April 16, 2009

MarketingSherpa’s 2009 Email Awards Gallery: Get Inspired by These Exceptional Campaigns

SUMMARY: Once again, we’ve compiled the year’s best email campaigns in our 2009 Email Awards Gallery.

This year’s gallery features 43 campaigns that delivered exceptional results in categories that include welcome letters, newsletters, B2B and B2C promotions and email contests. Winning brands include Dell, Pizza Hut, Wells Fargo, Sprint, British Airways and Duke University.
Our Judges had their work cut out for them again this year as they reviewed 250 entries for our annual Email Awards competition. The quality of those campaigns was impressive across the board, but the judges eventually selected 43 of the most exceptional efforts, which were recognized at last month’s Email Marketing Summit in Miami.

As in previous years, judges named gold, silver and honorable mention award-winners based on campaign results -- not just design and creative. After all, our judges aren’t the target audience for most of these campaigns, so who’s to say that the creative that catches a judge’s eye would resonate with the intended recipient. That’s what the metrics tell us.

In addition, they looked for campaigns that benefited from advanced email marketing tactics, such as:
o Segmentation
o Personalization
o Dynamic content
o Testing and optimization

But there were some new developments this year, including additional categories, such as “Best Email Contest” and “Best Internal Email Campaign.” There was also huge jump in the number of international brands and campaigns achieving awards, including Telegraaf Media Groep, Renault, Emagister, and Roche Diagnostics.

Browse the list below, and click through to view creative samples and read details on why they won. We’re sure you’ll find inspiration to help you bring your own campaigns up to the gold standard.

#1. 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 B2B
Dell Subscription Reactivation Test

Gold Consumer
Capital One Graphics Rendering Test
http://www.marketingsherpa.com/emaw2009/1-CapitalOne-Most Dramatic-CapitalOneGraphicsRenderingTest.pdf

Silver Consumer (tie)
AirTran Airways Email Template Test

Silver Consumer (tie)
The Cleveland Institute of Art Images vs. Text Test

#2. 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 Consumer
Sony -- Sony Rewards Welcome Campaign

Silver Consumer
Adobe Systems -- Monthly Event Emails

#3. Best Email Opt-in Campaign
Are you running (or did you in 2008) 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 B2B
BT -- Mid-Market Economic Stimulus Campaign

Silver B2B (tie)
Hewlett-Packard -- HP Technology at Work Product Specific Editions

Silver B2B (tie)
IBM -- WebSphere Rocks

Honorable Mention B2B
Paradigm Learning -- Leading In Tough Economic Times

Gold Consumer
Quelle -- Christmas Campaign 2008

Silver Consumer
Pizza Hut -- Exclusive Online Offer Emails

#4. 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 B2B
Blue Tent Marketing
http://www.marketingsherpa.com/emaw2009/4-BlueTentMarketing- BestPostcardStyle-ChristmasCarol.pdf

Silver B2B
Dell -- Plant a Tree

Gold Consumer
Travel Alberta International -- Summer Marketing Campaign

Silver Consumer
Emagister -- Nuestros Deseos de Navidad

#5. 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 B2B
Wells Fargo – Remote Deposit Service Multi-channel Campaign

Silver B2B
Openet -- Whitepaper Offer

Honorable Mention B2B
Ultimate Software -- HR & Payroll’s “Big 3”
http://www.marketingsherpa.com/emaw2009/5-UltimateSoftware-BestPromoBlast-HRPayrollsBig 3.pdf

Gold Consumer
National Hockey League -- Ticket Sale Campaign

Silver Consumer
IBM -- Video Email Campaign

#6. Best Promotional Re-launch Blast
Did you re-launch a newsletter, or create a campaign around a product relaunch? Explain what you did to reintroduce the item.

Gold B2B
SM:ILe -- Newsletter Re-launch

Gold Consumer
Olympus Corporation of the Americas -- Show Us Your Proof & Win

Silver Consumer
Align Technology -- Invisalign Re-engagement

#7. 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 Consumer
Epson -- Opt-in Offer

#8. 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 B2B
National Instruments -- Ni News

Silver B2B
Ceridian -- Ceridian Small Business Solutions

Gold Consumer
Telegraaf Media Groep -- Newsletter Database Centralization Project
http://www.marketingsherpa.com/emaw2009/8-Telegraaf-NewsletterforMarketing Purposes-CentralizationProject.pdf

Silver Consumer
BlueGrass Cellular

Gold Nonprofit
University of North Carolina at Charlotte Continuing Education

Silver Nonprofit
United Methodist Communications -- MyCom

#9. 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 Consumer
Capital One -- Phone Balance Triggered Email

Silver Consumer (tie)
Air Miles Reward Program -- Airmilesshops.ca Triggered Email

Silver Consumer (tie)
British Airways -- Passenger Trip Guide
http://www.marketingsherpa.com/emaw2009/9-British Airways-BestTriggered-passengertripguide.pdf

#10. Best Limited Series Email Newsletter for Marketing Purposes
Did you create a special email newsletter program for a product launch, thought-leadership campaign or to integrate with additional channels?

Gold B2B
Roche Diagnostics -- Imaginality 2008

Silver B2B
WhizBang! Training -- Product Launch Campaign for Retail Mastery System

Gold Consumer
Renault Romania -- The Koleos Caravan

Silver Consumer
Sears -- Arrive Lounge Series

#11. Best List Growth Campaign
Marketers are always looking for innovative, effective ways to grow their email lists. We’re looking for your best campaigns or tactics to increase your subscriber base.

Gold Consumer
Sears Canada -- Sears Get in to Win Campaign

Silver Consumer
Sprint -- Sprint Email Opt-in Page

#12. Best Internal Email Campaign
Email isn’t only an external communication channel. Describe how you’re using email to communicate effectively within your organization.

Lockton Associates -- Destination: Wellness

Duke University – This Week at Duke

#13. Best Email Contest Campaign

Gold Consumer
Air Canada -- Win My Dream Destination Contest

Useful links related to this article

Email Summit 2009 Wrap-Up Report: 8 Takeaways on Segmentation, Triggered Campaigns, Web 2.0 Integration and More

MarketingSherpa’s Email Award Winner Gallery 2008: Results-Driven Creative You Can Swipe From

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

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

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