Using video contests to drive email signups and sales

Last week, Larry Joseloff from sent me an article he found on, “5 People Who Broke the Rules of Social Media and Succeeded.”  The article highlights the work of one video commerce pioneer, Pinny Gniwisch from, for his idea to post a contest video on YouTube as a way to drive email signups and sales.  Not only was Pinny able to gather 6,000 new email signups, but as a result of adding these new prospective customers to’s email database, he generated $20,000 in new sales over the holiday season.

Pinny interviews celebrities "Three 6 Mafia" and Kevin Sorbo for's video email contest.

Pinny interviews celebrities

I like this case because it shows the contest culture on YouTube is very much alive and well.  I’ve seen a few retailers now that understand the power of video contests as a reliable mechanism for sourcing new video content and driving sales.  Perhaps most notably, Jordan Blum, CEO of, has utilized YouTube contests to rapidly source new user generated video content the company is then able to leverage in several ways, including placement of the videos on product pages to drive conversion rates and build trust in the brand.  The first time I saw what was doing, I was blown away.  Check out their video contest page. It’s hard to see something like this and not imagine many more retailers jumping onto this bandwagon in the near future.

Last, when considering video as part of your email acquisition strategy, remember the potential of video syndication in many channels beyond YouTube, including on your own site.  Traffic on your site is likely to convert at higher rates than in off-site channels, and you can also leverage video’s attribute as “most shared media” to spread the word about video contests through your customer’s own social networks.

Pinny and I will be presenting at the upcoming Online Marketing Workshop in Scottsdale on May 5 along with Alison Jeske, Director Product Management at  We hope to see you there!

Until next time…

Happy Selling!