Hallmark’s Rockin’ Sweepstakes Campaign for Baby Products
Hallmark is a brand dedicated to creating a more emotionally connected world and making a difference in the lives of others and specifically, its baby product line helps parents and their loved ones celebrate their new bundles of joy. To stand out in an oversaturated baby product market, Hallmark needed a campaign strategy that hits the sweet spot of excitement and good value.
The home of a new parent is unmistakable – baby toys, clothing, and essential products overtake the living spaces. That’s because parents and their loved ones adore celebrating their new bundles of joy with purchases galore. But in order to stand out in an oversaturated baby product market, brands need a campaign strategy that hits the sweet spot of excitement and good value.
The baby line of Hallmark sought to boost summer sales and drive awareness among its competition. The brand worked with long-time partner Merkle to create a campaign that would increase the number of email subscribers at a low cost per lead.
Knowing that parents rely on products that are high quality, comfortable, and trusted by other parents, Merkle focused on showcasing product uniqueness with a message that resonated with the target audience and built off the need for parents to give their kids the best.
Merkle wanted to target new Hallmark baby-line customers with paid social and email communications that built off a previously successful giveaway campaign for the brand.
The agency used a mix of brand experience and testing to create target audiences for the campaign. In addition, Merkle tested two creative executions to learn what medium would resonate best with its audience.
Knowing Hallmark had an abundance of baby rockers, Merkle chose this unique product as the giveaway prize, understanding that it would stand out in messaging, was a great representation of the products the brand offered, and was a higher-priced item that would encourage more entries. Since there were four different styles, it added another layer of excitement to the giveaway as winners could choose their favorite rocker.
After testing GIF and carousel ad formats on Facebook and Instagram, Merkle prioritized GIFs for the paid social ads. In addition, the agency deployed emails highlighting the benefits of purchasing a rocker – exclusivity, ability to personalize, shipping fully assembled – and including customer reviews.
Merkle and Hallmark also ran a two-week refer-a-friend campaign with enterprise advocacy platform Extole, which entered anyone who referred a friend into the rocker sweepstakes. A week after the contest, Merkle segmented consumers who opted into receiving emails and retargeted them with an email and paid ads featuring a special discount for the rocker.
As a result of the campaign, Hallmark gave away five baby rockers and acquired more than 13,000 new email subscribers across the two-week promotion period. The campaign improved the cost per lead by 90 percent compared to other lead-generation ads that included a $10 discount offer.
The brand processed 35 purchases from the giveaway ads and 445 purchases tied to the promotional ads following the campaign. In addition, 357 new advocates were brought in through the refer-a-friend initiative, while the advocacy rate jumped from its 10.8 percent average to 13.1 percent during the sweepstakes.
With Hallmark’s tailored messaging showcasing baby products others love, parents are happily making room for their kid’s new favorite toy.
Keys to success
- The agency used a mix of brand experience and testing to create target audiences and determine the best medium for reaching those audiences
- Merkle and Hallmark deployed a refer-a-friend campaign with enterprise advocacy platform Extole, to expand the reach of the contest and drive brand advocacy
- Merkle segmented consumers who opted into receiving emails and retargeted them with email and paid ads promoting an exclusive product discount