Category Archives: contest

Anatomy of a Holiday Contest Campaign: Overstock.com

First, I’d like to thank Overstock.com for sponsoring this charity post (via PayPerPost) — donating a goodly sum to the Alzheimer’s Walk on my behalf. Campaigns like this are a great way to do good, while also doing well with corporate marketing — and, for me, writing a post is a fun and easy way to give.

Overstock just kicked off a Holiday contest called the “All I want for Christmas Giveaway“. I like that it’s multi-model, incorporating YouTube, blogs, on-site video, site navigation and tell-a-friend email. For example, here’s their YouTube teaser:

The contest started December 3 and appears to be running for only the next 5 days, with winners each day and a final Grand Price winner. I see that Sandra from Florida was the Day 1 winner of a 37-inch LCD HDTV. After this contest walk-through, maybe you’ll be next. I really like the concept that you can win anything at Overstock (up to $1,000) — more exciting and immediately exposes registrants to Overstock shopping. My post introduces the contest, while also sharing some feedback for Overstock’s contest team.

The contest welcome page is pretty straightforward, embedding the contest teaser video. Feedback: Cute video introducing the concept, but doesn’t create much excitement.

Upon clicking “Begin”, you reach the contest registration page. Feedback: I’m not sure why you have to select a cute little snow-avatar. I think the IMPORTANT message is good, but should probably reference spam filters for the novice user. I also think the email permission should be default No, instead of Yes.

Upon clicking “Next”, you reach the “Choose a Gift” page and video instructions autoplay. Feedback: Although I typically don’t like autoplay video, this is a good use for it. Contest participation requires a couple steps and the video does a good job explaining. Although the use of [email protected] was innovative (saving developer effort), I worry Overstock will lose a bunch of registrants during the gift selection process.

Speaking of gift selection, the best part comes after clicking “Choose a Gift”. You get to browse or search all of Overstock.com for the gift you’d like to win — any product at Overstock.com (up to $1,000). Given that you can pick a new gift every day, I went for a 20GB/32X Digital Video Camera yesterday and a 32″ LCD monitor today. Feedback: It would be interesting to see a page including all the gifts others are selecting — to jumpstart some ideas. Long-term, it would be best to have a one-click gift/contest button alongside all items instead of the [email protected] email kludge.

The final step is to select the friends you would like to win with you. In other words, if you win, those friends that register will win also. For example, I hooked up Nicholas Chance over at KidReviewer.com. Feedback: Viral growth might go even faster if the win-sharing was both directions — I win if they win.

As you can tell from the fact I’ve played a couple days, I like this holiday contest. It’s much more interesting than winning one specific item (e.g. “win an iPod”) and the opportunity to help friends win is smart. I’ve known about Overstock for a long time, but I have to admit participating in this contest exposed me to much more of their site and products. That’s a win-win for me and Overstock…and maybe you!

Related images: overstock, gifts, gift ideas, all i want for christmas

Contest: Be the VC

I ran a small contest over a couple days last week via PayPerPost. Basically, I shared that there are more interesting ideas on the net than any one guy can keep track of. I challenged Posties to “Be the VC” and blog about the most interesting or promising online companies they’ve encountered recently. Think TechCrunch, but much smaller, diversified, and distributed.

I promised to PayPal $20 to my favorite post, but I left the criteria pretty open. I was roughly looking for 1) most interesting new finds and 2) general quality of the post/blog. The incentive and budget on this opp was modest so I appreciate all of the participating Posties, but I’d like to recognize 4 of my favorites here, including the winner.

Hmmm at kitty.nu uncovered free411.com (free directory assistance) and loowa.com (MySpace/Virb/Vox) . Both were interesting and the blog had a nice clean look.

Would you like to be a Venture Capitalist (for a day, that is)? at HomeOfficeWomen.com uncovered Fliptrack (video/audio editing) and provided some nice examples in the post and comments.

Be the VC at The-Upperroom.com shared multiple ideas for leveraging SecondLife. Although raw ideas weren’t exactly what I was looking for, I wanted to recognize the length and depth of Kevin’s post, integrating images and video. I like the SecondLife banking possibilities, but Kevin’s comment about low daily concurrent users (only 19K-36K?) is a concern.

It was a squeaker, but my favorite post was Who Deserves Venture Capital? at HomeBizBlogger.com by Eve Lester. Although I didn’t really understand what FlyLady.com was all about, I was intrigued by Eve’s first tip: Tubetorial.com. I’ve spoken to a few entrepreneurs who are leveraging video tutorial sites for vertical opportunities (recruiting, medical etc.), but there is room for one or two catch-all sites as well. I’ve embedded an example of what you might find at Tubetorial — they need some easy embed tools and a broader set of tutorial topics. This one’s called “Be the Master of Your Own Domain”

Flash video — 5:51 run time

Video isn’t as good as text for snippets of info, but can be great for detailed how-to. I also thought Eve’s blog design had a good balance of aesthetics and information — most designs are heavy on one of those two areas.

Thanks everyone for playing via PayPerPost and congrats Eve, I’ve got $20 waiting for your PayPal address — don’t spend it all in one place 😉