Partner Networks Help DIY Set Sweeps High

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Do It Yourself Network, a channel of Scripps Network, saw its most successful online sweepstakes to date by using the Web sites and e-newsletters of partner television networks, including Home and Garden TV.


DIY's "Best Built Home" sweeps, which ran May 1 to June 13, drew the most registrations -- 4.25 million -- of any it has held. Because this sweepstakes was new, DIY executives aimed simply to surpass registrations for its longstanding "Big Garage Giveaway" sweeps. The last "Big Garage" sweeps got 2.9 million registrations.


"'Best Built Home' was new, it had no history. We needed to leverage everything we learned previously into making this one a success," said Phillip Williams, director of DIY Network, Knoxville, TN.


DIY marketed the sweepstakes on other Scripps sites, including those for HGTV and The Food Network, via banner ads and e-mail newsletters.


"We had the biggest reach of any campaign we've ever done, thanks to our sister newsletters," Williams said.


Along with other Scripps e-newsletters, DIY used Scripps' database of consumers who had entered sweeps or requested information on past sweepstakes. Banner ads on Scripps Network sites also were successful.


"For banner ads, most users came from HGTV and Food Network, showing that our synergy was really working," Williams said.


DIY also garnered good response from e-mail postcards on the sweeps, sent to its e-newsletter subscribers and those from sister sites. The first e-postcard boasted a 33 percent open rate and a 54 percent click-through rate to the registration page.


Online ads and messages were quickly changed halfway through the campaign to improve results. DIY switched the sweeps slogan in e-mails from "Win a Home Built Just For You" to "Win a 350,000 [dollar] Home Just for You" after the first one did not get the response executives had hoped for to meet the 2.9 million-plus entries goal.


"We knew we needed to put a different spin on it if we wanted to make it the biggest and best event," Williams said. "Once the decision was made, within 48 hours we changed everything going out in newsletters, press releases and overall execution online."


E-mail calls to action, sent weekly, also helped snare last-minute response. In the second-to-last week, the DIY sweeps e-mail read, "Last Chance to Enter."


"We had a tremendous surge in the last two weeks -- over 2.5 million entries -- compared to the previous four weeks when we had close to 2 million," Williams said.


Christine Blank covers online marketing and advertising, including e-mail marketing and paid search, for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletter


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