How We Collected Nearly 3k Entries + Some Amazing UGC With Our National Pancake Day Contest & Photo Frames

Learn how ShortStack used their branded photo frames feature to spice up their National Pancake Day contest and collect user-generated content.

By Jane Vance ・3 min read
Customer Stories
ShortStack Tips & Tricks

Photo contests are not only popular, but they allow brands to collect user-generated content (UGC) that can be used in future marketing campaigns. We used our branded photo frames feature to spice up our National Pancake Day contest, then added a twist by making it an instant win giveaway. Read on to learn how we did it and what we saw for results.

Campaign Objectives

ShortStack is known for giving marketers the tools they need to run unique contests for lead generation and engagement. When we released our branded photo frames feature, we were so excited about it that we had to try it out for ourselves. Our goal was to collect some UGC we could use on our website and raise awareness about the new feature.

The Solution

After a bit of brainstorming, we decided to run a contest for our favorite day of the year--National Pancake Day. Get it? ShortStack and pancakes? Anyway. Choosing something specific like National Pancake Day gave us a theme for our contest that also fit our brand.

At the time we created the contest, we didn’t have a template that used our branded photo frames feature; however, it was simple to add the frames feature into any template we chose. Because of this, we decided to use our Photo Contest template to get started. From there, we added the Image Editor Widget, which is where you enable the branded photo frames feature.The Image Editor Widget connects to a form on your campaign. When someone uploads an image to the form, the image editor pops up. In the pop-up, people can do a number of things, like flip, rotate and zoom in and out on the image. When the frames feature is enabled, folks can apply one of the frames that you provide to the images they upload.We decided to add five different frames for entrants to choose from:

  • A frame that reads “National Pancake Day;”
  • A picture-in-a-hole frame of a stack of pancakes;
  • A thought bubble frame that reads “Mmm, pancakes;”
  • A frame with a pair of sunglasses reflecting back a stack of pancakes; and
  • A frame with a bib that reads “I *heart* pancakes.”

ShortStack's Frame EditorEntrants uploaded their images, chose their frame, then manipulated the image using the image editor tools. After that, they finished filling out the form.In addition to the frames feature, we also added an instant win component to the contest. After form submission, entrants found out immediately if they won. One hundred people were chosen as winners and awarded a mix of six different instant win prizes. To facilitate giving out a variety of prizes, we used our prize codes feature.Since winners were chosen with our instant win feature, we didn’t see a need for voting. However, we still thought it would be fun to show off the entries, so they were displayed in a gallery.Participants could enter as often as they wanted, but they could only win once. After each form submission, they were sent an autoresponder that included both a message saying if they won or lost, along with the image they submitted. We figured it would be fun for folks to share the image with friends if we sent it via email.In addition to the contest, we included a separate form asking folks if they wanted to be informed when we released the new frames feature. Likewise, since the contest was only available in the United States, we included another form for people outside the United States to try out the frames feature. However, non-USA residents were not eligible to win prizes.

Contest Details

Our National Pancake Day contest ran from September 22 through September 30, 2021. During this time, folks could submit as many times as they would like, but they could only win once. We promoted our contest to our customers via a pop-up on our website, by email, on social media and within our platform’s dashboard.Over the nine-day contest period, we handed out 100 instant win prizes. This included:

  • Thirty-five (35) ShortStack sticker, pin and pouch packs;
  • Twenty-five (25) ShortStack clear summer bag and frisbee sets;
  • Twenty (20) ShortStack t-shirts;
  • Ten (10) ShortStack Big Truck hats;
  • Five (5) Pancake Day goodie baskets; and
  • Five (5) $50 ShortStack discount codes.

The Results

During our National Pancake Day contest, our campaign received 2,993 entries and 9,425 views. The campaign was shared 118 times. The autoresponder email we included was sent to every entrant, and opened 1,292 times--a 43% open rate!We had a great time looking through the UGC our entrants submitted. We have quite a few entries we plan to reuse in the future. Also, we had 271 people sign up to learn more about the branded photo frames feature when we release it. Both collecting UGC and raising awareness about the new feature were our goals, and the results were better than we expected.

Make collecting high-quality UGC fun and easy with frames

It can be hard to come up with a contest to collect UGC that also entices entrants to take time to create quality content. Sure, you can ask people to vote for a winner, but these contests aren’t for everyone. Our branded photo frames feature is a game-changer. The ability for entrants to add branded content to their images makes even the most simple photo entries worthy of sharing. Our National Pancake Day contest helped up meet our goal of collecting UGC to share with our audience that we can be proud of.

About the author

By Jane Vance ・3 min read

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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