VerticalResponse Names Winners of 'Email Like a Star' Email Newsletter Contest

EcoWellDog and Native Foods Café Recognized for Email Marketing Excellence

SAN FRANCISCO – October 18, 2012 – VerticalResponse, a leading provider of self-service marketing solutions for small businesses and non-profits including email marketing, social media marketing, event marketing, postcard marketing and online surveys, announced the two winners of its first-ever “Email Like a Star” contest. The competition recognizes best-in-class email campaigns created by VerticalResponse partners and Platinum Circle members.

EcoWellDog, a manufacturer of natural grooming and wellness products for dogs, was awarded first place and received a $500 Apple gift card. Native Foods Café, a fast-casual vegan restaurant group with 13 locations in the United States, came in second place and won a Sony eReader.

A panel of experts judged the entries using the following criteria:

  • Visual presentation and design: Do the layout, theme and visual elements enhance the email?
  • Best practices: Does the email employ best practices such as the inclusion of alt text and a pre-header?
  • Results: Were the intended metrics for this email achieved?
  • Social media: Was the email shared via social networks? Does it include social media icons and links?
  • Communication: Is the message communicated in a concise way with a clear call to action?

“Educating our customers about email marketing is a huge part of what we do here at VerticalResponse,” said Janine Popick, VerticalResponse CEO/founder. “This contest was our way of recognizing businesses that are practicing what we preach and seeing great success with their emails. There’s nothing more exciting than to see and hear from customers who are proud of their email campaigns. Kudos to EcoWellDog and Native Foods Café for a job well done.”

EcoWellDog Raises the ‘Woof’ with Email Marketing

EcoWellDog, who came in first place, uses VerticalResponse to send email newsletters to its wholesalers, with the goal of educating them about various ingredients in its products, informing them of company and product news, and communicating special offers. The winning email features a balance of informative text, links and images, a clear promotional offer and an uncluttered layout.

“As the economy has tightened, we have found ourselves relying more heavily on our email marketing strategy,” said Kevin Fisher, owner and de facto Web guru at EcoWellDog. “Like many companies, we started out knowing nothing about the medium but through trial and error we have seen our results steadily improve. VerticalResponse has been an excellent partner for us, and their customer success team is great to work with.”

Native Foods Café Achieves Second Highest-Selling Meal with Email Promotion

Native Foods Café sent its winning email in July to promote a limited-time offer, the drunken tofu banh mi sandwich special meal. The email features a delectable main image of the sandwich, along with a text description of the item (in case subscribers have their email client settings set to images turned off) and links to the company’s social media profiles. The results? The banh mi meal was the second highest-selling limited-time offer for the company.

“We depend on VerticalResponse to get the word out about our dishes and specials, and great food shots are key to the success of our emails,” said Holladay Allen, marketing and media coordinator at Native Foods Café. “Mouths should be watering the second the email is opened, and an equally enticing description is just as important for those who opt for text-only emails. And of course, a clear and concise subject line is needed to let them know that they're about to see and read about an amazing dish!”

Click on the images on the right to view the winning emails. 

About VerticalResponse

VerticalResponse Inc. provides a full suite of self-service marketing solutions for small businesses including email marketing, social media marketing, event marketing, online surveys and direct mail marketing. Its mission is to empower small businesses and non-profit organizations to easily and affordably create, manage and analyze their own marketing campaigns. Users can benefit from a wide variety of features via a single dashboard, including more than 700 free email marketing templates; social media management tools to create, schedule and publish content, and engage with followers; and robust reporting so that they can understand overall marketing success. VerticalResponse is headquartered in San Francisco, Calif. For more information visit, and connect on Twitter at @VR4SmallBiz and Facebook at



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