Have you met David Fraser before?
If you’ve read UpViral’s case studies in the past, surely, you’ve come across David’s story of how he reached over 34K leads and $300K in sales.
He achieved those results on his first referral contest using UpViral in 2019.
And that initial success presented a business opportunity that continues to grow and thrive to this day. 🔥
If this is the first time you’ve heard of David…
He’s the founder of Bunkie Life, an Ontario-based company that’s famous for its small log cabins or bunkies. Not only is David a passionate business owner, but he’s also a husband and father of 3.
David’s massive achievement back in 2019 had already inspired our audience to launch their own campaigns to build their email list and grow their business!
But today, we had the pleasure of speaking with him again in one of our UpViral Co-Pilot shows… after learning about the 3 bunkie contests he did in 2020 that resulted in:
- 8K campaign visitors
- A total of 180.6K leads
- More than $1.5M in sales
- Social media growth
Check out the screenshots 👇
We hope that through David’s case study, you will realize what’s truly possible with contest campaigns done right. And it doesn’t matter if this is your first time or if you’re looking to improve your current contest strategy.
There’s something valuable to learn by checking out this case study.
Watch our 1-hour video interview with David below, read the whole case study (all important points were taken from the video)… or do both!
Note: All screenshots in this case study were taken from the video recording and Bunkie Life’s Facebook page.
Let’s get started.
An Overview of David’s Campaigns
David ran a total of 3 campaigns in 2020 using UpViral:
The First Campaign
This campaign started in January and ended in February, just right before the COVID-19 pandemic. It targeted Ontario (where Bunkie Life is based).
That campaign got 371.6K visitors and resulted in 103.5K leads.
See David’s Facebook announcement post about the contest:
The Other Two Campaigns a.k.a. “Double-Barrel” Campaign
These campaigns were done at the same time during the fall season. It started in October and ended in November.
Here, David did two giveaways that targeted two separate locations: Ontario and British Columbia.
According to David, he was curious to try something different this time. Instead of doing the usual campaign that targeted residents from Ontario, he wanted to “test” whether it’s possible to run a contest and even sell bunkies to an audience from a different location ― people who cannot come to see the bunkies in person.
Here’s David’s Facebook live kickoff post of that “double-barrel” campaign:
If you watch the video, David calls out his audience: “We’re giving away one bunkie to somebody from Ontario and another bunkie to somebody from British Columbia.”
Results Have More Than Tripled Compared to the 2019 Bunkie Life Contest…
Before we get into all the nitty-gritty details of David’s contest, overall, David was more than satisfied with his results.
His initial goal for 2020 was to TRIPLE the results from 2019. However, he achieved way more than he expected. David mentioned that he was able to sell more bunkies during his big sale at the end of his first campaign (Jan-Feb) alone:
Choosing the Contest Prize to Give Away
If you’re wondering why David’s campaigns effortlessly go viral, this is the reason: David knows what incentive to give away ― an incentive that doesn’t just get a lot of leads but more importantly qualified leads.
For the first campaign in 2020 (Jan-Feb), David gave away a $9000 log cabin bunkie with loft:
For the second “double-barrel” campaign in 2020 (Oct-Nov) he gave away 2 smaller $9000 bunkies ― one for his Ontario audience and the other for his British Columbia audience:
These prizes clearly connected with David’s audience as you can tell from their responses to his contest announcement posts:
Everyone already had their own plans on what to do with the bunkie if they ever won it. 😃
This leads us to ask: “What makes a great contest prize?”
Whatever you’re giving away, make sure that it:
- Aligns with your target market’s wants and needs. David knew who his target audience was: People whose families were getting bigger, had a backyard, or wanted to earn extra income from a bunkie (through Airbnb).
- Meets your campaign goals. Similar to last year’s contest, David wanted to hold a sale ($1000 off) at the end of the contest for those who didn’t win but still wanted to have a bunkie. What better way to drive future purchases than to offer one of his bunkies as the contest prize?
- Socially acceptable. A socially acceptable contest prize is something that people can talk openly about and share with their friends. This results in more people entering your contest, more leads, and more potential customers.
Note that a great prize doesn’t have to be super expensive. Just because you’re offering something worth thousands of dollars, doesn’t mean that prize instantly goes viral.
