Since 2015, Terry Mitchell and his wife have been leveraging the power of monthly sweepstakes to help grow their e-commerce business to over 94,000 leads. 🔥
While there are many ways to achieve success with e-commerce, Terry’s case study shows that nothing does it better (and faster) than running monthly UpViral campaigns. Before diving into all the details, let’s have a glimpse of his stats from his UpViral dashboard:
You can see that out of those 94,601 leads, 15,556 were referred.
Furthermore, let’s have a look at this important screenshot Terry sent us (see below).
Notice how his email marketing drove only 9.58% of his sales and revenue in 2017/2018 — but 3 years later, this number grew to 23.64% all because they’ve been generating more leads via monthly UpViral campaigns and then selling their products to these leads.
This result clearly shows that email marketing can effectively boost your revenue by acquiring high-quality subscribers and converting them into buyers. And more importantly, you need to do email marketing consistently.
In a nutshell, he generated these results so far by running monthly sweepstakes:
- Total of 94,601 leads since they started in 2015
- Around 2,000-4,000 new leads per month
- Steady stream of monthly traffic to their blog
- Email marketing accounted for 23.64% of their revenue this year (next to Google ads and organic SEO)
We were so interested in how Terry did it, which was why we invited him over to our Co-Pilot show interview. We wanted to pick his brain, learn his strategies, so we could also share it with you — and hopefully, help with your own campaign success.
💎 BONUS: Want to create a recurring campaign like Terry? Here’s his UpViral campaign share link — https://app.upviral.com/dashboard/index/cs/MTE4NjQySkhOa1ppaGVLaWxrWm5NM09EbG1jemRr/ (You’ll find his actual setup and be able to replicate it if you want)
About Terry Mitchell, His E-Commerce Business, and Why UpViral
Terry Mitchell is the co-founder of Sew Much Easier, an Australia-based e-commerce business that focuses on selling sewing-related products for people who love sewing as a hobby.
He runs it with his wife Shelley, who specializes in design and is also the face of their business. You can visit their website at Sewmucheasier.com to read about Shelley’s story.
So, what drove them to use UpViral? What was the MAIN GOAL?
According to Terry, they wanted to encourage their buyers coming from eBay to subscribe to their email list and visit their website directly, allowing them to continue marketing to these audiences and build a relationship with them.
What’s interesting is that Terry and Shelley already had an experience running a sweepstake before UpViral — although they did it manually. Then, they decided to look for a solution to automate the whole process. That’s when they found our platform and started using it.
The Prizes That Were Given Away
It’s not hard to find prizes for a sweepstake. But while there are plenty of options to choose from, why not give away your own product if you already have one? Your own product would be highly relevant to your audience and it can help boost brand loyalty.
Terry and Shelley do this by selecting from one of their popular products valued at $200-$300 (retail price). In their July campaign, they gave away a Janome overlocker that creates professional-looking garments. It was a perfect prize for sewing enthusiasts.
Terry also told us something very interesting about their prize selection:
He noticed that whenever they gave away something more popular (had a broader appeal), like the Janome overlocker, a lot of people wanted to enter.
On the contrary, when they chose something more specific (which targeted a smaller segment of their audience), like quilt batting for example, they attracted a smaller email list. However, that email list was more targeted.
Overall, the UpViral team loves these choices of prizes. Based on Terry’s success with prize selection, we can take away these important points:
Pick a prize that you can afford to give away.
In the case of Terry’s campaigns, they’ve paid for the wholesale price. Also, if you’re going to do a monthly sweepstake, you can switch up your prizes by giving away cheaper or more expensive ones at certain times of the year.
It should be relevant to your business’s audience.
You can go as “niche” as possible (i.e. target a very specific segment of your entire audience) or choose something with a broader appeal. What matters in the end is that it attracts the right audience — your audience.
Bonus tip: Make everyone a winner.
While not part of Terry’s strategy, you can consider giving away a smaller incentive (an ebook or PDF, for example) for non-winners. Some of our UpViral users have done this with successful results, like Gisèle Rebel and Eric Flanagan.
Setting Up the Campaign Only Once a Year
To run their UpViral campaigns the most efficient way possible, Terry and his wife set everything up just once a year and simply tweak a few elements depending on the change they want to make for a particular month.
