Check out the latest news, advice, and case studies in regards to travel incentives and marketing on our blog.

Updated regularly each month.

 

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How to Run a Brilliant Travel Contest

By | Increasing Sales / Gross Margins, Marketing, Outstanding Marketing | No Comments

Travel is such an effective contest prize. Whether it’s a cruise, a theme park visit, a trip to Vegas or a relaxing 7-day resort stay, everyone loves to have a little R and R.

Throughout this article, I’ll be providing you with fundamental tips and advice on coming up with engaging travel contest ideas and how you can run your contests effectively.

What’s the Appeal?

If any contest is to work, you need to determine the appeal of the prize. This appeal can be broken down into various pieces, but what matters most are the following two questions:

1. Does it possess a universal appeal among your audience?

2. What is the perceived value?

Universal Appeal

Universal appeal is important, so unless your business already specializes in a very niche field that attracts a specific audience, then you’ll probably want to go with a prize that almost anyone would appreciate.

Travel-themed prizes possess consistent relevance for most people. It doesn’t matter if your customer is still saving for a trip or they have all the money in the world to go on one, a vacation is a chance to get away, experience new things, and feel like a true explorer. It’s an appealing pull that is felt by almost everyone.

Even if someone hates flying or would get sea sick on a cruise, there are plenty of local vacation options, as well as opportunities to see other parts of their country – or those of bordering countries.

Perceived Value

What do people love about the grand prizes offered during a contest? Well, along with the actual prizes, the perceived value they have is important. Needless to say, if a customer scores a cruise worth thousands of dollars as a contest prize, they’ll be stoked.

Whether or not you choose to explicitly state what a travel prize’s dollar value is up to you. For the most part, however, travel prizes tend to hold a high perceived value in most consumers’ minds.

Running a Brilliant Travel Contest

Let’s cut to the chase. Contests should be simple or fun; ideally, they should be both. In the end, a contest is your way of getting your company in front of more people – which includes both current customers/clients and prospects.

If part of your objective with the contest is to have more people come into your actual store, then you can organize it so they must enter while in-store. The one caveat with this approach is that it will reduce the reach of your contest unless your store is located in a high-traffic area.

This approach can be good if you’re a smaller, local business. After all, there isn’t much need for you to advertise your contest to people in other states, let alone two towns over. And if all the contest requires is for them to fill out a form in-store, then you’re still keeping the whole thing simple.

When you’re a bigger business with more locations throughout a city, state, or multiple states/provinces, then offering more ways for consumers to enter a contest is going to be a logical step. Again, you want the ways of entering to be simple, even if the contest steps are a little more involved.

Entry forms can be made available online via your website, through email, and on social media. If your contest is less about a form and more about social actions (e.g. like this video, comment, tag a friend, etc.) then you’ll need to ensure you can track each entry efficiently and fairly.

Let’s Have Fun

If your plan is to run a more involved contest, one that goes beyond a simple listing of contact information or tagging a friend in the comments of social posts, then it is imperative to make sure the involved steps are actually enjoyable.

You may run a contest that is a classic “In 25 words or less” or one that encourages contestants to include a photo from the best vacation they’ve been on thus far.

Video contests can be effective, and the same can be said of Instagram contests that require a photo and a caption that utilizes a set hashtag and tag of your company profile. Even though these specific contests require more of the entrant, they’re still easy (and enjoyable) to fulfill.

An Example of Contests Aimed at Current Customers

If one of your travel prize ideas is to reward and maintain loyal customers, then you can look to the approaches used by companies such as Microsoft.

For anyone who has a Microsoft account, they can accumulate what are known as Reward Points any time they purchase a product from Microsoft’s online store (including Xbox game purchases), as well as when they perform Bing searches on mobile and desktop or view news stories linked on Bing’s main page.

Over time, these points can be redeemed to earn online store credit, donate to charities, or to even enter contests such as Microsoft’s Flip and Win.

microsoft-flip-and-win

Now, obviously not every business has the resources to run such a comprehensive points-based reward and contest system like Microsoft, but it does shine a light on how contests can help businesses keep people engaged and actively using their products and/or services.

