More than 250 email marketers nominated campaigns for the first ever MarketingSherpa's Email Awards. You'll find the list of 38 winners below, along with a hotlink to a detailed profile for each (including creative samples -- click on the thumbnails to see full-sized)
The judges -- MarketingSherpa researchers and editors well versed in email benchmarks -- chose winners primarily by response rate. That's right, click and conversion rates mattered twice as much as "pretty" or innovative creative. (Overall strategy versus campaign goal was also taken into consideration.)
We're not against great creative but when it comes to email, gorgeousness (just like permission) is in the eye of the beholder. We figured it didn't matter if we personally loved the look of a campaign. What matter was, did the target audience respond to it at a rate higher than they normally do to campaigns of this type?
So, you can imagine our shock when the marketer who to our eyes had the flat-out prettiest emails won four awards -- the highest awarded anyone. That was Intercontinental Hotels for its Hotel Indigo campaigns. Check out the four winning creatives via the profile links below.
One agency landed three awards, including one for itself and two for clients. No, it wasn't in New York City nor near the other email agency hotbeds -- San Francisco, Atlanta, and Indianapolis. Instead it's Paramore/Redd, a small firm out of Nashville TN. Which, we guess proves you can find email marketing savvy in every corner of the USA.
(By the way, two Canadian marketers and a German marketer also won awards, so brilliance is not limited to the USA either.)
One last note -- yes you may share the hotlink for this article with your friends and colleagues, or in your blog or newsletter. It will remain open-access for all time to provide everyone in the email community with inspiration! That permanent hotlink is:
#1. Best Email Opt-in Campaign
Are you running (or did you in 2005) an opt-in marketing campaign to get more highly qualified, responsive names on your list? Explain the best practices you're using to get more high quality names on your opt-in list.
Blockbuster 'I Want You to Want Me' Campaign
Verizon Wireless Motorola RAZR Launch
MarketingNPV's Marketing Analytics at the North Pole
http://www.marketingsherpa.com/emaw2006/3.html#2. Best Email Newsletter for Marketing Purposes
We're looking for compelling content, and easy-to-skim design. How does your newsletter help build your brand, educate the market, create sales? Explain to us how your content meets the target audience's needs and how they respond.
EmailLabs The Intevation Report
Cincom Expert Access
Honorable Mention B-to-B
Ariad's MarketingSense e-newsletter
What's New at Vanguard E-newsletter
Becel Margarine's Heart Healthy Living
Honorable Mention Consumer
Fossil Rim Wildlife Center: Wildlife W@atch
http://www.marketingsherpa.com/emaw2006/9.html#3. Best Email Sales Alert
Whether your campaign was for an ecommerce offer, or an offer requiring registration or download, this is the place for it. B-to-B marketers, this is where you'd include your white paper announcements and webinar invites.
Hewlett Packard Newsgram for HP Photosmart 8250
Silver Consumer (Tie)
Intrawest Snow Report
Greenbrier 'December to Remember'
Symmetricom Next Generation Campaign
http://www.marketingsherpa.com/emaw2006/13.html#4. Best Ad Campaign in 3rd-party Email Newsletter
Did you tweak your creative across many newsletters to get the best results in each? Did you run an ad that looked "like" editorial and got high clicks? Was your copy or creative so compelling that readers just had to click?
Forte's Think Inside the Box Campaign
http://www.marketingsherpa.com/emaw2006/14.html#5. Best SIG (email signature)
Have you created an email signature using copywriting, graphics or clever interactive elements that people just can't help but click on or be impressed by? How have you made your SIG (or your official company SIGs) work harder for you?
Paramore/Redd's SneakPEEK Brochure
http://www.marketingsherpa.com/emaw2006/15.html#6. Best Welcome letter
Does your letter to new opt-in subscribers take it one step further beyond the standard "you have been added to the list"? Do you include a branded message, an offer, a list of best hotlinks, personal-style note?
Brunswick Bowling Center -- Bonus Zone Campaign
Monster - Welcome
Intercontinental Hotels -- Hotel Indigo Welcome
http://www.marketingsherpa.com/emaw2006/18.html#7. Best Autoresponder Series
Do you send an automatic series of messages that are pre-canned to folks who sign up? Perhaps you call it an "e-course" or "welcome series" or something else.
Barclay's Global Investors - iShares Welcome Program
Segue's Silk Performer Evaluation Series
Gold Consumer (Tie)
Canadian Blood Services -- Operation LifeBlood New Donor Conversion Series
Sprint Welcome Experience
Schuelerhilfe Newsletter Campaign
http://www.marketingsherpa.com/emaw2006/23.html#8. Best Automated Personalized Email (trigger-driven)
Do you send emails "from" an ecommerce cart that's been abandoned? Or perhaps reminders to consumers about wish-lists? Or maybe a reminder to businesses when they need to re-order something?
Intercontinental Hotels -- Hotel Indigo Pre-Stay Email
E-LOAN Mortgage Abandonment Program
Toshiba Invoice Sweeps
Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitor's Bureau
http://www.marketingsherpa.com/emaw2006/27.html#9. Best Viral Email Campaign
Did you send out a clever joke, a fun e-game, or a holiday card everyone forwarded to their Mother and her best friend? Now is the time to brag about it.
Dice's Being IT
Think Inc's Nuttycracker
Papa Murphy's Pizza: Calling all Canadian Pizza Eaters
http://www.marketingsherpa.com/emaw2006/31.html#10. Best Postcard-Style Campaign
You can submit very short text-only messages, or fairly small HTML images and messages. The point is, this campaign was as compact and swift to read as a postcard would be.
Ghirardelli - One Cone, One Dollar, One Day
Intercontinental Hotels -- Hotel Indigo Reconnect Email
http://www.marketingsherpa.com/emaw2006/33.html#11. Best Test You Learned From
Did you conduct a test this year on subject lines, campaign creative, lists, offers, landing pages, … anything at all? If the results were dramatic, then we want to hear about it. Yes, failed "worst" tests are just as likely to win this award as "happy" tests are. The point is you tested, and learned.
iShares - Ongoing Tests versus Control
ProspectZone - Does Sex Sell?
Florida Power & Light - 2005 Online Bill Payment Campaign
ideart.com - Valentine's Offer to Non-Clickers
http://www.marketingsherpa.com/emaw2006/37.html#12. Best Non-Email Opt-in Messaging
What opt-in communications do you offer your customers and prospects aside from email? Can they be tailored for relevance? Can they be measured for success?
IBM developerWorks RSS feedshttp://www.marketingsherpa.com/emaw2006/38.html