Hey Subway, Don’t Run a Mobile Promo on your Website

Ah, summer: the season of huge blockbuster movies, sandwiches, and picnics. They go together, right? Subway seems to think so, since they’ve launched a Partner Up and Win promotion with Disney’s The Lone Ranger. Here are the bare bones: head into a subway and pose with a cardboard cut out of the Lone Ranger’s sidekick Tonto. Head home, upload said photo onto Subway’s website. Fill out a bunch of fields (name? address? pant size? just kidding on the last one…) and enter to win.

Here are four ways that Subway’s ensuring that their Lone Ranger “mobile” promotion is keeping Tonto real lonely:

1. The mobile promo is not mobile if it requires a user to access a desktop to upload a photo. We call that “barrier to entry” in the biz – the more barriers to entry in a promotion, the more drop-offs you’ll see in engagement. Allowing users to enter and win on a mobile device is a much better strategy that leads to higher retention rates of potential entrants.

Check out the entry form – all fields are required! Very few people are cool with submitting this much information on the interwebz. Multiple barriers to entry? Check. Too many fields? Check. Information about what you’re entering to win? Wait…we’re missing that! Onto point number three…

2. Nebulous messaging will kill sign ups. Upon visiting Subway’s website, it’s unclear as to what I might win. A sandwich? Movie tickets? Date with Jonny Depp? I can’t speak for everyone, but if I don’t know what’s on the table there’s a good chance that I won’t want any part of it.

Messaging is a little clearer before it asks the user to enter to win – but it’s not clear just what users are supposed to enter. I tried name, and nada. Website? Nope. Ah! It’s email address! Might seem simple to some, but let me tell ya that not everyone has that internet savvy. Note to Subway: clear messaging is a major piece to the mobile promo puzzle.

 3. Subway’s website is trying to hide the identity of the mobile promotion. How are users going to find where to enter their photo? Jared is disappointed in you. Running a mobile promo via social media is a much better choice: more optimized for sharing and mobile. Remember when we chatted about barrier to entry? Still applies. If you require people to sign in and then sign up, chances are you won’t see many entries since people will get frustrated and head to a competitor.

4. Summer blockbusters come and go, so don’t make your promotion a long-term promo for a short term blockbuster. Use a flexible platform and target your promotion so you can spend less on promos than you did feeding your marketing team a catered [five dollar footlong] lunch.

Long story short: which of your friends is going to leave their Five Dollar Footlong behind in order to run home,  plug in their phone or camera, upload a photo to the computer, and then upload to the hidden photo contest on Subway’s website? None of mine. So wise up, Subway. Give the people what they want. Hint – it’s not a Bravocado sandwich.

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One Response to “Hey Subway, Don’t Run a Mobile Promo on your Website”

  1. gestion de redes sociales 03. Jul, 2013 at 8:27 pm #

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