For example, if you have loyalty cards that note the amount of money customers have spent at your store over time, you could implement a system whereby once they have spent $1,000 you inform they’re eligible to enter a contest comprising three prizes: a gift certificate at your store, event tickets for two, or a trip to Vegas.

Final Points

As I have reiterated throughout this article, simplicity and fun are key to a good contest – no matter the prize.

Given that travel prizes already offer plenty of appeal in and of themselves, what matters is executing a contest that is going to make people want to get involved. Take the following into consideration when crafting your contest:

Elaborate is fine, arduous is not: it’s perfectly fine to run a contest that may be a bit more involved than filling out a form or commenting on a social post, but make sure all of the steps involved remain simple – people don’t want to endure a contest.

Your prize needs to be deserving of the steps required: a contest prize worth $20,000 can require extra effort from entrants, but don’t assume people will be willing to put in the same kind of effort for a prize only worth $1,000.

Don’t be a snoop: when filling out a form, people don’t want to be providing an excess of personal information – you don’t need to know their home address, nor every single phone number imaginable for you to reach them on. The more you snoop, the less willing they will be to enter.

Use the right voice: again, have fun – it’s a contest, so you want to express the event in a way that will get people excited and invested in it. Also, be mindful of your demographic – are they young, elderly, married, single, young family? What can you say that will get them involved?

Promote it: it doesn’t matter how good a contest or how great its prize on offer is, you need to promote it. Promote it on social; via email; in-store; by investing in some search engine advertising; and, if you have the money to do so, through traditional channels such as print, radio, and TV. But, as always, determine a budget and stick to it – never go beyond it.

Employ the services of a reputable travel prize agency: working with a travel incentive agency will help simplify the process of your contest efforts, but make sure that you engage with the right agency. Odenza is an award-winning travel incentives agency that has been in business for 20 years and is BBB accredited with an A+ rating.

Get in touch

Have you run travel-themed contests in the past? How do you feel they stacked up against other contests you’ve tried? Be sure to share your experiences in the comments below.

If you want to learn more about travel incentives and how they can be used in contests, you can reach out to us by calling 1-866-883-2968 or by simply filling out the form at the bottom of this page.

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Jewelry Store Promotions: What You Need to Consider

By | Increasing Sales / Gross Margins, Jewelry Stores, Marketing | No Comments

A promotion is a good way to generate some fresh buzz for your jewelry store; but as is the case with any sales or marketing-driven endeavor, the execution is paramount. Half-measures and missteps can cost you valuable sales and undermine the entire promotion.

In this article, along with giving you some quick ideas on potential promotions you could run, I will outline some common pitfalls so that you can navigate your promotional efforts around them.

• Ideas

◦ Engagement promotions

◦ Valentine’s Day and anniversaries

◦ Promotions to help move higher-priced items

◦ Contests

• Pitfalls / what to be mindful of

◦ Budget

◦ Your audience

◦ Tone

Ideas

When it comes to jewelry store promotions, there are plenty of great ideas out there worth considering.

As we specialize in travel incentives here at Odenza, these will be the primary giveaway examples we’ll use; but remember that no matter what you’re offering, you can work many offers into a range of promotional themes.

Engagement promotions

Engagements and jewelry go hand-in-hand, and as a huge milestone in anyone’s life it’s the perfect opportunity to give customers a reason to buy their engagement ring from your store.

As I touched on in a previous article about marketing your jewelry store, an engagement-themed offer is a great way to close sales – especially if the offer is something that will help your customers with their wedding, honeymoon, or future lives together.

engagement-honeymoon-cruise-offer

That’s why previous and current jewelry clients of ours have utilized travel incentives such as a cruise for two or trip to Vegas as a way of saying, “Buy your engagement ring from us, and we’ll give you the perfect getaway for your Honeymoon.”

Valentine’s Day and/or anniversaries

In a similar vein, you can theme promotions around other romantic occasions such as Valentine’s Day or customers’ anniversaries. These could be “buy and receive” promotions or “buy and be entered into the draw to win a romantic trip for two” promotions.

