The Pros & Cons of Amazon Giveaway for Marketers

One of the biggest online retailers just got into the sweepstakes game today with Amazon Giveaway. And it looks like an attractive option. Running a sweepstakes involves a bit of work after all. There are entry forms to create, rules to write, prizes to ship out and even tax issues to handle.

Amazon handles most of that. So we can see why a self-service tool like this will appeal to “everyone from authors, aspiring artists, non-profits, brands, bloggers, social media gurus and more.”

But if you’re a brand marketer or have your own business, there are a few cons to consider as well. First, let’s go over how it works…

How it Works

  1. Select a prize on Amazon and pay for it.
  2. Use the wizard to set up the sweepstakes.
  3. Get a link you can share by email or on social media.
  4. Entrants click and log in to Amazon to enter (they must have an account).
  5. Entry is an easy instant-win process.
  6. Amazon notifies the winner, ships the prize & handles tax reporting.

Sounds easy right? But there’s more to consider. Here are the pros and cons to using Amazon Giveaways for your sweepstakes:

PROS

  • Easy to set up
    You can leave most of the work up to Amazon, including entry setup, (some) rule requirements, winner notification, prize fulfillment and tax reporting.
  • Easy to enter
    It’s as easy as logging in and clicking two times to find out if you’re an instant winner.
  • More than a million prizes to choose from
    Electronics, books, home appliances… you name it, Amazon probably has it.
  • Option to build your Twitter following
    You can build in an option asking entrants to follow your Twitter account. This could help you grow your Twitter following obviously (a tweet doesn’t seem required though).

CONS

  • Who entered? You won’t know
    This is the biggest drawback of using the tool: you won’t know who entered. Sure, you’ll find out who won and may get a boost in Twitter followers, but that’s about it. As marketers, we all want to gather information from entrants (email or perhaps other details), but with Amazon Giveaway this is not an option. Per our contact with the company, all you’ll get is the winner’s name and address.
  • Website traffic? Yes, to Amazon
    Having the entry on Amazon means your prospects or customers will be visiting the big A’s site, not yours. Remember, all you’re getting is a link to the giveaway. We suppose you could set up a landing page or blog post to post the link on your site, but all your traffic will leave and will surely get hooked into wandering around this behemoth’s site, rather than your own. (The thank you page doesn’t link back to your site, in case you’re wondering.)
  • Official Rules are still your responsibility
    Some of the legal aspects are handled in the setup. For example, the overall prize value can’t exceed $5,000 (otherwise, you’d have to file a surety bond in certain states). This is helpful, but you’ll still need to create Official Rules for your sweepstakes and host them on your site.
  • Brand-centric or high end prizes are ruled out
    Yes, there are more than a million products to choose from, but there are still limits. You won’t be able to offer your own merchandise (unless it’s available on Amazon), gift cards to your store/site or items excluded by Amazon such as digital songs, movies or apps, along with Marketplace items (sold by third party vendors). Trips, cars and other luxury goods are also ruled out.

Longer-term benefits are missing

This tool will be great for Amazon’s business, but won’t give you all of the benefits of a good sweepstakes—especially, the ability to contact entrants after the promotion. You’ll get a temporary buzz boost, extra Twitter fans and the goodwill of offering a free prize, but the longer term benefits are missing.

Overall, Amazon Giveaway is a great option if you’re not worried about building your email (or mobile) list or don’t want the means to further contact entrants . But, for us as marketers, we consider that a primary goal.

Visit the site to try the tool for yourself.

How Mobile Coupons Win in Redemption

The days of clipping coupons from the weekly ad will soon be coming to a close. More than 75% of shoppers have redeemed a mobile coupon from their smartphones and that number is expected to rise.

Our clients have seen an increase in mobile coupon redemption of 7% to 12%. Compare that to the average 1% to 2% redemption for paper coupons. Since mobile coupons are so easy to sign up for and use, it’s plain to see how they’ve become so popular.

Another reason for its adoption is smartphone use. Smartphone users are typically highly engaged users, used to having a wealth of information at their fingertips. For a whopping 59% of these consumers, digital coupons influence their purchasing decisions.

What does this mean for you?

Not only does a mobile coupon increase the likelihood a user will buy your product, it also lets you continue to market to repeat buyers. You have the potential to increase the number of visits and the average sale as well.

Even for products consumers haven’t tried, mobile coupons are effective. As reported by Forrester Consulting, 47% of consumers are likely to try a new brand when receiving a coupon on their smartphone while shopping in-store.

While traditional forms of marketing, such as print and mass mailers, do have their place, mobile coupons will play a key role. Many large retailers have already introduced digital coupons as part of their promotional campaigns.

This trend won’t be slowing anytime soon, either. Per Juniper Research, mobile coupon users are expected to top 1 billion by 2019.

With more consumers using coupons than ever, it only makes sense to go mobile with your coupons. They allow you to connect directly with the consumer in a way that’s immediate and personal—you’re communicating on their mobile phones, after all.

Mobile Marketing Quotes for 2015

As industry insiders, we’ve been immersed in predictions of mobile marketing’s rise to prominence for years. If you’re a marketer, you might even be tired of hearing them. But they’re no longer foresights of the future. They’re the insights of today.

Take a look at these mobile marketing quotes from experts and ask yourself if you’re ready to make your move in mobile.

