May '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Page 34 of 122

20 1 4 M ay Printwear | 31 3 0 | Printwear M ay 20 1 4 collection of icons on the sponsor websites throughout that time window, generat- ing 33,616 total Embroidery Mall visits, more than 8,000 unique visitors and more than one million server hits. That's a lot of exposure, especially considering this was 1998! We were on dialup back then! The Embroidery Mall followed the scav- enger hunt with more unique mystery events over the years, including Murder at The Mall, a whodunit challenge where play- ers visited sponsoring websites to find clues and try to solve the crime. The more these events were implemented, the more the Em- broidery Mall grew. In addition, the spon- soring sites benefited from huge amounts of traffic, generating new leads and customers. coverage I intend to highlight here. Even with a lack of answers thus far, society need-to- know hasn't lessened in three weeks' time. I am subtly reminded of how that very nature can be tapped into in order to drive traffic to your websites, collect fans and followers on social media, and generate sales and sales leads. Prime examPles In January of 1998, Alan Bird at Universal Design launched The Embroidery Mall, a web- site created for businesses in the embroidery industry to park a virtual storefront leading to their home pages, products and services. In order to drive traffic to the site and generate active users, Bird joined Tom Moore from Strawberry Stitch Company and engineered an online scavenger hunt. This was the first of many successful online mysteries that led to the Embroidery Mall becoming a staple in the online community of embroiderers. The scavenger hunt was simple, yet challenging. Sponsors put up prizes for the winners of the scavenger hunt to try and win––the carrot on a stick––and hid a small but visible icon on a random page within their website. As a result, everyone participating in the hunt would be surfing page after page of each sponsor's site looking for the icon, and no doubt discovering anything and everything about that company's products and services along the way. The hunt was given a two-week time period, ending at midnight January 30. Apparel decorators, vendors, machine technicians and more spent hours on end hunting down a Internet Strategies | | | | continued on page 32 PW_MAY14.indd 30 4/17/14 9:56 AM

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