Offering 300,000 Miles Sweepstakes That Tips Players to Other Services

The month-long promotion American Airlines is running for its loyalty members may just make those members forget the frustrations they encounter when trying to redeem those miles … at least for a bit.

The sweeps, which began May 3, marks American’s largest promotion to date and with the price of airline tickets rising by the day, the thought of possibly winning 300,000 miles is pretty enticing. And the fact that members can enter to win once each day through May 31 makes the promotion even more enticing. The number 300,000 plays off the 30th anniversary celebration of the AAdvantage loyalty program.

American is taking advantage of the hefty prize, as well as return visits, by using the sweepstakes as a gateway to promote other programs and services members may not be as familiar with. Other brands, like Wyndham Hotels also use points to get customers more involved. Wyndham ran an essay contest to find 10 adventurous individuals who would travel twice in the following year and return with advice the hotel chain can put to good use. The ten winners were each given 200,000 points to use to take the vacations.

To enter the sweepstakes, players must first be members of the AAdvantage eShopping mall member program, and if not, they must register to become members thereby exposing hundreds of partner deals to newcomers. Once enrolled, repeat players must go to the promotional shopping site once a day to enter again. At the site, retailers are featured with descriptions of how many miles per dollar members can earn by shopping there, from one mile for every dollar spend at Wal-Mart to three miles per dollar at Staples and eight miles per dollar on Groupon.

Playing the sweepstakes also exposes members to the AAdvantage eShopping SM Toolbar: Directions are provided for people to follow links and instructions on a web page to download the Toolbar, if it is not already installed on their computer. And if the player performs at least one search through the Toolbar or makes one purchase through the Toolbar with a participating retailer during the promotion period, they will receive one additional sweepstakes entry.

Emails to the millions of AAdvantage members were sent to explain and promote the sweepstakes administered by ePrize.

The AAdvantage program, established in 1981, has about 62 million members and has been on a growth path for years. American frequently uses promotion marketing to increase membership. In one example, American ran a contest to build Hispanic loyalty with partner Eurosport, a U.S. soccer-specialty retailer, offering a chance to win a trip for two to Madrid. And under another program, it plugged its international service from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport with chances to win free airfare to anywhere in the world.