According to David, while a contest prize shouldn’t be expensive, it needs to be positioned in such a way that makes them want it.
Let’s get into the “how.”
To get to the level of virality that David had achieved with his bunkie contest, how did he present his prize? 🤔Read the next section to find out.
Leveraging Custom Actions to Showcase, Educate, and Inspire
One of his best strategies, which he also used in his 2019 contest, was UpViral’s Custom Actions.
(For those who don’t know what Custom Actions is, it’s a special feature that lets you incentivize your audience with points when they complete a certain action such as watching your video, answering your survey, following you on social media, etc.)
Through Custom Actions, David was able to show participants:
- What a bunkie is
- How to build their dream bunkie
- Getting the most out of their bunkie
- Why Bunkie Life does what it does
…and a lot more.
Here’s a screenshot of David’s Custom Actions in his “double-barrel” contest:
As you can see, he used a total of 18 Custom Actions and assigned each action a specific number of points. The more points a Custom Action had, the higher the priority of that action.
Let’s see one of David’s Custom Actions: “Watch Bunkie Life TV #2: Getting The Most Out Of Your Bunkie”
To get 100 points and increase their chances of winning, participants had to watch David’s live stream.
Here’s why we think this strategy is brilliant:
- It allowed participants to appreciate the prize. People had no other choice but to watch until the end of the live stream to be able to catch David’s “secret word.” By entering the secret word into the Custom Action form, they can earn points. While waiting, they were able to learn more about the prize.
- David answered specific questions such as: “Is it possible to add a dormer window as a customization?” “Do you have to insulate if you plan to heat?” “How much room does insulating take up?” Not only did this allow him to clear up any confusion about the bunkie, but their questions also helped him gain insight into their expectations.
The Most Successful Custom Action
We asked David which Custom Action was the most successful. He said that from a business perspective, it was “Download the Bunkie Life Brochure” with 150 assigned points:
As you can see from the stats, the Bunkie Life Brochure had a total of 1,783 clicks from the “double-barrel” British Columbia campaign alone.
This Custom Action was so easy to complete as people only had to download it.
But more than that, it was a great strategy for educating the audience about log cabin bunkies since David required everyone who downloaded the brochure to get a secret word/code from one of the pages. This made people go through the content and gain value from it.
We love what David said:
The Custom Action That Pre-Qualified Potential Buyers
Many contest hosts don’t do this: Pre-qualifying their leads while their contest is still running.
And here’s why it’s important ― it enables you to identify those who are most likely to benefit from and buy your product/do business with you. Not just that, but lead pre-qualification also saves you a lot of time in a way that you can focus your resources on leads that matter more.
To pre-qualify potential buyers, David added “Answer the Questionnaire” as a Custom Action and assigned it 300 points. The points were so high that people couldn’t help but participate.
To make sure that they completed the questionnaire, he only gave out the “secret word” at the end of the questionnaire which they would then enter to earn 300 points.
The questionnaire helped David know who owned a property, who were interested in buying a bunkie soon, and who wanted to request a phone call from Bunkie Life.
As David puts it: “Separate the wheat from the chaff.”
Lead Capture Widget and Share Widget
When creating your contest using UpViral, you have two choices: Use a Landing Page (for independent campaigns) or Widget (integrated into your website).
For his campaign, David added widgets to his site bunkielife.com.
Note that David wasn’t able to show us the actual widgets from his campaign. Instead, he showed us something similar (from a future campaign he’s currently working on 😉) so we still get a good idea.
On his site, you can see a big captivating headline that says “WIN A $12,000 LOG CABIN BUNKIE!” It’s short, specific, and to-the-point. It doesn’t beat around the bush.
The moment someone reads this headline, they know that they’re being invited into a contest and what the prize is.
Right below the headline is a clear and well-shot photo of the actual prize.
Page Copy (More Details About the Contest)
As we scroll further down David’s site, we can see the rest of the page copy.
Here, David gives more details such as the size of the bunkie and eligibility criteria. He also adds social proof by stating that Bunkie Life has been featured on HGTV Canada:
Below the social proof is the call-to-action button “Click Here To Enter To Win” which, when clicked, shows the UpViral widget:
It’s a simple widget that uses the same headline from the web page.
