When you’ve got a big prize to give away, chances are, you are expecting a big return. That return might be in the form of contest entries, shares or engagement. In any case, the campaign you create should always keep your goal in mind. Don’t focus on social shares if you want to collect leads, and don’t include a bunch of fields in your form if your aim is to collect UGC.
Camp Chef is a manufacturer of outdoor cooking systems (e.g. grills, smokers and stoves) and accessories (e.g. cast iron cookware). They created the “Grillionaire Sweepstakes” to collect leads during the last five months of 2018. Camp Chef ran the first three months’ giveaways on ShortStack, but they decided to try using Gleam (a competitor) during November in an attempt to increase engagement through social media. It didn’t work. Instead, entries during November fell, as did engagement. However, in December, Camp Chef returned to ShortStack and finished out their promotion with a bang.This article explores the Camp Chef campaign, how it was built and the team’s successes and failures along the way.
Keep your goal in mind. Don’t focus on social shares if you want to collect leads, and don’t include a bunch of fields in your form if your aim is to collect UGC.
An Overview of Camp Chef’s Grillionaire Sweepstakes
Camp Chef created their “Will You be the Next Grillionaire?” sweepstakes to collect leads for their email marketing list. What’s a grillionaire? Someone who is rich in grilling gear of course! From August through December 2018, people could enter to win that month’s Grillionaire prize pack. For example, December’s prize pack included:
- Woodwind SG Pellet Grill w/Sidekick ($999 Value)
- Premium Hardwood Pellet – 3 ($59.97 Value)
- 6-Piece Cast Iron Set ($94.99 Value)
- Flat Top Grill 475 ($299 Value)
- Pro 60X Stove ($239.99 Value)
- Pellet Grill Patio Cover ($72.49 Value)
- Flat Top Grill Patio Cover ($52.49 Value)
- 5-Piece Chef Set ($33.49 Value)
- Deluxe BBQ Grill Box 30 ($104.99 Value)
- Pellet Grill Folding Front Shelf ($63.49 Value)
- Accessory Carry Bag for Grill Box 30 ($24.49 Value)
- PLUS: $400 bonus products from Double 8 Cattle Company
The value of each month’s prize packs ranged from $1,300 in August to over $2,400 in December. That’s a lot of grill goods!
The campaign was embedded on Camp Chef’s website. To access the sweepstakes, people visited https://www.campchef.com/giveaway/. To enter, people simply visited the entry website and filled out the form. In addition, entrants could receive bonus entries for referring friends, answering questions after watching an optional video, or filling in optional form fields (the incentive was different each month). During most months, folks could only submit one entry (with bonus entries awarded for optional tasks), but during December they could enter once per day. A random winner was selected a few days after entry closed each month.
How was the Grillionaire Sweepstakes Built?
The Camp Chef campaign was built using two different ShortStack campaigns. The first campaign contained the entry forms for August through November.
Camp Chef used different entry forms for each month of the contest. For the August, September and October entry periods, Camp Chef implemented the points-per-field option to award entrants additional entries if they filled out optional form fields and the refer-a-friend feature to award referrers additional entries when someone filled out the entry form after clicking their referral URL.
Time-based visibility settings were enabled to automatically change out content on the campaign. For example, entry forms were set to automatically stop showing on a specific date at a specific time. Camp Chef sent an autoresponder after form submission to entrants with their unique referral URL. The email gave entrants an easy way to share their referral URL after they left the campaign, and it allowed Camp Chef to share valuable contest and product information.
CampChef used ShortStack’s visibility settings to automatically hide and show forms on specific dates and times.
For November, Camp Chef switched to Gleam to collect entries. Along with entries, they used actions to count toward additional entries. The actions Camp Chef implemented were designed to increase social media followers. The embed code for the Gleam campaign was placed in a ShortStack Text Widget, so the entry form displayed within the same campaign as the previous entry forms, and ShortStack analytics still collected views.
Embedded Gleam features used to increase social media following
Camp Chef built a second ShortStack campaign for December. The December campaign was based on the ShortStack Multi-Day Giveaway Calendar template. In this campaign, a new “day” unlocked every 24 hours to allow people to submit an entry to the contest. Folks could visit the campaign to enter every day. Again, an autoresponder was sent to each entrant after form submission with their unique referral URL.
Camp Chef relied heavily on their email list to promote their sweepstakes. The refer-a-friend feature was essential in this strategy. It allowed them to reach out to their current list to enter the competition, and incentivized those who entered with a way to gain extra entries. Rewarding extra entries for referrals to the contest promoted sharing, which increased contest awareness and expanded the Camp Chef mailing list. In addition to email marketing and the refer-a-friend feature, Camp Chef plugged their contest on social media. They posted links to the contest on Facebook and Instagram. A small online advertisement campaign was also used to boost entries.
Instagram post promoting CampChef’s sweepstakes
At the end of each month they used ShortStack, Camp Chef chose a winner with the random entry generator. If an entrant collected referral points or received extra points for filling out an additional form field, then those points were counted as additional entries for that person which increased their chances of winning.
Essential Feature: Embedding
Camp Chef embedded the ShortStack campaigns on their website. This allowed them to use a Camp Chef branded URL for the contest. Plus, sending people to your website increases the chances of customers shopping around a bit after entering the sweepstakes. Embedding also had the benefit of using a single URL for the duration of the campaign, despite using multiple ShortStack campaigns.
CampChef’s sweepstakes campaign embedded on their website.
How’d Camp Chef’s Campaign “Do” (Campaign Success)?
The Grillionaire sweepstakes was a massive success for Camp Chef. Over the course of the campaign, they received 140,196 entries and 624,107 views. Of those 600,000+ views, a whopping 379,728 were unique views — that’s over 60%! Broken down by month, they received:
Even though Camp Chef’s main goal was to gather leads, their campaign received a lot of shares, which boosts brand awareness. The campaign was shared via ShortStack 29,475 times over five months, ranging from 2,585 times in September to 12,903 times in December. During the month Camp Chef used Gleam, even though their goal was to increase followers and engagement on social media, they received only 300 shares.
The winners of the campaign were Kyle J. of Mississippi (August), Wilson K. of Alabama (September), Isamu Y. of California (October), Bobby P. (November) and Patrick E. of Colorado (December). Congratulations to all of the new Grillionaires!
The Lesson: Focus on your Campaign Goals
It can be tempting to make your campaign a one-stop-shop for all of your online marketing; however, this isn’t always a good idea. If your overall goal is to collect leads (like it was for Camp Chef), don’t implement features that will get in the way of these goals. Instead of staying focused on their goal, Camp Chef attempted to incentivize social media actions to promote engagement which derailed their lead collection and required some extra effort to get back on track.
Focus on your goals and build incentives into your campaign to help you reach those goals. Looking to increase leads and engagement? Give people the option to share the campaign, receive referral points for sending more entrants to the campaign or enter more than once over the course of the entry period. Focusing on your goals will ultimately pay off, just like it did for Camp Chef.