi-taskers and that quality plays no small role in Team Femail’s ability to get things done. B2B email marketing is non-stop and we regularly manage upwards of 150+ email campaigns at any given time, ensuring that creative is appealing, pacing and quality is on-point for our clients, and keeping our deliverability healthy so that our audience can have a positive engagement with our email. I’ve learned that there’s no limit to how capable, hardworking, and innovative the women on my team can be. They are all rockstars.

MRC: What impact has your team had on TA as a whole? 

L.M: We support a large amount of our lead gen business here at TA and had a year of massive growth (along with the company, itself) in 2020. Here are some stats from last year:

-We increased our email volume by 164% in 2020.

-Our average quarterly revenue generated saw a 73% increase from Q1 to Q4 of 2020.

-We grew our product portfolio to support 3 new email products in 2020.

-Increased open rate on our mails by 30% in 2020.

MRC: That’s amazing. Is there a woman in your field who has inspired you to be the leader you are today?

L.M: I honestly haven’t had the opportunity to work with, or be mentored by, many women in my specific field of email marketing. At the risk of sounding like a suck-up (lol), I can say that my current boss, Katherine Fones, has inspired me a lot during my first year on her team. She has a clear desire to grow herself as a leader that I find inspiring, and she has a great ability to look at issues from various perspectives that others might not recognize. Also, as a woman in a male-dominated space it can be difficult to excel at being assertive and pushing people to grow and improve and be accountable while also maintaining compassion and thoughtfulness.I’ve watched Katherine demonstrate all of those qualities time and time again. I really admire her and appreciate her leadership and look forward to continuing to learn from her example.

MRC: Lastly, do you have any advice for women who are getting started in their career?

L.M: Be curious and don’t be afraid to speak up or make mistakes. Be confident in what you know and what you do, while still being open to learning new ways of doing things. Learn to be assertive while also being thoughtful, and always openly recognize the value and contributions of others, especially those other women who are also looking to find success in a male-dominated industry. Build each other up, and support one another in our shared successes so that we change the industry landscape to include more women in tech. 

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