Assessing the Success of Our Promotion

In “Vote for Your Favorite Promotion Ideas,” I offered two new promotions.

One promotion was to vote on the best idea for the potential future of this column. I got the initial list of ideas from another promotion I held asking people to submit their thoughts on this matter.

The other promotion was to spread the word about this campaign I was running. I offered people a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift certificate if they linked to the article.

Before every promotion, I make some predictions as to what will happen. I’m keeping the tallies for all of my SEW promotions on this Google Docs spreadsheet.

It’s important to make the predictions first so that you aren’t blinded by hindsight, which as we all know is perfect. Of course Bernie Madoff was running a massive Ponzi scheme. Of course housing was just a huge Bubble Yum bubble gum bubble. And of course all our campaigns performed the way they did. “Anybody would have been able to guess that.”

So, make your predictions first. It will make you a better predictor in the future.

Voting Promotion Results

I received 11 responses in my first promotion. However, in that promotion I gave away a $50 gift certificate. I also asked an open-ended question: “Tell me how you would like to see this column evolve.” I had guessed I would get five responses. So, I more than doubled my estimates.

For the voting portion of this promotion, I guessed that I would get 25 responses. I thought I could get 25 this time because people only had to select one choice from a list of several multiple-choice options.

I ended up getting 28 responses.

See how my guessing is getting better?

Interestingly, six of the respondents left a comment. I offered an optional comment box even though I didn’t really think people would use it. But as it turned out, about 21 percent of the people did.

In my predictions, I also attached a dollar value to each response. Assigning a dollar value to a form submission is a little trickier than tracking how much product a promotion resulted in selling. But it’s still important.

I put the value of a vote at $17 per vote. In my first campaign, I put the value of a response at $20. I felt that this response was a little easier than the first (and not quite as valuable), so I chose $17.

But, at 28 responses, I made $476! That’s a pretty good deal for a $25 gift certificate. That made my ROI ([(Payback – Investment)/Investment)”*100) 1,804 percent.

That’s what I call a smashing success.

Linking Promotion Results

For the linking portion of the promotion, my guessing wasn’t as good. I predicted I would get 10 links. It turned out that I got four, so I was off by 60 percent.

For the links, I attached a dollar value of $25. That way, even if I only got one link, I figured it would pay for the promotion. I ended up with four links for a total payback of $100 and a 300 percent ROI.

Even though I didn’t get my goal of 10 links, I’m still very happy with the four I got.

And the Winners Are…

Oh, and then there’s the little matter of who won the gift certificates. Let’s not wait any longer.

For the voting portion of the promotion, the winner is: Helen Curry.

And the winner of the linking portion of the promotion is: Elaine Garrett.

Congratulations Helen and Elaine! Your Amazon gift certificates are in the mail to you even as I type.

By the way, if anyone ever needs to pick a random person, do a search for a “random number generator.” There are tons of them, and they’ll spit out a truly random number. I just numbered everyone who entered and picked the winners using one of these spiffy random number generators.

To Be Continued…

There’s still a lot to look at with this promotion. I want to give my assessment on both of these promotions — what I thought of them and if I would do them again. I also want to discuss the potential controversy I’ve caused by asking people to link to an article in exchange for a chance to win a gift certificate.

And then, of course, we need to look at the actual findings of the voting. I think you’ll find the results interesting and potentially exciting for the future of this column.

Keep coming back as we pore over all this data and figure out what we’ve learned.

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