Fourth of July booming for online lobster retailer

A Fourth of July sweepstakes offering free Maine lobster rolls and other fresh seafood to winners is one way seafood retailers are capitalizing on Independence day to increase sales.

More than 9,000 people entered Chicago, Ill.-based Lobster Gram’s “4th of July Sweepstakes” in which people could enter to win three “summer picnic packages” valued at USD 200 (EUR 180) each. The packages included Maine lobster rolls, Maine lobster claws, Alaskan king crab legs, snow crab claws and jumbo shrimp.

The winners’ names were drawn on 29 June so they could receive their fresh seafood in time for the holiday.

“We have been offering sweepstakes for holidays such as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and they have gone so well that we decided to keep doing this for every holiday,” Betsy Petrovic, e-commerce manager for Lobster Gram, told SeafoodSource.

Lobster Gram is active on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram and by spreading the news about the company’s 4th of July sweepstakes online and via word-of-mouth, email and the company’s web site, Petrovic said entries soared.
“After we share our sweepstakes on email and social media, our customers, as well as people who normally enter sweepstakes, will re-share it. It creates great viral marketing and brand awareness,” she said.

As a result of the cost-effective marketing methods, Lobster Gram received “tens of thousands” of visits to the site during the promotion, Petrovic said.

“It’s another way to get that visibility from people who wouldn’t have seen us otherwise,” she said.

Sweepstakes are a big part of Lobster Gram’s marketing strategy, Petrovic said. Around 3,000 people entered its Mother’s Day sweepstakes and more than 5,500 entered its “Big Daddy Lobster” Father’s Day sweepstakes.

“We will keep doing them for all the big holidays. People who wouldn’t typically try you get a chance to try you. It helps us with branding and getting the word out,” Petrovic said.

Lobster Gram’s other successful promotions for the Fourth of July include free shipping on orders over USD 150 (EUR 135.27) and a duo of three-pound Maine lobsters for USD 115 (EUR 103.71), a USD 30 (EUR 27.05) discount.

The free shipping promotion, which is rarely offered, is very popular for the Fourth of July because, “shipping is pretty high when you are shipping a frozen or live product,” Petrovic said.

The company ships live lobster from its 18,000-square-feet warehouse in Biddeford, Maine. Lobster Gram also operates a warehouse and small retail shop in Chicago. It contracts directly with commercial fishermen.

In addition to lobster and crab, Lobster Gram sells steaks, appetizers and desserts.


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