Received an email late last night from IAEM. They're offering a chance to win an iPod Nano. But not for registering to attend the event.
Rather, the offer is for participating in IAEM's blog. Here's the copy:
|Blogging for Expo! Expo!
Register to participate in the Expo! Weblog by 15 October and you will be eligible to win an iPod nano!
See today's post from IAEM's Chairman of the Board of Directors, Chris Brown.
Here are a few points and tips for getting the most out of Expo! Weblog.
What are you waiting for -- begin your Expo! Weblog experience today!
Let's put aside for a moment the fact that it should be unnecessary to bribe your community to participate in your blog. There's a bigger problem with this offer: It's not clear what to do.
Given the position and context of the first sentence "See today's post from Chris Brown", I initially thought following the link would explain the offer further, and perhaps encourage blog participation. No such luck. In fact, Chris doesn't even mention the blog, so there's no relevance to the offer.
You won't find it in the first bullet, either, which talks about what the blog is at a level of detail that's unnecessary at this point. They could have done this toward the bottom of the email, or even just put in a link.
You have read down to the second bullet to find out more. And even then it's not really clear, since the iPod Nano isn't referenced:
If you would like to make a comment, just click on the comment link and post your remarks. You will be asked to briefly register, and then you will be able to submit your comment. It will usually appear in a day or so.
While I've never seen a "bribe for blog post" tactic used before, I would have guessed this would be how they would do the entries, by capturing the email address when you go to comment. But I've been blogging for three years and that's intuitive to me.
However, I don't think this offer is intuitive to those unfamiliar with blogging.
If I'm making this offer, here's what I'd say instead:
- win the Nano by offering feedback to blog posts
- here's how you can win it
- go comment right now, here's how
- here's why we believe your comment feedback is important
- here's a message from your chairman, Chris Brown on how IAEM will use your input
- go comment right now, here's how
- here's what you can do with your Nano
- hey, did you know we're doing a session on blogs so you can learn how to do this for your event? (and I'd say that even if I weren't moderating that session)
- go comment right now, dammit!
Instead, we get this:
- you can win a Nano
- here's Chris Brown on the IAEM strategic plan
- here's what our blog is about
- here's how you make comments
- here's how you get RSS feeds
It's confusing, undirected, and ultimately, not effective.
Marketers know that if you're going to make an offer for a drawing like this one, your entire message should be about that drawing and getting people excited about winning whatever the prize is and doing whatever the desired action is you want them to take. It's all about them, not you.
Don't muddle it up your offer with stuff that's not relevant to the task at hand. Stick to the excitement about winning, toss in a few benefits. Skip the features and ego. Your results will be much better.
That said, to date there have been no comments left on the IAEM blog. (It's also nine weeks out from the event, so who's really thinking about it at this point?) Therefore, ANY post you leave gives you pretty good odds on winning the portable media device.
Hell, I wouldn't mind winning the thing myself. I wonder if there's only one post, will that person win?