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March 13, 2007

MarketingSherpa's Email Award Winner Gallery 2007: Creative for Your Swipe File

SUMMARY: The best 39 email campaigns of the past year are now ready for your viewing -- and inspiration -- at MarketingSherpa's 2007 Email Awards Gallery. Includes best B-to-B campaigns, best email newsletters, best retail promotions and even best podcasts from brands, such as Sprint, Olympus, Nickelodeon, Dell, AAA, Doubleday and The Motley Fool.

Plus, see which four-year-old email creative won the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Wow -- this year more than 250 marketers submitted campaigns to MarketingSherpa's annual Email Awards. Our judges agreed that the quality was outstanding.

Winners included loads of Americans, plus two Canadian campaigns, two German campaigns, two campaigns from Sprint Nextel, several holiday campaigns (yes, you can get blow-out response even when the in-box is crowded) and one four-year old campaign with such outstanding results that we couldn't help but give it a Lifetime Achievement Award.

"Results," in fact, is the most important factor behind how we picked the winners. MarketingSherpa judges examined every entry's results first and foremost. Only entries with above-average results data went onto the next round. Next, we reviewed strategy looking for factors that our research shows are best practices: Was testing involved? Was there segmentation? Was the email highly relevant to recipients? Was the strategy specifically devised to meet a particular goal?

Last, and definitely *least*, we looked at the creative. Often, winners were chosen by virtue of exceptional results and strategy without a creative review. If we had a tie, then creative could make the difference. Why did we ignore creative so much? Well, great-looking email is definitely in the eye of the beholder. We can only say if we like something, not if your target demographic does. Your results show that.

That said, obviously surfing the creative samples for each winner below is both highly entertaining and inspirational. Be sure to focus on campaigns that match your own target demographic and challenges. There are tons of "stealable" ideas here for you ...

#1. Best Email Opt-in Campaign
Are you running (or did you in 2006) 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.

Gold B-to-B:

Silver B-to-B: (Tie)

Silver B-to-B: (Tie)

Gold Consumer:
AIR MILES Reward Program (Canada)

Silver Consumer:
Daytime Dollars

#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 how your content meets the target audience's needs and how they respond. Extra points for content that's not just text-words and images ... do you include new media, interactivity, video, audio, Web 2.0? Let us know.

Gold B-to-B:
Ariad Marketing Sense

Silver B-to-B:
ISITE Insight

Gold Consumer:
Olympus Designed to Do More

Silver Consumer:
Zondervan Daily Inspiration

#3. Best Promotional Blast -- Direct Sale or Lead Gen Offer
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.

Gold B-to-B:
ESCO Customized Email Program

Silver B-to-B:
Paradigm Learning Thanks A Latte

Gold Consumer:
Red Motorazr Launch

Silver Consumer: (Tie)
AAA GPS Product Launch (California)

Silver Consumer: (Tie)
Logos Bible Software Christmas Special

#4. Best Single Welcome Letter (to New Subscribers)
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?

Gold B-to-B:
Intevation Report Welcome (EmailLabs)

Silver B-to-B:
Dell Small Business Welcome

Gold Consumer:
Greenbrier Welcome

Silver Consumer:
Motley Fool NOW Welcome

#5. Best Automated Series (Auto Responder)
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.

Gold B-to-B:
MyFax Lead Nurturing Series

Gold Consumer:
RoadRunner Sports First Time Buyer Program

Silver Consumer:
Gutter Guardian Systems

#6. Best Triggered Personalized Email
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?

Gold B-to-B:
Mutual of Omaha Key Client Forum

Gold Consumer:
OnStar Hands-Free Calling Reminder

Silver Consumer: Next-Sell Campaign

Honorable Mention:
Nature Made Inactives Birthday Campaign

#7. 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.

Gold B-to-B:
SAS Online Announcement

Silver B-to-B:
Telekom Training Christmas Mailing

Gold Consumer:
Hotel Indigo Podcast Email

Silver Consumer:
Noodle Up Chicago

Honorable Mention:
Basement Systems Online Info Pack

#8. Best (or Most Dramatic) 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. The point is you tested and learned.

Gold B-to-B:
RSA6100A Launch Campaign (Tektronix)

Silver B-to-B:
ATIS Symmetricom TechThink Webinars

Gold Consumer:
Sprint Holiday Campaign

Silver Consumer:
Doubleday Entertainment Deferred Payment Test

#9. 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?

Gold B-to-B:
On the Record Online - Podcast

Silver B-to-B:
IFS Radio Network - Podcast

Gold Consumer: Launchpad � Desktop App

Silver Consumer:
myRCI � RSS/Desktop App

#10. Lifetime Achievement Award
VistaPrint Snoozeman

Useful links related to this article>

Email Summit Wrap-Up Report: Segmenting Lists, Welcome Messages & Filters

Photos from the 2007 Email Awards gala:

MarketingSherpa's Email Marketing Award Winner Gallery 2006: Creative Samples Galore

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