The Free Press is a newspaper in Mankato, Minnesota with a daily readership of 60,000. The newspaper’s circulation area covers a 60-mile radius and six different counties, including Blue Earth, Nicollet, Le Sueur, Brown, Waseca and Watonwan.
With the advent of easily-accessible (and often free) digital media, print newspapers all over the world are struggling to retain members and advertisers. Mankato’s daily newspaper is no different. The Free Press Director of Circulation Denise Zernechel is constantly on the lookout for fun and interactive ways to increase The Free Press’ value for advertisers and readers alike, and she was also searching for ways to increase single-copy sales.
Zernechel learned about Bingo promotions from The Free Press’ sister paper in Pennsylvania. She saw how Bingo promotions can increase a business’ visibility by putting their brand in front of tens of thousands of readers for weeks at a time – at an affordable price. Additionally, traditional Bingo is a popular hobby in the Mankato area, so Zernechel knew it would be a big hit with members. Providing readers with the chance to win a prize was just icing on the cake.
“We try to run a Bingo game each quarter,” Zernechel said. “We know how well the game is received because members call us often, wondering when the next game will begin.”
How It Worked:
The Free Press teamed up with sponsor Tandem Bagels, a small locally-owned made-from-scratch bagel shop with two locations in southern Minnesota. Instead of offering readers the traditional Bingo rules and providing multiple prizes, instead they opted for coverall Bingo which requires players to cover every number on their game card in order to win the prize. In this case, the prize was $1,000, and the daily numbers were published in the highly popular and widely read Marketplace Classified section of The Free Press.
“Selling the sponsorship was easy because the readers get so involved in the promotion, and the sponsor’s ad stays in front of their potential customers for up to ten weeks!” Zernechel explained. “We run the Bingo ad and daily numbers in the Classified section, which is also a plus for us since it’s such a popular section of our paper. It’s a very low-commitment for the advertiser financially - it’s a no-brainer, as far as I’m concerned.”
The Free Press experienced a 50% spike in single-copy sales on Sunday – the day the game cards were distributed in the newspaper. Many Mankato residents were buying up to five newspapers at a time in order to get additional Bingo cards and, with more cards, increased odds of winning.
The Bingo promo has also been leveraged as a sales tool. The Free Press’ sales team nurtures potential customers into subscribers by offering an additional Bingo game card when purchasing a subscription. With the chance to win $1,000 on the line, many potential customers jump at the opportunity to get their hands on an extra game card!
But the Bingo promotion didn’t just positively impact The Free Press – Tandem Bagels experienced a huge spike in business. The local bagel shop not only increased their brand’s visibility immensely by getting their business information in front of thousands of Mankato-area residents, but the small bakery was also swamped with new customers as a result of free coffee coupons that were included on the Bingo game cards.
What It Means:
If you’re looking for a new way to excite your readers, offer valuable advertising opportunities to local businesses, and give your community something to smile about, look no further. Best Bingo Promo is exactly what you need!
If you’re interested in getting in on the fun, let us know. We’d be thrilled to have you on board (no pun intended, of course).