One sabbatical year from a corporate career turned into (so far) 13 years of traveling throughout the world for Sherry Ott, sharing her adventures and travel advice through her blog “Ottsworld Travel blog” and her social media profiles. With a lot of hard work and the luck of being at the right place at the right time just when new media was starting, traveling and blogging soon became her livelihood.
In 2019 Sherry celebrated her 13th travel anniversary. She organized a giveaway to raffle travel gear among the followers that signed up to her email list.
The organizer: a travel blog
Sherry Ott is the founder of the Ottsworld Travel blog. She calls herself “a new nomad, digital wanderer, and career breaker”. She started traveling in 2006 because she wanted to take a break from her corporate life in New York. The plan was to travel for a year and then go back. But she never went back. The time was right to start a travel blog because things were just starting to happen in new media, blogging, and social media, so she worked on professionalizing it and perfecting her photography skills. She markets her blog through Google, SEO, and a lot of social media. Using an online giveaway was a perfect match for her business.
The travel giveaway series
In 2019, Sherry had been traveling for 13 years through 70 countries plus 44 US states and Antarctica. To celebrate that she came up with the idea of running giveaways to engage with her followers and expend her email database. Recently she’s been working more with brands; brands that she knows and that she’s used through her years of travel. So she contacted the brands and ended up with 13 amazing prizes, adding up to 1300 USD worth of gifts, that she wanted to give away during the month the giveaway lasted.
The prizes ranged from hats to suitcases, hiking boots and gear, and photography equipment, from brands like Eagle Creek, LensCoat, Krimson Klover, Tinggly Experience, Urban Adventures, Wallaroo hats, Oboz, etc. She wanted the prizes to be travel products that she’s used through her years of traveling and that she knows the quality of, and use these products to connect with her audience.
Before each prize draw, Sherry recorded a video explaining the product that was up for grabs next. This way she created a sense of excitement, making the audience interested in the prize and turning them into potential participants. She drew a new winner every two to three days.
Running giveaways is new to Sherry, but it’s something that she wanted to try, also as a way of increasing her email list. And with a whole month of contests and so many prizes, she knew that it was going to be really complicated. So she was looking for a person, or a platform, that could take care of the details and the technical part of the contest for her, which would make it a lot easier for her. That’s where Easypromos came in. She used the Entry Form Giveaway app and created 13 random-draw prizes. All participants that had registered at the time of the draw were entered into it, so the sooner you signed up, the more chances of winning.
The giveaway was embedded on the blog and Sherry used her social media channels actively to encourage her followers to sign up.
The results of the travel Blogiversary giveaway
The majority of the 560 participants were from the US but 179 of the entries were from Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Iceland, Thailand, Netherlands, Australia, Indonesia, Czech Republic, Spain, Finland, Marocco, Japan, among others.
Through the giveaway page, Sherry gathered 169 new followers on her social media, most of them on Instagram. 304 of the participants signed up for the giveaway directly from the embedded widgets on the blog.
One of the things that really sold me on Easypromos was the level of support. The moment I actually hit “Chat” and started talking to people, they were so responsive and helpful, and that’s actually what sold me on the whole thing. There’s been a number of times where I’ve talked to the Easypromos support team trying to figure things out about how to do the timings, manage the entries, etc. The other big thing that I love is the fact that, because I’m doing this to build my email list, I like the double opt-in feature, the validation of the email, because that ensures that I’m getting good emails, doing it correctly, and when I export that all over to my email provider, it’s going to be clean data. I like being able to embed the giveaway on my blog and all of the sharing options for social media. It’s been really, really great.
– Sherry Ott –
Founder of Ottworld Travel Blog