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How to EnterCompany: VerticalResponse, San Francisco, CA
Entry Submitted By: Atomic PR
Company Description: VerticalResponse, Inc. is a leading provider of self-service email marketing, online surveys & direct mail services empowering small businesses and non-profit organizations to create, manage, and analyze their own direct marketing campaigns.
Nomination Category: Individual Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Best Entrepreneur – Service Businesses - Up to 100 Employees

Nomination Title: Janine Popick, CEO

Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated entrepreneur during the eligibility period (up to 500 words):

Janine launched VerticalResponse in 2001 with the vision of being a successful
online marketing solution enabling anyone, regardless of technical expertise, to
get up and running fast with email marketing campaigns. Janine hasn’t strayed
from what she originally set out to accomplish while growing to meet the
ever-changing needs of small businesses. 

With a 40% increase in customers (bringing the total number of paying customers
to more than 60,000!), and significant product and feature upgrades, Janine is
well on her way to building VerticalResponse to the one-stop resource for
marketing small businesses she originally set out to. So far, 2009 has been
another successful year for VerticalResponse, even in this economy.  Popick has
led the company to growth across the board, along with new industry recognition.

Janine makes sure that she and the whole team are in constant touch with its
diverse customer base, so they can keep the product at the cutting edge, and
continual product upgrades and new price offerings serve to ensure that anyone,
regardless of expertise, can have affordable marketing materials that look like
the pros. Some recent benchmarks include:
•             A free, powerful new Survey tool enabling small businesses to learn more about
their customers and target communications accordingly
•             A Pay-per-Month Pricing model added to VR’s popular pay-as-you-go option –
ensuring that VR’s robust product and services are available to businesses with
a range of pricing needs
•             VerticalResponse for Non-Profits sends 25 Million Free Emails in its 1st Year
•             Released new tracking and reporting tools so businesses can optimize marketing
efforts for the greatest return on their marketing dollar
•             Partnerships with BigContacts, Intuit Partner Platform, Duct Tape Marketing and
PaloAlto Software

Beyond the tech tools, Janine also offers expertise to customers and
non-customers alike on her award-winning blog (blog.verticalresponse.com), to
ensure that small businesses have the know-how to put the tools accessible to
them to best use.  She is also an established industry leader and voice for
small businesses – appearing in national papers (WSJ:
http://blogs.wsj.com/independentstreet/2008/08/13/olympics-marketing-how-small-businesses-can-go-for-the-gold/ ,
and a monthly column in Inc. Magazine
http://blog.inc.com/women-in-business/2008/11/smart_spending_tips.html .

The open dialogue means products upgrades echo best practices established by
customers, or respond to their requests.  Even as their customer-base grows,
Janine is dedicated to maintaining open lines of communication through an
all-star customer service team, multiple online forums such as blogs, the VR
Marketing lounge, and social networking sites, and hosting hundreds of small businesses at
marketing conferences across the country. 

With Janine’s years of direct marketing and entrepreneurial experience
(Stevie’s Entrepreneur of the Year, 2008) she has successfully built a company
that provides an essential service to over 60,000 customers, and a rewarding
place for 80+ employees to work (VR Ranked #22 on the 2008 San Francisco
Business Times' list of Best Places to Work in the Bay Area).  She is sure to
remain an influential leader in helping hers and other small businesses succeed
through the current economic challenge.

List the URLs (web addresses) of any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that you would like the judges to see that support your nomination. IMPORTANT: List each URL on a separate line, begin each URL with http://, and enclose each URL in square brackets. For example, [http://www.yourcompany.com/pressrelease.html]:

News stories: http://www.verticalresponse.com/about/news_archive.html
Press releases:
http://www.verticalresponse.com/about/press/
Awards:
http://www.verticalresponse.com/about/awards.html
Blog:
http://blog.verticalresponse.com    

Provide a brief biography of the nominated entrepreneur (up to 100 words):

Janine Popick (Stevie’s Entrepreneur of the Year, 2008) is CEO of
VerticalResponse, providing self-service email marketing, survey tools and
direct mail 60,000 small businesses.

Prior to VR, Janine lead direct and Internet marketing programs for some of
technology and entertainment’s biggest brands, including NBC Internet; XOOM.com;
Claris Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Apple Inc.; and Symantec Corporation.

Janine is VerticalResponse's Chief Executive Blogger (2006 ClickZ Best Marketing
Blog /2007 Stevie for Best Blog); an Inc.com columnist, has been published in
DMNews, and featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, ClickZ, USA Today, San Francisco
Business Times, US News, U.S. Business Review and B2B Magazine.

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