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How Evergreens Restaurants Saw a 15% Sales Bump & 400% ROI with ShortStack Contests

Discover how Evergreens, a regional restaurant chain, used gamification and interactive content to engage customers, boost sales, and increase their marketing list.

By Jane Vance ・8 min read
Customer Stories

New technology like ChatGPT allows marketers to quickly produce static content like blog posts and social media content to boost SEO and attract visitors. However, customers desire authentic and original content that AI can’t deliver. To give their customers what they want, savvy marketers leverage interactive content to continue engaging their audiences and collecting leads.

People are 2x more likely to engage with interactive content than static content. Likewise, interactive content leads to longer engagement time, 13 minutes for interactive content versus 8.5 minutes for static content. Interactive content, like games, contests, and quizzes, is an increasingly important tool in a marketer’s toolbox due to its effectiveness. 

Evergreens, a regional chain with restaurants across Washington and Oregon, can attest to the power of interactive marketing. Learn how their 12 Days of Christmas campaign used gamification and contests to engage with their customers, distribute discount vouchers and boost their sales during their slowest time of the year.

Evergreens + ShortStack

Evergreens is a fast-casual restaurant serving made-to-order salads, wraps, and warm grain bowls. With locations across Washington & Oregon, they aim to prove to the Pacific Northwest that eating better can be deliciously nutritious and fun. Evergreens has been a ShortStack customer since November 2021.

 “We lean on the fun, engaging, and interactive gamification to drive engagement during the holidays,” said Stephanie Bills, Marketing Director at Evergreens. Although the Evergreens team currently uses ShortStack every year, they’re looking to integrate the platform after the success they’ve had with their annual campaign. 

The Evergreens team has been most impressed with the variety of gamification templates ShortStack provides and how easy they are to customize. “We evaluated a lot of gamification software choices before landing on ShortStack. No one else offers the flexibility, ease of use, and variety that ShortStack has offered us,” remarked Bills. The flexibility of the builder is also a huge plus. “It is straightforward and simple for our design team to bring our vision to life,” said Bills. 

It’s easy to see why Bills and her team want to expand their use of ShortStack. The annual holiday campaign hosted by Evergreens helps them meet their KPIs. “Our ShortStack campaigns have helped drive a 15% bump in sales during what is usually our slowest period. And the campaigns annually help grow our marketing list by 15% as users flock to use the rewards we issue.” 

Evergreens’ 12 Days of Giveaways Campaign

In December 2022, Evergreens hosted its 12 Days of Giveaways campaign. According to Bills, “Our main focus for these campaigns is to drive engagement and sales during what is typically our slowest period.” 

The promotion ran from December 5 to December 16, 2022. During this time, Evergreens revealed a new game or contest daily. Each day, participants could visit the Evergreens 12 Days of Giveaways landing page (created with the ShortStack Giveaway Calendar template) to find out how to enter. 

The 12 Days of Giveaways landing page linked visitors to games and giveaways created with ShortStack templates. Below are the daily campaigns and their prizes – it’s truly an epic lineup.

Day 1: The Great Pacific Northwest (PNW) Giveaway

Evergreens teamed up with LOGE Camps and Alaska Airlines (two PNW brands) to give away a getaway. Participants could enter to win a stay at a LOGE property in the Pacific Northwest with healthy snacks and meals from Evergreens and round-trip airfare from Alaska Airlines. 

Entrants followed the contents sponsors, @evergreensinc @logecamps and @alaskaairlines, then Liked the giveaway post on the Evergreens Instagram page and tagged a friend in a comment. 

Run a comment-to-enter contest on Instagram. 

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Day 2: Scratch & Win Instant Win Giveaway

Participants submitted a form, then received a digital scratch card that revealed if they had won. Two hundred fifty lucky winners received discounts on their Evergreens order – 15%, 25%, 50%, or even 75% off. 

Host a Scratch & Win Instant Win Giveaway.

VIEW AND CREATE YOUR OWN

Day 3: Nominate a Friend to Win Free Evergreens for a Month

In the spirit of the holidays, participants nominated people they thought deserved a free month of Evergreens meals. To enter, people filled out a form with their name and email, their nominee’s name and email and wrote a little something explaining why their nominee deserves to win. Three winners were chosen from the submissions.