Terry is glad to be able to do this repeatedly, all thanks to UpViral’s cloning feature. Here’s what he told us:
“It’s pretty straightforward since UpViral has a cloning feature where you can clone a campaign. We just clone the campaign from the previous year — we just go into the dashboard and tweak a few things. For example, if we want to do a different prize, we just change the image for the prize.”
If you’re planning to do recurring campaigns, you save a lot of time by doing what Terry did. Of course, you’ll still have to change some elements each month, in case you want to feature another prize, add more prizes, or change the landing page copy.
But as a busy professional, cloning campaigns keep things simpler. Here’s how to clone a campaign from your UpViral dashboard. Click “More” then “Clone”:
(Note: The campaign below Terry’s is from another UpViral user which explains why it’s hidden.)
Lead Capture Page
Terry was clear from the start about not complicating his lead capture page, so he used minimal copy while being straightforward with the message. More importantly, he considered their target demographic which were mostly women in their 50s or 60s. “Keeping it nice and simple just makes it easy for them,” said Terry.
Let’s check out each winning element of his landing page below.
The pre-headline reads, “Contest for Australian Sewists…” It calls out Terry’s target audience, hinting that they’re about to enter a contest.
The headline “Win A Janome 8004D Overlocker!” announces the prize right away. We like that it uses the fewest possible while getting very specific with the prize by mentioning the brand and model. This strategy can help build credibility with your audience because they know exactly what they’re winning.
Terry backs the headline with the exact image of the Janome 8004D sewing machine. It’s a clear and crisp image that also shows the model number.
Signup form fields
Right above the sweepstake signup form, Terry wrote “Just Fill In Your Info To Enter For FREE…” It doesn’t just instruct his audience to fill in, but he also emphasizes that this campaign is free to join.
Some UpViral giveaway hosts only use the name and email as form fields; however, Terry went the extra mile by also adding “Family Name” and “Your State (Australia Only).” We asked Terry his reason for including the dropdown list with the different states. He told us that this put focus on the Australian market.
We’d also like to think of it as a good strategy for future targeting since Terry has information about where his prospects are actually from within Australia.
Terry uses a big and bold call-to-action (CTA) with the words “YES! I WANT TO WIN! Click Here To Continue…” This CTA uses a blue color that contrasts with the white background so that it stands out. It also increases people’s motivation to actually win by using the first-person point of view (POV) in writing.
Note about the newsletter and unsubscribe option
Since Terry’s main goal was to grow their email subscriber list (rather than go viral), he made sure to let participants know that by entering the campaign, they’ll also be included in Sew Much Easier’s newsletter.
However, he also assures his audience that they can easily unsubscribe from the newsletter with a single link and that their information will be kept private.
Testimonial for social proof
Below that note, we see a testimonial from a happy email subscriber saying how much she enjoys the newsletters. This form of social proof promotes trust with your audience as it shows that others had positive experiences with your brand.
💎UpViral Tip: There are plenty of social proof options to choose from. Depending on what you already have, you can share the following: A customer review, influencer endorsement, trust icons, years in business, and number of readers/customers/followers. Don’t be afraid to experiment!
Terms and conditions
At the bottom of the page, you’ll find “Terms & Conditions” that links to a separate page at Sew Much Easier. Here’s a sample screenshot:
Terry and Shelley include the following sections that provide all the details of the sweepstake:
- Eligibility and Entry to Competition
- Draw and Method of Draw
- Prize Claims
- Use of Personal Information
- Release and Indemnity
- Unforeseen Events
💎UpViral Tip: You can get inspiration from their Terms & Conditions by checking out Terry’s campaign share link which we’ve shared in the introduction of this case study.
So, why are Terms & Conditions important for giveaways and contests?
Having them as part of your campaign lets you set specific guidelines that your audience must adhere to. This helps them know what to expect from your campaign and avoid confusion. Also, it protects you by reducing your risk of liability.
Social Share Page
After clicking the CTA button, people arrive on Terry’s social share page where they can earn more chances of winning by accumulating points. The top most part of the share page shows how many points a participant has collected so far.
Take note that while the screenshot shows 0 entries, Terry has actually assigned 5 points for direct signups. He also gives away another 5 points whenever someone successfully refers a friend into the campaign.
You can see that he, once more, added the prize image found on the lead capture page to remind people what they’re winning.
Here are more winning elements on the share page:
Terry also kept the social share page simple, just as he did with the lead capture page. The share page spells out what participants should do next (invite their friends and share on social media) so they can accumulate more points to increase their chances of winning.
