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Jetsetter has revealed that its Kate Spade competition last December was its biggest acquisition partnership to date, with over 23,000 entries filed online and over 54,000 coming from instore promotions.

Since opting in to the sweepstake meant registering, this resulted in a total of 77,000 new members for Jetsetter.

The members-only travel sales site also launched its first Pinterest competition yesterday and is due to make an announcement later today about a ‘big name CMO’ joining the company.

The Kate Spade promotion, which started mid-September and ended in December, offered the chance to win five nights stay at the Grand Hotel Tremezzo in Lake Como (including airfare), two Kate Spade New York travel bags and and a $500 American Express gift card.

Kate Spade delivered two emails to a list of 550,000, ran ads on Style.com and Glamour.com, then ran an instore promotion at 60 of its stores. The US fashion brand also leveraged its Twitter following of 160,000, and 430,000 fans on Facebook. 

While Jetsetter invested a dedicated promotional spot in its weekly email to 2m members, and ongoing social media promotion via Twitter and Facebook.

Though a simple formula, Drew Patterson, CEO at the company says that it’s been an incredibly successful way to drive up registrations.

We’ve learned that sweepstakes can be a successful and cost-effective acquisition tool as long as the audience aligns with our brand. The Kate Spade customer aligns perfectly with the Jetsetter customer. And the prize, a fabulous vacation in Lake Como, Italy, is the perfect destination to show off a fancy purse and smart shoes. Plus, it’s the type of aspirational vacation that makes people take a few minutes to enter a sweepstakes.”

In terms of convertion to sales, terms of the contract prohibits any revenue figures from being disclosed, but the company said that it has converted a “percentage of entries to customers” and that it’s seen a high percentage of repeat customers as well. 

Patterson added that Jetsetter uses a mixture of acquisition strategies, and that distribution partners are another example delivering a high ROI.  

Jetsetter launched its white label business a little over one year ago when it announced a partnership with ASmallWorld that allows its members to purchase curated vacations at Jetsetter’s member-only prices.  

This year, Jetsetter has entered into distribution agreements with KAYAK, HomeAway, The Economist, and Hipmunk and is in discussion with several more brands both inside and outside of the travel industry. 

Jetsetter’s Pinterest competition was created after it discovered that members had the desire to become curators for the brand.

People are being asked to create the ultimate destination pinboard under the title of ‘escape’, ‘adventure’, ‘style’ or ‘cosmopolitan’ - using content from Jetsetter.com and around the web.

A panel of celebrity judges including Huffington Post’s Ariana Huffington, Harpers Bazaar editor-in-chief Glenda Bailey and Soho House Group founder Nick Jones, plus Jetsetter’s editorial staff, will judge the boards. Holidays will be given to the winners of each category and the most followed will be given $1,000 in Jetsetter credit.

When asked about the trend for many companies to ‘gamify’ promotions to get people to engage, Patterson said that the Jetsetter member would rather spend a few minutes each day daydreaming over travel photos of a resort in Bali or Mount Everest skydiving trip, rather than launching some angry birds at a target.  

Our members are time sensitive and tell us they come to Jetsetter because we break through the clutter and curate the best travel options. I don’t think they have time to play games.”

We wrote about Jetsetter’s Norah Jones’ tie-up last month, noting that perhaps the brand hadn’t made the most of the opportunity. But artists and labels are difficult to work with, and as the Kate Spade partnership shows – often the most straightforward of mechanics work wonders when the right stakeholders are in place.

Within the post we applauded its authentic tone and regular use of social media, and the Pinterest competition above shows this to its best. Jetsetter is in a great position to make the most of the site’s focus on great visuals, and the passion of its users for travel-heavy, aspirational content. Great work all round.

Vikki Chowney

Published 16 April, 2012 by Vikki Chowney

Vikki is head of community at TMW. You can follow her on Twitter or Google+

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