April 28, 2006
Event Wrap-up

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

SUMMARY: Save this issue in your swipe file for inspiration for your next email campaign or strategy meeting. Worth noting -- every campaign is being honored based on real-life *results* (not just creative). Includes:

-> 12 B-to-B email campaigns
-> 6 Best email newsletters
-> Campaigns from Blockbuster, Intercontinental Hotels,
Ghiradelli, IBM, CareerBuilder, & Canadian Blood Services

Plus, find out which brand won four awards (a record achievement), and which little-known ad agency won three for itself and clients.

Here are creative samples and background details on 38 of the very best email campaigns ever.
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.

Gold Consumer

Blockbuster 'I Want You to Want Me' Campaign


Silver Consumer

Verizon Wireless Motorola RAZR Launch


Gold B-to-B

MarketingNPV's Marketing Analytics at the North Pole


#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.

Gold B-to-B

EmailLabs The Intevation Report


Silver B-to-B

Cincom Expert Access


Honorable Mention B-to-B

Ariad's MarketingSense e-newsletter


Gold Consumer

What's New at Vanguard E-newsletter


Silver Consumer

Becel Margarine's Heart Healthy Living


Honorable Mention Consumer

Fossil Rim Wildlife Center: Wildlife W@atch


#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.

Gold Consumer

Hewlett Packard Newsgram for HP Photosmart 8250


Silver Consumer (Tie)

Intrawest Snow Report


Greenbrier 'December to Remember'


Silver Business-to-Business

Symmetricom Next Generation Campaign


#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


#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


#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


Silver (Tie)

Monster - Welcome


Intercontinental Hotels -- Hotel Indigo Welcome


#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.

Gold B-to-B

Barclay's Global Investors - iShares Welcome Program


Silver B-to-B

Segue's Silk Performer Evaluation Series


Gold Consumer (Tie)

Canadian Blood Services -- Operation LifeBlood New Donor Conversion Series


Sprint Welcome Experience


Silver Consumer

Schuelerhilfe Newsletter Campaign


#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


Silver (Tie)

E-LOAN Mortgage Abandonment Program


Toshiba Invoice Sweeps


Honorable Mention

Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitor's Bureau


#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.

Gold B-to-B

Dice's Being IT


Silver B-to-B

Think Inc's Nuttycracker


Gold Consumer

CareerBuilder's monk-e-mail


Silver Consumer

Papa Murphy's Pizza: Calling all Canadian Pizza Eaters


#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


#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.

Gold B-to-B

iShares - Ongoing Tests versus Control


Silver B-to-B

ProspectZone - Does Sex Sell?


Gold Consumer

Florida Power & Light - 2005 Online Bill Payment Campaign


Silver Consumer

ideart.com - Valentine's Offer to Non-Clickers


#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 feeds


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