Lotto Sites Join Forces To Target Ads
FreeLotto.com, an online lottery site with over 11 million members based in New York, has struck a deal with mValue's flagship consumer site SweepSurf.com, to promote SweepSurf's service to its members via direct mail, email, and in the prize checks it sends to members. mValue gathers and sells permission-based behavioral data to advertisers. SweepSurf gathers demographic information in exchange for chances to win cash and prizes while surfing the Web.
"We'll promote SweepSurf's service to our members, who will get paid for people joining SweepSurf," explains Kevin Aronin, CEO of FreeLotto, which is administering the sweepstakes that begins in September. "When a consumer joins SweepSurf, they are served a targeted ad banner wherever they are on the 'net. Consumers are given incentives, in the form of sweepstakes entries, to do things on the 'net through SweepSurf." He says the goal is to get 1 million members to join SweepSurf within several months.
The ad banner Aronin refers to is a free download from SweepSurf (called the SweepSurf panel) that stays on the browser no matter where the surfer goes. It displays sweepstakes entries along with targeted ads. It also features the FreeLotto logo. More surfing increases sweepstakes entries. FreeLotto awards a daily $1 million grand prize, and SweepSurf will award $50 per hour, $1,000 per day, a new car each month, and a $1 million grand prize.
mValue CEO Jay Haynes says that SweepSurf "is very complementary to FreeLotto. Url's and click-stream data are used to target ads based on behavior." This differs a bit from FreeLotto, which uses user profiles gained from opt-in data when they sign up at FreeLotto.com. The approaches are complementary since they both carefully consider anonymous data gathering and privacy issues.
"This deal gives the advertiser the ability to purchase targeted advertising on the SweepSurf panel," says Haynes. "It allows FreeLotto to better target advertisements while giving their members another sweepstakes. It also provides branding for FreeLotto and directs traffic back to their site."
Free lottery sites have gained in popularity in recent months, with sites adding large numbers of members monthly. Aronin says FreeLotto is adding 1 million members each month. The sites are essentially databases of demographic and behavioral data to advertisers, but are seen simply as lotto sites by consumers. In the current financial climate, it appears that the sites focusing on low-cost promotion techniques will come out ahead. It's no surprise, however, that joint ventures such as this don't always yield great results, so the outcome remains to be seen.
Regarding media buying and planning, Haynes says "media buyers who want targeted advertising need a 1:1 system so they know who the person is. Sites like ours are allowing media buyers and advertisers to purchase user data and results." Indeed, access to a site's loyal members is