Online sweepstakes are being lauded as one of the most cost-effective ways to attract targeted females to your Web site and reward loyal users. Before the Web, middle-aged women were more likely than any other group to enter mail-in sweepstakes -- and they often made a hobby of it. As sweepstakes moved online, these female fans followed suit.
MarketingSherpa got some sweepstakes advice from Mike Reilly, President of Sweepstakes Online, a solution provider that owns SweepstakesBuilder.com. "60% of our site visitors are women," says Reilly. He also noted that sweepstakes aren't just for bigger women's sites, as sweepstakes solution providers cater to both small and large budgets. Online sweepstakes are run for everything from "Mom-and-Pop shops to international companies."
Reilly’s top tips:
COSTS: If you want to market a pre-existing sweepstakes, turnkey entry-level promotional packages can cost less than $150. OnlineSweeps.com offers a basic promotional package for $50. SweepstakesBuilder.com packages start at $129. Typical low-cost promotional programs can be "up and running within 24 hours."
Web sites with up to $5000 can afford bigger marketing programs that include banners ads plus internal (opt-in) and external distribution and media channels. Beyond $5000, sweepstakes promotion is all customized to the client's needs. In addition to e-marketing, custom sweeps campaigns can include radio spots and extensive offline media promotion.
BANNERS: Although you can expect an average 2.5% click-through on sweepstakes banner ads, "we've seen excellent campaigns with a 25% to 30% return if the banner is created correctly," advises Mike, referring to recent car and house giveaways. If your prize is a similar big-ticket item, remember that women like to "see pictures" and know the prize value. Use obvious words like "win" and "prizes" in your online billboard.
TEXT ADS: As far as text ads, such as those that run in this newsletter, make copy short, simple and to the point -- women don't want to read a lot of fluff. Use terminology familiar to your market segment. Finally, before you even build a sweepstakes, make sure you "know your marketing objective", urges Mike, cautioning that without good program creation, "it may already be too late" to promote.
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