[CASE STUDY] How To Woo Your Customers? (This Travel Company Knows)


woo your customers

Would you cherish a company that sends you and your spouse on a romantic trip?

Well, this is what one of Antavo’s customers did with 138 people.

Apart from the romantic scene, it was a perfect marketing tactic that is worth replicating.

iDBUS is a French transportation company which offers a long-distance coach service linking major European cities.

They asked their agency iProspect (an integrated media agency with offices in the UK, US, and Japan) to help reach their goals.

They wanted to increase brand awareness in France, grow their email list and promote 3 trips from iDBUS’s offering.

To reach these goals, the agency came up with a contest idea on iDBUS’s Facebook Page.

They ran a drawing where 69 couples could win a trip from Paris to Amsterdam, from Lille to Amsterdam, and from Lyon to Barcelona.

Here’s how you can woo your customers with this smart technique!

It Was a Brilliant Concept

Your company might not be able to give away 138 trips to potential customers (the volume is not the point here), but you can come up with a great concept.

The theme of this contest was a great fit for the target audience, and this is what made this marketing technique brilliant.

So, what’s the key to finding a great contest idea that matches the interest of your audience? Here’s how to strategize finding the best theme.

The contest targeted French customers with a promise of winning trips to Amsterdam and Barcelona.

The contest targeted French customers with a promise of winning trips to Amsterdam and Barcelona.

#1. Drawing a Customer Profile

Make a list outlining what your ideal customer looks like. It’s likely that you know it already, but it’s worth it to grabbing a pen and paper and listing the most important things.

The ideal customer of iDBUS doesn’t own a car and prefers to travel by public transport. Also, the ideal customer purchases a ticket not only for herself, but also for someone else. (The company profits more from couples who are typically traveling together.)

The “Bus of Love” targeted exactly these people by calling for couples to apply.

#2. Choosing the Right Prizes

Good prizes woo. But they don’t woo everyone like a red Ferrari, only your customers.

Here are the features of good prizes:

  • Exciting. Good prizes give value and bring happiness. This is a basic rule.
  • Multiple. Multiple prizes increase participation, as the chances of winning are higher.
  • Believable. Too pricy grand prizes can sound too good to be true and turn on a self-defense mechanism at the instinctive level.
  • Optional. If you can choose the prize you wanted to win, you are more likely to enter.

Asking multiple questions on the entry form helps to qualify leads. People needed to research the company’s website to find answers.

#3. Qualifying Leads

iDBUS wanted to have not only many subscribers to their campaign, but also quality subscribers.

They increased the barrier to entry. On the entry form, they asked two questions that required a bit of research on the company’s website.

Also, they asked for permission for further communication. Subscribers could opt in for their newsletter list where they could get special offers from iDBUS.

iDBUS like-gated the sweepstakes, so you needed to become a fan before you could see the content.

iDBUS like-gated the sweepstakes, so you needed to become a fan before you could see the content.

#4. Reaching New People

To make sure that the contest reached its audience, they spread the word in multiple ways.

They regularly posted their contest on their own social channels, created a banner on their website, and sent out a newsletter to their own subscribers.

This helped them to reach their own subscribers, but they also wanted to find new people, so they sponsored six bloggers to spread the word to their own audiences.

If You Travel, You Share, Right?

When you go on vacation, you usually post photos to Facebook and Instagram, so your family and friends can know whereabouts you are (and you can brag about the places you visit). Right?

This is another reason why these prizes were a great fit. They were viral by nature.

The uploaded photos to social channels gave the contest another round of visibility.

iDBUS announced winners on its website.

iDBUS announced winners on its website.

After the drawing ended, the company announced the winners on its website. Emailing all winners and non-winners was a great idea, and it brought good traffic to the booking website.

The 11-day-long campaign’s conversion rate was 54%, so every second visitor subscribed to the contest. It’s a great result knowing that, typically with contests, a 30% conversion rate is already a good number.

No Excuses

Obviously, iDBUS is a big company, and you might not be able to give away that much of your product or service for free. But I am sure this campaign would have worked with only 10% of the prizes that were drawn, and still had a great result.

Finding the best theme to your contest is not that difficult. (Don’t forget to start with a pen and paper and list what your customer is like.)

The main rule is to give something that makes people happy. If they are happy, they will cherish you.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About the Author:

Zsuzsa Kecsmar

This monthly Social Media & Mobile column is contributed by Zsuzsi Kecsmar. Zsuzsi is a co-founder of Antavo Viral Contests, a tool that helps to create sweepstakes, contests and giveaways to Facebook, mobile and web. It’s used by small businesses, agencies and marketers from 150+ countries on 27 languages. Zsuzsi is an award winning radio journalist, now responsible for marketing and customer development. +Zsuzsi Szabo

Maximize Social Business