Ed McMahon has nothing on you
Conduct a search for "online
promotions" and you will be sure to find droves of self-proclaimed
experts. What most Internet businesses don't initially grasp is that
some things never change. What works offline, still works online; you
don't have to read Dr. Nunley, Dr. Wilson or Pete Prestipino to know
that either. That's why this month we are focusing on a traditional
method of promotion: SWEEPSTAKES!
A sweepstakes is commonly used to encourage people to register for
something in exchange for a chance or chances to win a prize. Whether
your business is B2B or B2C, to operate a successful sweepstakes
program, you should aim at these goals:
awareness for your brand, 2) increase your leads database, 3)
generate market feedback, 4) educate your prospects, and 5)
helps the sponsor accomplish these goals faster, and for less money than
with their offline promotion cousins.
The advantages of running online promotions are many. Since it's
paperless, online registrations, which can be automated, are easier to
manage and cheaper. It's also easier to follow up with entries through
email, which can integrate well with your system.
There are four key phases to an online sweepstakes:
- Strategy Phase - Production Phase -
- Promotion Phase - Post-promotion Phase -
------ Strategy Phase
Select a prize that will bring the right people to your sweepstakes.
Customize your prize offering to the niche market that you service. If
you promote bed and breakfasts, give away a night at a local b and b,
not airplane tickets to Bora Bora.
The next step is to determine what information you want the registrant
to provide. The more information you require, the deeper you'll
understand your participants, however, very few people will complete a
registration form when you ask for a lot of information. So decide what
information will best benefit your business.
Depending on your goals of the promotion, you'll need to decide how you
to present your offer to the participants. Ecommerce technology can make
the awareness-offer-sale progression seamless and does wonders for
------- Production Phase
In this phase, the creative team makes the concept a reality. Graphics
are created, copy is written, advertising is planned and bought, and
promotional materials are completed. The promotion may also have to be
registered in some states. Bonding and escrow may also be issues in some
states. Legal work must also be performed, such as writing the official
rules and the privacy statement.
------- Promotion Phase
It's time to get the word out. Banner ads, email blasts, tie-ins, and
offline marketing techniques can all drive people to register for an
online sweepstakes. The more effective sweepstakes utilize both online
and offline components to generate participants, even if the entries are
primarily collected online. The promotion phase ends when you stop
accepting entries. Selecting the winner(s) soon follows.
-------- Post-promotion Phase
So you have a list of entries, and one or more happy winners. The goal
here is to receive adequate value through increased awareness, sales,
and/or market feedback. It's ROI time. What can the sponsor do with a
database of people once the sweepstakes is over? You have several
options: 1) do nothing, and hope you raised sufficient awareness through
2) continue to market to the participants with compelling offers,
3) study the demographic information and feedback you acquired, and 4)
add the qualified participants to your main prospect database.
Follow these simple guidelines and we're sure that you're online
promotion objectives will be met. Remember, above all else, Ed McMahon
has nothing on you.