Also, notice that it only uses 2 form fields which are Name and Email. This asks only the necessary information from participants, avoids wasting their time, and increases the probability of more signups.
(Recall that David pre-qualified his leads only later on, and engagingly, using the 300 points “Answer the Questionnaire” Custom Action.)
Going back to David’s web page, scrolling down would give more details about the contest. Here, David explains how people can win and increase their chances of winning:
Below are pictures showing what the bunkie looks like on the inside, and the same call-to-action to enter the contest:
As we scroll down, we also find David’s Q&A section which we think provides so much value to his audience. Including one in your own campaign improves your audience’s experiences, increases transparency, and gives them more reasons to join your contest.
David also builds credibility by featuring the winners from his previous Bunkie Life contests:
Last but not least, David features more social proof ― testimonials from actual Bunkie Life users, and a note specifying the contest end date:
David wasn’t able to show us his share widget, but he mentioned that it featured the bunkie prize, Custom Actions, calendar of the live streams.
Promoting the Contest
Putting together a contest already takes a lot of work.
But without sharing or posting it, people won’t know that it exists. This is where your promotion strategies come in.
We asked David how he got the word out about his contest. These were his strategies:
- Leveraging his existing email list. These were people who already knew, liked, and trusted David.
- Pay per click (PPC). David mentioned that he didn’t make this too complicated, and that he did PPC for the purpose of sending traffic to his campaign.
(💡If you need more ideas on promoting your contest or giveaway, we recommend reading this blog post.)
Announcing the Winner + The BIG SALE
Here’s a screenshot of the live stream for Ontario. Before the official start of the show, David entertains his audience by playing his guitar and singing:
Remember David’s plan to hold a sale at the end of the contest for those who didn’t win but still wanted a bunkie?
Before announcing the winner, David put together a special presentation for those who don’t win to cope with the discouragement… because they can still get a bunkie at a discounted price!
This special presentation featured David’s daughter who portrayed the character of a non-winner. At first she was sad after finding out she didn’t win:
But then she remembered that she could still purchase one from Bunkie Life:
We love how David kept the momentum going using this engagement strategy that’s packaged in such a unique, creative, and adorable way. Because he anticipated that after announcing the winner, people will stop watching the live stream and leave.
On the topic of the big sale at the end of the contest ― take note that David didn’t keep it a secret at all. He talked about it during the contest period so everyone knew what to expect.
He also recommends the following techniques to make participants stick around until sale period (if you opt to have one in your own campaign):
- Send a series of emails to your audience.
- Do short live streams where you take people’s orders.
David sold 200 bunkies from the 3 campaigns (Jan-Feb 2020 and Oct-Nov 2020 for Ontario and BC) that averaged about $8000 to $9000 per bunkie. 🔥
Key Lessons from Bunkie Life’s Success In 2020
We can appreciate David’s Bunkie Life campaign from so many different angles. This isn’t the first time he ran a contest. David got better over time, especially when it came to understanding his audience.
Here are some takeaways from his success, and hopefully, you can use these insights to make your campaigns successful as well (regardless of your niche):
- Offer a great prize. David calls it the “big sexy prize” ― something that makes people say, “I want that thing.” It doesn’t have to be an expensive prize, but it has to be positioned in a way that appears to be the BEST.
- Educate your audience. Educated prospects are more likely to buy from you. Using UpViral, you can make this mandatory by offering big points in exchange for watching your content.
- Be bold with your sale. David knows how most marketers fear coming off as spammy and because of that, they postpone a sale for a few weeks. But David says, “If they take it, they take it!”
- Go live. David used live events to genuinely interact with his audience. Those interactions opened up opportunities to learn something new from them and allowed him to answer questions about the contest.
- Give away your product. It’s going to be difficult to sell your product if you don’t give it away for free first. This lets people try your product completely risk-free and experience how great it is.
- Experiment and try something new. David used to run contests within his location. But this time, he did two contests in two different locations at once. You’ll never know the potential of something until you try.
- Keep the engagement up. David’s Custom Actions gave people reasons to keep coming back to the campaign so they could watch the live streams and earn more points.
If you haven’t done it yet, we recommend watching/reading David’s first case study to learn from his beginnings with UpViral.
Inspired by David’s success? Excited to run a contest already? We invite you to try UpViral for only $1. Experience its potential to grow your business starting now.