Posted on

Wheat Thins Text-to-Win Makes It Dead Easy to Enter the Sweepstakes

Wheat Thins, those adorable wheat crackers are giving away 5 flatscreen TV’s just in time for college basketball’s NCAA March Madness. What is truly mad about this sweepstakes is how easy it is to submit your entry. Want to win a TV? Just send a text message with the word WHEATTHINS to the phone number 63065 (short code) and you are in. No from to fill out. Not even a website form asking for additional information. Just send a text message. This text-to-win sweepstakes entry process will undoubtedly result in far more participants than any other means of sweepstake entry submissions. True to its strategic approach Mondelez (parent company of Nabisco) is going ahead and dedicating more of its budget to mobile. Mondelez is taking the lead in mobile and will reap the benefits of obtaining permission to communicate with their customers and on most the important screen…their mobile phone.

Posted on

KFC Uses Text (SMS) To Make Sweepstakes Entry a Breeze

KFC’s and Dr. Pepper’s “From Medium to Larger than Life” sweepstakes offers participants a chance to win a trip to the Academy of Country Music Awards. What makes this sweepstake truly remarkable is not the prize but how easy it is to enter. All participants have to do is just send a text with the code found on the soda cup to a short code and that’s it! You’re in!

What I like most of all is that it’s tied to a purchase. In order to get the code you must buy a soda and no one at KFC just buys a soda. The purchase usually includes a meal. A one-two punch. You can also go the mobile site and enter for free with no purchase but you have to register and fill out the form which is tedious and not as easy as sending a text-to-enter. KFC’s done a good job at properly using mobile to increase to sweepstakes participants. Through the sweepstakes, KFC will build database of mobile subscriber that they will use to send offers and coupons via text message. Well done! (pun intended)

Posted on

Disney’s Fantasyland Sweepstakes Pays Lip Service to Mobile

Disney Stores’ new sweepstakes offers a vacation getaway for 5 days/4 nights to the New Fantasyland® at Walt Disney World® Resort. Nice! Fantasyland is the biggest expansion in Magic Kingdom® Park history.

Daytime Phone = Mobile Phone?

Disney does a great job of setting up a simple mobile website to promote the sweepstakes and offer a mobile form for entry. What I found particularly interesting is that Disney doesn’t ask for a mobile phone number as part of the entry. It’s a mobile site, right? And you’d think the customer must be mobile savvy? Instead they ask for a “Daytime Phone.” Not “Home Phone” or “Office Phone,” but daytime phone. In this mobile age, what is your daytime phone? Home phone? Work phone? Or is it an indirect way of asking for your mobile number? If so, why not just ask for the mobile phone? After all, if you enter the sweepstakes and win, wouldn’t you like to be informed right away?

Is Disney’s Mobile Marketing on Auto-Pilot?

If they’re on auto-pilot and creating a mobile site with a standard form are part of the process, then what else are they missing? It makes you wonder if Disney marketers are making good use of the database of mobile numbers they can get or if they’re avoiding having to create a new campaign for mobile marketing. Why set up a mobile sweepstakes site, if mobile marketing isn’t part of the plan? Are marketers just paying lip service to mobile? Or is it a missed opportunity to capture the most important number in a customer’s life?

What do you think? Comment below.

Posted on

Mississippi Tourism’s Sweepstakes Incorporates Mobile Entry Nicely

Thinking of Mississippi for your Spring Break vacation? The great state of Mississippi wants you to include them in your vacation plans and they are willing to throw in a new NauticStar boat to help you with your decision.

To enter, you can visit their website from any device (desktop, tablet, phablet or mobile phone) because their entry form nicely accommodates the device you’re using online. It’s a thoughtful and marketing savvy decision to create a mobile-optimized site that can work seamlessly with any mobile device.

It’s about the total entries

One of the main objectives in sweepstakes marketing is to gain the largest amount of entries, because each entry represents a potential customer or in this case, Mississippi visitor, that can be marketed to. The more entries captured, the lower the cost of the sweepstakes per entry. Think ROI.

The only thing Mississippi missed is a text-to-win call to action

Mississippi’s mobile effort is pretty good, but if you really want to bring in the entries, they should add a text-to-enter call to action (Text VISITMS to 65047 for a chance to win a 2013 NauticStar!). Participants could be directed to finish completing the entry form from their mobile phone. Mississippi would capture not only their full profile, but also the permission to send them text reminders. Think of the possibilities… they could text about their lists of best restaurants, hotels, places of interest and all of the other reasons why Mississippi would be a great place to visit this summer!

