February 3, 2003, 12:00 AM

Omaha Steaks offers $1,000 sweepstakes to drive e-mail marketing

Omaha Steaks is finding a good way to whet shoppers` appetite for communicating with it through a sweepstakes to shoppers who abandon shopping carts. In return for answering six questions, shoppers become eligible to win $1,000 worth of steaks.


Online retailers have tried many ways to lure feedback and e-mail addresses from shoppers. Now Omaha Steaks International Inc. is finding a good way to whet shoppers` appetite for communicating with it through a sweepstakes offering $1,000 worth of free steaks.

The e-retailer wanted to find out what was driving some customers to exit OmahaSteaks.com, leaving behind loaded shopping carts. Part of its goal was to determine whether these shoppers would respond favorably to follow-up e-mail marketing programs.

It configured its web site so that shoppers would see an offer to enter the sweepstakes as they were exiting the site without having proceeded to check-out to purchase already selected products. To participate in the sweepstakes, shoppers were required to complete a six-question online survey about why they were leaving.

"Most customers didn`t complete the order because they were interrupted or changed their minds," a spokesman says. More important, most also said they expected to shop the site again. "Nearly 70% indicated that they planned to buy from us in the future," the spokeswoman says.

The sweepstakes/survey also provided Omaha Steaks the information it needed to market to these shoppers. "We captured their e-mail addresses and gained permission to e-mail market to them as a result of the registration process," she says.


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