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Janet Roberts

What Makes a Winner?
By Janet Roberts

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Some of you who read Ezine-Tips regularly also read ClickZ marketing-focused email newsletters. Perhaps you even voted in ClickZ's recent Marketing Excellence Awards.

The winners' circle included the U.S. Olympic Team Gold Medal Pass, named best email newsletter. Finalists in that category were Cafe Campesino's Fair Grounds and Framing the Issues, published by Sales and Marketing Search of Beverly, Mass.

Because ClickZ appeals to a marketing audience, it's no surprise that all three top finishers are marketing-oriented newsletters whose primary goal is to promote their organizations -- the U.S. Olympic Team, a socially conscious coffee importer and a recruiting firm -- as opposed to being independently published.

Still, I was a bit mystified by the final rankings. I liked both of the finalists better than the top winner, which I found to be a little too slick and promotional.

Not that there's anything wrong with that -- slick and promotional is great if you're successfully demonstrating some great new technique, but you should get the fundamentals right first.

I'm still hunting for subscription information in the newsletter itself. It never expressly asks me to sign up. At the site, the subscription solicitation is practically buried in plain site at the bottom of the screen, sandwiched between two other promotions.

Both of the runners-up post subscription information prominently, both in the newsletters themselves and at their sites.

If you want to go directly to the sites -- after all, the hot news lately is that Web visitors get to sites via direct navigation more often than through search engines -- here are the URLs:

Other email winnners in the ClickZ contest included Accucast, whose Accelerator was named Best ASP Email Software (runners-up CoolerEmail and Silverpop); Bigfoot Interactive for Best Email Service Bureau (runners-up Digital Impact and CheetahMail); Brightmail, named Best Anti-Spam Technology, Product or Service (runners-up Habeas, which also was named Email Innovation of the Year, and Vanquish); and SubscriberMail, named Best E-Newsletter Product or Service (runners-up ConstantContact by Roving and Campaigner by GotMarketing).

Ezine-Tips for February 13, 2003

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