Apple is at it again: they're giving away another $10,000 gift card. Last time they gave away a 10,000 iTunes Gift Card in celebration of the 10 billionth app downloaded. This time around it's a $10,000 App Store Gift Card to celebrate a similar milestone: 25 billion apps downloaded. The person who downloads the 25 billionth app could be the lucky winner.
Note: iTunes Gift Cards and App Store Gift Card are essentially the same thing, only called different things for marketing purposes.
First off, this is a great gift card promotion. At $10,000 the winner will be able to download a lot of stuff from the App Store/iTunes/iBooks. You can also gift things, so be sure to make note of who the lucky winner is, they'll announce it on the promotion's official web-page.
Every time you download an app, you'll be entered to win. You can also enter by submitting a web-form or calling an 888 number. I believe such an alternate method is a legal requirement when holding a sweepstakes; however, there is a chance a person who uses such an alternate method will win. Of course, that would means the person who downloaded the 25th billion app will not win.
Gift Card Promotion Tips
In late 2010, ScripSmart ran a "Review a gift card on ScripSmart, enter to win a $50 Amazon.com Gift Card" promotion. The goal was to drive more consumer reviews of gift cards, and by that measure it was a failure. It just didn't deliver more reviews for us.
While $10,000 is an extraordinary amount for a gift card promotion and one most companies will not be matching, I learned two valuable lesson regarding gift card promotions and this promotion reminds me of them:
1) Make the offer meaningful: while just about anyone would take a free $50 Amazon Gift Card, not just anyone will take the time to sigh up for an account, find a gift card and submit a review for the chance to win $50.
2) Put a full court press on marketing: After we launched the promotion, we placed a banner on the top of the website to let others know about it. I wrote a blog post and sent a message out via twitter. While those are all great steps, that is where the promotion of the sweepstakes ended. Looking back, I'd suggest a gift card in the $500 range and spend more time thinking about the most effective ways to let others know about the offer.
The good news here is I would do it differently next time around. Cheers to them for putting together a great promotion worth talking about.