Promotions to help you move higher-priced items

Have specific, more expensive jewelry you need to move? Promotions can really help. When you run a promotion and put these items in front of more eyes, you have a better chance of finding that customer (or customers) who is interested and has the necessary finances to spend.

valentine-offer-upsell-jewelry

A promotion, such as a trip or major event ticket, can help you upsell more effectively. A customer with the money to do so may still be hesitant to make a $3,000 purchase at your store without some extra push. After all, they’re spending big on you – so you should want to offer something to them as a thank you.

Contests

Remember that not every promotion has to outright require a purchase. Why not run a contest instead, be it online or in-store?

For example, every person who comes into your store can fill out an entry form to win cash, in-store credit, a fine piece of jewelry, a cruise, etc. All they have to do is provide their name, email, and phone number.

By doing so, you capture leads and prospective future customers. As long as the contest is fun to partake in and the prize(s) is worth it, then you’re going to have a wealth of people who build a positive association between your store and themselves.

Just remember, as I’ve noted in the past, the more required of the customer to enter the contest, the higher value the prize should be.

Pitfalls

Whenever you run a promotion for your store, there are always going to be potential pitfalls. Whether it’s the budgeting, getting the tone of the promotion wrong, or targeting the wrong audience, the best strategy is to ensure you put the right amount of time into research.

Budget

You should always overbudget rather than underbudget. Under-budgeting, for clear reasons, can be problematic to how effectively (and for how long) you run your promotion and can put you in financial strife.

When talking about overbudgeting, I DO NOT mean investing more money than you can afford. Rather, if you have $6,000 to spend on marketing and advertising for a promotion, then create a framework for a budget of $5,000 and have $1,000 in reserve for contingencies.

If you simply used the entire $6,000 and had no additional buffer, then that would be underbudgeting.

When determining where the money will go, you likely have some clear numbers for the costs of physical collateral such as posters, flyers, and shop displays; but digital can vary across platforms.

These variations are minimal, but keep in mind that if you set a limit of $50 on Facebook ads, for example, the final cost could end up being a few cents or dollars over that amount (based on the costs per click or impressions).

If you’ve already spent $49 but another click may cost $1.59, then chances are Facebook will let that click occur before the ad is then paused according to your budgetary limits.

It’s a minor discrepancy in and of itself, but if you have multiple ads and boosted posts running on several social platforms, as well as search ads, this could tally to amounts that are a few dollars or more over your set digital limits.

Your audience

If the main platform of exposure for your promotion is digital, then you have a little more freedom to experiment with the audience you want to reach. After all, social networks and search engines offer a plethora of targeting options; all of which can be customized at any time if you feel your ads aren’t garnering the results you desired.

However, if you will also be implementing traditional channels into your promotion – print ads, mailouts, radio, TV, etc. – then you need to know the exact audience you want to reach. Because pulling and editing radio, TV, or print ads is a lot more involved and cumbersome than with digital ads.

target-audience-concept

Research, research, and research some more!

Who is your current demographic? Who make up the demographics you want to reach? How will you best craft your ads and promos to appeal to these demographics, and which platforms are the best for reaching them? These questions matter because you need to invest wisely.

Want to reach millennials? Then go online. Consider Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat over Twitter and LinkedIn.

What about older users such as baby boomers and even earlier generation X’s? Radio, TV, and print can be better platforms for them; but social networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook also command a respectable chunk of older users.

Tone

Tone is important in promotions. Depending on your audience, your tone (voice) could and should vary.

For example, if you’re running a promotion focused on couples who are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversaries (a silver jubilee), then your wording and tone would be different than a promotion aimed at couples who could be close to an engagement.

People at different stages of their lives – personally, professionally, romantically – view the world differently, and the tone of your promotion needs to reflect that. Other factors, such as age, location, profession, and income can all play a role in determining the tone you should use.

Get in touch

I hope the information provided in this article has helped you think up some new ideas for how you can promote your jewelry store and its products. If there are any promotions you’ve run in the past that you have found to be particularly effective, we’d love to know about them in the comments below.

Want to learn more about travel incentives and how they can be used in jewelry promotions and contests? You can reach out to us by calling 1-866-883-2968 or by filling out the form at the bottom of this page.