Sweepstakes Drives Bankrate Newsletter Sign-Ups

Share this article:
Personal finance Web portal Bankrate.com launched the "Spring Mortgage Madness" sweepstakes this month to drive traffic to the site and build its e-mail newsletter subscriber list.


The company publishes 11 newsletters on various financial subjects, including Bankrate Weekly, which features news and analysis on the credit markets, Frugal U. Newsletter, offering weekly money saving tips and Monthly Checkup, a newsletter that offers personal finance tips.


The sweepstakes, which runs through June 30, offers consumers a chance to win $50,000 for use in defraying the cost of buying a new home. Bankrate.com runs sweepstakes on a quarterly basis, and tries to peg each contest to the economic climate.


"We try to choose sweepstakes that are most appropriate for both the time of year and economic climate," said Beth Planakis, Bankrate.com's director of marketing. "Our newest Spring Mortgage Madness sweepstakes is timely because of the recent interest in mortgage rates and the housing market."


Planakis said Bankrate.com does not require people to sign up for a newsletter subscription to enter the sweepstakes. Still, the company makes it easy to sign up by offering "featured newsletters" at the bottom of its sweepstakes registration page.


"It's an effective way to generate newsletter subscriptions," Planakis said. "It is not required that you sign up for a newsletter, but a lot of people do. If we need traffic, we run a sweepstakes."


She said the company sends out about 500,000 newsletters a month. Between 30 percent and 35 percent of sweepstakes entrants sign up for a newsletter subscription.


Bankrate.com's last sweepstakes, called "Debt-Free You in 2002," also offered a grand prize of $50,000. That contest was intended to "address the burden of holiday debt."


Contestants can receive up to three extra entries a day by signing up three friends. Plus, Planakis said the company gains a lot of interest by sending out a press release to promote each sweepstakes.


Planakis said Bankrate.com spends little to promote the contests due to the viral component to the sweepstakes. She would not say what the company's advertising budget is, however.


"We don't have a need to spend a significant amount on advertising," she said. "We may use a pay-for-performance search engine. We also list in sweepstakes directories like EZ Sweeps and Sweepstakes Online."


Planakis said Bankrate.com does not spend more than "a couple thousand dollars" to promote its sweepstakes.


"Our users love debt-related sweepstakes," she noted, " and $50,000 is a number that really gets people's attention."


Share this article:
You must be a registered member of Direct Marketing News to post a comment.
close

Next Article in Opinions

Sign up to our newsletters

Follow us on Twitter @dmnews

Latest Jobs:

More in Opinions

App of the Week: Life Organizer

App of the Week: Life Organizer

Life Organizer aims to help users be as productive as possible.

Marketing GloBALLization

Marketing GloBALLization

The Yankees aren't the only team searching for talent overseas.

The Best Birthdays Are Multichannel

The Best Birthdays Are Multichannel

The "best" birthday greetings aren't always the ones with the biggest deals.