How a Carefully Planned Contest Increased Unique Visitors by 35%, Doubled Online Subscription Sales and a Saw a 34% Growth in Email Subscriptions for

Cross platform promotion and an effective landing page strategy keys to contest success

If your budgets and resources are limited, we advise allocating them to efforts that are easily measured and monetized, like the contest Hearst Digital ran for Good Housekeeping last year. A simply brilliant and timely sweepstakes, offering $250,000 to pay off the winner’s mortgage, resulted in a 35% increase in average monthly unique visitors in the second half of 2007, doubled online subscription revenues in 2007 over the previous year and saw a 34% growth in email addresses.


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The success of this contest, naturally, came with careful planning and lots of effective promotion. Offline, they used a swipe across their August issue, a mention in the editor’s letter, a _ page call-out that tied to an article, a “what’s new” page and a cover wrap for subscriber copies.

Online, they had banners throughout their site, using various creative, mentions in the GH email newsletters (and in the email newsletters of other Hearst titles), a floater, which they called an “arrival layer” and they bought pay-per-click ads. Elyse Thibault, Senior Manager of Marketing & Audience Development, Hearst Magazines Digital Media told the crowd at MPA’s 4th Magazines 24/7 conference that all the offline and online efforts led users to a dedicated landing page, which is part of what led to the success of their high conversion rates.


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