 

Posted on

Using QR Codes for Sweepstakes Entry: Easy for Marketers, but Hard for Consumers!

That’s me at a Sedano’s Supermarket trying to scan a QR code from a Coca Cola display. Although the QR code image in the display seems prominent, I’m on my tippy toes. It seems to be the only way to scan the code and a few people around me were staring.

Here I’m trying to enter the Nature’s Own “Big Green Giveaway” for a ceramic grill. I’m squatting and pointing and waiting for the QR reader to decipher the code. This process takes about 30 seconds and it’s embarrassing to squat there waiting for it to take me to a page with an entry from.

And the same exercise is happing here for the Florida’s Lottery sweepstakes.

All of these companies want you to use your mobile device to enter or at least start the entry process and that, in theory, is a great idea. At this point more than half of the US population has smartphones, which are capable of scanning QR codes.

Capable of scanning a QR code does not mean functional

Where these companies fail is in the integration of mobile into the real world of the consumer shopping experience. As you can see, scanning these codes require first a smartphone, then a QR code app to decode the QR code, along with the muscle flexibility and willingness to embarrass yourself in public for the sake of a QR scan.

They are spending lots of money designing, printing and placing ads for the sweepstakes without realizing that the real world experience of scanning a QR code from a display is pretty awful. And worst of all, none of the ads have a website address so if I can’t squat or scan, I can’t enter the sweepstakes online either.

Easy for marketers, but what about consumers?

Part of the problem lies in the nature of QR codes. Since QR codes are free to make and simple to produce, marketers can simply slap a code on the ad, display or package and say, “Now we are doing mobile” and go home satisfied with their work. Failing to see how it plays out in the physical world means they miss out many more entries to the contest.

What about making the QR code easier to scan by placing it in a better, more accessible place? This would help, but in reality displays aren’t always displayed as intended and the consumer still has a few hurdles. They have to first understand what the QR code is and what they’re supposed to do with it, have a QR reader app on their smartphone and finally, be willing and able to scan it in public. When was the last time you scanned a QR code? The average consumer has never scanned a QR code in his life, much less owned a QR reader.

Adoption rate isn’t there yet

But do you know what kind of mobile technology they are very familiar with? You guessed it… text messages. According to Pew Internet, currently 79% of cell phone owners use text. Compare this to 9% of adults in the US who have used a QR code, according to eMarketer. Instead of asking consumers to literally bend, squat, stretch and risk looking like a weirdo, why don’t companies simply ask the consumer to send a text message? Anyone can read and comfortably send a text privately. The system can respond with an entry confirmation or a link to a mobile entry form. Done! Barriers removed for the consumer and more sweepstakes entries for the marketer. Pet Supermarket has it right. Budwesier has it right as well.

The beauty of text

The beauty of using text for a sweepstakes entry is that it makes the process simple, fast and a lot more fun. Each mobile phone number is unique and serves as the identifier for the winner. Plus text entries come with an awesome benefit for marketers. They capture the most important number in a customer’s life… their mobile phone. Texting in a sweepstakes entry is the fastest and most effective way to open the door to communicating with the mobile consumer. With permission granted, the company can now directly reach that consumer with additional products or relevant offers and, more importantly, to notify them if they win.

PS: To be fair to Sedano’s Supermarkets and Coca Cola, the contest rules’ fine print on the boxes says you can scan, visit a URL or text in your entry. But consumers shouldn’t have to squint their eyes and read the fine print to see this.

Do you scan QR codes? Tell us in a comment below.

Posted on

Nature Sweet’s Text-In To Enter Sweepstakes Make It Easy for Participants to Enter

Nature Sweet’s Win A Trip to the 2014 Superbowl sweepstake is a simple and easy to enter promotion. You have the choice of texting the word “SUNBURSTSMVP” to shortcode “66937” or visiting www.sunburstsmvp.com  to complete a simple form that asks for the name, email and mobile number of the participant. There is a barely legible fine print with a summary of the promotion and sweepstake rules that if you can read it, helps get the key contest rules established. The sweepstake entry process is obstacle free and the main prize is very enticing. It can’t be any easier to enter, just send a text and you’re in.  Nice job Nature Sweet!

Posted on

Wholly Guacamole Sweepstakes Could Benefit from a Mobile Coupon

Wholly Guacamole Fridge Makeover Sweepstakes is beautifully made, polished and a very creative contest. I love the spokesperson persona of the 50s housewife with white pearls and the talking fridge begging for healthy food and a makeover.

