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Ed-Ventures Grand GiveAway collects 429 leads for high end travel

The Rochester Post-Bulletin embeds a survey into a travel contest

Click to enlarge: The one sheet gives all the information the merchant needs to understand all the pieces of the promotion and what they are responsible for.
Examples of promotions - Click to enlarge.

Top Ads winner for December, Ed-Ventures Grand GiveAway, is a great example of a contest that incorporates a survey to build a highly specialized email list. Here's how the campaign was put together and converted many of the 429 leads obtained into post-contest sales. 

Advertiser: Ed-Ventures

Campaign: Ed-Ventures Grand GiveAway

Media:  Rochester Post-Bulletin, postbulletin.com

Market: Rochester, Minnesota

Key Executive: Deb Muensch, Senior Media Consultant

Challenge: Ed-Ventures is an old-fashioned boutique travel agency that provides high end specialty travel, "visits to see the Pope, not Disney." 

"It's rare to find a brick and mortar travel agency that does global travel,"  said Deb Muensch, Senior Media Consultant who worked on the campaign.

The company's challenge was to find high end travelers in Rochester and the owner was baffled about how to go about it. Most previous marketing was based on personal networking, and missed part of the market that had expendable income.

Concept:  The team at DIG!, the interactive division of the Post-Bulletin, had put together a "Grand Giveaway" contest package in conjunction with the  relaunch of the newspaper web site.  They offered the title sponsorship to Ed-Ventures. 

People who entered the Ed-Venture Grand Giveaway filled out an online survey to enter to win $1000 towards future travel. Ed-Ventures put up the trip plus $500, and allowed the Post-Bulletin to also collect its own data from the survey.

The contest survey

Ed-Venture's owner provided these three questions on the survey to qualify travelers and get deeper market information:  

1. Where did you go on your last trip?

2. Where do you plan to go next?

3. Are you part of a group that wants to travel together?

Finally, a check box allowed visitors to opt-in to receive updates from Ed-Venture.

Customers also gave the phone number and zip code, number of children in the household, and were able to check opt-in boxes to be added  to the Post Bulletin promotional list for 14 different categories from dining coupons to sports newsletters.

The online form was provided by Presslaff Interactive Revenues platforrm, which integrates the opt-ins into the email database.


Promotions for the contest included email to the newspapers existing database wtih links to the contest registration, three days of ads in the newspaper and three days of  premium drop-down ads on the newspaper site.

Ed-Ventures also received 100,000 impressions to use at their discretion, and two "post contest" emails. Designed in-house by the Dig! team, the first email offered a specific travel package:  "Hello travelers! We just wanted to let you know of a great trip opportunity still available. There are four spaces remaining in the small group, Toast of Tuscany. Save $400 just by mentioning the Post Bulletin Grand Giveaway."

In addition, the newspaper sent a second email from Ed-Ventures to all the contestants, mentionning that "If travel is on your bucket list, we can help you make it happen,"  with a "For you, $100" off any trip booked by September, 2013, through 2014.

Results: 904 people registered for the Grand Giveaway, and of those, 429 registered to recieve more information by email from Ed-Ventures.  Ed-Ventures now communicates by email to this group of 429, which have an outstanding 30% open rate.

Phone inquiries from the promotion also increased travel requests for unique trips, which typically cost $4000 to $5000 and take a year to plan and book.  As an additional benefit, the travel agency was able to use information from the "Where do you plan to visit next" question to plan new trips.

The Presslaff platform also provided the client with a dashboard to help interpret survey results:

Judges take: The devil is in the details, and judges liked how this campaign demonstrates a number of best practices.

First, the contest helped the advertiser build its own email list for an extremely specialized market. Offering $1000 towards a trip, rather than the trip itself, gave more flexibility to the customer, and saved money for the advertiser, since trips are $4000 to $5000 each.

Next, we liked how the  promotion includes a second and third attempt to convert contestants to sales by emailing additional offers. These marketers were prepared to help the advertiser get the highest return possible. We see too many merchants who collect fans or emails - but don't have a game plan to help onboard them later. 

Finally, along the same lines, the contest promotional package (second image at top, click to enlarge) included every detail that the merchant needed to know in one sheet. Having this one sheet on hand simplifies an otherwise complicated package. There is so much value in this contest, we suspect a similar offering just focused on the merchants, would command a much higher price.

Congratulations to Ed-Ventures and the team at the Rochester Post-Bulletin for a great work. 


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