Tour Operator Uses Games to Make Sweepstakes Memorable

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Tauck World Discovery Inc., a leading guided-tour operator, next month launches two sweepstakes with interactive games to promote company product lines for baby boomers and families.


The sweepstakes for Tauck World Discovery offers a trip to Ireland, aimed at travelers ages 55 and up. The Tauck Bridges sweepstakes, targeting parents ages 45-54 seeking family-oriented tours, offers a trip to the Grand Canyon and several national parks.


"Unlike traditional sweepstakes programs that just seek to capture entrants' contact information, our strategy was to make a set of interactive games that make winning achievable and permit back-end fulfillment tailored to the prospects' travel interests," said Olivier Leibowitz, president of Tauck World Discovery agency Direct Dialog Inc., Wilton, CT.


Both sweepstakes let participants play by presenting an online game in question-and-answer format.


For the Tauck World Discovery promotion, visitors to www.tauck.com will be asked, "Do you know where you are?" Using pull-down menus below each photograph, they can select the easily recognizable location and the site's name. Once the six questions are answered, they can click the submit button. Every correct answer represents an entry to win. The winner bags an eight-day trip for two worth $7,500 to Ireland.


A similar exercise is planned for Tauck Bridges at www.tauckbridges.com. The winner gets an eight-day trip for four worth $8,000 to the Grand Canyon and other national parks.


In both cases, the sweepstakes exercise is completed after the participant responds to five travel-related survey questions. This occurs during sweepstakes registration. By doing so, participants can let Tauck deliver real-time online offers to them based on their travel interests. Welcome kits with regional travel brochures also will be sent.


This way, Tauck can "better tailor our future marketing messages, mailing treatment and fulfillment strategies," said Cheryl DeMichael, director of direct and interactive marketing at the Norwalk, CT, company.


Tauck is still a family-owned company 80 years after its founding. The firm offers 115 trips to 44 countries on all seven continents. Tauck journeys take place by small ship, train, helicopter and motorcoach. Tauck directors with knowledge of the local culture, history, flora and fauna lead.


The new Tauck Bridges product launched in 2003 to serve the family market. It features more than 10 itineraries to Europe as well as North America and South America. The escorted tours appeal to all generations, from grandparents to children.


Prior performance tests show that online marketing is a means to reach audiences for Tauck's tours.


"We acquire e-mail addresses from past travelers who visit the company Web sites and also generate new opt-in qualified prospects from Web site visitors and other integrated media channels," Leibowitz said.


The upcoming sweepstakes will be live for six months. Direct Dialog will drive traffic to the sweepstakes via targeted e-mails, banner ads and direct mail.


"The ultimate goal is to strengthen market penetration, improve brand awareness and capture the contact information of prospective travelers, including their e-mail address," Leibowitz said. "It was equally important to create a marketing program that relevantly tied in with the company's travel products and service offerings."


Mickey Alam Khan covers Internet marketing campaigns and e-commerce, agency news as well as circulation 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/newsletters


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