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Best Viral Email Campaign:
Papa Murphy's Pizza: Calling all Canadian Pizza Eaters
Brand/Client Side Team:
In-Touch Survey Systems Ltd.
MarketingSherpa Summary - Why They Won:
It's awfully hard to get consumers who are not on your house list to respond to surveys. (After all, how much survey-style spam do you get every day?) Not only did this email generate enough consumer data for the client to make confident business launch decisions, but also they generated a nice-sized opt-in list for future surveys.
From Their Nomination Form:
Papa Murphy's Pizza wanted to expand into Canada but didn't know whether the Canadian market was any different from the American market. Our goal as their market research partner was to get a statistically relevant number of Web surveys completed by Canadians. Papa Murphy's didn't have a list of Canadian email addresses, nor did they know where they could get one. We had an internal list of 1,400 names of Canadians who had worked with us in the past. They were representative of the typical Canadian, so we decided to start with them. Our goal was to deliver 600 completed surveys -- a very aggressive 42% response rate on an email campaign to our 1,400 names. We knew we needed the campaign to be forwarded if it was to work. We decided to add an incentive -- an Apple iPod would be given away to one of the survey participants. Not a huge prize, but we know from experience that incentives increase survey results.
Our list had not been used in quite awhile, so we first sent an email postcard letting these people know that an invitation to participate was forthcoming. This gave them a chance to refuse, ie: unsubscribe and it allowed us to then craft a more focused email that we hoped would be forwarded. We then sent the survey/contest invitation -- keeping it short and sweet -- asking people to complete the survey, enter the draw and forward the email to their friends. Of the 1,400 emails sent, we had a 50% open rate and 422 completed the survey, a 30% conversion rate -- an excellent result but shy of our 600 survey goal. The viral component clearly worked though, as 1 week later the total number of surveys completed was 1,666! We ended the campaign with a 119% conversion rate, 266 more people did the survey than we contacted directly by email. Our very simple campaign delivered very real and measurable value to our client. The lesson learned was 'keep it simple and deliver real value.' We decided to push for one more thing. We wanted to reach those people who were not on our original list and see whether we could get them to opt in for future invitations. We sent out a thank-you postcard to our 1,600+ survey respondents telling them who won the iPod (we always hate those contests where you never know who won) and then we asked them to opt in for future surveys. Of the 982 who opened that email, 50% opted in. We grew our list from 1,400 to 1,900 and delivered a great market research report to our client.
We like this campaign because it delivered real quantifiable results. Most viral email campaigns are fun, but most don't show a real business result, and rarely does one hit the bottom line of an income statement. It was short and sweet and obviously compelling despite its simplicity. So many other campaigns lose themselves in complexity. Because it was short and sweet, it could be done quickly and cost effectively -- no huge design costs, no multimedia, no dancing chicken videos. Simple value based messaging. We also like the dual purpose -- we got the results our client wanted and we grew our own list at the same time.
First sending of invite: received by 1,395 people -- 701 opened (50%), 588 clicked through to the survey (42% received/84% of opened), 422 completed the survey (30% of received/60% of opened). Total number of completed surveys after 1 week: 1,666. Total from original campaign: 422. Total from forwarded emails: 1,244. Thank You/Winner Announced/Sign up for More Campaign: 1,636 received, 982 opened (60%), 481 signed up (39% of the survey respondents who were not on our original list). Growth of Opt In List: from 1,400 to 1,876 (35% growth). Original Business Goal: 600 completed surveys. Final Result: 1,666 completed surveys and an ecstatic customer.