You see it all the time, a giveaway with several brands participating. The goal of the giveaway for the brands is typically to collect email addresses. The hope is that these users will eventually convert into customers. But do they? How do they perform? What should you know going into a multi-brand giveaway?
In this article, I am going to take 2 previous multi-brand giveaways I participated in and look at the results. These giveaways occurred 2 and 1.5 years ago so there is some great data to examine. After a review of both giveaways, I am going to outline some things you should be cognizant of if you are thinking about participating in one.
This giveaway ran in April 2019. There were 7 brands that participated who all added some of their product to the giveaway (1 winner). The value of the prize with everything combined was $4000. The other 6 brands definitely shared very similar customer demographics to ours, and none were competitors. Earlier this week, I spoke to the guy that ran point on this giveaway. He explained the importance of the strategic selection of the brands. All were similar sizes when it came to social reach. The giveaway ran for a full month with a set of requirements that all brands needed to promote the giveaway (2 social posts on all channels, 2 emails to their lists).
This giveaway ran in September 2018. There were 9 brands that participated who all added some of their product to the giveaway (1 winner). The value of the prize with everything combined was $3000. The other 8 brands shared similar demographics, but NOT as similar as the NL giveaway. We 100% share some customers that are of similar demographic makeup, but the brands that participated were a ‘wider net’ when compared to the NL giveaway. The giveaway ran for a full month with a set of requirements that all brands needed to promote the giveaway (2 social posts on all channels, 2 emails to their lists).
TAKEAWAYS AND TIPS
Hindsight is 20/20. Looking back at the 2 giveaways this week, it was very clear before pulling the data that one was going to perform better than the other. An additional note, the company that hosted the CC giveaway run giveaways very often (about a 3:1 frequency ratio compared to the company that hosted the NL giveaway). The CC company also added the entries into their regular list in real time and began marketing to them immediately. In my opinion, they are overly aggressive when it comes to email marketing.
Create an onboarding series campaign for these email addresses. I would NOT just dump them into your regular list without segmenting them and setting up some rules. In this onboarding series, I would remind them of how their email address came into your possession and I would introduce them to your brand in a soft sell manner. I would NOT hit them immediately with a strong offer trying to close them. You have to remember, these email addresses will NOT behave like someone that opted in from your website’s popup. You have to warm them up.
Besides warming them up, you also want the onboarding series to try and limit the spam/abuse complaints. These complaints can hurt your list health which in turn can affect deliverability rates. Even if you do everything right, expect your spam/abuse complaints to go up compared to the rates of your normal list. With that being said, when evaluating a giveaway, you should not participate in one that is going to produce a list that is bigger than 25% of your current list.
Don’t expect instant results/sales. We did not see any noteworthy revenue from these lists until month 3. Think of these email addresses like you would think of targeted audience social advertisements. Your other efforts like web and social retargeting, cart recovery, and other levers/triggers will help.
An alternative or additional option to your newly acquired list, is to create an audience with it for traditional advertising (i.e. Facebook).
Another takeaway is to make sure you are managing this list and purging when necessary (your whole list in general actually). There are some different views on the best practice here, but we typically archive an email address after we have emailed them for a year with no campaign email opens (we have some additional rules in place in conjunction with this to ensure mistakes aren't made like no clicks, no sales, no customer status changes, etc). You can always set up an automation campaign to trigger when a lack of campaign opens/activity occurs to let them know they are being removed if they don’t engage. At the end of the day, your biggest costs of doing a giveaway will be associated with managing that list in your ESP so the above should be a part of your plan.