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Free Jewelry Promo Gone Wild!

In The News: Free Product Promotion Gets Retailer Unpredictable Results

When jewelry retailer planned a TV commercial ad last May, they wanted to feature real satisfied customers throughout the ad with a repeating theme - "I Love". In trying to retain the talent within a low budget, decided to offer free jewelry in lieu of monetary compensation.

As a way of attracting existing and new customers to appear in the ad spot, sent out an email blast to its customer base that had made a purchase in the last 6 months. also created a promotional landing page with a signup form and release on their website which was promoted by highly visible promo banners touting "Get FREE Jewelry".

View The Promotion

People were told up-front they would be considered for getting free jewelry by submitting a picture of themselves wearing items purchased from and showing a sign provided by the site, stating "I Love". If selected, they could pick an item of their choice from a selection of fashion jewelry valued at over $20 each. They were also told their picture would be used in a advertisement.

A couple of days after deploying the campaign, submissions started flooding "We didn't expect our free jewelry invitation would become such a viral marketing extravaganza." said Sam Meddy, President of By the end of the month had received over 100,000 submissions and calls were flooding the Customer Service phone lines with more people asking how they could participate.

This unexpected but wave of interest along with the free jewelry response rate generated more than just free jewelry submissions. Because the promotion guidelines stated that participation was open only to those who submitted pictures of themselves wearing jewelry purchased from, people wanting to participate began browsing the website and began purchasing items they wanted anyway. "Sales went through the roof with a 500% increase of sales, making it the most profitable month we've ever had." said George Alexandrakis, Executive Vice President.

With so many customers willing to "Show their love for", Mr. Meddy said that new marketing campaigns are currently being developed to include magazine & print ads displaying real customers happily showing off their bling. "Not only do we have way more submissions than originally needed, but now we have enough customer pictures to wallpaper all the walls of our offices as well."

The lesson to be learned by other retailers is to think outside normal practices and to be careful of what you wish for; you may just get it - with some unexpected results.

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