You know those moments when all you can say is ‘oh no, he didn’t.’
Heck yeah, we did.
So my team at Enable woke up one November morning and decided to try out a marketing campaign idea. The goal was to drum up business for ourselves during the winter months.
With no lead time, no forethought. Out of the blue.
The challenge is that we have zero mailing list, basically no social equity on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn, and no idea how to run this kind of thing.
No way this will work.
Hold my beer…
Yes, we literally printed mini-laptops to promote the giveaway. They looked so cool…
I’m going to document the idea and the process, see if we can get it to work, and what we learn. Clients have these kinds of requests, so if we can pull it off, we’ll be just that much more experienced (and valuable?) to them.
Maybe you’ll also have fun learning from our goofs and glory.
Step 1: Think Bigger
Step one was to identify a tasty gift, something Christmassy, and something that we could deliver on.
So we started out with giving away a $5000 website, all expenses paid. We called it the Holly Jolly Website Giveaway.
We designed the page, crafted the copy, worked up some graphics and promo business cards, and then sat back to bask in the glory of our genius.
And looked at each other.
“Meh… It needs to be bigger.”
So we kicked it into high gear. It morphed from a single website into a full year of our premier marketing, design, and support services for one lucky client, valued at $25000 dollars.
Now that was much, much more interesting.
If we wanted to get attention, we needed to be bold. And hopefully we’ll gain some residual interest and leads that we can nurture after the giveaway ended on Christmas day.
Step 2: Get the Word Out
The next step was to start letting people know.
But like I said, we don’t have a mailing list, or social equity.
That means a rapport built up between you and your fans so that they actually engage with you.
So we pulled together the spreadsheets and lists we had lying around of warm and cold leads and put them into a Constant Contact list.
We worked up a batch of social graphics, and planned out activities for every day of this next month. It would be an uphill climb with no organic traffic to the page, but it might start trending upward after a couple of weeks.
Again, we didn’t need a million people. Just a few hundred of the right people. And some Facebook ads, targeted to the right people, might cut it.
But, we lacked something critical.
After 2 years, we still didn’t have our portfolio published, much less reviews from all our happy clients.
Step 3: Bolster with Social Proof
So we stopped for a week, ran off inspirational new pages, looked at metrics, screenshot websites, and wrote up quick narratives about what the client’s need was, what they turned to Enable for, and how we’ve delivered over the last 6 months to a year.
We then reached out to each client and asked for a review.
Our fingers were crossed like French braids – we hoped we’d done great work for them, but all we could see were our internal flaws in processes and stuff.
The kind of stuff our weekly and monthly meetings were nailing.
We were blown away when most of them actually responded quickly, and were amazingly generous.
Goes to show, we’re harder on ourselves than they are.
So one team member worked up some funny memes, another ran off testimonials, and another worked up 30 days of promotional copy for use on Facebook and LinkedIn.
We were going to showcase a different client each day of the next month. It gave us something to talk about, a little publicity for the client, and an opportunity to link to the giveaway.
Step 4: Referral Program
Not everyone needs or wants something like this, so how can we do more for more people?
We’re hooking up our referral program too, which we believe is the most creative program in the web design industry.
Seriously. We looked at a ton of the others, and all they do is give you a 1% or 5% cut. So we went all in.
You have to admit. It’s pretty cool.
So now, if you use our referral program, you get your own kickbacks for everyone who takes us on in 2019.
Next, we’re working on sending out emails, so we’ll see what the response will be.
I’m also interested to see how the social sharing works; that’s always a challenge to get right, riding the line between spammy and special.
I’m looking forward to asking people what they would do with their time if they had $25K of free marketing handled for their business, over the next year. I imagine the responses will be really interesting.
Do you have ideas? What would you do with your time? Share in the comments. :D
Realistically, we’re looking for 100 entries, so let’s see if we can get it, or exceed it. We don’t have unlimited budget, just a ton of heart.
Will it be enough? We’ve no idea.
Let’s find out together.
Dominic is Enable’s design and brand specialist. He thoroughly enjoys helping businesses find meaning in their brands and define their distinction. Coffee, cooking and binge-researching are his hobbies. When not building websites, he is delving into projects to find the boundaries of his imagination. He hasn’t found them yet.