How To Improve Grimmway Farms’ “The Biggest Loser” Mobile Sweepstakes

From Dec. 2012 through Dec. 2013, Grimmway Farms is giving smartphone owners a chance to win a stay at The Biggest Loser Resort and other fitness-inspired prizes. If you want to participate, all you have to do is scan the QR code on the Grimmway Farms baby carrots package and the scan will take you to a sweepstakes landing page to register. Sounds simple and straight forward enough. The problem I see is that they are leaving prospects and contest entries on the table. They are not opening the door wide enough to let the complete mobile target market enter their sweepstakes.










You shouldn’t just offer a QR code as the main entry point because it ignores half of the mobile customers who still don’t have smartphones. Using a QR code as the only option is also risky because you’re assuming that those consumers who do have smartphones also have a QR-code reader and, more importantly, know how to use it.

Grimmway Farms does a good job of promoting the entry website URL,, in case the participant can’t participate, won’t take the time to use the QR app, or simply doesn’t know what the pixilated black and white cube is for.







If you’re promoting a mobile contest, you also have to make sure your website can render in mobile devices properly. Sending visitors to a regular desktop webpage turns them off and makes it very hard to find and signup for the sweepstakes.  As you can see from the screenshot below, the website is not optimized for mobile devices. The most important part–the sweepstakes registration form– is out of frame and the background image is so large it takes more than 30 seconds for the page to load on a 4G phone.

Mobile screenshot of the sweepstakes landing page for the Grimmway Farms “The Biggest Loser” Mobile Sweepstakes.

Grimmway Farms should consider adding a text-in call-to-action to ensure that everyone with mobile phones can register for the sweepstakes. “Text CRUNCH to 65047 for a chance to win a stay at The Biggest Loser Resort,” is one example. A simple text call-to-action can engage the whole mobile target market and provide registrants with an instant text response as well.

The (SMS) text response can include a link to the mobile optimized page to complete the registration and I say complete the registration because once a participant opts-in, the company would have instantly collected the unique mobile number of that participant or prospect. It would then just be a matter of entering the rest of the form. Grimmway Farms would end up with complete profile information for the participant, plus permission to send them offers or coupons for their sweet baby carrots.

Using Text (SMS) for Sweepstakes Entries Makes Mobile Sense

Forrester report  “The Mobile Marketing Playbook” published on December 05, 2012 breaks down the mobile market by types of users. What’s amazing to see is that SMS text messages are used  by every user in each category except for the 7% that don’t own a mobile phone. If you are going to set up a sweepstake or contest with a mobile component,  it makes sense to add text-in entries as part of the entry submission process since pretty much everyone can and does text. A call-to-action that reads text “WIN to 65047 to submit your entry”  is much more efficient scanning a QR code or completing a paper form and it reaches all the types of mobile phone users.

How to Set Up a Text Message Donation Program for a Small Nonprofit

Our hearts go out to those affected by Hurricane Sandy. Thankfully, there are many relief efforts underway.  Many are supported by donations (see links to donate below) and some, like the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, are even using mobile technology to get text message donations quickly and easily.

If you’re a non-profit organization or a small business supporting a cause, you can easily create your own text message donation program as well.

Set up a Donors Mobile Campaign

Here’s how it works:

  • Ask donors to give a donation by sending a text with your new keyword to 65047.
  • An automatic response can be set to thank donors and link them to a mobile optimized credit card processing form to complete the donation.
  • The donations are then transferred to the organization.

We realize it’s a little extra work to have donors complete a credit card from instead of automatically charging the donation on the mobile phone bill. But the auto billing system is costly for small organizations, the organization needs to be a large national charity and requires a year-long contract.

Advantages of our mobile donations system

Our mobile donations campaign offers a few advantages…

  • You can collect donations of more than $10 (the max limit for donations billed through cell phone carriers).
  • You can collect additional information such as name, mobile phone, address and email as part of the transaction.
  • It’s easy to promote this campaign in ads, TV or radio.
  • It’s easier for donors to pledge while they’re away from home or their computers.
  • You’ll have a mobile list of donors you can contact later—to thank them, announce you’ve reached your goal, etc.

We sincerely hope nonprofits and charities take advantage of mobile technology to support their causes. If you’re a member of such a group, contact us. We’d be happy to work with you to get started.

To send your own donation to relief efforts visit…

Red Cross Disaster Relief
(Or send a text with REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10)

20 Ways to Find Out if You are a Closet Marketer

I believe we are all marketers. Regardless of what you do for a living, you have had to convince someone or “sell” something.

We all have to present a compelling emotional and/or rational argument to get our way, whether it’s for an idea, product, service or simply to get someone to follow along. So, I believe we are all marketers in the end.

The question now is… are you in the “closet” about it? It’s OK if you are. I have many friends who are in the marketing closet.

It’s time to do some soul searching. Try to discover and embrace your inner marketer with the next 20 points. Keep a mental record of the ones you agree with below and see what the analysis chart says about your marketing tendencies.

You must be a marketer…

1. If you drive on the freeway and read all the billboards.

2. If you don’t automatically filter out ads and like to read them or watch them on TV.

3. If you immediately recognize when you have an “impulse buy” impulse.

4. If you read the fine print on coupons.

5. If you wonder how junk mail still provides a return on investment, but set a budget aside for direct mail campaigns.

6. If you are so drawn in to TV ads, you forget which show you’re watching.

7. If beautiful packaging catches your eye, even though you have no use for the product.

8. If your ears screech when you hear annoying radio ads from car dealerships, but know that with enough repetition people will remember them.

9. If you’re nauseated by the annoying TV ads from car dealerships, but forgive them because you know they’ll sacrifice quality and creative to spend the budget on as many TV spots possible.

10. If you read subject lines on Spam emails, just to see if you get any good email subject line ideas.

11. If you watch the Super Bowl just for the TV ads.

12. 12. If you buy designer sunglasses knowing that you’re mostly paying for the money the designer spent on branding and are fine with it.

13. If you know creativity has nothing to do with budget, but everything to do with brainpower.

14. If you read marketing books like they were part of the Twilight series.

15. If you see your car’s brand logo on the steering wheel and think, “That’s good brand placement.”

16. If you visit Apple stores not to buy their products but to revel in the beauty of the brand and retail experience.

17. If you’ve thought about the potential branding impact of naming a child with your product’s name.

18. If you wonder whether the toilet paper and moist toilet wipes combination will ever replace dry toilet paper.

19. If you really love coupons.

20. If you offer your kid a 7-Up and he say he’d rather have a Sprite. And you think…damn branding, like Jerry Seinfeld says “Newman”.

Scoring Chart

If you agree with 5 of the above: It’s ok, marketing is in you. Foster it and it will grow.

If you agree with 10 of the above: Are you in a marketing position? If not, consider a new career.

If you agree with 15 of the above: Not only are you a marketer. You’re also a discerning one.

If you agree with all of the above: You and I are marketing soul mates. I embrace you as my significant marketing other and feel sorry for you, as none should be this way…I know.

If you don’t agree with any of the above: Text CLOSET to 65047 to get an analysis of your results. We need to keep your results confidential.

Add your own points or improve on the ones above. Tell me on Facebook, comment on our blog or email me at