Christmas Cash – Building More than Customer Excitement

by Amanda Hughes

There are a magnitude of various channels you can use to communicate with your customers and new ideas and platforms are being developed every day.  However, research done by Marketing Sherpa shows email is the most preferred method by which consumers want a brand to engage with them.  Most notable is email is the preferred method across almost every demographic.

Stone Ward realized the importance of email communication six years ago when working to build the eClub for Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken.  Email was a cost effective and direct method to reach their audience and particularly attractive because it allowed for customized messaging down to an individual store level.  In order to build the eClub database, Stone Ward created Christmas Cash, a $3,000 cash sweepstakes where participants have to sign up for the Lee’s eClub to register for the contest.  

The contest is promoted in store through menuboard translites, table statics, counter cards and bag stuffers.  In 2016, there were 126,880 total entries and 27,460 unique entries that resulted in 3,864 new eClub members.  Not only did the contest build eClub members, it led to more website traffic over the previous year: increased the number of website users by 76%, the number of website sessions by 49%, and slightly increased session duration.

The contest has not only become a customer favorite, generating local press coverage in the winner’s region, but it has also built the nearly 100,000 member eClub database.  This is particularly valuable, as Lee’s customers are loyal and typically repeat customers.  Communicating new specials and offers keeps them coming back and building year-over-year same-store sales growth, 27 consecutive quarters to be exact.  Chicken that good is called Famous for a reason!

Amanda Hughes

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