Businesses Benefit With Raffle Based Marketing Strategy by Emily Van Horn

Businesses Benefit With Raffle Based Marketing Strategy by Emily Van Horn


Ever wonder how businesses afford those crazy promotional offers, or why sports events are always raffling off cars and other grand prizes to the fans? I know a pizza place that serves everything on the menu half price every Wednesday. How is that possibly a good business strategy? They must lose so much money doing that, right? Whether they do or not, it doesn’t really matter. It’s not the short-term profits these businesses are after, it’s the long term benefits.

Businesses can benefit greatly by participating in raffle-based marketing strategies. They may gain new customers as well as keep regulars around. It’s all about getting people talking.

If you see two flyers hanging side-by-side, which would be more likely to catch your eye, a grocery store advertisement or a chance to win a $1,000 in a raffle drawing … at a grocery store. I’m willing to bet the $1,000. So you keep reading, and hey, you know where that is, it’s right down the street from work. How convenient! That grocery store just earned itself a new customer.

Now let’s say that it’s not that convenient. Maybe it’s just some random grocery store in the middle of who knows where as far as you’re concerned. Well the next time you’re out in the middle of who knows where and need batteries or milk or some other miscellaneous object, guess where you’re going. It’s definitely not that place across the street with the misleading name (what in the world is a Rite Aid?). Your time is valuable and you can’t waste it searching for batteries when you know that grocery stores have batteries and this is a grocery store.

Finally we come to the more obvious scenario. The one where you actually want to win $1,000 and so you go out of your way to go to this store and get a raffle ticket, whether you have to buy them or get them free with purchase or just get them free period, and hope for the best. You will then most likely be bombarded with emails from this place that you never read, but that’s ok. They don’t expect you to read them, they just want to remind you that they are there which brings us back to the whole I need batteries and grocery stores sell batteries thing.

So now we know that raffle drawings, or even just the idea of a raffle drawing, will draw customers in – temporarily. Now it’s time to snag them in our trap. The thing about raffles is it’s not a one and done type of promotion. It’s not like a coupon that gets used and goes away until the store decides to do it again, or that you clip and never use. It’s not a kid’s carnival day in the parking lot where people come and bring their kids and take your free food and don’t actually buy anything all day. The more an individual consciously shows up, and in many cases, spends money at a business, the better chances they have of winning.

Let’s say you are one of those people who just came in for the first time because you’re thirsty and wanted a drink, but didn’t actually plan on shopping there. You see the raffle salesperson and decide to buy one. Why not, right? You could win … if you’re Primrose Everdeen (the Hunger Games), aka really lucky.

On the other hand, you could come in because you really want to win. You’re an investment banker with a gambling problem and you took a look at your finances and calculated exactly how much you can spend per week on raffle tickets to win that money. You show up once a week like clockwork until the raffle is over. While you’re there, you buy some stuff. You go grocery shopping once a week anyway. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t do it here. Here’s where the business actually has to do some work; no more relying on their little marketing scheme.

You’ve been coming to this store once a week for two months, and you lost, but you still need groceries. Where are you going to go? You might just keep on going out of habit. Two months is a long time; a long time to get used to a place, notice its strengths and weaknesses, analyze your bank account. You went there for the raffle tickets, but you stay for friendly service and good prices. If those things aren’t up to par, you’re going back to your other grocery store.

As you can see, a raffle drawing is never just a raffle drawing. It’s a thought-out and well planned strategy for the future. It could get expensive depending on what kind of prizes you’re giving out. You might not even make any profit on the raffle itself, but if it works out, you might get a whole crowd of new business that will fall for all of your other tricks your current regulars became immune to years ago.


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Contributed by Emily Van Horn

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