Something in the world of floating have you stumped?
Float On has been known throughout the years for pulling off outlandish marketing stunts with mixed success. For example, we ran a giveaway on social media back in 2014 for a full year of free floats to our lucky winner.
Derek and Ashkahn provide a follow up on the success of that campaign and talk about the primary, secondary, and tertiary benefits that came from doing such a major giveaway.
Kingsumo (the WordPress plugin used to run this giveaway)
And here’s Graham and Ashkahn posing with Belinda Carroll, our winner with her comically large novelty gift card.
Listen to Just the Audio
Transcription of this episode… (in case you prefer reading)
Ashkahn: Hey everybody.
Ashkahn: This is Ashkahn.
Derek: This is Derek.
Ashkahn: Got the old Ashkahn-Derek crew here today.
Derek: We should come up with clever name.
Ashkahn: Yeah, Dere-kan?
Derek: Yeah, that’s not as cool as Grashkamn…
Ashkahn: Yeah, Dere-kan
Ashkahn: Ash-dere-kan, that’s pretty good?
Ashkahn: Ash-der-ashk… ash-der-akan?
Derek: Do we have a question? Deresh-kan?
Ashkahn: We do, Ash-dere-kan.
Ashkahn: Our question for today is, “can you tell us what went into running your, ‘free floats for a year’ giveaway?
Was it worth it?”
Derek: Well, you heard about it and we did it years ago, so yes! The word is still getting out about it.
Ashkahn: We got you!
Derek: Sucker! Actually, I remember that, it was kind of a different thing. It was free floats for a year, to one lucky person and the way it kind of ran was, ran Facebook ads, ran Facebook posts and all that good stuff. And directed people towards a landing page on our website, we used WordPress and so we used a plug-in called Kingsumo and we ran a contest where people entered their email address, and then randomly one person won. And that person, there was some legal tax things we had to do; for example, if it was over, I think, 200 dollars or 600 dollars.
Derek: We thought, well of course.
Ashkahn: Free giveaway.
Derek: Free floats for a year, we basically said, how many floats do you want? Because you’re going to end up having to pay the taxes on this. I think she actually chose eight floats a month.
Derek: She chose eight floats a month, we sent her a 10-99 at the end of the year on that. She, I’m assuming paid her taxes, I don’t know her life story.
Ashkahn: Well we’ll find out and put it in the show notes for you.
Derek: Oh, yeah, see if she’s evading taxes. She used all those floats, and she used them all within the year. She didn’t have too. Float-On is pretty lenient on the membership policies, but she, actually was a happy ending, in the fact that the winner of this also ran
Don’t laugh at me
Ashkahn: You’re the one that made it weird. I’m just glad it was a good
Derek: I’m getting to the end of the story.
Ashkahn: I’m just glad it wasn’t a tragic ending, you know? Then you know, one day…
Derek: She’s got scared from tanks for life.
Ashkahn: She’s floated to many times.
Derek: Turned into a primordial monkey.
She actually ran the comedy club down the road, which we did not know, but she would actually run a podcast with the comedian before they went on the show and then they would float before that, then do the podcast and then the comedian would do the show.
Ashkahn: Hey, I didn’t even know that.
Derek: I don’t want to give her a name, I mean, you could probably find her name out.
Ashkahn: That’s cool.
Derek: She used her floats for business purposes as well too.
Derek: It not only got her floating regularly, it got a whole plethora of people associated with the comedy club floating regularly. In that aspect, it worked great!
Ashkahn: Sounds like it was worth it!
Derek: Right! Rather than running a huge contest, working for one person’s case that was just happenstance in a lucky break for us, it actually worked for us in other ways. We gained about 3500 emails in that short period of time.
Ashkahn: What was the duration that we ran this?
Derek: I believe it was a month.
Ashkahn: Okay. Start to finish?
Derek: This was a few years ago, I mean, we can always go back to that post but, I believe it was a month.
Ashkahn: It was basically just a raffle?
Derek: It was not even really
Ashkahn: With peoples emails going in?
Derek: People’s emails went into this software and the software random number generator picked one person.
Derek: And that was it.
Ashkahn: It should be noted that we did make her a giant novelty Float-On gift card.
Derek: We should find that picture and put it in the show now, for sure.
Ashkahn: If someone is going to win a year of floats we should make a humongous, 3-ft, you know, poster-gift-card to hand them. Which we did, so that was hilarious.
Derek: That was great. It made great for social media afterwards to, because then we got to celebrate the winner and they got to see this great picture, so got the word of floating spread out. Even more people tuned in, ’cause who knows when we’re going to giveaway floats like that again. It got us a lot of good residual benefits.
