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Email Marketing Award Winners 2007

Email Marketing Award Winner
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Best Single Welcome Letter (to New Subscribers):
Silver Consumer
Motley Fool NOW Welcome

Brand/Client Side Team:
Roger Friedman, Rick Munarriz, Greg Martz, Greg Robleto

MarketingSherpa Summary - Why They Won:
At 1,400 words, this is possibly the longest welcome letter we've ever come across. Yet, in a world where the highest performing email creative is often super-short and featured more on graphics than words, this campaign pulls admirable results. Why? Because not every demographic -- especially consumers interested in personal finance topics -- fits into the norm of short copy. Yes, the marketing team did an A/B test for this letter. Turns out readers who get the longer letter tend to have higher satisfaction in the brand over the long haul than those who don't.

From Their Nomination Form:
The goals of the email were to: Fulfill the initial promise, made at sign-up, of access to a free investing report; orient new registrants to The Motley Fool; set expectations for the weekly e-newsletter, Motley Fool NOW, that follows the welcome message; leverage one of the brand's strongest assets, co-founder Tom Gardner, by having the email sent from him. First, we make good on the promise of a free investing report and we don't make you wait for it -- it's available right in the first paragraph. We then offer up Tom Gardner to our new Fools, by having the email come from him and in his tone and voice. He briefly shares the Fool's history and describes how it's a community of investors aimed at "help[ing] you save more money and earn better investment returns" -- certainly a welcoming message to present. We also poke fun at ourselves for the name we gave our weekly e-newsletter, Motley Fool NOW, to which these new Fools are subscribed. (Think of Adam Sandler in that SNL stand-up comic Jeopardy spoof giving the line, "Who are the ad wizards who came up with *this* one!").

While doing this we also orient new Fools and set their expectations, which are key goals of a welcome letter, by describing what Motley Fool NOW is all about. Tom Gardner continues in the email by introducing and, more importantly, endorsing the lead "anchor" of Motley Fool NOW, Rick Munarriz, in a way that portrays Rick as the guy behind the guy -- the one with the real "sauce" and the one you want to hear from on a weekly basis. We then give Rick the mic to reinforce the mission of the Fool and of the weekly e- newsletter. He pitches it back to Tom who wraps up the email with two key actions for readers: how to unsubscribe and how to provide feedback. If they aren't sold after this email and simply don't think this is right for them, we give them an immediate out. Overall, it's meant to hold the hands of our new Fools and start them down a path to financial success. You might wince at the length; at 1,400 words, it's a lot to take in, no doubt. However, in our niche of subscription investing newsletters, we have found this approach to be very effective in establishing trust and confidence with our readers. Also, the plain, text-heavy design is absolutely on purpose as our audience wants the goods and nothing more. Sorry, the judges promised this winner that we would keep their results private. However, be assured that we have seen all the data - and were thoroughly impressed!