About a week-and-a-half ago, I had the chance to sit down and brainstorm with some top interactive marketers. We had many great discussions, including one about list building, and a company called ePrize.
If you haven't heard of these guys, I urge you to check them out at http://www.eprize.com. Our group discussed a wide variety of vendors and services, but none could match its praise for ePrize. Basically, ePrize offers tools and services that use promotions to capture attention, drive brand, opt-ins and responses. For an immediate sense of what the company does, check out its promotions at: http://www.eprize.com/portfolio/index.html.
As a marketer, what does promotion-based marketing get you?
First, it allows you to offer a real incentive to prospects in exchange for email-address and other information.
Second, the promotions can be wrapped in your brand, enabling you to drive brand awareness and impact in parallel to loyalty. For example, The Home Depot gives away prizes from its inventory of DIY products and offers a chance to win new prizes every day.
Third, and most impressive, the people I spoke with said the long-term response rates (opens, clicks, conversions) for names gathered through ePrize promotions were nearly as high as those captured through co-registration and at their web site.
Promotions are not without their issues, however. Legal requirements vary by state, so it's wise to enlist the assistance of experts. And, while my group's discussion suggested otherwise, some critics claim that interest in promotions doesn't necessarily reflect interest in a company's products and services.
As with any marketing idea, testing is the only sure way to know. And, from what I've heard, ePrize is a great place to test the waters for promotion-based list building.