Online Instant Win Games- Effective Online Promotion to Increase Customer Response

Julie Ann Ross asked:

takes, including online instant win games are probably the best known promotions and have shown consistently to be effective in drawing consumer attention. Online promotions, including sweepstakes, online instant win games, and contests have all become proven sources of new business and are instrumental in building customer databases for companies. Although sweepstakes and contests have proven to be the most popular of the online promotions, several others are worth an investment of time and money. Product sampling, promotional rebates and promotional coupons are among the promotions that are increasing customer response and brand loyalty.

In our world of instant gratification, instant win games- both online and off- are the darlings of the promotions industry. Because consumers don't have to wait weeks or months to find out if they won, they are much more likely to enter. This call to take immediate action makes online instant win games the clear choice for successful online promotion. Although the word contest is often used interchangeably with the word sweepstakes, they are two very different things. A contest is a game that has a skill component. A sweepstakes is simply a game of chance. There are pros and cons to running a contest. Because chance is removed from the contest, it is legal for companies to require participants to pay for their entries. Some or all of the cost of the promotion can be offset with the entry fees. In order to circumvent the legal guidelines that make purchase requirements or entry fees illegal in every state, skill contests must comply with a number of well-defined legal requirements.

According to, to run a valid skill contest, you must satisfy the following tests:
- Judging criteria must be clear, objective and carefully defined. Judges must know what objective standards to apply to the contest entries and those standards must be clearly communicated to the entrants.
- Qualified judges The judges must be qualified to apply the criteria and determine the winning entries.
- A real skill is at issue The contest must test a real skill. Guessing the number of nuts and bolts in an oil drum or predicting the outcome of a sporting event are not considered to be true tests of skill.
- No portion of the promotional contest is controlled by chance. You cannot resolve ties or choose any winners by a random drawing or the contest turns back into a game of chance.
- Entrants cannot be required to engage in a test of skill to pre-qualify for a drawing. The skill displayed must be the dominant element in determining the winners.

While promotional contests may seem attractive, the cons can outweigh the benefits. Contest promotions are more time consuming (as entries must be judged,) elicit a lower response than sweepstakes, are more expensive than sweepstakes and are not as likely to elicit the "act now" response from consumers. However, contests require participants to really think about an associated product. They also provide valuable information to companies about how consumers think and their perception of the product. When used correctly, contests can be an extremely effective online promotion tool.

Product sampling can be included in online promotion, which is beneficial if the associated product is unique in the market place or superior to the competition. This promotional offer can produce superior results to online games when the experience of using the product is necessary to show its value. By reducing the amount of waste, the internet has made this once costly marketing promotion more accessible to clients with a limited budget. In years past, a company would mail out samples or even hand them out on the corner. Today, customers can request the samples from websites. Not only does this help the marketer weed out consumers who are not interested, but it also allows the company to gain the consumer's demographic and contact information. Sampling is a win/win as the consumer gets something for nothing; the company gets valuable information and hopefully a customer who loves their product.

Promotional rebates and coupons work in the short term, as they are effective in differentiating a brand or product at the point of sale. However, they are of limited value as a successful long term marketing strategy, because they do little to build loyalty, and generally appeal more to price conscious consumers than value conscious ones. By tying a sales database to an online database, companies can identify who is buying and what they are buying. Once companies have this information, they can start marketing differently to these customers to build brand loyalty. This is the "perfect world" scenario, but marketers know that it isn't always possible to get all of the data needed. This is where rebates are the most helpful to the company. In order to receive a rebate, customers must fill out a form with their contact information and send it back to the company. This is a gold mine of information for the company. Both rebates and coupons can be underwritten by promotional risk companies so that the promotion cost is fixed.

These online promotions have proven to be successful. The key is to find the best promotion for your brand, your business and your current situation. The internet has opened new doors and has made it easier for marketers to obtain and maintain customer databases. By clearly identifying your promotional marketing strategy and objective, you will be well on your way to a successful online promotion.


The latest

The Pitfalls of Profit-Driven Media: Why Reliable News is at Risk

The media is failing to provide PROPER coverage of the US election - How come? Profit-driven companies may not always prioritize the deliver...