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The Best in Email: 2017 Sparky Award Winners
How about that Oscars ending last Sunday? While the Sparky Awards don’t have nearly as dramatic of a twist, we are very excited to share the 2017 Sparky Award winners with you and recognize some seriously awesome efforts in the email space.
As word got out about the second annual Sparky Awards, our submissions nearly quadrupled in volume from last year. Our judges pored over nominations and eventually narrowed it down to a field of 2 top entries in each category and deliberated over the final category winners. Turns out you can have some fun with transactional emails, get super creative with subject line testing to gather data, AND solve important real-world problems with our API.
Without further ado, here are our 2017 Sparky Award winners:
Best Subject Line
Subject Line: Are you kitten me right meow?
Submission Recap: This email announced the launch of Evite’s new invitation category, “Pet Parties”. Evite had no data on which of their users were interested in pets, so the team needed an engaging subject line that would entice a broad group of users to open. They conducted a 10/10/80 A/B split test on the tone of the subject and message: Playful vs. Traditional announcement. The ultimate subject line for this email, “Are you kitten me right meow?”, had an open rate 2x higher than average. The then-proven “Playful” tone set the precedent for high open rates and engaging copy throughout the rest of Evite’s summer campaign
Best Transactional Email
Submission Recap: Looking to increase engagement on favorited homes, users are sent an email with dynamic up-to-the-time-of-send stats on a favorited home (views & listings) within 24 hours of favoriting. More than 2 saves within 24 hours are batched into a digest version. There are many interaction points in the email – clickable images, links and multiple category buttons per image. Surfacing the number of people who have also viewed and saved that same home introduced an element of transparency (whether or not the home was popular) as well as competition (Be the First to See it!)
Best Use of the SparkPost API
Winner: Audio Images International, Inc.
Submission Recap: AIII operates a full-service multi-tenant messaging system specifically targeting property managers. SparkPost powers the fully integrated messaging service, complementing their best-in-class automated answering service. AIII’s focus is on empowering property managers to send timely and targeted communication to their hundreds of residents. Messages can be sent to individual units, or to an entire building. Residents receive messages in their format of choice, whether that’s html / text email, a text message, or both. AIII then processes webhook event data from SparkPost to let their customers, the property managers, know when they might have a typo’d email address (hard bounce), or what percent of residents interacted with the message (open and/or click). Their preference center and webhook-driven reporting make them stand out as a great use of the SparkPost API.
The grand prize 2017 Sparky Award winner and recipient of up to $1000 in cash toward an industry conference is… Audio Images International, Inc!
Congratulations to all of the winners, you’ll all be receiving an engraved 2017 Sparky Award with your company name & category!
And special thanks to our judges: Dan Levinson, Clea Moore, Dave Gray & Celebrity Guest Judge Jack Wrigley.
Thoughts on the Sparky Awards or email in general? Leave us a comment below or tweet us.
Join us for the Premier Email Industry Awards Event!
We’re excited to share that the Sparky Awards are back for a second year! We’re celebrating exceptional email API development and email marketing efforts by recognizing outstanding work in several categories. Because they’re designed to coincide with the Oscars and official award season, the Sparky Awards run from January 23, 2017 through February 24th. We will announce the three winners back here on the blog on or about March 6, 2017. So, know a developer, company, or email pro who deserves recognition and can’t wait a minute longer? Nominate them or your own project!
The Sparky Awards recognize and celebrate the creativity and skill of those leveraging email to scale their business. Anyone can enter, from large companies, start-ups, email managers, or developers – we’re celebrating email professionals and developers on all points of the spectrum. We also realize you have a choice in email service providers and platforms, which is why you don’t need to be a SparkPost customer to enter or win — with the exception of the Best Use of the SparkPost API – which you can quickly setup an account to be eligible for.
2017 Sparky Awards Categories
Due to feedback from 2016, we’ve trimmed it down this year to focus on the three core areas that drive a lot of discussion in our community and the industry. Therefore, here are the categories for the 2017 Sparky Awards:
- Best Transactional Email
- Best Subject Line
- Best Use of the SparkPost API
Our judges panel is comprised of email industry experts, both inside and outside of SparkPost. While several work for SparkPost, each judge was hand selected to represent a different section of the email business. Curious who you need to impress? Here’s a look at our 2017 judges:
- Dan Levinson – Technical Account Manager, SparkPost
- Clea Moore – Deliverability Manager, SparkPost
- Jack Wrigley – VP Business Development, Kickbox.io
- David Gray, Principal Solutions Engineer, SparkPost
How It Works
In order to be considered, simply fill out the nomination form. Select which award you’re nominating yourself (or someone else!) for, then provide any supporting context, examples and documentation. Once submissions close, our panel of judges will deliberate and determine winners for each category, then vote on a grand prize winner. Be sure to include all relevant contact information so we can get ahold of you if we need additional info, or if you’re a winner!