The sweepstakes objectives seem to be two-fold:

1.    Capture name, email and zip code as part of the entry (pretty straightforward)
2.    Provide a discount coupon on purchase (not so straight forward)

Coupon delivery methodology should be streamlined

They do a great job with the branding and messaging but where they stumble is in the coupon delivery methodology. The first hurdle is going through a printer status check list before you can proceed. The list asks you to check your printer for paper, ensure your printer is on, check ink levels and make sure it’s connected.

It’s pretty crazy to assume that people who intend to print need that many instructions on printing. It’s a safe bet that if you have a printer, this is not the first time you are using it. It gets more burdensome… after you check your printer’s status, you have to download www.coupons.com app in order to print the coupon. What? Yes, I said the same thing. Download an app to get a coupon?

Why a printer checklist? People who own a printer know how to work one.

Why do I have to download an app to get a coupon?

My question for Wholly Guacamole is why make it so cumbersome to print a simple coupon? Isn’t the goal to get them the coupon as easily as possible so they can use it to buy guacamole? A link to a page where the coupon is will suffice. People know how to print it. Or better yet, add an instant mobile coupon they can request via text message. This way they don’t event have to print it and the coupon is on their mobile phone.

Make it easy to get the coupon and join the sweepstakes!

Wholly Guacamole could say “To get this coupon on your phone, text GUAC to 65047.” Simple, elegant and effective. The company could then print the mobile coupon call-to-action in all the product packages, website, and social media outlets. And now with the permission to text them, you can send them a text letting them know about the Wholly Guacamole Fridge Makeover Sweepstakes and how they could join from their mobile phone. They could leverage their super nice mobile website by creating a mobile sweepstake entry point.

This sweepstakes would benefit tremendously from mobile since it bridges the gap between the purchase at the retail store and the online world by letting the consumer easily pull the coupon on the go or from the website.

Posted on

How To Improve Grimmway Farms’ “The Biggest Loser” Mobile Sweepstakes

From Dec. 2012 through Dec. 2013, Grimmway Farms is giving smartphone owners a chance to win a stay at The Biggest Loser Resort and other fitness-inspired prizes. If you want to participate, all you have to do is scan the QR code on the Grimmway Farms baby carrots package and the scan will take you to a sweepstakes landing page to register. Sounds simple and straight forward enough. The problem I see is that they are leaving prospects and contest entries on the table. They are not opening the door wide enough to let the complete mobile target market enter their sweepstakes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You shouldn’t just offer a QR code as the main entry point because it ignores half of the mobile customers who still don’t have smartphones. Using a QR code as the only option is also risky because you’re assuming that those consumers who do have smartphones also have a QR-code reader and, more importantly, know how to use it.

Grimmway Farms does a good job of promoting the entry website URL, www.justcrunchem.com, in case the participant can’t participate, won’t take the time to use the QR app, or simply doesn’t know what the pixilated black and white cube is for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re promoting a mobile contest, you also have to make sure your website can render in mobile devices properly. Sending visitors to a regular desktop webpage turns them off and makes it very hard to find and signup for the sweepstakes.  As you can see from the screenshot below, the justcrunchem.com website is not optimized for mobile devices. The most important part–the sweepstakes registration form– is out of frame and the background image is so large it takes more than 30 seconds for the page to load on a 4G phone.

Mobile screenshot of the sweepstakes landing page for the Grimmway Farms “The Biggest Loser” Mobile Sweepstakes.

Grimmway Farms should consider adding a text-in call-to-action to ensure that everyone with mobile phones can register for the sweepstakes. “Text CRUNCH to 65047 for a chance to win a stay at The Biggest Loser Resort,” is one example. A simple text call-to-action can engage the whole mobile target market and provide registrants with an instant text response as well.

The (SMS) text response can include a link to the mobile optimized page to complete the registration and I say complete the registration because once a participant opts-in, the company would have instantly collected the unique mobile number of that participant or prospect. It would then just be a matter of entering the rest of the form. Grimmway Farms would end up with complete profile information for the participant, plus permission to send them offers or coupons for their sweet baby carrots.

Posted on

Using Text (SMS) for Sweepstakes Entries Makes Mobile Sense

Forrester report  “The Mobile Marketing Playbook” published on December 05, 2012 breaks down the mobile market by types of users. What’s amazing to see is that SMS text messages are used  by every user in each category except for the 7% that don’t own a mobile phone. If you are going to set up a sweepstake or contest with a mobile component,  it makes sense to add text-in entries as part of the entry submission process since pretty much everyone can and does text. A call-to-action that reads text “WIN to 65047 to submit your entry”  is much more efficient scanning a QR code or completing a paper form and it reaches all the types of mobile phone users.