Social sharing buttons
In addition to the unique share link, Terry added sharing buttons including Email and social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Pinterest. He assigned 1 point per action to be taken.
💎UpViral Tip: Aside from the usual social sharing buttons, we also have a Custom Actions feature that allows you to add very specific actions that help your business. For example, commenting on your blog post, taking a survey, joining your private Facebook group, or following your YouTube channel. Then, you can assign higher points to higher priority actions to encourage people to complete them, generating more results for your business!
To help increase their motivation for sharing the sweepstake, Terry added a leaderboard below the social sharing buttons where they can see their current rankings.
Traffic and Engagement Strategies
These were the strategies used to attract more campaign participants and keep them engaged:
Putting up a Facebook ad was part of Terry’s methods to increase the campaign’s discoverability. According to Terry, he kept the ad simple. The ad had the following elements:
- Image of the actual prize
- Simple copy that invited people to win the prize
- Call-to-action button that took people to the lead capture page
When it comes to targeting, Terry uses the list of buyers of the product he’s giving away and creates a Custom Audience (Lookalike Audience) based on that list. He adds, “I pretty much just let Facebook do the targeting from that lookalike audience.”
His cost per result? According to Terry, he generates leads from Facebook ads for only 20-40 cents (US) each. When it comes to his ad spend, he spends about a few hundred dollars a month — probably 10-20 USD a day.
Since these are recurring campaigns, Terry announces the winner from the previous month on the first week of the next month. This announcement email gets the highest open rates, and so Terry took advantage of this by promoting some of their products in the message. In the same email, he also reminds his audience to enter the new sweepstake of the month.
During the campaign, Terry also sends the following emails using UpViral:
- Double opt-in email to confirm their signup
- A thank you email for entering the sweepstake (see the screenshot above)
- An email to alert them of a successful referral
- Possible fraud detection email
- Finally, a reward email congratulating the winner of the sweepstake
💎UpViral Tip: Note that you’ll be able to create all these emails within UpViral, and that these emails get triggered automatically when people and their friends enter. UpViral has ready-made templates that you can simply edit.
Why Each Campaign Was a Success
Terry’s recurring UpViral campaigns have contributed to the growth of their company. Here are a couple of reasons why each campaign generated the outcomes that Terry and Shelley were looking for:
#1: They know who to target for their business. Terry focused only on their audience who were mostly women in their 50s or 60s. Because of this audience knowledge, Terry knew how to structure the entire campaign, from the prize choice to the marketing copy.
#2: The right prize. This goes back to the lesson above which is knowing your audience well first. If you sell something already, offer that as the prize (like Terry did). But if you don’t, you can go for other prizes that should still be relevant to your business and audience.
#3: Minimal copy and design. Landing pages tend to convert better when they’re easy to read and navigate. Terry made sure to write in a way that his audience can easily understand so they can take action immediately.
#4: Simple contest mechanics. Considering the target audience, Terry needn’t create an “advanced” sweepstake with multiple actions and steps to be taken. Participants should only enter, share the campaign, and get as many friends to join to increase their chances of winning.
#5: Done repeatedly. Each campaign gives you new insights and teaches you valuable lessons — which is why we do it not just once, but many times. Take it from Terry and Shelley. Unfortunately, some people give up after not seeing results from their very first campaign.
Lessons That Terry Learned from the Recurring Campaigns
Everything considered, Terry is happy with UpViral. He applauds UpViral for being an effective means of growing Sew Much Easier’s email list:
When it comes to the lessons learned, Terry talked about the importance of getting specific with your prize, especially if you want to attract a very specific type of audience.
“Think carefully about what you’re giving away. Make it relevant to the people you’re trying to attract. It’s not about the lead quantity but rather lead quality,” said Terry.
Another thing he also learned along the way was creating a custom audience of existing customers to attract more targeted leads from Facebook ads.
The bottom line? Repetition is key for learning.
We hope that through this case study, you’re also able to create recurring campaigns that generate leads for your business repeatedly. Or you could start with just one campaign, keep it super simple, and see how that goes.
Launching a successful sweepstake or giveaway shouldn’t be extremely difficult, as long as you know your audience, goals, and how and where to promote it. Take inspiration from Terry and Shelley or other successful UpViral users!
P.S. Want to try UpViral? Check out our 14-day trial where you can run unlimited campaigns, generate thousands of leads, and get support.