As an established eCommerce business, we sometimes find ourselves stuck doing the same routines for promotions. Our routine includes a couple of weekly email promotions (usually recycled from successful past promos), blog posts, Facebook wall postings, website promotions and cross promotions, and Tweets. We regularly monitor and update our keywords and bids in our pay-per-click campaigns on Google and Bing, and so forth.
Last month, we tried a new trick with a high level of success. We ran a sweepstakes on Facebook using Wildfire. Our goals were to convert 1,000 of our Facebook fans to email subscribers, add an additional 1,500 email subscribers, and to add another 1,500 Facebook fans.
We were very pleased with the results! Overall, we added more than 3,500 new email subscribers with only about a 15% drop off over the two week period after the winners were announced. We also added nearly 2,000 Facebook Fans.
You may be wondering how we prioritized our goals. Our most successful promotions are generated from our email newsletters. I've never calculated the long term value of an email subscriber, but its very substantial to us. In this campaign, the cost of acquiring a new subscriber was less than $2. There is no question that our long term ROI will be very high from that investment.
Our costs were actually higher than they will be in the future as we incurred some expenses upfront that we will not incur the next time we run a sweepstakes. If you choose to run your own, you'll need to set up a Wildfire account, create several promotional graphics, and be prepared to promote your sweepstakes. We offered a few Gift Certificates that were selected randomly from the entrants as the prizes. We chose to run a series of Facebook ads to promote the sweepstakes, call The Great Bead Giveaway. We also promoted it on our websites and in our newsletters, though the biggest level of attention was definitely from the Facebook community. We also promoted it within Facebook from our postings.
We targeted a very broad audience within Facebook. Beaders, jewelry designers, crafters, competitors Fans and so forth. I was concerned that our unsubscribes would be very high given the broad cast of marketing. But, its been much lower than expected.
We are not always the first to try things as I generally take a more conservative approach to marketing. Several of our competitors run regular sweepstakes. This year, we've been cautious with our promotional spending, trying to be sure that we can measure our success quickly and accurately. In this case, we'll watch the long term ROI, but we've probably already recouped our investment. Over the long term, that new 2000+ email subscribers will be well worth it.
We'll probably plan to do another sweepstakes in Q1 next year. Spreading things like that out makes more sense to me than running it all the time. In the meantime, we'll be on to our next new marketing endeavor, setting up Google+ and figuring out how to set up our Google+ Page, get interactions, etc., etc.
I have to admit I am not the least bit enthused about supporting another social media platform, but since Google will be blackmailing all of us by dinging our search rankings if we don't engage, we'll jump into the fray this month and get it done.
Enjoy your holidays everyone! I'll check back you next month with a report on our newest Google adventure. At least we'll be able to now view the results in "real time" in Google Analytics. Can hardly wait....