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Deluxe Mousepad Successfully Incents Teen Girls to Register on an Internet Safety-Oriented Website for the Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council

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Challenge: Communicating a vital internet safety message to teen girls and driving registrations for and traffic to a new website.

Because “if we build it, they will come” seems to apply only to fast-food restaurants and discount retailers, website owners continually wrestle with the challenge of driving both live and virtual audiences to online venues. This struggle for traffic exists whether a website promotes products, services or, as in the case of the Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council (GSSGC), a public service message about Internet safety.

The GSSGC, with the help of some 5,000 dedicated adults, serves more than 15,000 girls between the ages of 5 and 17 in the Riverside-San Bernardino area of southeastern California, providing life skills and education in financial literacy, healthy living, outdoor skills, entrepreneurship, leadership and even science and engineering.

Thanks to a recent Girl Scouts and Microsoft Windows® partnership, girls aged 11 to 17 in southern California and all over the country now have online opportunities to learn life skills as they relate to Internet safety through a new interactive website called LMK, which stands for Let Me Know.

LMK, written primarily by girls, for girls, provides a way for girls to give each other the information they need to understand and safely navigate an online life—the thought being that youth are more receptive to such information when it comes from their peers rather than from parents or other adults. The site, filled with tips, polls and discussions, invites girls everywhere to register and participate by saying, “Go ahead: explore the site, create a profile, and make an impact.” The LMK program also includes a separate website for the parents of Girl Scouts, who more often than not know less about the realities of life online than do their girls.

Whereas Microsoft created and hosts the LMK website, local Girl Scout councils, like the GSSGC, promote it and find unique ways to incent girls to sign up. The GSSGC, already an ePromos customer whose team members have tapped the power of promotional products in the past, turned to a promotional giveaway that would not only incent girls to sign up but, also, drive new traffic to the site. The GSSGC team tells us that, for this promotion, they returned once again to ePromos because our web catalog offers an extensive variety of products—not 1,000 versions of the same-style pen—and consistently high quality products they can count on.

Solution: An ultra-thin, dye-sublimated, full-color SoftTouch® plush mousepad.

For the LMK promotion, the team primarily considered cost, product quality and product size: cost because their chosen product needed to fit within the confines of the LMK grant; size because the product they selected must hold the Council’s four-color-process logo and large LMK message; quality because it must also withstand the rough-and-tumble of a teen girl’s world, whether at the bottom of her book-bag, in her locker, or in her purse. They quickly determined that the best product to meet their criteria would be a Council/LMK-branded mousepad.

After exploring our website and identifying the highest-quality mousepad they could afford, the team called Promotions Specialist Jason Wallace, who managed their order from start to finish. Their choice: the ultra-thin, dye-sublimated, full-color SoftTouch® Plush Mousepad. This 7.5 x 8.5-inch pad, which starts with a white surface onto which colors are permanently dyed, feels as soft as a fresh, ripe peach or your favorite pair of flannel pajamas. On the pad, the team would have imprinted a teen-friendly yet provocative message: “Your friend. Your enemy. Your teacher. Your neighbor. {We R online 2.}” followed by “What are you revealing online? lmk.girlscouts.org has it covered.”

Result: Mousepads prove a sound investment, incenting signups in live and virtual campaigns.

After the pads arrived, the team launched an e-mail campaign offering girls a free mousepad in exchange for signing up on the LMK site. To keep the campaign fresh, the team uses an on-again-off-again approach, sending e-mails for a few weeks and then none at all. Local troop leaders also got involved with helping the girls signup to receive their mouse pads by forming a line in front of a computer where they could sign up. The Council team will also promote both their organization and the LMK site during an upcoming State women’s conference, where more than 11,000 women and girls are expected. The team will bring several computers to the event so girls can sign up immediately and receive their free mousepads.

The team reports that the mousepads were a great program investment, incenting girls to sign up, being easy to transport and hand-out, and providing a unique way to distribute information over the ubiquitous paper product, postcard or flyer. They have ordered 2,000 so far—and with continued program success, could use them all up before the end of September!

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Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council Mouse Pads Internet Safety Campaign (PDF Version).

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