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Best Email Newsletter for Marketing Purposes:
EmailLabs The Intevation Report
Brand/Client Side Team:
Loren McDonald, Calvin Wong, Kirill Popov
MarketingSherpa Summary - Why They Won:
This newsletter's template is one of the best designed for the realities of the at-work email recipient who is likely to read the whole thing in the "preview" pane with graphics turned off. We applaud EmailLabs' forward-thinking approach to this email design challenge.
Butů the real reason they won this award is for their continual measurement of what types of content their readers prefer to read. If more newsletters evolved their content based on what topics previously got the most clicks, the business world's in-boxes would be a joy to open each morning.
From Their Nomination Form:
The EmailLabs 'Intevation Report' email newsletter includes articles, case studies, tips and statistics to help beginning to advanced email marketers improve results of their email marketing programs. Topics range from tactics to growing your email lists, improving open and clickthrough rates, dealing with spam filters, CAN-SPAM compliance and list segmentation to design and HTML tips. The Intevation Report helps position EmailLabs as experts and thought leaders in the email marketing industry. It enables EmailLabs to differentiate its offerings from competitors and convey to prospects and clients that great technology is only part of the equation in email marketing. The newsletter keeps EmailLabs 'top of mind' and helps get us in front of 'non-lead' prospects, enabling us to communicate consistently and convert subscribers to leads, and then to clients. Another by product of the newsletter is that it forms the content basis for the EmailLabs Resource Center (http://www.emaillabs.com/resources.html), surveys and best practice articles. Finally, it also allows us to stay in front of our clients each month (beyond our Customer Newsletter) providing best practices and insights to them, and reinforcing one of the reasons they selected EmailLabs over competitors.
The Intevation Report is an email newsletter providing email marketing tips on technology, services and thought leadership from an ESP. Not only does the content in the e-newsletter compete with other ESP's newsletters for marketers' attention, but publishers such as MarketingSherpa, ClickZ, DM News, MediaPost, etc. The EmailLabs' Intevation Report has been widely recognized as one of the best newsletters on email marketing in the industry and was voted the 2005 ClickZ Marketing Excellence Award winner for 'Best BtoB E-Newsletter'. Industry thought leaders acknowledge that the Intevation Report takes the high road in focusing on best practices as opposed to promoting features and self-serving information as many other ESPs have been known to do. Mark Brownlow of Email-Marketing-Reports said, 'Time to doff my hat and offer a public acknowledgment of EmailLabs articles, which are always extremely low-sell and high on public value. They win my unofficial award for most generous expertise from a vendor for 2005. EmailLabs' newsletter is consistently useful in a non-salesy value way.' At EmailLabs, we also are constantly monitoring, testing and tweaking the Intevation Report to make it better. We also use it as somewhat of a testing lab. Several months ago, we launched a new column on privacy and regulatory issues, ran it for a few months and discovered that basically no one was reading the columns (as monitored by clickthroughs). Our readers had little interest in this topic, so we killed it. We also monitored which newsletters had the highest combinations of open and clickthrough rates and analyzed which types of subject lines and articles drove the greatest interest among our subscribers. We learned that our readers have a very narrow interest -- simple, tactical 'how to' tips. They don't care about strategic concepts -- just tell me how to improve my open rates. On that note, we also discovered via analysis that subject lines that included things such as '15 Tips to ..' drove the highest open/clickthrough rates. Through monitoring clickthrough rates and testing various things, we also discovered that the order of articles and content, though important, is not the end all. When we include multiple links (following an article) to articles on the site that are related -- those articles are often read at a higher rate than the core articles included (teased) in the newsletter itself. Links at the very end of the newsletter are often among the top links clicked. We also redesigned our newsletter last year to be read entirely and easily in a subscriber's preview pane with images disabled. We based this design on our own research and then continually tested and modified it. Since going to the redesign, our clickthrough rates have generally been higher than pre-preview pane redesign.