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A sweet campaign from See's Candies

When it comes to holiday promotions, See's Countdown to Christmas takes the cake ...and the chocolate caramel. While it's a holiday sweepstakes with an acquisition goal (to enter, you had to give See's your email address), it stands out by putting customer engagement before acquisition. Not only is the grand prize deliciously fun - who doesn't want a lifetime supply of chocolate? - but the user experience provides meaningful content beyond the prize.

When users click on a cute "daily chocolate" after entering their email address, they find out right away whether or not they won, and then they're offered a screen with a holiday tip, craft, recipe or other fun message. So even those who don't win still walk away having enjoyed a nice holiday treat from See's. Some of my favorites so far have been the step-by-step list of tips on "how to host a cookie swap" and the "Scotchmallow Rolls Recipe" - YUM.

The design also delights with tasteful holiday touches, and the copy sweetens it up even more. For example, if subscribers try to click before entering as I did at first, they get a playful "Bah-humbug" pop-up message with instructions on how to get in on the action.

See's approach to this acquisition sweepstakes not only provides positive brand experiences, but it may also mean that See's gathers email addresses from a higher caliber of customers - from people who actually like their brand and want to engage with it on an ongoing basis. I'm not the only one who loves this campaign: it's already driving a lot of Pinterest engagement, suggesting that See's investment in this campaign could pay off with a lifetime supply of active email subscribers.

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