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2015 Advent Calendar Marketing Campaign

View profile for David Gilroy
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24 days. 24 windows to open. 24 prizes to be won (more actually). Here are the stats and the story behind our advent calendar free prize draw campaign. 

In the run up to December, many of you were contemplating how to take advantage of the festive period for some seasonal marketing. We were too. When the mood is right and the spirit’s up, it’s the perfect opportunity to create a Christmas marketing campaign. And what better way to attract attention at Christmas than by handing out a load of presents?

And so, the advent calendar was born.  Well, truth be told, the idea was at least four years in gestation with one false start a couple of years ago, but on Wednesday 25 November, I decided “Sod it” let’s do it.

So at 5pm that day I sent out one email to around 30 other companies who supply the legal sector. By 5pm on Thursday I had promises of over £5,000 worth of prizes.  A pretty good result from just one email.  After all, isn’t Christmas all about coming together?

So, on Friday morning our production team got busy building the calendar,

By close of play on Monday 30 November we’d hit a total of £13,780 worth of prizes. From conference tickets to marketing seminars, Microsoft Band 2, a jeroboam of champagne and even a big orange dog, these prizes were the kind that lawyers write on their wish list to Mr Claus himself!

Conscious Advent Calender promo image

With prizes acquired and the calendar live on our site, we were ready to go.  So, what made our calendar so successful?

When someone entered into our Advent Calendar Prize Draw, they were automatically added to ‘Santa’s Nice List’, a list of clients and prospects who we sent emails to on a daily basis, reminding them to open the window of the day. Pre-email, we would usually see around 30 entries in the morning. Once the email was sent, our inboxes would flood with entry notifications, sometimes 50 at a time.  It may seem like a ‘pushy’ approach, but it certainly did the trick. Sure, we had some ‘bah humbugs’ (20 unsubscribes a day on average) but that’s to be expected when you’re emailing over 4,000 people a day.

Furthermore, we were also active on social media channels, promoting our daily prize (or shrouding it in mystery) to entice prospects and clients to visit our site and enter your details.

While we personally didn’t get free books or concert tickets, what we did get compared to the same period in November was :-

  • a 29.5% increase in visitor sessions
  • a 40.7% increase in page views

not only this but an unmeasurable amount of intangible benefits.  As word travelled through firms about our calendar, we got hundreds of new contacts to add into our CRM, lots of positive comments told to use by clients when we were speaking to them about other things. That’s a success in my book!  Lots of client engagement.

Jane Pritchard, Solicitor & Systems and Business Development Manager at TV Edwards summarised it perfectly.  “I’ve enjoyed trying to win each day, and even when I did not, I enjoyed seeing who else did”.

So, without further ado, it’s time to lay all our cards on the table and look at our Christmas advent calendar campaign in numbers:

  • 2 daily tweets about the prize draw
  • 2-6 daily LinkedIn posts (depending on prize)
  • 14 runner up prizes
  • 18 reminder emails sent, one per weekday
  • 20 prize donors
  • 24 days
  • 24 windows
  • 24 prizes
  • 38 happy prize winners
  • 115 entries per day on average
  • 180 click-throughs per day from email on average
  • 633 opens per day on average
  • 2,794 entries
  • 4,201 recipients (prospects & clients)
  • £13,780 prize fund

So while Christmas may be the last thing on your mind right now, in 11 months time it will creep up again. When it does, you might want to keep this in mind! As it happens, giving out presents makes you popular – just think of Santa! Except in our case we were dressed in orange, and with dogs instead of reindeer.

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