How First Response Won the 2019 SAMMY Award for Best Newsletter

First Response Security’s eNewsletter is crafted with appropriate links and a balanced mix of content in mind.

Useful security tips, information about services and specials relevant to the season, a story exemplifying the “why” behind the work the company does, a five-star testimonial letting people know the quality of that work … the December 2018 eNewsletter First Response Security sent out to clients and subscribers is brief but crammed with goods.

This particular edition is a showcase of the type of relevant and engaging content the Beaverton, Ore.-based company selects to include: what to pack in a car emergency kit, how to prepare your property for a safe winter, and tips for stopping water damage before it starts.

The winter prep part includes a link to First Response’s blog post about the same topic. The water damage “Did you know” blurb is a reminder as Oregon enters its rainiest season and has a clickable “I’m interested in a flood sensor!” link that leads readers to the company’s contact page.

There’s also a “Quarterly Special” focusing on seasonal security items to consider, with a discount incentive . . . in this case, 10% of smart thermostat and video doorbell products. The company sandwiched educational content between what it calls more brand-specific moments — like its chilling story of how an operator helped save the life of a resident from CO poisoning in the “Our ‘Why’ at Work” section; and a lengthy, detailed five-star customer review placed just above a note of appreciation for client feedback and links to First Response’s review platforms.

The company’s messaging is getting across in part thanks to Mailchimp, the eNewsletter platform First Response employs. “How could we tell it was useful and engaging? The number of email opens came in at 25.1%, with a click rate of 4.4%.

In a study done by Mailchimp, the average open rate across industries is 20.81%, with an average click rate of 2.43% — meaning our email came in well over the average,” explains Kaitie Todd, marketing coordinator at First Response. “Additionally, of the total number of email opens, more than 6% engaged with the ‘Winter Security Tips’ blog post — one of our most clicked on posts shared via email ever.”

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About the Author


Arlen Schweiger is editor-in-chief of SSI's sister publication, CE Pro. He was SSI's managing editor from August 2018 to June 2023.

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