When IME Natural Perfume came to us, they were struggling to see traction with online sales, email list growth and return.

We were hired to change that.

We used a giveaway of $1000 worth of clean beauty products and promoted it organically on social media. With our campaign, we helped our client to:

  • Double the size of their email list
  • Gain a combined 1000+ new followers on Instagram and Facebook
  • Gain 1400 answers to questions which will help the company improve their future marketing
  • Triple their sales over the 18 day period

Other than our time, our client spent only $50 on marketing their competition.

In this blog post, I’m going to walk you through exactly what we did and by the end of this article, you’ll learn:

  1. How to choose the right prize to entice your audience to enter
  2. How much time and budget you’ll need for a campaign like this
  3. How to monetise your new audience with a consolation prize email sequence

Let’s dive into it!

Step One – Strategy

Entry methods

Our client wanted to boost sales and grow their email list for future monetisation, so we designed a campaign around that. We wanted our entrants to feel their best shot at winning was by entering their email and making a purchase, so we gave those entry methods more weight than other methods (following social media profiles for instance).

As well as this, while talking to our client in the initial meetings for this project we realised how little we know about the customers for this business. Because of this, we included questions which would help us understand them better and would help drive the companies marketing in the future.

Choosing the right prize

In order to achieve our client’s goals, we needed a prize that was worth the audience’s time to enter. With the help of our client and Kristina Ioannou from We Are Eden, we worked together to organise the prizes and make sure that the brands posted in the required timeline.

 

We chose brands our client's customers would love to create a prize pack that would boost sales.
This campaign is another great example of how important it is to choose brand’s that align with your target market. Otherwise, you end up with an email list that’s useless.

How do you choose a prize that resonates with your target audience? It comes down your business and your product:

  1. Define 4-5 core selling points of your product (for example natural, plant-based, vegan, toxin-free).
  2. Find other brands using your product’s selling points as hashtags on Instagram
  3. DM or email them and ask them if they’d like to be a part of it.

That’s really how simple it is!

Timeframe

We already had a good idea of what the prize would be and we knew that while it wasn’t a worth of a flash giveaway (1-2 days duration), a $1000 prize pack wasn’t enough to warrant a one month long campaign either. It’s always best to err on the side of caution when deciding on time frame, so we chose 14 days for this one. Not too short, not too long either.

Platforms for distribution

Before I start planning the content or setting up the competition, I need to know where we’ll be distributing the content to promote the campaign. Our client had a small budget, so we had to leverage as much unpaid advertising and marketing as we could to make sure it was a success.

In this case, I chose to use:

  1. Email – to re-engage their existing list in a fun, novel way
  2. Facebook – an existing channel that has decent engagement, but more manoeuvrability with advertising
  3. Instagram – the most active channel with the biggest sense of community
  4. Our brand partner relationships – these would help us reach new audiences without having to pay for them, much like an influencer.

If you have more budget, here are some other great ways to promote your campaign:

  • Work with related influencers who align with your brand to bring new leads to the competition
  • Use boosted posts to target new people outside of your usual audience
  • Use relevant and targeted Facebook groups and other online communities (like Reddit) to advertise the giveaway. This is a great way to build trust in communities which otherwise wouldn’t let you advertise your products.

Step Two – Set Up

We decided to use Gleam to run the competition for three reasons:

  1. It’s easy to track and validate entries
  2. It automatically opens and shuts the competition so you don’t have to
  3. It integrates into websites easily so you can create a dedicated landing page for the competition (important if you’re running retargeting ads for anyone that visits your site).

Step Three – Creating the pillars of content

When I plan a campaign, I like to think of it in four phases:

  • Launch
  • Build
  • Climax
  • Post

For each phase, I block out the core content I need to promote the campaign for each part. For this project, it looked like this:

Launch Phase

  1. 1 Tease Email
  2. 1 Launch Email
  3. 1 Launch Facebook Post
  4. 1 Launch Instagram Post

Build Phase

  1. 1 Reminder Email
  2. 1 Reminder Facebook Post
  3. 1 Reminder Instagram Post
  4. Use all of brand partner’s posts during this phase to continue to drive traffic to the campaign

Climax Phase

  1. 1 Reminder Email
  2. 1 Reminder Facebook Post
  3. 1 Reminder Instagram Post

Post Phase

  1. 3 Consolation Emails
  2. 1 Winner Announcement Facebook Post
  3. 1 Winner Announcement Instagram Post.

From here, I know what I need to talk about when and I used the strategical structure of the campaign to drive the creative side.

Step Four – Creating the content

I like to start my campaigns by writing emails because these generally use the most direct language to achieve the goal for the email. I then repurposed this copy for the relevant social media posts and worked with my designer to create assets that would stop the user in the feed and encourage them to look at the caption.

Step Five – Deploying & managing the campaign

This phase is basically admin work and involves our team working to deploy the campaign across all of the channels we’ve chosen. We’ll schedule posts and emails, apply boosts and set reminders for posts or emails that can’t be sent with current data – for example, we wanted to send a reminder email halfway through the campaign to encourage those who hadn’t entered to do so, but we couldn’t set that up until we had a list of entrants that we could exclude from the recipients.

Aside from small tasks like this, a campaign will usually run itself fairly smoothly. It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the reporting throughout as it can help you understand how it’s performing and identify efforts which are and aren’t working. For example, we used our campaign reporting to keep an eye on which brand’s posts performed well so that we could identify the ones who’s audiences were most aligned with our clients. With this information, we can approach these brands to work with them again on a more exclusive campaign.

 

A 41% conversion rate is fantastic and when you combine it with the boost sales, this was a hugely successful marketing campaign.
This is a great sign for the prize being the right fit for the intended audience. As well, in this graph you can see when our brand partners posted and which audiences responded well. This can help you organise campaigns with the same brands in the future.

We saw a consistent 41% conversion rate throughout the duration of the competition (this is an awesome result).

Step Six – Post Campaign

A lot of people make the mistake of thinking once a campaign is over, your work is done. The post campaign phase is my favourite because it offers the opportunity to activate your new subscribers (and non-winners) with a consolation prize.

That’s exactly what we did for this campaign. We used 3 emails over a 48 hour period to provide our list with an offer and used the looming deadline as incentive to act on that offer.

Sometimes the biggest boost sales is after the campaign has closed/
Here, you can see the huge upswing in sales at the end of the campaign, which is when our closing email series fired. Powerful stuff.

When you do this for your own business, you’ll need to make sure that you have your email provider set up correctly so that you only send the reminder emails to the subscribers who haven’t purchased from the series.

Step Nine – Analysis

The final part of the campaign is going through the information we’ve collected, specifically focusing on the sales, email list growth and the questions answered by the customers. The biggest focus for this part is determining what the ROI was and whether it would be a good idea to run another campaign similar to this. For this project, the return was fantastic and we would highly recommend this client running more campaigns in the future.

Final Thoughts

With Christmas fast approaching, testing the waters with campaigns like this can be an effective and relatively cheap way to prepare for the busiest time of the year. A competition like this is simple to set up and could be run easily by your own in-house team (or even on your own).

But if you’re not sure where to start or you just don’t have time to organise something like this, send me an email and let’s talk.

Here’s what IME Natural Perfume had to say about working with us –

“Absolutely loved having you guys come on board for the campaign. It has been a huge help in getting my head around what was lacking and how I can make improvements. The work was completed above and beyond what I imagine”.

My favourite part about marketing is running campaigns because a) it’s easy to get a return for your business and b) it’s a great way to give back to your community. That’s how marketing should be.