Dec 14, 2000
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In September 2000 ePrize, an online sweepstakes provider, launched a new product specifically for small businesses entitled Signature Series eSweepstakes. The Series enables small businesses with tight budgets to market themselves with an online sweepstakes for three months for only $1,000.
Most small business owners have the perception that a sweepstakes would cost far too much to do, so ePrize had to get the word out that this wasn't true. Tony Laxa, ePrize's VP Marketing and Business Developed told us how ePrize managed this.
ePrize began a concentrated banner-advertising blitz on sites that get a lot of small business traffic, including Entrepreneur.com, Office.com and Microsoft's bCentral. In order to boost results, ePrize also ran ads and sponsorships in the site's related email newsletters.
Creative for the banners and ezine ads featured what Laxa calls, "A very strong call to action." He says, "They touted the fact that we have a fully-live, legal, turn-key sweeps solution and if they act now we'll add a viral component to their sweeps that's worth $2,500."
This message is very different than ePrize's usual campaigns which have targeted marketers at larger companies. Laxa says, "When we are targeting the FirstUSAs and General Motors, we're selling to committees or it's an agency. The sales cycle is two months compared to a couple of weeks for small merchants. We talk about custom branding and the ease of giving away a large sexy prize on your site. For small merchants we talk about the fast turn-around and low cost."
ePrize also rented Postmaster Direct small business owner opt-in email lists to do a blast campaign. The message was very short and powerful. Laxa says, "We used very strong copy with the call to action. It was only two paragraphs long."
For all marketing channels, Laxa was careful to note, "We're not sending click throughs to the home page. We've created separate landing pages for each campaign."
Laxa says, "Our banners are definitely doing better than what consumer campaigns have done historically. We're getting close to a .5% click through. The email newsletter
ads and blasts dropped just a couple of weeks ago, and we've already seen quite a few in-bound leads." Laxa is quick to give credit to agency Beyond Interactive for "doing a great job."