Nature Sweet’s Win A Trip to the 2014 Superbowl sweepstake is a simple and easy to enter promotion. You have the choice of texting the word “SUNBURSTSMVP” to shortcode “66937” or visiting www.sunburstsmvp.com to complete a simple form that asks for the name, email and mobile number of the participant. There is a barely legible fine print with a summary of the promotion and sweepstake rules that if you can read it, helps get the key contest rules established. The sweepstake entry process is obstacle free and the main prize is very enticing. It can’t be any easier to enter, just send a text and you’re in. Nice job Nature Sweet!
Wholly Guacamole Fridge Makeover Sweepstakes is beautifully made, polished and a very creative contest. I love the spokesperson persona of the 50s housewife with white pearls and the talking fridge begging for healthy food and a makeover.
The sweepstakes objectives seem to be two-fold:
1. Capture name, email and zip code as part of the entry (pretty straightforward)
2. Provide a discount coupon on purchase (not so straight forward)
Coupon delivery methodology should be streamlined
They do a great job with the branding and messaging but where they stumble is in the coupon delivery methodology. The first hurdle is going through a printer status check list before you can proceed. The list asks you to check your printer for paper, ensure your printer is on, check ink levels and make sure it’s connected.
It’s pretty crazy to assume that people who intend to print need that many instructions on printing. It’s a safe bet that if you have a printer, this is not the first time you are using it. It gets more burdensome… after you check your printer’s status, you have to download www.coupons.com app in order to print the coupon. What? Yes, I said the same thing. Download an app to get a coupon?
Why do I have to download an app to get a coupon?
My question for Wholly Guacamole is why make it so cumbersome to print a simple coupon? Isn’t the goal to get them the coupon as easily as possible so they can use it to buy guacamole? A link to a page where the coupon is will suffice. People know how to print it. Or better yet, add an instant mobile coupon they can request via text message. This way they don’t event have to print it and the coupon is on their mobile phone.
Make it easy to get the coupon and join the sweepstakes!
Wholly Guacamole could say “To get this coupon on your phone, text GUAC to 65047.” Simple, elegant and effective. The company could then print the mobile coupon call-to-action in all the product packages, website, and social media outlets. And now with the permission to text them, you can send them a text letting them know about the Wholly Guacamole Fridge Makeover Sweepstakes and how they could join from their mobile phone. They could leverage their super nice mobile website by creating a mobile sweepstake entry point.
This sweepstakes would benefit tremendously from mobile since it bridges the gap between the purchase at the retail store and the online world by letting the consumer easily pull the coupon on the go or from the website.
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, www.justcrunchem.com, 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 justcrunchem.com 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.
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.
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.
Retailers and brands can quickly reach their most frequent customers using text-based advertising, however Lipof Advertising creative director Nathan Lowery says businesses that inundate their customers with meaningless marketing messages are actually doing more harm than good. In his experience handling advertising and marketing for Pet Supermarket, a regional pet store chain with 127 outlets in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee, Lowery has noticed that customers are less likely to unsubscribe from SMS advertising lists when they’re sent messages that have actual value, like coupons and discount codes.
Tell me about Lipof Advertising’s relationship with Pet Supermarket. How have you helped manage their campaigns?
We have been their advertising agency for about 10 years. We provide all of the print, radio, TV, and digital marketing solutions for them. That includes media placement, and production; everything soup to nuts.
Given that you’ve been working with them for the last decade, what are some of the changes in advertising or media placement that you’ve noticed over that time?
We’re doing more customer retention, which would involve text messaging, Facebook, and direct mail to existing customers. In the past, it was more customer acquisition. We still do a lot of customer acquisition with consumer advertising, but we’re also able to do more targeted messages because we have more data to work with now. [We look at] geographical data, demographic data, and purchase history. [How we get this data] depends on what our objective is. For the purchase history, Pet Supermarket has that data. For the geographical data and household income data, we can buy that when we buy mailing lists. We’re also able to do things a little quicker now that Facebook is instantaneous and text messaging is pretty much instantaneous.
What are some of the challenges that Pet Supermarket has when it comes to customer retention or customer acquisition?
I think one of the main challenges is the competition, because there are a number of other pet supply retailers that carry very similar products or the same products. We try to inform customers that Pet Supermarket stores are a little bit smaller, but they also pride themselves in having much better customer service, which some of the other pet specialty stores don’t offer. So that’s one big challenge. Another challenge is that a lot of people still purchase their pet food from the grocery store or from stores like Target or Wal-Mart, which would be considered mass retail. We try to explain the benefits of feeding a premium pet food, so the customer buying their dog food at Publix [knows he] is not [getting] the same quality as a higher end food bought at a pet specialty store.
I know Pet Supermarket sends text-based coupons. How did you first get involved with that?
We knew Marcos [Menendez, CEO of Momares, a mobile coupon platform] because he was already working for us on an e-newsletter. His other company, Loop Consulting, was doing our e-newsletter, and he brought us the idea. He showed us some other companies that were doing [text-based promotions] and some case studies. We started advertising [the program] in the stores and on printed materials to get people involved, and it really took off. A lot of people were interested. Every month we [pick] a winner and give away free pet food for a year. So everyone who enters [their phone number] has a chance to win. Then, we also send out coupons and messages. We want to keep the messages fresh, and we want to not overdo it. We typically send out one or two messages a month. We don’t want to annoy people, and we pay [Momares] per text message.
We are able to see when people leave the group or want their numbers removed from the list, and we have found that as long as we’re sending messages that have value they are staying in and they love it. If we send messages that don’t have value, don’t have some sort of savings, or are very product-specific, then they will leave. We can actually see that happen. We try to have some sort of value with the messages — usually it’s a $1-off discount across any purchase. [That allows] dog food customers to take advantage of it, cat customers, bird customers, and fish customers. It’s not brand specific or anything like that. We send the same message to [customers] at all [Pet Supermarket] stores because we’re not able to see, or we don’t know, what stores the people shop at. All we know is their area code. Beyond that, we don’t know where they’re at.
What has the feedback been from customers since you started sending mobile coupons?
They seem to like it because we send out a lot of coupons by text. In today’s economy coupons are very big, so people see a lot of value in it. We have a lot of people joining and we have very few people opting out, so I think there’s a lot of interest. We are able to track the redemption rates on the coupons that we send out and the messages that we send out. We just send out a five-digit code and we say what the offer is. [Customers] just show the associate at the register that five-digit code, and they get the discount.
Looking forward, where do you see Pet Supermarket’s going in terms of marketing and advertising?
I think it’s going to get more and more specific, to where we can track customers’ spending habits and we can tailor messages directly to those customers. If someone is a Nutro dog food buyer, we’ll [be able to] send them messages that pertain to Nutro dog food. And, we’ll be able to group people by how often they shop. With smartphones, at some point we’re going to be able to send out coupons with an actual bar code or an actual graphic. I think that’s probably going to be happening sooner rather than later.
Stephanie Miles is an associate editor at Street Fight. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Source: Street Fight