September 07, 2022
Case Study

Exchange Of Value, Before The Sale: 3 marketing examples showing how B2C companies got customers to take action


You might say, B2C companies are vastly different from B2B companies because they have a more straightforward conversion goal – get money, get money.

That’s a cringe-y way of saying, B2C companies are just trying to get a sale and don’t have to worry about long and winding funnels that involve lead generation, nurturing, qualification, etc.

And yet…

There are many times that a B2C company needs to win a conversion other than a direct monetary transaction as well. To spark your best ideas for improving these interactions with your customers, in this article we bring you examples of companies getting contest entries, app downloads, and email opens.

by Daniel Burstein, Senior Director, Content & Marketing, MarketingSherpa and MECLABS Institute

Exchange Of Value, Before The Sale: 3 marketing examples showing how B2C companies got customers to take action

This article was published in the MarketingSherpa email newsletter.

“The goal of the CTA is to initiate and complete the exchange of value,” Flint McGlaughlin taught in Call to Action Dangers: 7 critical mistakes that will hurt your conversion rates.

This is an important lesson for marketers and entrepreneurs. When our conversion goal is a sale, we are acutely aware that we are asking customers for something of value (namely, their money) and must communicate value in return.


There are many other ways we ask for value from customers (their time, information, trust, etc.). And it is all too easy to overlook how important the exchange of value is here as well.

So, to spur your best thinking the next time you have a conversion goal that is not a transactional sale, in this article we bring you three quick case studies.

First, a soccer team that got customers to enter a contest. Then, a generational platform that got more customers to download its app. And finally, a passport ID photo app that got more people to open its emails.

Quick Case Study #1: Professional soccer team reaches 30,193,077 people with Bitcoin contest

Southampton Football Club (FC) created an immersive Bitcoin hunt competition in partnership with its sponsor, Southampton is a professional soccer team that plays in the Premier League, the top tier of English soccer, and is 136 years old.

But that long heritage didn’t stop the marketing team from innovating the fan experience with a contest called The Bitcoin Hunt.

The team considers The Bitcoin Hunt the first of its kind, combining the physical world with the digital world across four rounds and giving fans the opportunity to win a Bitcoin worth £35,000 at the time. Given the limitations of crypto betting, the team only marketed to people over 25 years old.

The four rounds consisted of:

Round #1: Join the Hunt

QR codes were hidden around Southampton and the 32,000-seat St Mary’s Stadium on a matchday (game day), for fans to find, scan, and enter the hunt.

Creative Sample #1: QR codes in stadium

Creative Sample #1: QR codes in stadium

Round #2: The Perfect Connection

Working with its partners at Unit9, the team developed a blockchain-themed mobile game where fans had to connect existing Southampton kits (uniforms) to score enough points to enter

Round #3: The Social Hunt

Over a week, the team hid a Bitcoin in videos and images on its social platforms. Fans had to find all the Bitcoins and crack the hidden code to enter.

Creative Sample #2: Twitter post with hidden Bitcoin

Creative Sample #2: Twitter post with hidden Bitcoin

Round #4: The Live Final

Eight lucky winners were selected from the three previous rounds and went head-to-head at halftime of a home game versus Crystal Palace. The final round was a “Deal or No Deal” inspired game that allowed the finalists to randomly select boxes, with only one holding the ultimate Bitcoin prize.

Creative Sample #3: Clare Way wins The Bitcoin Hunt

Creative Sample #3: Clare Way wins The Bitcoin Hunt

The team says that fans embraced the hunt concept and got passionately involved, with a huge amount of buzz generated for the competition, 800 entries secured, and participants engaged with the competition for an average of almost five minutes.

“This campaign allowed us to gain experience tapping into the UK market. However,’s key audience is international, opening us to the exciting challenge of understanding and reaching a wider global audience,” said Charles Read, Head of Partnership Sales & Marketing, Southampton Football Club.

Given its innovative nature, The Bitcoin Hunt even received international media attention – 33 articles promoted the competition across international, national, regional, and trade press, reaching an estimated 30,193,077 people and spreading the word of Southampton FCs partnership with

Furthermore, the competition assisted with a vital part of its strategic vision to educate the world about cryptocurrencies and eliminate myths while bringing them into people’s everyday life, giving participants the chance to learn more about the world of Bitcoin and blockchain technology in a safe environment.

“Following fan feedback, if we were to run a similar competition, we would look to simplify some of the activation ideas, such as the QR-code hunt in round one and reduce the reliance on stadium internet connectivity on a match day,” Read said.

Quick Case Study #2: Switching from product features to customer stories increases conversion from 27% to 38% for generational platform app

“We had initially taken an approach inspired by Apple, which was product-centric multi-channel marketing,” said Joe Karasin, Head of Growth, CircleIt.

The team spent a lot of time focusing on what their platform does and expected the consumer to have an “aha moment” and decide to download it. So, the team ran a lot of ads that look like this…

Creative Sample #4: Digital ad for app

Creative Sample #4: Digital ad for app

And pushed them to landing pages like this…

Creative Sample #5: Landing page for app

Creative Sample #5: Landing page for app

The app was getting about 27% of people to click “Download” on the page.

“While we feel our application in people’s lives is self-evident, it isn’t always,” Karasin realized. Upon having that realization, the team tried a more consumer-focused approach – instead of talking about what the technology did, they focused on the ideal customer, their challenges and triumphs, and the app’s role in it all.

They filmed use case videos with a specific demo in mind and used these videos in their advertising. “We then chopped out the most impactful 30-second clips and used them across all channels – Facebook/Instagram, YouTube, YouTube shorts, LinkedIn, Twitter, email, etc. – to drive people to the full video with a simple CTA on our website,” he said.

Creative Sample #6: YouTube shorts video for app

Creative Sample #6: YouTube shorts video for app

Instead of driving visitors to a landing page, the new strategy brought people to a blog post that had a “DOWNLOAD CIRCLEIT” call-to-action at the bottom.

Creative Sample #7: Blog post for app

Creative Sample #7: Blog post for app

The new approach attracted 38% of visitors to click to download the app. “By shifting the focus from product features to this more consumer-centric approach, we saw an immediate lift. We have since recorded more content like this, and are taking this strategy forward,” Karasin said.

Quick Case Study #3: Emojis generate a 10% higher email open rate for passport photo app

The team at Passport Photo Online read two studies on emojis in email subject lines that got contrary results. Since the research was so unclear, they decided to see for themselves what works best for their audience.

So, they ran an A/B test to check if subject lines with emojis would get more openings than regular, word-only ones. Half of the email list got a standard text subject line, and the other half got the exact same text subject line but with an emoji as well.

Subject lines with emojis reached a 10% higher open rate and a 2% higher reply rate.

Now, the team adds a visual to each email message subject line. “This strategy really draws interest and rounds out the content of the topic. Just one thing to remember – one picture is enough. An emoji crowd is regarded as spam,” said Leszek Dudkiewicz, Head of Marketing, Passport Photo Online. “One image says more than a hundred words. Pictures are a powerful marketing tool because they pique attention, evoke emotions, and shorten the message.”

“Through this experience, we learned that it makes sense to make it easier for the audience to understand the content. The more concise our content is, the more accessible it is to our readers,” he said.

Related resources

Value Proposition: Congress has a value exchange problem … do your marketing offers?

Marketing 101: What is a squeeze page?

Value Gulfs: Making sure there is differentiated product value when marketing upgrades and upsells

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