Online vs offline contests and sweepstakes — what are the differences, and which is best? The good news is as long as all legal requirements are met, your brand can run either successfully! Entries can be collected online using a web form or offline on printed entry forms that can be mailed in or collected in stores. Instant wins can be done with an online virtual scratch-off or animated “play to win” scenario, or using old fashioned printed scratch-off cards or seeded “open the box to see if you are a winner” type mechanism that is printed in or on … Continue reading
Marden-Kane, Inc. has met the requirements to be listed on the Privacy Shield list. The EU-US Privacy Shield Framework was developed by the US Department of Commerce and the European Commission to meet the data requirements of the EU for safe, secure data transfers of personal data from the EU to the US. The Privacy Shield Framework was approved earlier this year, and the web site was launched on August 1, 2016. Marden-Kane is the first promotional marketing company to be approved to the Privacy Shield list. Before the Privacy Shield program was adopted, Marden-Kane was a member of … Continue reading
Eric Grimm, Senior Programmer, wrote this piece about voting fraud — and how to stop it. Online contests are all the rage with the kids these days. After the initial entries are judged, frequently the finalists’ submissions are opened up for voting by the public at large to determine a final winner. If the prize is tantalizing enough, this creates a rather large target for voter fraud. This is something that wakes me up in the middle of the night with cold sweats and a sickly feeling in my stomach. So what have I done to severely limit this … Continue reading
In March we published a post about YouTube’s changing contest policies. The changes at that time outlined specific age and platform guidelines. These changes have since been revised again, but no official date that the changes went into effect was published by YouTube. As of 8/7/15 these are the new guidelines: They can also be found here. Basically they have done away with three of the requirement we last warned you about: 1. The age 18+ requirement for your entrants is gone. 2. The restriction on not using video views or thumbs up/down for voting is gone. 3. The … Continue reading
Many clients want to extend the reach of their sweepstakes by adding in ways to earn bonus entries, either through social sharing or sending emails. This method of providing an extra entry for sharing about the promotion sounds easy enough, but you may want to consider all the pros and cons before implementing an incentive for entry mechanism in your next program. Pros: 1. Viral engagement! Letting friends tell friends about the sweepstakes lends credibility to the sweeps. 2. Free advertising! And what better way to let people know about your program than free word of mouth … Continue reading
Tricia Zorn, Digital Project Manager at Marden-Kane, contributed this week’s blog about responsive microsites vs. mobile apps. If you are planning on running a contest, sweepstakes or instant win game, and are wondering whether or not you need a responsive microsite or a mobile app, you are not alone. This is probably one of the most asked questions we get from clients who want to run a promotion but don’t want to exclude mobile users. First let’s start by understanding the differences between them. WHAT IS A RESPONSIVE MICROSITE? A responsive microsite is a website that has been built … Continue reading
Eric Grimm, Senior Programmer, offers up this advice if you run a contest asking for user generated content. I’m going to focus on some UGC (user generated content) aspects from a programming and security side of the equation. Now repeat after me: NEVER TRUST USER INPUT! This is true with a simple form that only collects names and addresses, but requires even more caution when you are allowing large blocks of text, or for your audience to upload scary files as part of a contest entry from their computers or wherever those files may reside. Name, address, and similar fields … Continue reading
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday fast approaching, what can you do to ensure your brand’s holiday promotion gets off to a great start? There is a lot at stake here — last year’s Cyber Monday sales topped $2.29 billion. Here are three simple things to do to ensure that your holiday promotion goes smoothly so your brand can capitalize on this year’s share of the Cyber Monday action. 1. Decide If You Really Need to Send Out a Black Friday Email Don’t send out an email to your list over the holiday weekend unless you have a really … Continue reading
What do Target, Maserati, and SodaStream have in common? They all had web sites go down due to heavy traffic during a promotion. We frequently see companies like this spend thousands on advertisement development and placement, only to have the campaign go bad because someone forgot to plan for web site traffic surges. Don’t let this happen to you! If you are running a promotion that is driving traffic to a web site, here are some questions you will need answered before the launch: How does your web site host plan to handle the surge of traffic? When … Continue reading
Since responsive web design is all about affecting the appearance of a website, viewing a site that uses it well will help tremendously in understanding it. To see an example, launch Microsoft’s website in a new maximized window in any recent browser on a desktop or laptop computer. Now resize the window and slowly decrease its width, and watch how the site adjusts as the viewable area decreases. Images get smaller but continue to scale correctly. The site layout generally becomes more vertical. Various elements are reorganized, are replaced by different versions built to fit in a narrower space, or … Continue reading
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