Who doesn’t like getting a monthly gift in the mail? Whether it is Birchbox (great cosmetics) or Harry’s razors (clean shave), it feels like Christmas in July.
Now the marketers at Atlantic Lottery Corp. (ALC) are piloting their own monthly instant ticket subscription service.
“The motivation was squarely around the ongoing conversation in our group and within the company overall about making the player experience the best it can be,” said Michael Sandalis, Manager, Customer Innovation, ALC. “We have heard that players want to interact with us. The idea for a home delivery option for tickets was brought to us by a employee.”
Amanda Nichols, Manager, Digital Instants, ALC, wanted to know “why don’t we deliver Scratch ‘N Win tickets to players’ homes?” This set off a conversation about the awesome subscription services available.
“We got to thinking ‘why not lottery?’ So we put together a quick visualization (pretty standard in the early stage we call the Discover phase) and got it out to our panel right away. The response was very positive so at that point we just couldn’t turn back which is a pretty great feeling,” said Sandalis. “Around that time, we were learning about an innovation process called Sprint (pioneered by Google Ventures). We decided to run a Sprint on our subscription idea to test the concept. We ran it with Market Gravity and it was even profiled on the Google Ventures site. This process is great as it involves a huge cross-section of the company right off the bat so everyone is involved and can participate. When it came time to launch the subscription website, we had RG, Finance, UX, Risk, the Instant Team, as well as many others, drop in over the course of the week to help us get the site up right away.”
Originally, the scratcher subscription product was called Winbox but it evolved to Winvelope as a project name (which to date has stuck).
For the first test, ALC set the package price between $20-$40. “It has now expanded to a wider price range and offers players the option to make up their own package based on game preference and price,” said Sandalis.
Players can purchase curated collections of their favorite games or assemble their own “signature bundle” at www.winvelope.ca. The subscriptions are shipped to the customer’s door every month. Examples of curated collections include “Gifts Galore” ($70-seven tickets), “Set for the Month” ($40-10 tickets and “Sparkle & Shine” ($35-3 tickets).
After ALC completed a two-month pilot cycle, the lottery brought in Winvelope customers who did not subscribe to the pilot and asked them why not. “This allowed us to build out a really great customer journey and translated into a concrete roadmap for how we then built out the offering,” said Sandalis.
The lottery had a 12% conversion rate among those who hit the site. They had to place a virtual sold out sign on the site during the first few hours. Sandalis reported “75% of those who hit this site said they would try Winvelope and 58% who tried it wanted to keep it going. So that gave us a good indication that people would actually pay for the service and that those who did not subscribe right away still intended to try it. Keep in mind we built the site in a day and half. The next version is a great example of iterative improvements; it is beautiful.”
ALC ran a pilot with its employees before going out to the public to iron out operations and test the website functionality.
“Next we will launch a wider pilot this spring and test things out a little more. Again if it warrants, we will keep it going,” said Sandalis.
In terms of promoting Winvelope, ALC will focus on optimizing owned channels and media. “For the time being, it’s all about incremental and iterative steps as opposed to the big launch where players and organizational expectations can influence the process,” said Sandalis.
ALC’s Scratch N’ Win products do appeal to its Millennial players who are frequent subscribers to goods and services. Sandalis believes “… that experience (slick website, convenience and personalization) has the potential to make lottery more relevant to them. Having said that, we expect this offering will have wide appeal to several different age demographics.”