Courtney Eckerle

Email Marketing: Which of these 5 Award nominees can help you improve results?

December 9th, 2014

Email marketing is often a constant grind of tiny wins and (hopefully) tiny losses.

That’s why it’s such an honor to be able to recognize a marketing team for their relentless work on a campaign, where despite limitations, they were able to make a real difference in the email conversation between company and customer.

This is my second year as a judge for the MarketingSherpa Email Awards (sponsored this year by Blue Hornet) and it’s always a lot of work (30 hours of pre-screening, followed by 20 hours of deliberation) but a privilege to be able to debate and discuss strengths and weaknesses in email marketing with four other judges, who all come from different email marketing perspectives.

The joy that we get out of it is why this year we wanted to share that process with you, the MarketingSherpa Blog reader, by creating the MarketingSherpa Award – Readers’ Choice category.

Out of 500 speaking submissions and email case studies, the judging panel selected two Best-in-Show winners for B2B and B2C, as well as five finalists for the Readers’ Choice. All five are listed and detailed below with links to full case studies if you wish to learn more.

You can now vote for your Readers’ Choice Award winner. After voting, give your Klout score a workout by showing your favorite some love and sharing on social media.

All of the campaigns met our judging criteria of being transformative, customer-centric, innovative and offering transferable principles that marketing peers can apply to their efforts. Each case study displayed strong results. From there, it’s up to you to decide which one deserves top honors.

Have different criteria? Thoughts to share on any of the campaigns? Let us know in the comments.

Happy voting!


Finalist #1. World Jewish Congress

In this campaign, the marketing team at WJC embarked from traditional direct marketing to a digital marketing campaign in an effort to provide their customers with a more relevant email interaction.

For WJC, those customers are donors and that need was a desire for a real-time understanding of the effect of global events.

“When certain communities are affected and at risk, such as what we saw this past year in Israel … we reported on that to our donors, and [those emails] were most successful,” said Cheryl Bailes, Director of Direct Mail Fundraising, World Jewish Congress.

Not only did the campaign offer that information to donors, but it also boosted the organization’s bottom line. In comparison to the regularly planned appeal and renewal messages, the supplementary messaging had:

  • An 11% boost in open rates
  • A 22% lift in revenue
  • A 33% increase in average gift
  • A 134% jump in page completion rates

Read the complete case study to learn more about WJC’s email efforts.


Finalist #2. Microsoft Store

After Microsoft launched physical, brick-and-mortar stores, it was decided to bring the online and brick-and-mortar businesses together as a single initiative.

In the beginning, a legacy of separate, multiple systems were used to collect data, making it hard to understand customers across both areas. In addition, because various systems were used, the marketing team collected different data for customers depending on where they made their purchase.

“Of the initial data sets we had, there was very limited information,” said Shawna Dahlin, Email Marketing Manager, Microsoft.

Microsoft Store set out to build a long-term data infrastructure that would deliver dynamic, relevant customer communications while simultaneously working within current data confines to begin learning about customers.

Through nott waiting for the perfect data situation, and instead making the most out of what they had, the marketing team was able to increase email volume by 300% from 2012 to 2014. This increase came with an average 600% lift in email revenue, against promotional sends.

Read more about Microsoft Store’s email data infrastructure for insights you can apply to your efforts.


Finalist #3. Precor

Precor, a top fitness equipment manufacturer, faced a challenge with its CRM system: it was not integrated with the lead nurturing cycle.

The marketing team needed a way to identify profiles and personas for their potential customers in an attempt to leverage a holistic approach to the individual lead lifecycle.

In this campaign, the marketing team implemented automation to nurture leads more effectively by serving up the right message at the right time. Precor achieved a 74% increase in new leads through revamping its nurturing process.

Read the complete case study on Precor for additional takeaways on improving a lead nurturing strategy.


Finalist #4. Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby was marketing based on assumptions about its customers and wanted to put some concrete data behind the content choices the marketing team was making.

In developing a newsletter centered around Derby content, the team began segmenting and directing compelling content directly to the customers who wanted it most.

Through this effort, the team saw a reduced opt-out rate of 64%, and achieved a better dialogue with customers because “the big thing for us is learning about what interests our customers so that we can have that effective relationship with them,” said Kate Ellis, Marketing Analyst, Kentucky Derby.

Read more about the Kentucky Derby’s email segmentation campaign for strategies to improve your email marketing efforts.


Finalist #5. JAM Paper

“We started to read about companies doing all this great targeted marketing. We realized we really should be doing more of that,” said Andrew Jacobs, Director of Ecommerce, JAM Paper & Envelope.

JAM Paper developed a welcome series, and applied the lessons learned to other areas of the email marketing program, including a retargeting series and an abandoned cart campaign.

With each new campaign, the marketing team learned how to use customer behavior and data to segment sends for relevance. JAM Paper went from one to 100 email designs per week to achieve a 25% increase in revenue from this email transformation.

Read the complete case study on JAM Paper to learn more about the team’s efforts in using customer behavior and data.


Voting for Readers’ Choice Awards is open now through December 18, 2014.


You might also like

Learn more about Email Summit 2015, February 23-26, ARIA Resort and Casino

Email Marketing: 26% average increase in clickthrough rate for CNET’s welcome and nurturing program [MarketingSherpa case study]

Email Summit 2014: Top takeaways from award-winning campaigns [MarketingSherpa case study]

MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2014 Wrap-up: 5 takeaways to transform your email program [MarketingSherpa case study]

Courtney Eckerle

About Courtney Eckerle

With a focus on aspirational, customer-first marketing, Courtney’s goal has been to produce clear, interesting and actionable external content for MarketingSherpa readers. This has included writing over 300 case studies, moderating live event interviews, and producing video content. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, Mass Communications and Film Studies from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Ind., and was a correspondent for USA Today College prior to joining MECLABS Institute.

Categories: Marketing Tags: , , , , ,

We no longer accept comments on the MarketingSherpa blog, but we'd love to hear what you've learned about customer-first marketing. Send us a Letter to the Editor to share your story.