Mobile Marketing Quotes for 2015

“If your plans don’t include mobile, your plans are not finished.” – Wendy Clark, Coca-Cola

Mobile quote by Wendy Clark

 

“The trend has been mobile was winning. It’s now won.” Eric Schmidt, Google (2014)

Mobile quote by Eric Schmidt, Google

 

“Mobile is a lot closer to TV than it is to desktop.” – Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook

Mobile marketing quote by Mark Zuckerberg

 

“Mobile is not the future, it is the now. Meet your customers in the environment of their choice, not where it’s convenient for you.” – Cyndie Shaffstall, Spider Trainers

Marketing quote on mobile environment

 

“The future of mobile is the future of online. It is how people access online content now.” – David Murphy, Mobile Marketing Magazine

The future of mobile

 

For a little humor…  “I want to be buried with a mobile phone, just in case I’m not dead.” – Amanda Holden

A little mobile humor

 

“2015 will be the year of “mobile-first.” Get it to work on mobile first and let all other platforms follow. We’ll all be sick of hearing it by the end of the year.” – John Fox, Venture Marketing

2015: The year of mobile first

 

“SMS text messaging has proven its marketing value in reaching consumers at scale.” – Marcos Menendez, Momares Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing quote by Marcos Menendez

 

“We still see most of our clients cramming PC experiences onto phones when they should be thinking in terms of mobile moments instead.” – Julie A. Ask, Forrester Research

Mobile moments by Forrester Research

 

Forrester estimates that less than 4% of businesses are ready to take advantage of opportunities presented by mobile. Julie Ask, an analyst, outlines a few good strategies to get started in this article in Media Post.

Beside Julie Ask’s quote, most of these statements were made during the Mobile Retail Summit.

Email or Text Message Marketing? How They Compare

Some say email is dead. We don’t agree. It’s still an effective channel, but high growth is happening in text message marketing. Consider that text messaging has advanced at a rate of more than 25 times the advancement rate of email.

If you want to appeal to millennials and stay on top of current strategies, text message marketing is worth a try. Here’s a look at how it compares to email marketing and why it’s something you need to consider if you want to grow your business.

Text Messaging vs Email

  • On average, an email is not read until approximately 6 hours after it’s sent. In contrast, a text message is typically read within 14 minutes of being sent. That’s a pretty big difference.
  • The average person spends only about 20 minutes a day checking their emails. Compare that to the 16 hours a day the average person spends on his or her mobile phone.
  • Consumers are far more likely to redeem coupons they receive via text messages than those they receive via email. In fact, it’s estimated that about 1% of consumers redeem email coupons, while 15-30% redeem text coupons.

These statistics are pretty clear, but we’re not suggesting you write off email marketing all together. In fact, using them together can create a powerful combination.

Text Messaging and Email: A Powerful Marketing Combination

Text messaging and email marketing can provide a 1-2 punch. In fact, if you use them side-by-side, you’ll reach your targeted audience in a truly meaningful and highly effective way.

Here are some tips that can help you use the two together:

  • Send coupons or discount codes by email AND text. Customers can choose their preferred method and you’ll get a higher redemption rate.
  • Create instant redemption opportunities in store. (“Text CUPOFJOE to get a discount for signing up”)
  • Use text message to build both your mobile and email lists. With the use of smartphones, it’s easy to text a link to a web form to get emails as well.
  • Use email for longer messages to build branding or promote products or services.
  • Opt for text to send short messages about sales, promotions, events and timely information.

The long-and-short of it is this: If you want to get the most out of your marketing efforts, synching email and text message marketing is a must. 

How Text Message Marketing Can Build Customer Loyalty

Building a loyal customer base is a top priority. After all, it is these loyal customers who are going to keep bringing in business.

While there are tons of ways to increase customer loyalty, one is proving to be extremely effective: text message marketing.

If you aren’t yet taking advantage of this, it’s time to start using it to build a repeat customer base. Here’s a look at why it’s so effective.

90% of Text Messages are Read Within Minutes

It’s estimated that nearly half of all American adults have a smartphone and 90% of the text messages that are sent to those phones are read within three minutes of delivery.

Think about it… when you get a text, you usually read it soon after, right? With text messaging, not only can you stay in constant contact with your customers, you can also offer on-the-spot promotions that are good that day or within the next few days.

Promotions “On the Fly” or On Schedule

Is traffic at your store slower than expected ? We can send a text offering a special deal that day. Were you left with excess inventory on a specific item?  Offer a discount to boost sales and help clear it off the shelves. With text, you have immediacy and “on-the-fly” scheduling options.

While we usually set clients up with a consistent schedule of text messages, there’s also an advantage to being able to respond to events or situations with immediate messages. And your customers will love the extra deals and promotions.

Learn More About Your Customer

Get answers to surveys and on forms that will tell you more about your customers. You can ask for their date of birth, location, email and any other information that will help you serve them better.

High Conversions

Customers sign up because they want to hear from your business. When they hear from you consistently, whether it’s with discounts, information or contests, they’ll usually act on it. It’s been our experience that text messages generate a higher conversion rate than email, advertising and other forms of communication. In fact, one of our retail clients counts on getting thousands of dollars in sales after each text.

It Works in Conjunction with Your Email Marketing Campaign

Text messaging and email marketing are like a one-two marketing punch for your business.

Given the fact that an estimated 43% of consumers access their emails from their mobile, adding text messaging to the mix can really step up your marketing strategy. It can increase your reach, while boosting customer loyalty.

Things to Remember

There are a few things to remember when adding text messaging to your marketing mix. These include:

  • Text messaging is permission-based. Like email, subscribers must opt-in and give you permission to text them. The best way to do this is to have them subscribe themselves by texting a keyword to your personalized short code.
  • You have a limited amount of characters to work with; 160 characters, to be exact. This forces you to get right to the point!
  • Use a very clear call to action. The easier it is for your audience to understand what they will gain, the better. A great example is “Text PETS to 65047 to get special deals and a chance to win free pet food!”

With this info in mind, what are you waiting for? Add text messaging to your marketing campaign and watch your loyal customer base grow!