Holiday Campaign Spikes Sales, 4Sure

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4Sure.com is attributing a spike in sales and traffic at its Web sites to a holiday sweepstakes campaign.


Traffic to 4Sure.com was up 10 percent from Nov. 13 to Nov. 15. Sales of its NEC products, which were featured in the campaign, were up by more than 20 percent during that time.


The technology product reseller worked with American Airlines and USA Today to target mobile business professionals with a vacation sweepstakes campaign that will run through Dec. 31.


"American Airlines and USA Today's demographics matched up beautifully with ours," said David Abelman, vice president of marketing at 4Sure, Trumbull, CT.


Internet marketing took the form of 10 million to 20 million banner impressions at sites such as BizRate, mySimon and Ask Jeeves.


E-mail is also an aspect of the Internet marketing scheme, as 4Sure sends monthly messages to its more than 600,000 opt-in subscribers. On-site promotions were included as well.


The sweepstakes was designed to drive traffic to 4Sure.com. Participants who filled out entry forms at the Web site were given a chance to win a trip for two to Punta Mita, Mexico.


To raise awareness about the sweepstakes, 4Sure placed a full-page, four-color ad in American Airlines' American Way magazine. Freestanding inserts complete with gift certificates were placed in American Airlines' Voyager gift catalog.


Thirty-second spots to promote the contest and certain products such as desktop and laptop computers, printers, digital cameras and wireless Internet devices were played before in-flight audio-video entertainment on American Airlines flights.


4Sure used direct mail and landed inserts in 5,000 American Airlines Admiral Club membership packets that went out to existing and prospective Admiral Club members.


Fifteen thousand USA Today/4Sure.com co-branded packaged breath mints were distributed throughout Admiral Club frequent-flier clubs at airports in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and San Francisco, where complimentary copies of USA Today are normally available.


To ensure that the increased sales and traffic recorded were not a normal result of the holiday shopping spike, 4Sure factored company and seasonal sales and traffic increases into an equation that determined Web traffic and sales increases due solely to the marketing effort.


"We sold as many of the $700 monitors as we did the $189 ones. We were dealing with business customers, and seasonality doesn't effect that," Abelman said.


4Sure offers two sites: www.solutions4sure.com, its business-to-business site, and www.computers4sure.com, its business-to-consumer site. Although Abelman said 4Sure currently splits the marketing budget evenly between the two sites, it is preparing to dedicate most of its efforts toward acquiring new BTB clients because, he said, "They buy more often and spend more money."


While Abelman would not comment on customer acquisition costs, he did say the average order size for the BTB site nearly doubles that of the BTC site: $850 to $450.


BTB customers also tend to be more loyal. About 42 percent of 4Sure's total sales come from repeat customers. If this is split to show only Solutions4Sure sales, the percentage of sales to repeat customers increases to 64 percent.


"Our business customers come back more often. A good majority of them have a credit account with us," Abelman said.

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