Case Study Highlights
- Drives 1,400+ entries in 8 weeks
- Secures more revenue from existing sponsorship
- Grows email database & addressable audience
- Leads to increase in donation & membership revenue
- Adds 1,200+ new newsletter subscribers
Connecticut Public provides news, information, and entertainment through their on-air TV and radio stations, digital platforms, online streaming, and podcasts. Coming from commercial media, I knew the tremendous database growth promotions could deliver. When I joined Connecticut Public, I wanted to apply these strategies for database growth to increase our lists and create new sponsorship opportunities.
I learned quickly that creating a promotion which aligned with our mission would be key to getting our team invested in the concept. Also important to note, this promotion would allow us to bring current underwriters a new idea to expand our business relationship and bring in new revenue.
We already partnered with the Office of the State Historian of Connecticut and CT Humanities for our Today in Connecticut History segment. Today in Connecticut History features daily content both on-air and on our website. The educational aspect of this program seemed primed for a promotion.
We expanded on Today in Connecticut History with a yearlong campaign of weekly 5-question quizzes through our Trivia Challenge. Each week, audience members who answer all five questions correctly are eligible for a chance to win a copy of the State Historian’s new book, Creating Connecticut: Critical Stories that Shaped a Great State, along with a swag bag from Connecticut Public Radio.
Creating the weekly quizzes is simple. The State Historian’s team creates the content of the quiz questions. Then our own Connecticut Public team is responsible for updating each week’s quiz in the Second Street tool.
Increasing our email database size helps contribute to our addressable audience, which helps to increase our donation and membership revenue. To ensure the Trivia Challenge would grow our database, we optimized the registration form to collect valuable information. In order to be eligible for the contest, users had to provide their name and email. They were also encouraged to opt-in to our newsletters, as well as the State Historian’s newsletter.
At the same time we launched the quiz, we created a new weekly Connecticut Public newsletter, Smart or Lucky. We leveraged this quiz as an opportunity to start cultivating an email list for the new newsletter.
To ensure maximum participation, we needed a strong promotional campaign. We include the quiz in our weekly newsletter, banner ads and rail ads on our website, and in multiple social media posts. The quiz is also promoted with the overall Today in Connecticut History program with on-air mentions as well as 7, 30-second promos per week.
We host the Trivia Challenge quizzes on both our Connecticut Public site as well as the State Historian’s site. While our audiences are relatively similar, we know there would be new people for us to introduce to our content.
In the past we tried a few ticket sweepstakes when we had trade opportunities, but on our best attempt, we brought in maybe a few dozen entries over the course of a weeklong promotion. On average though, our contests were bringing in less than a dozen entries a week. In its first eight weeks, the Trivia Challenge brought in more than 1,400 entries.
Additionally, our weekly newsletter has gone from zero subscribers to over 1,200. Plus, the weekly newsletter is driving open rates of over 30%, a clickthrough rate of 8%, and consistently outpacing the stats of our daily newsletter.
We’re using this program to stimulate membership growth beyond our current audience. We’re tying the rich user database we’re gathering with promotions and the database from our email program, to allow our membership team to connect with stronger, more meaningful relationships.
And of course, the fact that this increased the revenue we got was key to its success.
For me though, I think the best part about promotions is you can build them around the audience you want to attract. We’re excited to see how promotions can help us drive forward many other initiatives for Connecticut Public.