Ashkahn: We mentioned that we had 3500 people added to our mailing list, that’s actually where the idea came from. Our goal with this wasn’t to create good social media content, or you know, obviously all these things were benefited. These were kind of a nice way of hitting all these points at once. The actual way this idea came up, was from us brainstorming ways to increase our mailing list. That was the goal that led to this idea and that was why, to enter, you’re entering our mailing list and you’re being a part of it through that purpose and at the end, we quantify that, not only because this lady who won ended up being really awesome, and that part of it lead to, kind of, random, cool, stuff that happened. Also, because we had this huge boost in our mailing list and we do, you know, we hit people through our mailing list for December, when we sell cheap gift cards.
Derek: Secret June sale.
Ashkahn: Quote and unquote, “Secret June sale” once a year, we blast out a huge sale. We do just a one-day sale, once a year. We use our mailing list as the main avenues when we do these things. To the point where we can actually sit down afterwards, and say okay, we sold this many gift cards, we have this many people on our mailing list, here’s the value of someone being on our mailing list. It’s a couple bucks, if you average it all out, we get about-
Derek: Three or four bucks a person.
Ashkahn: Something like that, per person who’s on our mailing list. So for us to increase our mailing list by 3500 people, is a very tangible thing for us.
Derek: Seven, ten, fourteen thousand extra in sales that year, that one gimmick.
Ashkahn: That’s a good way of thinking about it. Gimmick? You know, it’s a developed marketing strategy perhaps.
Derek: Campaign? Sorry. Sorry.
Ashkahn: We did kind of a light version of this too. We had some months, where once a month we were choosing people
Derek: It doesn’t have to be a huge giveaway like that. Sometimes, we’ll just chose ten floats to giveaway, or one or ten people will win one float, or one person wins one float. These giveaways, especially if you’re able to capture their emails, if it’s something that’s a bigger prize, people are more willing to give-up their emails. If it’s a small prize, like potential to win one float, people probably aren’t going to give-up their email to win one float. Something like, win ten floats, well that’s a great deal. You have to take care of the legal ends of everything, but you know what? That person’s now going to float ten times, or share them with their friends and expose a whole bunch of new people to floating. It really does work, all around.
Ashkahn: When it gets big, it just becomes naturally more exciting.
Ashkahn: And news worthy, it’s self.
Derek: A year’s worth of floats. It’s incredible.
Ashkahn: It’s a very justified social media post, or other posts, when you’re like, hey, we are giving away a year’s worth of floats. It’s really, exciting, and it’s big enough, significant enough that it’s worth, mentioning all by itself.
Derek: I do add that, Kingsumo, WordPress plug-in gives an element where people can get extra entries for sharing with their friends. Let’s say, I entered and it says “Share your special, unique link, and for every person that signs up through your link for this contest, you’ll get three extra entries into this contest.”
It really helped incentivize the viral spreading of this contest. We did Facebook ads, we did some posts but it was really people who entered, sharing it that helped drive that.
It worked great. We probably should do it again.
Ashkahn: I guess so, yeah.
Derek: Thanks for reminding us.
Ashkahn: That’s a good a idea.
Derek: Glad somebody reminded us we had it.
Ashkahn: Alright, now, if you guys out there have other questions of things we’ve done in the past, that we kind of forgot about, that we should probably do again, you can send them to us on our website.
Ashkahn: That’s right. Type it in. We’ll be here and we will answer another one of your lovely questions tomorrow.
Derek: You won’t win anything except for the satisfaction of an answer.
Ashkahn: Which truly is the greatest prize we can give.
Derek: True. Bye everybody.
Recent Podcast Episodes
Graham and Ashkahn kick off the New Year by discussing the things to consider when adding a float tank to an existing business. This is a fantastic episode to start with if you’ve already got a service-based business or are a practitioner looking to start up on your own and looking for ideas.
The boys talk about logistical considerations, the built-in advantages to adding on to an existing practice, as well as how nice it is to have a meatball sandwich after chilling out in a sensory reduced environment for an hour (Ashkahn has a serious one-track mind).
Graham and Ashkahn round out the end of the year by talking about all the naughty and nice things about having business partners.
It’s a shorter compilation today, which gives you plenty of time to talk to your own business partners about what you think about them!
The holidays are a busy time for float centers and it often means lots of new customers asking questions. This means it can be a really great time to brush up on the facts about floating. Fortunately we’ve formed a folio of fantastic studies for you to fancy. Feliz Navidad!
In every service business, there’s a running joke that someone likes that’s usually somehting along the lines of “this job would be great if it weren’t for all the customers!” (*cue laugh track and uproarious applause*), well, the boys have not shied away from talking about the difficult sides of running a shop like ours. We’ve got episodes about handling negative Yelp reviews, customers too intoxicated to float, and even what to do when it’s time to 86 a problematic client.
You can tell this episode was recorded a little while ago, really close to after we all got back from the Conference. The boys are a little tired today, but they still have lots to talk about.
Grashkahmn share their initial reactions to the Conference now that it’s being run by the industry as a non-profit. This is a nice episode especially if you’re looking for some insights on their behind-the-scenes perspective on this big industry event and how it has changed this year.
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