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Postmortem Behind the Scenes at a Free Online Giveaway Event -

Postmortem: Behind the Scenes at a Free Online Giveaway Event

Two weeks ago, the door closed on a month-long free online giveaway event called the Skyrocket Your Business Giveaway Event. 

In fact, if you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+, you probably saw my posts promoting both the giveaway itself and my Fabulous Facebook coaching package.

What you probably didn’t know is that this was my very first time participating in an online free giveaway event.  So today, I’m going to take you behind the scenes and show you exactly what the whole experience was like.

But before I do, I want to extend an enormous thank you to Martina Zorc and her team at Star Brand Studios.  They did an outstanding job of making my first experience with the giveaway and their company a truly pleasurable one. 


What I Expected

Honestly, I went into the Skyrocket event with low expectations.  I had just finished hosting my Online Marketing Boot Camps, and I wasn’t keen on immediately promoting another event.  Plus, I didn’t know Martina Zorc (the event’s organizer) from Adam: how did I know this wasn’t going to be a complete waste of time?

In the end, I agreed to be part of the event for two reasons.  First, the idea behind the giveaway was directly aligned with my core mission of giving entrepreneurs the tools and resources they need to build awesome businesses.

And second, I liked the friendly attitude and clear organization of Martina’s initial email.  I was especially impressed with her second email, where she offered to promote my boot camps to her email list.

Going into February, I decided that, since it was my first giveaway event, I would schedule one, and only one, social media post each day.  I also wrote one blog post, and one corresponding email, for my list. And then I sat back and waited to see how the event would pan out.


What Went Well: Easy Registration, Clear Communication, and Abundant Pre-Written Marketing Material

Once I agreed to be part of the event, the registration process was super easy.  All I had to do was log into the event’s website as a contributor and upload a few pieces of info, including a head shot, bio, and a link to the actual coaching package page on my website.  Tweaking my coaching page for the giveaway took all of fifteen minutes, and the whole gift registration process took maybe forty minutes total.

Martina’s team also did a fantastic job of providing pre-written emails, Facebook posts, Tweets, images, and banners that we could use to promote the event. All of the materials were accessible inside the contributor’s area of the website, and each pre-written post also included my own unique affiliate ID link.  Although I ended up writing my own posts, I did use their provided material for inspiration.

Finally, what impressed me the most about the Skyrocket event was their clear and timely communication. I received three emails in the weeks leading up to the event, each one with links to new Facebook posts, tweets, or banners available on the website. During the event, I continued to receive about an email a week, and I received one thank-you email the day after the event closed.  I was never subscribed to their main email list or asked to do anything other than promote both my freebie and the event.


What Didn’t Go Well: Gift Contributor Ranking System

My only complaint about the Skyrocket event is a rather minor point.  You see, to make it easier for people to find the free gift they needed, the event was organized into 9 categories.  And in each of these categories, the order in which the gifts were listed was determined by the amount of traffic each affiliate generated.

In other words, the more successful I was at driving traffic to the site, the higher up my gift would appear in each of its three categories.  From an organizational standpoint, it’s a brilliant idea. After all, something has to determine the order in which the gifts appear, and provide incentives for contributors to share the event on social media. But from my standpoint, it felt like the genuine desire to provide a free gift for entrepreneurs had been partially sidelined into an online popularity contest.


My Results + 4 Lessons Learned

When the event ended on February 28th, I felt very good about the whole Skyrocket experience. But feeling good about a business venture is only half the picture. The other half is, of course, numbers.

Keeping in mind that I wrote 1 blog post, 1 email, and posted once a day on social media about the event, here are the actual results:

  • I gained 22 new email subscribers.  That’s a 20% growth rate in a single month!
  • Visitors from the Skyrocket website were the #2 source of traffic to my website for the month of February. That’s four times as high as the traffic from Facebook in the same month!  (FYI, Facebook is nearly always my #2 source of website visitors.  And the Facebook traffic for February was normal.)
  • 14 people filled out the form asking for my free Fabulous Facebook coaching package.  None of them were current clients, or even current email subscribers.
  • Of those 14, I have conducted two fabulous coaching sessions online, and one by email.  The other eleven have yet to reply to my initial welcome email.

All in all, the numbers bear out my feelings – the free giveaway experiment was a great success. Especially if you take into account how little time I spent promoting the event.

That said, there are four things I would do differently the next time:

  1. Develop a customizable email response ahead of time, letting people know what to expect and the next steps to take once they opt-in for the free coaching
  2. Develop a sequence of a few emails to familiarize new email subscribers with me and my business. The emails would include one or two links to relevant, recent blog posts as well as an invitation to connect on social media.
  3. Realize that, because it’s free, there will be a large number of people who will sign up and then fail to follow through
  4. Send two or three emails about the event to my list, not just one. I did include a snazzy graphic to advertise the event on the bottom of the February emails, but it wasn’t very effective.


Your Turn – Was This Helpful?

I’ve broken one of the cardinal rules in blogging by talking about myself this entire post. So before I sign off, let me ask:

Was this post helpful for you?  Is there something you can take away from my experience that will help with your own business?  Let me know in the comments below!

~ Felicity

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Create your page, decide what & when to post, & attract your first fans.


  1. Wendy M.
    Wendy M.03-14-2013

    I found it helpful. Since I often read marketing-related materials with an interest in leveraging the lessons in another industry (fundraising), I don’t mind that you talked about your experience. It can help me gain insight into the behavior of consumers whether it’s about your business or not. Plus I think lessons from personal experience are very helpful to those considering similar options.

    • Felicity Fields
      Felicity Fields03-15-2013

      Thanks for the feedback, Wendy! I often think the best way to learn is to read about things going on in related areas and then bring them back to your own. Must be that liberal arts education at work!

  2. Val Sherill
    Val Sherill03-16-2013

    I didn’t find this post so much as talking about yourself, but as speaking of an experience. I love hearing about others’ personal viewpoints. And I really appreciated the detail. Usually, I just hear that someone really enjoyed something (or didn’t) and rarely reveal the why of it.

    I doubt I’d ever try to organize something like this (it just doesn’t interest me), but I would be interested as a contributor. Getting the inside scoop *is* very helpful. Thank you!
    Val Sherill recently posted..Weekend Tarot Forecast: March 15-17, 2013

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