Oct 17, 2000
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Avis Europe’s yourautochoice.com, the UK’s widest source of nearly-new cars, launched at the beginning of August. The marketing team is currently building its own opt-in email list for use in future targeted email campaigns – it was decided some time ago that, for them, this would be easier, and more cost-effective in the long run than acquiring a ready-made list. So - how did they set about building a list of addresses quickly, whilst ensuring that as many of them as possible were qualified leads.
yourautochoice.com decided to run a prize draw at the new site – up for grabs: a new car, 100 cases of wine and, for every entrant, a voucher worth £20 off the purchase price of one of the nearly-new cars available at the site. They opted not to publicise the draw but to have it appear as a surprise pop-up on the site’s home page, hoping to reduce the number of entries from people interested in the prize draw only. They also intended to use it as a way of measuring the success of their various launch marketing campaigns by including a ‘Where did you hear about us?’ drop-down on the within the pop-up. To further discourage entries from online competition hunters, site visitors were told clearly that competition entry meant opting-in to future emails from the company.
The prize draw is still running, but yourautochoice.com is already pleased with the results. In the first week, 9,000 people (50% of visitors to the site) entered, and hence submitted their addresses for future marketing campaigns. Fred Burt, yourautochoice.com’s Marketing Manager recognises that many entrants will be “in for a freebie” (despite measures to deter them). However, he says, the addresses collected will provide “a critical channel of communication in an industry where the purchase consideration period is typically 3 months”.
The key to the campaign’s success so far? “Sales promotion basics,” says Fred – “making the prizes accessible. Consumers are very sceptical about a single high-value prize, and the entry levels in such cases are typically very low. But we now have a long list of truly targeted email addresses - of people who have already seen our site and who have agreed to receive mailings from us in the future. The challenge now, of course, is to convert the leads into sales but that task will be a great deal easier as a result of the draw.”
COST: Since no marketing of the prize draw took place, the whole exercise cost little more than the total value of the prizes on offer.
NOTES: What were the top responses to the “Where did you hear about us?” question? Fred Burt, who strongly recommends this method of measuring the relative successes of your marketing campaigns, tells us that search engines and advertisements in national newspapers appear to have been most successful in creating awareness of yourautochoice.com. He also admits to being “somewhat surprised” by the number of competition entrants who claim to have responded to a TV campaign. The company has not advertised on television to date. We guess that, if nothing else, this proves that they selected a memorable URL!