Selling An Unusual Idea – How?

During recent months we’ve developed a promotional system that’s proving very successful with our existing customers but incredibly difficult to sell to the rest of the world – those who don’t know us from Adam.

The user feedback has been very positive which is just as well. Without it we could easily have concluded there just isn’t the demand.

It’s a simple promotional scratchcard system that replicates the interactivity of a conventional printed scratchcard but does it online. It’s a lot cheaper than a printed promotion, can be set-up within a matter of hours and can be delivered via a link on a website or via e-mail so there are no distribution costs to consider either.

We’ve tried all the usual marketing activities: Email campaigns, direct mail, word-of-mouth, networking – but none has shown a significant return.

What makes it even more frustrating is the reluctance of people to accept that they can actually win something for nothing. As you would imagine each of our campaigns features one of our own scratchcard promotions with several prizes of discounts against promotions and a handful of main prizes of a completely free promotion.

Of the five big winners in the past six months, only one has taken up the offer – very happy with the results they were too. So much so, that they have since paid for a second promotion for another of their products.

When compared against the accepted industry practice, the e-mail campaign stats are the most puzzling. We’ve tried an assortment of message combinations: with and without images; html against plain text; alternative colour schemes. The results have been pretty consistent with between 8 and 13% openings and 3 to 5% click-throughs. So the messages are obviously presented in a way that encourages people to, at least, look at them, and often play the game.

So it must be something to do with the system itself. Is the idea incomprehensible? Is it a lack of imagination as to how a promotion can be used? Is it all too much trouble or too technical?

Have a look for yourself, try the system out and let us know what you think:

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