Carpoint used the start of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week to launch a sweepstakes designed to collect e-mail addresses and open a dialogue with potential car buyers.
“We want to increase mind share among consumers,” said Cameron Death, business development manager at Carpoint. “Not all consumers are currently in a car-buying mind-set. If we can add people to our e-mail lists that will help us increase awareness, and when they enter the buying process they will have us in mind.”
Carpoint has been the auto show's official consumer Web site for the past four years. Death said the sweepstakes' concept car theme is a perfect fit to be unveiled in conjunction with the show since many of the cars at the show are concept cars.
Carpoint has 3.5 million people in its e-mail database. He would not say how many names it expects to add through the sweepstakes, which will run for 90 days and be promoted on MSN and carpoint.com. Less interactive sweepstakes usually draw 250,000 registrants, 80 percent to 90 percent of whom opt in for future e-mails, Death said. Consumers can enter through MSN.com or carpoint.com, where they design their own concept car. The grand prize is a 1/14 scale model of the winner's design and $1,000.
Entrants choose one of three style vehicles: a sports car, sport utility vehicle or muscle car. Then they pick the color of the car and the background that will be displayed behind it. From there they accessorize the car and add features such as a toilet seat, a pair of bull's horns, a siren or a shark fin.
Once they finish designing the vehicle, they give Carpoint basic demographic information. They then can tell what type of car they drive and choose to receive informational e-mails on cars that interest them. Consumers also can ask to be notified about special sweepstakes and offers provided by MSN Carpoint and MSN HomeAdvisor.
After submitting their entries, consumers receive an e-mail that lets them forward the contest to a friend. The e-mail has links to daily information and video taken from the auto show as well as 2002 prices and reviews of cars available at Carpoint.
After a purchase is made, Carpoint provides a suite of ownership services. One such service is My Car, which lets consumers create a personalized page to receive daily updates on things such as traffic and gas prices in their area.