DuckDuckGo Sponsorship By The Numbers

11/06/10

The PosterBurner Blog normally covers image enhancement techniques and ideas for cool poster prints. In this post we are changing it up. We will break down a recent sponsorship campaign we did with the search engine DuckDuckGo. Hopefully we can provide some useful information if you are considering sponsorships to promote your business and do not have any previous sponsorship experience.

PosterBurner.com is a site where you can upload any picture and turn it into a poster. DuckDuckGo is a search engine, like Google, that allows you to browse privately and efficiently. We have been following the progress of DuckDuckGo through sites like reddit and Hacker News, and when we saw that they were accepting sponsorships, we decided to go for it.

We have tried using sponsorships to drive sales twice before. Both times we had very poor results. The DuckDuckGo sponsorship, however, was a success.

The Numbers

The sponsorship was exclusive and costs us $1000 dollars a week. You can see the sponsorship image and link in the image below.


*Image taken from the blog http://fseek.me which I found on reddit.

In our previous attempts at sponsorship, we pretty much threw our money out there and hoped it would work. The DuckDuckGo sponsorship was different in that we saw more ways to win than just direct sales from the banner advertisement. We thought we could find new customers and generate sales in the following ways:

1. The link on DuckDuckGo would bring quality traffic.

2. Many DuckDuckGo users are also on reddit where we advertise. Seeing our logo on DuckDuckGo could enhance the response to reddit ads.

3. We could write a press release about the sponsorship and release it on PRWeb.

4. With the DuckDuckGo sponsorship, you get added to the historical sponsor page so there's a chance to get traffic even after the sponsorship is long over.

Here's how we fared on each of the angles we thought might work.

1. Direct Link From DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo does not include referrer information in their links. This means that when you click on a link at DuckDuckGo, the site you are going to does not know where you come from. So we had to estimate sales that came directly from DuckDuckGo. This was pretty easy to do. For the last few months, we have averaged one sale a day with no referrer information. During the week of the DuckDuckGo sponsorship, we had 29 sales with no referrer information. It is very likely that 22 of the orders originated from the link on DuckDuckGo.

After discounts, the average sale price would be about $25 dollars. So the direct link generated about $550 in immediate sales.

2. reddit Ad Response Boost

The response to our reddit ads was about 20% better than the previous three weeks. This would total to about $400 in immediate sales.

3. PRWeb Press Release

We did a press release through PRWeb which generated around $350 in immediate sales.

4. Sponsorship Page

We will have to keep track of this in the future but it is a nice little bonus.

Conclusion

We spent $1000 dollars to get $1300 in immediate sales, introduced the quality of our prints to new customers, many of whom will reorder, and showed our support for a cool new search engine.

The lesson we learned from this is that a sponsorship can work, but it needs to have some strategy behind it. If the sponsorship can overlap with some marketing you are already doing and give it a boost, it may be worth a try.

Regrets

I wish we could go back and increase our reddit ad spending for the sponsorship week. This could have really maximized the return on investment.

You can check out DuckDuckGo here.

If you ever need a custom poster printed, visit PosterBurner.com. We offer excellent quality prints, great customer service, and a full refund if you're not satisfied with your Print.

If you're looking for high end canvas printing, check out our canvas site at RoyalCanvas.com.