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Creative solutions from AMF Bowling Centers, PayCycle and Dunkin’ Donuts

Multichannel sweepstakes scores big 

National bowling alley chain AMF Bowling Centers was looking for a way to drive registration to its AMF Bowling eClub while also increasing opt-in e-mail registrations.

“Often, clients depend on staff that work within the four walls to encourage guests that come in to sign up for an eClub,” says Natalie Hall, account executive at Fishbowl, an e-mail services provider. “Fishbowl knew it had to get this outside the four walls of the bowling center.”

Fishbowl worked with AMF to develop its eClub in spring of 2007. Members receive a welcome message for free bowling with up to 10 people, and birthday and anniversary offers.

“We had to have a more enticing offer to get people to join the eClub,” Hall says.

Fishbowl and AMF partnered with a third-party contest provider, ePrize, to create the $50,000Summer Free-For-All Sweepstakes. Contest prizes included a $10,000 grand prize and $50,000 in total prizes including $250 Circuit City Gift Cards, $100 AMF Gift Certificates, as well as AMF Bowling Gear Packs.

Promoted through in-store signage and on the Web, as well as through e-mail and direct mail, those who entered the contest were given the opportunity to opt in to the eClub as well.

The campaign ran for 62 days during the summer of 2007. In total, 32,840 guests registered, 2,287referred the contest to their friends and 14,061 joined the AMF Bowling eClub.

“When the contest launched, we had 32,000 opt in signups at the end of 60 days — it was really exciting to see that spike,” Hall says.

“What was most impressive, however, was that 43% of registered players opted in for the eClub,” she continues. Hall says ePrize has an average opt-in rate of 32%.
Nathan Golia 

Market research pays off

Approach: PayCycle wanted to increase awareness of its Web-based payroll system. The company conducted market research to understand which type of small business owner would find its product appealing and, in January, adjusted its online marketing activities to target this “modern employer.” PayCycle updated the look of its Web site with customer testimonial videos, improved layout and flash demos. It also developed a more modern look for its banner ads and search marketing.

Results: Since the relaunch, PayCycle’s visitor sign-up and conversion rates have seen double-digit percentage growth.
Mary Hurn 

Dunkin’ Donuts
Coffee, ads and videotape

Approach: Hoping to drive online en­gagement with the brand, Dunkin’ Donuts launched a YouTube brand channel in Janu­ary. The kickoff featured a contest letting consumers share videos that answer the ques­tion: “How do you keep America running?” Videos were rated by site visitors and 50 winners were picked to receive a year’s supply of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. The contest ended March 1 and was supported with online ads.

Results: More than 200 videos were submit­ted and the winning selections received over 900,000 views. “People were excited and had a lot of fun participating,” says David Tryder, manager of interactive and relationship market­ing at Dunkin’ Donuts.
-Chantal Todé

David Hartt, Group creative director, Avenue A/Razorfish

Win big with AMF — everyone loves a sweepstakes. It’s instant gratification for the consumer, providing instant traffic for the company. As P. Diddy put it: “It’s All About the Benjamins.” Enough said.

I’m sure PayCycle is a great product that saves money and is easy to use. However, the campaign targeting the “modern employer” feels low-budget and anonymous. This product is supposed to appeal to small businesses, but the generic design language and use of stock imagery inhibit any personal connection. A clearer use of case studies, real scenarios and photography would create a more authentic tone. [Editor’s note: Due to the submission of inaccurate photography, the current homepage of PayCycle’s Web site was not reviewed. The image above now reflects the remodeled site.]

The Dunkin’ Donuts YouTube Channel is everything the Web is supposed to be when it comes to brand consumer interaction: goofy, funny, sincere and messy. I would have expected more submissions, though.

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