Posted on

Case Study: Pet Supply Chain Finds Value in SMS Advertising

Retailers and brands can quickly reach their most frequent customers using text-based advertising, however Lipof Advertising creative director Nathan Lowery says businesses that inundate their customers with meaningless marketing messages are actually doing more harm than good. In his experience handling advertising and marketing for Pet Supermarket, a regional pet store chain with 127 outlets in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee, Lowery has noticed that customers are less likely to unsubscribe from SMS advertising lists when they’re sent messages that have actual value, like coupons and discount codes.

Tell me about Lipof Advertising’s relationship with Pet Supermarket. How have you helped manage their campaigns?

We have been their advertising agency for about 10 years. We provide all of the print, radio, TV, and digital marketing solutions for them. That includes media placement, and production; everything soup to nuts.

Given that you’ve been working with them for the last decade, what are some of the changes in advertising or media placement that you’ve noticed over that time?

We’re doing more customer retention, which would involve text messaging, Facebook, and direct mail to existing customers. In the past, it was more customer acquisition. We still do a lot of customer acquisition with consumer advertising, but we’re also able to do more targeted messages because we have more data to work with now. [We look at] geographical data, demographic data, and purchase history. [How we get this data] depends on what our objective is. For the purchase history, Pet Supermarket has that data. For the geographical data and household income data, we can buy that when we buy mailing lists. We’re also able to do things a little quicker now that Facebook is instantaneous and text messaging is pretty much instantaneous.

What are some of the challenges that Pet Supermarket has when it comes to customer retention or customer acquisition?

I think one of the main challenges is the competition, because there are a number of other pet supply retailers that carry very similar products or the same products. We try to inform customers that Pet Supermarket stores are a little bit smaller, but they also pride themselves in having much better customer service, which some of the other pet specialty stores don’t offer. So that’s one big challenge. Another challenge is that a lot of people still purchase their pet food from the grocery store or from stores like Target or Wal-Mart, which would be considered mass retail. We try to explain the benefits of feeding a premium pet food, so the customer buying their dog food at Publix [knows he] is not [getting] the same quality as a higher end food bought at a pet specialty store.

I know Pet Supermarket sends text-based coupons. How did you first get involved with that?

We knew Marcos [Menendez, CEO of Momares, a mobile coupon platform] because he was already working for us on an e-newsletter. His other company, Loop Consulting, was doing our e-newsletter, and he brought us the idea. He showed us some other companies that were doing [text-based promotions] and some case studies. We started advertising [the program] in the stores and on printed materials to get people involved, and it really took off. A lot of people were interested. Every month we [pick] a winner and give away free pet food for a year. So everyone who enters [their phone number] has a chance to win. Then, we also send out coupons and messages. We want to keep the messages fresh, and we want to not overdo it. We typically send out one or two messages a month. We don’t want to annoy people, and we pay [Momares] per text message.

We are able to see when people leave the group or want their numbers removed from the list, and we have found that as long as we’re sending messages that have value they are staying in and they love it. If we send messages that don’t have value, don’t have some sort of savings, or are very product-specific, then they will leave. We can actually see that happen. We try to have some sort of value with the messages — usually it’s a $1-off discount across any purchase. [That allows] dog food customers to take advantage of it, cat customers, bird customers, and fish customers. It’s not brand specific or anything like that. We send the same message to [customers] at all [Pet Supermarket] stores because we’re not able to see, or we don’t know, what stores the people shop at. All we know is their area code. Beyond that, we don’t know where they’re at.

What has the feedback been from customers since you started sending mobile coupons?

They seem to like it because we send out a lot of coupons by text. In today’s economy coupons are very big, so people see a lot of value in it. We have a lot of people joining and we have very few people opting out, so I think there’s a lot of interest. We are able to track the redemption rates on the coupons that we send out and the messages that we send out. We just send out a five-digit code and we say what the offer is. [Customers] just show the associate at the register that five-digit code, and they get the discount.

Looking forward, where do you see Pet Supermarket’s going in terms of marketing and advertising?

I think it’s going to get more and more specific, to where we can track customers’ spending habits and we can tailor messages directly to those customers. If someone is a Nutro dog food buyer, we’ll [be able to] send them messages that pertain to Nutro dog food. And, we’ll be able to group people by how often they shop. With smartphones, at some point we’re going to be able to send out coupons with an actual bar code or an actual graphic. I think that’s probably going to be happening sooner rather than later.

Stephanie Miles is an associate editor at Street Fight. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Source: Street Fight