The New Pastime Of Promotion Surfing

Randy Scasny

Updated · Feb 14, 2001

According to a recent survey measuring the effectiveness and popularity of online marketing tactics, 62 percent of respondents reported they access the Internet specifically to look for special offers or promotions.

As part of the survey, co-sponsored by StartSampling, Inc. and other leading companies, and conducted by Greenwich, CT-based NFO research for PROMO Magazine, the attitudes and habits of 1,000 online respondents were polled regarding the use of promotions by businesses to generate sales and traffic, increase a company image, build databases, etc.

Results indicated, 48 percent of online respondents said they have logged onto the Internet specifically to participate in a promotion and 46 percent said they spent time “promotion surfing” to find special offers, contests and sweepstakes.

Additionally, nearly two-thirds of online respondents said they were very likely to purchase a product introduced in a promotion in which they participated, and 53 percent said their promotion participation had a positive impact on their view of their brand.

“The Internet is attracting a new type of consumer who prefers the ease of use and speed of the Internet to find consumer promotions, including samples,” explains Larry Burns, president and CEO of Carol Stream, IL-based StartSampling, Inc.
“It was rewarding to see this research confirm what we’ve known all along–well executed and thoughtful Internet-driven promotions and sampling programs are a highly effective tool to drive brand sales and create passionate brand believers.”

Online marketing campaigns are, and will continue to be, an important tool to help brand managers reach consumers.

“Internet promotions are easier and less expensive to enter and consumers don’t have to worry about forms, stamps or filling out three-by-five cards. As the results reveal, there is no question online promotions draw traffic. That’s why marketers are finding greater success rates when online promotional tactics are incorporated into their traditional brand marketing campaigns,” says Burns.

Additional survey findings include:

  • Sixty-four percent of respondents agreed with the statement, “I would be willing to provide personal data if there were some compensation.”
  • Almost half of respondents were involved in promotions on a weekly basis.
  • Fifty-six percent of respondents said they are members of an online coupon, sampling or sweepstakes service.

Overall, consumers are more interested in promotions that help them save money (such as free samples, coupons, buy-one-get-one deals) than they are in other kinds of offers.

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