Editor’s Note: Think you have a great sweepstakes? Enter your promotion in the 2015 PRO Awards. The call closes March 5.
It’s 2015. Time to change your thinking of a sweepstakes as a simple point solution. Sure, sweepstakes are great to drive excitement around a specific touch point in aisle, to build awareness around a new product, a sponsorship or your brand in general. But often sweepstakes are viewed as short-term, one-and-done interactions both for brands and their consumers. Sweepstakes, however, offers so many more opportunities. Explore these ideas to help you change your paradigm of thinking and make this valuable marketing tool work harder for your brand. And, by the way, multi-channel is a given.
1. Use Sweepstakes as Loyalty Rewards Are your consumers gathering points in a loyalty program? In addition to offering a rewards catalog where consumers redeem points for items and offers, use sweepstakes as overlay pulse points to engage your reward members in a different way, burn points and drive excitement. Perhaps that big around-the-world-vacation you’d like to offer is not attainable by accruing and spending loyalty points, but you can still offer it. Drive excitement by offering it in your catalog as a sweepstakes and allow members to “buy” entries with their points. Brands we work with have seen huge success with this driving excitement, but also as a means to re-engage dormant members to check out their program again.
2. A Conduit for Other Marketing Initiatives You’ve sparked your consumer’s attention and converted them—not a small task—now make sure you maximize the heck out of it. Use sweepstakes as an opportunity to bring your audience into other channels and marketing/company initiatives. Drive acquisition for email programs and text message clubs, drive people to engage and participate in your social sites, drive consumers off their devices and in-store by presenting VIP offers at the end of the digital experience.
3. Gather Consumer Insights Sure, you are using sweepstakes to drive excitement around certain touch points throughout the year, but tie each of these programs together, even if they have different target markets and goals. Look at each sweepstakes campaign – holiday, summer BBQ, back to school, Black Friday – as an opportunity to gather more data about your consumers, get to know them, their preferences, how often they interact with you, so you can move from a one-size-fits-all sweepstakes to customizing based on their preferences.
4. Build Programs around Your Best Customer’s Activities Reward them for what they are already doing – talk about surprise and delight. Don’t make them change their behaviors, you come to them. If you have an active audience – posting to Twitter, sharing videos and reviewing your products – reward them for each activity for the chance to win! Create campaigns around the activities that you love, and that love you back.
5. Foster Sharing. Choose large, note-worthy prizing and capitalize on this excitement to drive eyeballs and referrals to your campaign. People love to tell their friends about fun opportunities and dream about what they would do with that large cash prize, who they will invite on that cool trip, or start planning for that superstar rock concert in their back yard. C’mon – we all do it. Make it easy for everyone to share – email, social, texting, twitter, hashtags – and up the ante by incenting the share with more chances to win or providing offers.
6. Drive Frequency. While sweepstakes often offer a mac-daddy Grand Prize, think about adding smaller prizes, offers and benefits so more consumers have this great touch point with your brand. Think about adding an instant win or game component to build excitement and keep them coming back. With more people “winning” and experiencing this surprise and delight touch point with your brand, you are building more relationships. Use that for education and to gather data.
Sweepstakes have stood the test of time as a tried and true marketing solution because they work for both brands and consumers. But, be smart about how you use them across initiatives and channels to make sure you are maximizing your ROI and value to your consumers.