We gave away a Timex Weekender on October 1st, 2015 using Amazon Giveaway. We decided to give away something small (the $30 watch) instead of something bigger like we had originally planned. This was in an effort to test Amazon’s Giveaway service before throwing more money at it. Here’s the timeline, plus commentary, of how their service worked.
1. Amazon Giveaway Selection
Amazon’s Giveaway service takes the legal and logistical troubles out of giving something away. We don’t have to run a contest. We don’t have to hold onto a physical product. We don’t have to talk to anybody. The registrants know, for a fact, that a reputable company like Amazon will definitely be shipping them the thing that they won at the end. It’s great!
Some things were a little odd, though:
- You can only give something away to every nth person that enters the contest or to some random registrant out of the first n registrants or to the first n registrants to the contest
- You don’t receive any information about the registrants
- The registrants have to have an Amazon account
We also chose to require the registrants to follow us on Twitter. It was the only thing we could get out of the deal. So paying for Twitter followers … Yay.
2. Amazon Giveaway Setup
We picked the product (the Timex Weekender that we reviewed earlier in the week) and decided to give it away and specified the odds of winning to be 1:1,000.
We entered the required text.
We also selected the option to include social media sharing buttons. This will share the contest directly with registrant’s friends (so no need to visit HackerCasual.com to enter). Yay.
Then we hit submit.
3. The Wait
We submitted at 6:45am CDT and then we waited for Amazon’s approval. That approval came at 9:47am CDT.
We had already written our blog post, so we slapped the URL that Amazon provided us in a couple of places and hit the publish button. This allowed us to drive traffic through Facebook and Twitter to our site, and any potential registrants could clickthrough to the Amazon Giveaway that way. Hopefully that would get eyes on our community here.
4. The Catch
Rewinding a bit: Our initial research turned up this List of Amazon Giveaways site. You can check them out right now and sign-up to win anything that you feel like.
Back to the day of our giveaway: Before we published our Amazon Giveaway, the site above had it on their list of contests you could win. They must be scraping amazon.giveaways.com/p/ to grab new giveaways as they’re posted. That stinks for us, because that means that people bypassed us completely to win the watch. They will end up as Twitter followers, and I suppose that time will tell how valuable those followers are, but I’m guessing not all that valuable (sorry for any of you that are reading this right now, you’re proving us wrong!).
5. The Early End
We were hoping to run the contest for around a week (a time limit wasn’t one of the options, which stinks). We thought it would be fun to get a little buzz going, and it would give us some time to measure the success of the promotion.
Nope. That shit ended after 4.5 hours.
We had some traffic to our site, with 50+ people checking out the registration article in that time period (we’re new and small, give us a break). We gained over 250+ Twitter followers in that time-frame though.
6. Lessons Learned
Our highest estimate with the data we have is that ~20% of the contest registrants funneled through our site. We have 250+ new Twitter followers, but we’ll see in the future how many of those are real customer conversions and which end up falling off over the coming weeks. There are a lot of female names with housewifey profiles, not our target demo.
Also, Amazon doesn’t provide a rollup. No demographic information on registrants. No information so that we can see how many registrants came from, say, Twitter vs Facebook vs our site. It was a black box giveaway.
But we know that we definitely gave away a watch. We hope it went to someone awesome that’ll let us know who it was! Or it may be to a bot? Or a housewife?
This Amazon Giveaways may be good for some people that are just trying to get their product out there into somebody’s, anybody’s hands. Our goal was community engagement. We got a product into someone’s hands, but we don’t feel like Amazon Giveaway helped us to engage with our community any more than we normally do.
Part of giving a gift is the warm feeling inside. That’s why so many people feel that birthdays and holidays are rewarding. We didn’t get that. We just know that the contest ended.
Amazon Giveway took $30 from us and sent some housewife or robot a watch.
So we’re trying this again. Enter over here … again … to win another watch. The winner will be selected at random from all entries received by midnight, 10/31.
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