Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Working Smarter: How to Win Customers with Competitions

People love competitions so they are an excellent way to keep in touch with your clients and to make new clients.

Competitions come in all shapes and sizes and have different potential and actual benefits to businesses, depending on what you are seeking as an outcome. Consider this case study from Sam's Hardware Supplies.

Sam's manager Marty wanted to run a competition for parents that would involve the whole family, especially those with younger children. This demographic, he figured, consists of a lot of parents with lower disposable income who do much of their own work about their houses ... DIY (Do it Yourself). He wanted to give the kids some fun, get the parents into the shop and get them to take a good look at many of the new lines that had arrived. Finally, he wanted to build an email list to whom he could send details about specials and invite to events.

Sam chose a range of prizes. First prize was a $300 bicycle that came in options for two sizes depending on the age and gender of the winner. Second prize was a child's wheelbarrow valued at $75 and there were several metal trucks, bedside lamp/radios and stuffed animals for third prize and consolation winners. Fifty 10% discount coupons were thrown in for good measure.

The competition was advertised a week beforehand in the news media and by passing out entry cards for those who visited the shop. It was scheduled to be held on a Sunday because parents are often busy taking kids to sports on Saturdays. At midday there was to be a hot dog handout with free hotdogs for children under 16 and low cost hotdogs for parents and others.

Each entrant completed a card with their name and email address to which the winner could be notified if he or she wasn't present. Entrants were also asked if they wanted to receive special offers, notification of discounts and special competitions and events and ticked an approval box if they agreed.

On the rear of the entrant application was a search matrix with photographs of hardware items and a question about each item. Children had to walk around the shop with their parents and find specific information eg, how much is a ball pene hammer from Stanley? What is the stock number for a Ryobi 10mm electric drill?

On the Sunday of this competition, Sam's had 380 people who entered the competition. Three refrained from ticking the box option agreeing to receive email messages. The competition was considered an outstanding success.

By Tuesday following the competition Sam's staff had been through the entries and selected the winners. The first prize winner was invited to the shop to pick up the bicycle and publicity photographs were taken and later published in local news media and placed on a poster near the front door. Others were advised by email to drop in and collect their prizes, which they did during the week.

Sam's Hardware Supplies runs competitions two or three times per year and uses GroupMail Business email marketing software to manage their email messages. Among the many advantages, they can personalise each message even though sending thousands. They can also target specific regions of their township and subscribe and unsubscribe their list automatically. Running the program is a snap.

Does your firm run competitions? If you were asked to run a competition for your business, what type of competition would you run?


Download Group Mail Free v3.4

1 comment:

  1. Jennifer Marlo wrote an interesting complementary article about How email marketing gone wrong can be made right. You may be interested in reading that too. Go here:


Thanks for commenting. Comments with inappropriate content or spam will not be approved.