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Two creative offers that broke through

By September 3, 2008August 19th, 2020One Comment

Three or four years ago, I received a promotional insert in an Amazon shipment for ING Direct, the online bank.

The offer was simple: Open a savings account and we’ll deposit $25 in it for your trouble.


I did a little research and found that ING’s savings rate was among the best in the nation, better than the $10,000 CD rate at my local bank, with zero minimums required to receive the rate.

I wasn’t looking for an online savings account, but ING targeted well—people that buy books online are more apt to bank online. I opened the account and found it easy to move money between my accounts and have been an ING fan ever since.

Today, I had a similar experience.

When visiting my Yahoo Fantasy Football team page, a banner ad with the following offer caught my eye:

Free Draft Kit Bundle & StatTrackerĀ®!
Open a Revolution MoneyExchange Account and get the Draft Kit & StatTracker bundle for FREE, plus get $10 in your MoneyExchange account*

Here’s the landing page:

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Smart, for a few reasons:

I wasn’t looking forward to paying for StatTracker, a must-have application that provides real-time updates—and this promo made it free.

Fantasy Football winnings are often paid via Paypal, and the recipient is charged a small transaction fee plus a percentage of the transferred amount. Revolution is a direct Paypal competitor, but doesn’t charge Paypal’s traditional transaction fees.

It’s all about the network effect, and Fantasy Football is played by a group of people that talk (mostly smack) throughout the season. If one person decides to use the service instead of Paypal to save a few bucks, they might carry their message to the rest of the group.

They guessed right: I’ll tell the other players this might be a better (or at least free) option.

You’ve heard me say we want to learn where your customers go for their information and how they make their buying decisions to help guide our marketing spend.

But the problem with relying on those questions alone is that the answers apply to everyone, including your competitors.

Look at it another way, I can pretty much guarantee nobody said they’d expect to learn about an online savings bank via a nickel flyer in the bottom of their book order.


These promos happened because someone did their research and actually got to know the customer—maybe even a little better than they know themselves.

And that, my friends, is Responsible Marketing.

So, what’s the most creative promo you’ve seen lately?

Comment below to share.

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  • I became a less-than-fan of Revolution Money exchange because a few months ago they were rewarding the referrers of new members with a $10 per member credit, but after promoting heavily, I only collected about 1/3 of my referrals. And the company wasn’t very communicative or helpful when I brought it to their attention.

    Also they didn’t warn people that only US residents could participate.

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