Sweepstakes So Successful, Coldwell to Do Another

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The first-ever national sweepstakes promotion run by a real estate company has generated response rates of 24 percent and resulted in 58,000 qualified business leads.

Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corp.'s fall test promotion "Decorate Your Driveway,'' which offered consumers and Coldwell Banker agents the chance to win Cadillac leases, was so successful that it is in the process of rolling out another sweepstakes with Ethan Allen called "Spring Into a Beautiful Home.''

"This has totally exceeded any expectations I had,'' said Terri Vaccarino, director of advertising and promotion for Coldwell Banker. "We attribute it to being new in the industry and it being received well.''

More than 8 million mail pieces were distributed to prospective clients by 62,000 sales agents in 2,700 Coldwell Banker offices during the two-month promotion. Agents ordered mail pieces directly from the printer, and each entry was coded by the associate's name as an incentive to generate leads and raise brand awareness.

The mail piece contained qualifying questions and customers could elect to have an agent call them to provide a market analysis on the value of their home or investigate buying, selling or finance options.

"The direct mail was so successful, we had to go back on press and print again,'' said Kathleen Hartnett of promotion marketer Dugan, Valva, Contess, Morristown, NJ, which produced the mail piece. "Local offices saw so much value in it that they reordered.''

The mail piece and promotional fliers also drove traffic to the Coldwell Banker Web site (www.coldwellbanker.com). Prospects who registered for the contest through an online banner generated a slightly better response rate of 26 percent and 11,500 leads. The "Decorate Your Driveway'' banner was linked to the Cadillac Web site, and the new promotion -- which awards furniture -- will have a link to the Ethan Allen site.

Regina Taylor, Coldwell Banker vice president of marketing, said the purpose of this first ever promotion was to get agents farming for leads. While no sales figures were available, associates said the promotion produced extremely qualified leads.

Direct mail for the "Spring Into a Beautiful Home'' promotion will drop at the end of February. Since spring is traditionally the busiest time of the year for home buying, Hartnett expects this campaign to be bigger than the first.

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