How a Business That Runs 10 Promotions a Year Received 107% More Entries During the Holidays

This content discusses the importance of holiday marketing for marketers and shares a case study of Camp Chef's successful holiday promotion.

By Dana Kilroy ・4 min read
Campaign & Contest Ideas
Customer Stories

The holidays are a vital time for marketers. Consumer spending increases, online activity increases, and acceptance of new brands and products increases. In fact, a recent study revealed that 50% more marketing campaigns are built during the holiday months (September to December) than any other time of year. In addition, users, on average, see a 73% increase in lead generation during the holidays compared to non-holidays.This case study is a testimony to those stats. Camp Chef, a manufacturer of camping stoves, dutch ovens and various types of outdoor cooking equipment, is a brand that runs promotions all year long. However, in 2014, their Holiday Calendar Giveaway was their most successful promotion ever, receiving 107% more entries than their usual promotions.

This success wasn’t by chance.We’ve laid out the steps taken by Camp Chef that brought the company 13,780 entries in just 12 days.

Step #1: Pick a Goal

If you’ve read any of our other case studies, you’ll notice that each one starts with picking a goal. The goal is the backbone to any great Campaign, and whether you’re running a promotion in March or December, you need to define the top one or two things (three at most) that you want to achieve.Here are some common goals we see among users:

  • Increase brand awareness.
  • Promote a new product or service.
  • Boost user engagement.
  • Gather user feedback.
  • Gather user content (photos, video, etc.).
  • Develop brand advocates.
  • Convert followers into leads.
  • Convert followers into sales.
  • Grow a social media presence.

Camp Chef’s goals were two pronged: Build their email list and increase engagement. They wanted to run a promotion that had fans coming back to their page and their Campaign time and time again.

Step #2: Pick the Right Holiday Strategy

Every marketing team has some form of a social media strategy they follow throughout the year. One component is promoting Campaigns across all social media platforms. However, holiday months are a whole different ball-game and often-times a business will adjust their strategy for a more successful holiday season.Camp Chef’s busy seasons are Spring and Summer, but they also have a completely different marketing strategy during the holidays than any other time of year.“During the non-holiday months we focus on product launch campaigns, when applicable, list gathering, and brand reinforcement. During the holiday months, our campaigns have more of a focus on social gatherings and smaller items that work great for gifts.” - Tom Broschinsky, Social Media Manager & Web Marketer, Camp ChefIn other words, Camp Chef’s campaigns change with the seasons. The holidays are technically the off season for Camp Chef, so they see this as the perfect time to promote their products as gifts rather than as a time to announce new launches or products. To accomplish this they used ShortStack's Giveaway Calendar Template.

Step #3: Don’t Get Caught Up in a Budget

Once September hits, the internet is flooded with holiday statistics:  how much money will be spent, how many ad dollars will be spent, etc. Most businesses expect to need a large budget to run a successful holiday Campaign, however, Camp Chef’s budget was surprising.“Our budget is very organic for promotions and campaigns. With our most recent (2014) holiday promotions, we spent almost no money. The campaign took care of getting the word out as well as coupling it with our email marketing efforts” - Tom Broschinsky, Social Media Manager & Web Marketer, Camp ChefCamp Chef is practicing a basic marketing tenet: repetition. The more times their prospective customers see the company’s messaging -- which includes their contests and giveaways, newsletters, social media posts, discount offers, advertising, etc. -- the more likely people are to think of them first when they’re thinking about camping equipment.

Step #4: Pick the Right Outlet

Once your holiday marketing strategy is in place, you’ll have to decide the best outlet for your promotion. With, you can choose to publish your campaign to Facebook, the web, or embed it on your website or blog. As Camp Chef discovered, there is value in publishing your campaign to multiple outlets in order to allow a bigger audience to enter your promotion.“We published to Facebook and Web. I chose to publish to Facebook because, socially, that is where the vast majority of our audience is. And I went with web because I know that some of our user-base does not have Facebook accounts and in some cases, is "anti-Facebook." This gave them a means to participate, and most importantly, on a mobile friendly site.” Tom Broschinsky, Social Media Manager & Web Marketer, Camp ChefTo promote their Facebook campaign, Camp Chef ran a variety of organic Facebook posts; fans who were not on Facebook were sent an email about the campaign.At we recommend that every business web publish their campaign. You can publish on Facebook as well, but there will always be potential entrants who are not active on Facebook and a web published campaign allows anyone to enter your promotion.


On average, Camp Chef runs between eight and ten promotions a year because they recognize the importance of nurturing customer relationships throughout the year. We asked Tom why he felt this promotion was more successful than previous ones, and here’s what he said:The first thing that comes to mind was the copy we used. We asked people to do very specific things. On nearly any social platform, fans/followers often times won't do anything unless you ask for it. This promotion certainly proved that. Second, people had a reason to keep coming back to not only see what product was being given away that day but to enter that day. People could only enter once a day.The last thing was the refer-a-friend option. Adding that gave people an incentive to invite their friends to enter, which increased engagement and visibility.


Campaign StatsTotal Entries over 12 days: 13,780

Total Views: 65,995

Average Views per Day: 2,129

Fan Growth: 886Campaign Shares: 5,408

Facebook Stats Total Posts: 24

Total Comments: 751

Total Likes: 2,456

Total Shares: 491

Lifetime Organic Impressions: 166,585

About the author

By Dana Kilroy ・4 min read

Dana Sullivan Kilroy is a communications professional with more than 20 years of experience delivering compelling content. Her work has appeared in national, award-winning publications and sites, including: The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Fast Company, Inc.

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