Build a Nomination campaign.

VIEW AND CREATE YOUR OWN

Day 4: Spin the Reels Instant Win Giveaway

Visitors could submit their email addresses, then spin the reels. If the reels revealed three green veggie symbols, they were one of 250 people to score 50% off their next Evergreens order.

Create Spin the Reels Instant Win Giveaway.

VIEW AND CREATE YOUR OWN

Day 5: $3 Off a Bowl Promo Code

Visitors received a promo code for $3 off their next bowl purchase from December 9 to 11. Simple.

Distribute coupon codes.

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Day 6: Fortune Wheel Instant Win Giveaway

Participants submit a form, then spin a fortune wheel for a chance to win one of 500 freebies, like a free drink, free soup, free delivery, and more. 

Host a Fortune Wheel Instant Win Giveaway.

VIEW AND CREATE YOUR OWN

Day 7: Find the Hidden Code

Participants visited the Evergreens Mobile App to find a secret code. Once located, they entered the code and submitted their information to win one of five $100 Evergreens gift cards. 

Run a Code Redemption Campaign.

VIEW AND CREATE YOUR OWN

Day 8: Spin the Reels with Chateau Ste. Michelle

Evergreens partnered with Chateau Ste. Michelle to give one lucky winner the Winemaker for a Day tasting experience for six people. People submitted a form for a chance to spin the reels, with the winning spin displaying three Chateau Ste. Michelle wine bottles.

Run a Spin the Reels Instant Win Giveaway.

VIEW AND CREATE YOUR OWN

Day 9: BOGO Warm Bowls

Visitors received a one-day deal on Buy One, Get One warm bowls when they ordered online. 

Day 10: Do Some Good Giveaway

To do some good locally, Evergreens announced their one-day initiative to donate $1 of every "Stuffin' of Dreams" wrap or salad sold to our local partners to help fight homelessness in communities they serve.

Day 11: Vote for a Recipe

Evergreens called upon their “Salad Fam” to help solve a heated debate at EG HQ – which seasonal salad is the best? Customers could vote on their favorite salad, and everyone on the Evergreens mailing list would receive a 50% OFF reward for the winning recipe.

Create a Vote Only campaign.

VIEW AND CREATE YOUR OWN

Day 12: Win Free Evergreens for a Year

Saving the best for last, Evergreens gave away a free year of meals. Entrants submitted a form for a chance to win. Plus, a coupon code was distributed via an autoresponder to all entrants for 25% off their next purchase, making everyone a winner.

Create a Simple Giveaway.

VIEW AND CREATE YOUR OWN

The 12 Days of Giveaways campaign was promoted via email to the Evergreens marketing list subscribers, posts on social media, and a hero banner on their homepage. 

The Results

As previously mentioned, Bills shared that the 12 Days of Giveaways campaign increased sales by 15% during their slowest time of the year. To this end, the promotion landed Evergreens a 4x return on ROI (this number will continue to grow, as rewards earned during that time are still eligible for redemption). 

Evergreens collected 6,789 contest entries to their giveaways, contributing 15% growth in their email list. Plus, the 12 Days of Giveaways promotion boosted website traffic by 35% and increased social media followers by 13%. According to Bills, “The amount of daily visits and engagement rate is always a (happy) surprise. This campaign is still in its infancy and evolving, but seeing the growth it achieved from last year (pilot year) into 2022 was incredible.” These are tremendous results for 12 days of customer engagement. 

Gamification & Interactive Content FTW

Don’t settle for generic AI-generated blog posts and marketing content. Instead use interactive content, like games and contests, to differentiate your brand from your competitors and give your customers the authentic experiences they crave.

Evergreens leveraged the power of gamification to see terrific results. By giving away a mix of prizes that relied on local partnerships with well-known brands and vouchers, Evergreens was able to boost sales during their slowest period of the year. 

Interested in using gamification and interactive content to engage your audience? Get in touch with our sales team to learn more about what ShortStack can do for you.

About the author

By Jane Vance ・8 min read
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Jane has over a decade of martech experience, with an emphasis in content marketing, UX, and customer success. Her combined skillset and years of hands-on experience make her a valuable player in the industry. In her free time, Jane loves quiet family dinners at home and a good book.


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