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How To Engage Customers with a Scratch & Win Campaign

Written by 
Brad Davis
April 24, 2019

People absolutely love scratch cards. If you can offer someone the chance to "Scratch & Win" whether it's a physical card that leaves a mess of glittery residue everywhere, or a digital scratch card, most of us experience a burning desire to reveal the hidden prize and redeem our reward.

Otherwise known as Scratch & Win, scratchies, scratch cards, Scratch-it and Instant Win cards, this phenomenon is nothing new. Consumers worldwide spend billions in lotteries and gaming for the chance to win a prize.

The same behavioural principles that make scratch-and-win cards so successful for lotteries and gaming businesses can also be used as a creative marketing tactic and promotional tool to engage with customers.

With 72 per cent of businesses claiming that their top priority is to improve their customer experience, loyalty scratchcards are a great place to start.

Scratch and Win cards are easy to implement, and they can build fun and excitement around your brand. This is vital, considering a recent Forrester study found that emotional connection drives customer loyalty far more than factors like ease or effectiveness.

When considering customer engagement strategies, it’s important for brands to recognise that spontaneous offers which create a bit of fun and make the customer feel valued are key to winning their loyalty… especially when they are optimised for mobile devices.

This is more crucial than ever before, with 97 percent of millennials claiming they are much more likely to engage with a loyalty program if they can access their rewards information on their smartphone.

Scratch card marketing is fantastic for encouraging fun, excitement and value among customers because it engages them much more effectively than mass emails, social media promotions and other forms of marketing.

So without further ado, let’s get into the nitty gritty details of how you can use the power of “Scratch & Win” to generate some buzz around your business.

How do scratch cards work?

Scratch and Win can be played on paper and plastic cards, online as a digital scratch card or within loyalty reward smartphone applications like the Stamp Me Loyalty App.

The premise is simple. Each card has a panel that conceals information, and the user (scratcher) simply scratches or rubs the panel or a series of panels to reveal a prize.

In some cases, the whole card needs to be scratched off. In other cases, such as a quiz, only some of the panels should be scratched off to reveal a prize. If the scratcher incorrectly scratches the wrong parts, the card is invalidated… no pressure!

Digital Scratch Cards Within Loyalty Rewards Apps

3 phones against a pink background with an example of the Stamp Me scratch & win interface.

If you already have a digital customer loyalty card app implemented into your business, incorporating a scratch and win promotion into the app is quick, easy and hugely beneficial.

Not only does it add a new dimension to your brand’s engagement with loyal customers through the app, but it makes the app more fun to use and keeps your discounts and special offers front-of-mind.

Graphic tile with text and icons.

You could set up the system in a way that every time a loyalty member checks into your store or makes a transaction with your business, they unlock a “Scratch & Win” promotion in the app that has a 1 in 5 chance of being a winner. The prize could be a free coffee, or $10 off their next purchase.

Tips for running a successful "Instant Win" campaign

1. Keep the Promotion Simple

Effective promotions have a strong call to action. In this day and age, consumers are all about instant gratification, so be clear about what your participants can potentially win “on the spot”. The best promotions have a powerful theme; punchy and fun!

In this example, Sushi Sushi offer participants rewards ranging from vouchers for discounted products, to free products and even a chance to win a trip for two to Tokyo!

Sushi Suhshi Scratch & Win Campaign
Image source:

2. Offer Effective Prizes & Rewards

The most effective promotions offer a range of rewards to excite the maximum amount of participants. The wider you cast the net, the more people are going to be interested in your Scratch & Win. These can include a mixture of token rewards right through to the chance to win large prizes.

Good promotions will give everyone an equal chance of winning the major prize to maximise the engagement of its users. McDonald’s Restaurants are masters of instant prizes and regularly use 'peel and win', as well as its worldwide Monopoly campaigns to engage its customers.

Mcdonalds Peel & Win

3. Promote Your Program

Scratch and Win needs to be marketed just like any other promotional deal. This means creating marketing collateral for in-store display (both printed and digital) so the customer can be informed at the point of purchase.

The simpler it is for customers to start “scratching and winning”, the more likely they are to participate. Make it clear on your promotional displays that it’s quick and easy to start playing your “Scratch & Win”.

Engaging with customers

4. Make Redemption Quick & Easy

The above point goes double for claiming prizes – make this step as efficient as possible, so that customers can receive instant gratification.

The prize could be redeemed on the spot. Alternatively, for higher value prizes, put in place an easy process for winners to redeem their reward.

Here is an example of Dare Iced Coffee's Scratch & Win Campaign on the Stamp Me Loyalty App...

Dare Scratch & Win Campaign Loyalty App Screen
Scratch & Win Redemption

5. Abide by Legalities and Permits

Depending on state regulations, some scratch and win promotions may require permits and government approval. The permits will set out the terms of the promotion, win ratios, timing, and other factors.

6. Keep the Customer Engaged with Your Brand

Use your “Scratch & Win” promotion as a stepping stone to engage with your customer in other ways. If this promotion is part of your customer loyalty app, then why not structure the promotion in a way that it captures valuable data about the customer’s spending habits and preferences, for example?

Perhaps part of the conditions for a customer’s participation in the Scratch & Win prizes is that they also go into the draw for a larger, ongoing competition.

These are all methods that can keep the customer engaged with your brand beyond the “Scratch & Win” promotion.

Kinjo Sushi Scratch & Win Promotion
Image source:

7. And Don't Forget Security!

The last thing you want is to have over-redemption of prizes occurring, as that can very rapidly affect your profit margins.

Consider incorporating unique codes and verification systems into your “Scratch & Win” promotion to prevent fraud and to ensure everyone is participating legitimately.

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