DMNews talks with Kevin DeMeritt, president of Lear Capital

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Kevin DeMeritt
Kevin DeMeritt

To help add more prospects and customers to its database, Kevin DeMeritt, president of Los Angeles-based Lear Capital, a precious metals company, worked on a refer-a-friend sweepstakes with ReferNow.

Q: How is the refer-a-friend sweepstakes different from other campaigns you've worked on with ReferNow in the past?

A: The prior program was a coupon campaign, in which a link on the Lear site allowed customers to send coupons to friends. The person who made the referral would sometimes not get his or her prize because the call center person would forget. Now our tracking is all done online and people are more willing to go out of their way to refer.

Q: How did the sweepstakes work?

A: We made a click-to-site cam­paign, where we could send a link to our customers, and they could send it out to other people once they reg­istered. When they registered they had to give us their e-mail address­es. Every person that clicked on that link and went to the Web site got a point for entry into a $250,000 contest, where they could win up to that amount in gold coins. Then we sent out a link from ReferNow to any friends that they thought might want to look at our Web site.

Q: How did you drive participation?

A: When customers registered to e-mail the link to friends, they didn't have to stick e-mail addresses into databases — they could enter them from their own e-mail address book. We made it a large part of our Web site and also sent direct mail and e-mail. It was mostly e-mail. For the first two to three months we sent out e-mails only to customers. Our customer base at that time was 7,800 people, and we had another 12,000 prospects in our database. We later realized we had this big database of prospects, so we sent out e-mails to that list and got a tremendous response from that. Almost 50% of customers that did business after the contest came from people who had never done business with us.

Q: What were some of the results of this program?

A: Over the six months that it ran, the program generated 26,000 unique people that had come to our site through that link that we could track and had registered at our site. We had about a 5% conver­sion rate to an actual customer, but that customer, instead of costing $250-$350, cost us $30-$40. To this day, those customers receive our newsletter, and we get a couple of sales every month from them.

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