Embark Looks to Attract Students With Sweepstakes

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Embark.com, a site designed to help students find, apply to and get into the educational program of their choice, is launching a pair of sweepstakes later this month that target the site's two audiences: high school students looking to go to college and adults interested in continuing their education.

The Gear up for College Sweepstakes is expected to begin March 14. Five first-prize winners will receive tickets on United Airlines to visit the college of their dreams, an i-Zone camera to help them record the trip, a Gateway computer with one year of Internet access and free online test preparation for the SAT and ACT tests. Ten second-prize winners will win Embark Study Packs: messenger bags loaded with a coupon for study snacks, a Fossil watch and a test-prep certificate for use on the site.

"The sweepstakes targets high school students. It gets juniors and sophomores who are just starting to think about the college process to try our site and our services," said Megan Boyle, promotions mangers at Embark.com, San Francisco. "We can capture their data and introduce them to test prep."

The second promotion, the Take a Class sweepstakes, directs adults interested in adult education to the lifelong learning section of the site. The contest, which is expected to launch March 16, will give away five first prizes that consist of $1,000 for tuition and a Gateway computer with Internet access. Three second-prize winners will receive a free computer.

The contest addresses the greatest concerns of adults looking to continue with their educations, said Boyle: "The two biggest obstacles for adults that want to take online classes are money and access."

The marketing support for these sweepstakes will include a series of online efforts. An extensive banner campaign will launch at Snap.com, Excite as well as other targeted sites.

An e-mail marketing campaign is in the works that will reach consumers that have opted in for more information about educational opportunities. The site also plans to launch a viral marketing campaign that will give students gift certificates for textbooks if they have a friend register at the site, according to Boyle.

Blazing Paradigm, San Francisco is the agency of record for Embark.com.

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