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Belk’s holiday campaign Santa Baby Sweepstakes garners 1.1M entries

Retailer Belk’s holiday campaign Santa Baby Sweepstakes saw more mobile opt-ins than its other recent campaigns, helping to drive more than 1.1 million total entries and proving which channel its customers are flocking to.

The campaign encouraged online entry and eCard generation that let users create cards with a young, good-looking Santa model. As mobile consumption evolves, customers are showing their favorite brands that they are willing and able to participate on that channel.

“As mobile continues to play a crucial role in the path to purchase, we strive to design campaigns that come to life across devices,” said Jon Pollack, executive vice president of marketing, sales promotion and ecommerce at Belk, Charlotte, NC. “To boost brand awareness and create memorable holiday experiences throughout the Santa Baby campaign, we invited audiences to opt-in via text message and built a tablet friendly, mobile-optimized microsite that featured an array of activities including a video player, sweepstakes, and social sharing component.

“Our mobile site allowed fans to register, refer friends, create eCards and win instant prizes at ease, in the medium of their choice,” he said. “Mobile is a growing presence throughout Belk’s overall marketing strategy.

Engaging on mobile
Through its holiday campaign, Belk aimed to drive engagement on social media through the end of the year by giving followers a way to check if they were on the naughty or nice list for a chance to win a prize.

The Santa Baby Sweepstakes, which was powered by engagement solutions company HelloWorld, offered a grand finale prize of $10,000 and additional giveaways. Belk promoted the holiday spirit through constant social engagement and aimed to help drive customers to the retailer for their holiday shopping needs (see story).

Belk saw 233,500 total registrations and 1.1 million sweepstakes entries, stemming from various activities across the microsite. The campaign also generated more than 1.6 million personalized eCards. Belk thinks this participation is especially impressive considering eCard creators were not rewarded with a sweepstakes entry.

Of Belk’s 2013 and 2014 campaigns, including Share Your Love Story and Modern Southern Music Concert Style Sweepstakes, Santa Baby saw the greatest number of email and mobile opt-ins, speaking to fans’ increased connectivity.

“Throughout 2014, we invited audiences to interact with our brand on mobile,” Mr. Pollack said. “In addition to Santa Baby, last February our Share Your Love Story campaign encouraged brides-to-be to share their love story with a photo via Facebook and mobile for the chance to win a $20,000 grand prize and a private concert from singer-songwriter Edwin McCain.

“Mobile also played a significant role in our ‘Modern Southern Music Concert Style Sweeps’ promotion, which welcomed our teenage demographic to discover their back-to-school style and required entrant’s mobile numbers upon sign-up to help build our SMS database,” he said.

Ongoing on mobile
Earlier in 2014, Belk ramped up its social media initiatives and SMS opt-ins with a marketing campaign that gave couples a chance to win money towards their wedding.

Belk set up a microsite for the “Share Your Love Story” campaign that could be accessed via mobile, social media and the Web. The retailer also worked with HelloWorld on this campaign (see story).

For its efforts during the 2013 holiday season, Belk channeled digital with special in-store discounts and a mobile gift-giving application.

At the time, the department store added a new app to its roster, which let consumers create gift lists by scanning a product bar code or searching a product. The Belk Gift Giving app was just one of the ways in which Belk prepared for last year’s abridged shopping season between Thanksgiving and Christmas (see story).

“Over the last 18 months, mobile has had a more prominent role in Belk’s omni-channel strategy as their engagement numbers go up and up,” said Janice Pollard, senior marketing and public relations manager at HelloWorld, Detroit. “As a retailer, it’s important to engage shoppers via mobile while they’re in store and any calls to action are top of mind.”

“The number of participants engaging via mobile, which was 51 percent, slightly outpaced those participating on the microsite or on Facebook,” she said.

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York