Bridal Contest Generates $3K in Digital Revenue – Plus $10K from the Resulting Special Section

by Glen Jardine Caledonian-Record Publishing Company

Case Study Highlights

  • Contest brought in $3,000 and post-contest Bridal Guide generated an additional $10,000
  • More than 50 submissions from newlywed couples naturally became editorial content in the special section
  • Sponsor collected hundreds of email opt-ins and reached an audience of 50 couples

The Idea

The Caledonian-Record is a 10,000 circulation daily newspaper in St. Johnsbury, Vermont.

We wanted to create a simple contest that could be implemented quickly with one exclusive sponsor, and a cover contest for our annual Bridal Guide seemed like a good option. Our main goals were to generate revenue, increase our email database, and maximize pageviews.

The Execution

Couples married within the past year were invited to share their wedding photos with us for a chance to be on the cover of our 2014 Bridal Guide.

We sold the contest to one sponsor, Jackson’s Lodge, a lakeside event venue that caters a lot of weddings.

Jacksons-Lodge-Bridal-Contest-Ad

Their sponsorship package included the following:

  • Exclusive banner ads on all contest pages, including the voting and submission pages (over 75,000 page impressions)
  • Mentions in all emails we sent out to promote the contest
  • 25% portion of every print ad we ran promoting the contest (25 total)
  • Email opt-in on the registration page
  • Numerous mentions and links from posts on our Facebook Page promoting the contest

Here’s one of the Facebook posts we used to promote the contest:

Bridal-Contest-Facebook

In addition to being featured on the cover of the Bridal Guide, the winning couple received a 3-night stay at Jackson’s Lodge.

Here’s a look at the special section featuring the winning couple:

Bridal-Contest-Special-Section

The Results

The Bridal Guide Cover Contest received well over 60,000 votes and 75,000 page views. Even better, we collected nearly 300 email opt-ins! As a small paper in rural Vermont, we were thrilled with these numbers.

Overall, we generated $3,000 in revenue from contest, but most importantly, the information gathered allows us to publish a premium bridal guide that generates $10,000 for us. With over 50 newlywed submissions, we had unlimited access to local wedding photos and featured stories. I cannot stress enough the reduced workload this creates for our editorial department!

Plus, the contest was such great advertising for our sponsor that we are already fielding sponsorship inquiries for next year’s contest. Not only did Jackson’s Lodge receive hundreds of email addresses for their newsletter list from their opt-in on the registration page, but they also received lots of exposure from the hundred couples recruiting family and friends to vote. Plus, the couples certainly spent time over the course of a month looking over Jackson’s Lodge’s website and hoping they would get to stay there!

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