What’s In It For You?
Once determined, the winner from each category will receive a coveted Sparky Award trophy engraved with their name and bragging rights for a year. In addition, one grand prize winner will receive a ticket to an email or industry conference of their choice – up to $1000. Terms and conditions apply.
Questions about The 2017 Sparky Awards? Tweet us, or leave a comment down below. Good luck!
On February 23rd I had just returned from Fiji, surviving Hurricane Winston. This was the worst hurricane in history to ever hit the southern hemisphere. On Feb 24th, another hurricane hit on Twitter when Mandrill announced they were shutting down their free service tier. Many of you took to Twitter to frantically seek advice and alternatives.
The next 68 days that followed, our goal was to reach as many of you as possible with answers and possible solutions. In fact, it was actually your feedback, which helped us move up our timeline on subaccounts. (Thanks for that feedback and please keep it coming.)
We have some of the most talented engineers working at SparkPost. Believe me, we are as passionate about coding as you are. But for me, on February 24th I wondered, do engineers make good Tweeters? As it turns out, they do.
Twitter Awards: Growing Our Community With Your Feedback
We empowered our employees to take to Twitter and answer your questions with their personal handles as best they could. We simply couldn’t handle the traffic and questions solely with our corporate handle. Additionally, we had to communicate internally via our Slack channels to get you answers quickly enough. (Since many of us on the social media team aren’t engineers!) This allowed us to aide in your decision. From this experience we decided to open up a public community Slack channel for all of you, managed by our Community Manager Mary, yet another great by-product to come out of all of this. We also created Twitter Ads advertising our 100K free for life tier, which many questioned. “Is this too good to be true?”- that is, until our CEO confirmed it was real in his blog post, “I Am All In. My Promise to Developers.”
Even though SparkPost has been a leader in the email industry space for a decade, many of you hadn’t heard of our SaaS platform product. Yet, you trusted SparkPost with your business – and I am grateful that you did. (In fact, if you haven’t received one of our limited edition client library laptop stickers, I’d like to send you one. Go to this page for details.)
Fast forward to last week where we won a Twitter Award in the ‘Twitter for Small Biz #Growth’ category. We certainly have grown a lot this year, in part, thanks to you. Although it’s nice to win an award, the real win for us is you. We’re so glad to have you as part of our SparkPost family. When we say #WeLoveDevelopers, we really do. Some of you have been vocal in letting us know how much you appreciate the ease of use of our SparkPost APIs and how seamless it is to make the switch.
As we continue to grow, we want to keep hearing from you, what cool projects you’re working on, and your suggestions to improve the SparkPost product. Stay tuned, because we’ll be rolling out our 2nd Annual Sparky Awards contest where you can submit your kick-ass projects.
Didn’t get a chance to follow this year’s Twitter Awards? You can follow the latest news through #twitterawards – And as always, if you need help, contact us on Twitter, Slack, or just follow the flame. 😉
Has email transformed or revolutionized your organization? Are you an email geek like the rest of us? We’d like to celebrate email pros on both sides of the house (marketers and developers) with the Sparky Awards!
The Sparky Awards are designed to recognize and celebrate the creativity and skill of those leveraging email to scale their business. We realize you have a choice in email service providers and platforms which is why you don’t need to be a SparkPost customer to enter (except in the two categories that make use of the SparkPost API).
And the judges are…
- Dennis Dayman, Chief Privacy and Security Officer of Return Path
- Len Shneyder, VP of Industry Relations at SparkPost
- Autumn Tyr-Salvia, Director of Standards & Best Practices of SparkPost
- Danny Tal, VP of Sales & Business Development of Ongage
- David Gray, Principle Solutions Engineer of SparkPost
The categories are:
- Best Email Campaign
- Best Subject Line
- Best Unsubscribe Page
- Best Use of SparkPost API
- Best Use of SparkPost API through a Partner or New Integration (e.g. Heroku, Ongage, Iterable, HPExstream, Zapier, etc.)
What’s in it for you besides fame and notoriety? All winners will receive a coveted Sparky Award and SparkPost t-shirt. One grand prize winner will receive the aforementioned and a ticket to our Insight Conference 2016. Airfare is not included. Click here for official terms and conditions.
Do you already have a winner in mind? Submit to win a Sparky!SparkPost © 2017 All Rights Reserved