Club Med Launches E-Mail Sweepstakes

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International vacation center operator Club Mediterranee plans to debut a promotional campaign tomorrow in the form of an e-mail sweepstakes offering a free seven-night vacation at one of three Club Med sites in Mexico and the Bahamas.


The goal of the campaign is to increase the resort operator's internal database of affluent 25- to 45-year-olds, said Jennifer Vandekreeke, Club Med's director of advertising.


The company also hopes to gather names of people who want to continue to receive information about upcoming Club Med promotions.


"[The sweepstakes] goes beyond us just getting the names," said Ed Hinde, Club Med's vice president of marketing. "It allows us to re-market to them in the future."


The company, which has a database of about 25,000 names culled from its Web site at www.clubmed.com, hopes to add 75,000 names, Vandekreeke said.


"We wanted qualified names," she said. "We rented lists for one-time use." The creative for the sweepstakes includes a survey, which should help gather qualified names, she added.


Though sweepstakes often generate many unqualified names, Vandekreeke said Club Med is targeting its list to people who registered at the resort operator's Web site and have expressed interest in various watersports. Club Med also bought lists of e-mail names from PostMaster Direct, she said, and rented other lists to target active, high-income people that would likely be receptive to winning a free week's vacation.


The campaign, called "Vacation," will run for 30 days with ad banners on active-lifestyle Web sites and on Club Med's site. The total spent for the campaign is about $50,000.


"There's a very high likelihood that people will click the banner in order to get a free Club Med vacation," she said.


While this is not Club Med's first online campaign -- it has run one other -- it is the first time the company has run an online sweepstakes, Vandekreeke said.


"Our first campaign was not well executed," she said. "We learned a lot from that one."


Vandekreeke would not provide any details about Club Med's previous online effort.


The current e-mail sweepstakes was segmented into about five different drops, Vandekreeke said, and will be sent to those interested in windsurfing, scuba diving and other watersports. E-mails are scheduled to go out beginning Sept. 11.


Club Med worked with IQ Commerce Corp., an online direct marketing company based in Saratoga, CA., that offers interactive promotional and direct marketing services such as online surveys, sweepstakes, coupons, product sampling and lead capture. The company created banners, graphics, surveys and sweepstakes for the campaign.


One interesting aspect of the campaign, according to Chris McCarthy, IQ Commerce's vice president, is that the sweepstakes also is going out to hand-held devices. Club Med is working with AvantGo to send it to owners of Palm Inc.'s hand-held personal digital assistants.


"I think it demonstrates their commitment to the online medium," McCarthy said. "We can instantaneously collect and synchronize data from all the channels: e-mail, Web banners and AvantGo wireless PDAs."


He said that similar multichannel, multimedia campaigns will become more common in the future because they offer quicker results, and it will become easier to prevent multiple sign-ups from different entry points.


"That's what prevented folks from doing a single campaign on multiple channels before," McCarthy said. "We can prevent multiple entries through the various media."


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