We used a sweepstakes to collect email addresses for a restaurant event. In this case, the event was exclusively for people entering through the online contest – there was no other way to get a ticket.
Objective: Get as many new enthusiastic emails as possible for as little as possible.
When we ran follow-up emails for future events and segmented the list with these new addresses, they had a 45% open rate and 20% click rate, a significant improvement over average opens.
We started with a contest. Contests or sweepstakes are easy to get excited about and there is an intrinsic incentive to share them with your immediate social group; if your friend wins, they will take you and if you win you can take them. Further, depending on the prize you choose, people may enter for others – if they believe that their husband would really enjoy the prize, a wife may enter with the idea that if she won, she would share it with or give it to him as a present.
In this particular case, the contest was a sponsored whisky event with no other way to get tickets. Winners would taste a variety of whiskys paired with appetizers and learn about the specific whisky brand represented. Since this was a sponsored event, costs for the prize were fixed – the whisky and food would be prepared regardless, and the contest was simply a way to engage with people that decided to engage with the brand.
We built a landing page to funnel potential sign-ups to, with information about the event and an easy sign-up process that, when completed, thanked the user and focused on asking people to share the event.
We can turn a landing page around in a day or two, which enabled us to move quickly on the contest as the winner needed to be chosen only 9 days after we were asked to begin the task.
To get users to the page, we advertised through facebook and did a variety of social posts. We also leveraged our existing email list with the idea that it was important to reward existing customers as well as new ones and that they would be incentivized to share with people not on our list. It also helped build activity on our social posts and we find those things tend to snowball.
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