Build Hot Promotions with Wildfire

Campaigns are a powerful tool for businesses to promote themselves, but they can be difficult to execute efficiently and smoothly. Combining the power of social media and campaigns has proven to be a very successful way of promotion—if done correctly. It can be quite difficult, however, to execute successful campaigns, especially for those less experienced with them.

Wildfire seeks to change the difficulty involved in launching and running successful social media marketing campaigns, making it easy for almost anyone to jump right in and successfully execute a quality promotion using today’s social media outlets.

I’ll take a look at Wildfire today and see what they’re bringing to the table of marketing.

Overview

Wildfire is used by some really big name companies around the world, as shown on their home page. Right away, this is a pretty good testament to the quality and capabilities provided by Wildfire.

Wildfire Home

Wildfire Home

The idea is, Wildfire provides you with the tools to successfully create, launch and manage campaigns such as sweepstakes, contests, giveaways, etc. to social networking communities like Facebook and Twitter. The nature of these social networks, in combination with the tools provided by Wildfire, gives you the ability to get your message out to massive numbers of people.

How It Works

How It Works

Wildfireapp.com Interface

One of the aspects of web apps I enjoy evaluating is the design and interface quality of their home page, as I feel it generally gives us a good indication as to what lies within. Wildfire has done their presenting website the right way, including the right information and presenting it in such a way that it is easy to navigate, read and sign up once you’re ready. Hopefully the quality of their main site is also reflected in their internal web app.

Pricing

Wildfire charges on a per campaign basis, which may or may not be a good fit for you. They state right away, however, that they’ve made pricing as flexible as possible—and they have.

Pricing

Pricing

Most small businesses, bloggers, etc. will only need per campaign pricing, but if you’re running on a larger scale with frequent campaigns, you might want to setup a subscription plan. As Wildfire stated, they’re flexible; they not only offer white label pricing but subscription plans to fit your needs. You’ll need to contact them, but that’s not a bad thing. It gives them an opportunity to help you evaluate your needs and ensure that you’re getting the plan you actually need.

As far as the predefined per campaign pricing, I think it’s quite affordable and most likely a very good deal for the tools you’ll have available. We’ll have to take another look at the pricing after evaluating the internal web app capabilities and features though.

Sign Up

Sign up is quick and easy, taking less than a few seconds. Once you’ve signed up, you’re taken directly to your account to manage your campaigns—no email verification, no other registration steps, just get in and get going.

Sign Up

Sign Up

Using Wildfire

Upon sign up, you’re first brought to your Manage Campaigns page so you can get started right away. A welcome and getting started message is displayed the first time to help walk you through the steps of successfully creating quality campaigns.

Manage Campaigns

Manage Campaigns

Finding Help

One of the first things I noticed, which I want to point out, is the availability of help and resources. Building campaigns can be confusing to some and using web apps (especially for those less internet savvy) can be a bit daunting; Wildfire has made it very easy to find help quickly.

Finding Help

Finding Help

Creating Campaigns

Creating campaigns is quite simple and straight forward. Click the Create Campaign button near the top right of the page on the Manage Campaigns page and select your desired campaign format in the popup overlay. I’ve chosen Sweepstakes.

Create A Campaign

Create A Campaign

You’ll notice Wildfire includes useful hints throughout the internal web app, making it easy to find help anytime you might need it. You can hide the hints if they annoy you too.

Campaign Details

Next, you’ll enter the details of your campaign as necessary. If you get to a point where you aren’t sure what to do, use the useful hints. If it’s hidden, click “Show Hint” near the top right of the page.

Create Sweepstakes Campaign

Create Sweepstakes Campaign

If you’ve signed up for Premium or White Label plans, you’ll be able to customize campaign streams for Facebook and Twitter. If you have more than one prize, you’re also able to add additional prizes. There are a few additional features available to specify the anticipated retail value of the grand prize, if it is a group prize or the prize category.

Campaign Timeline

Next, you’ll select your campaign plan type (Basic, Standard, etc.) and its start, end and offline dates. The basic campaign plan is $5 per campaign plus $0.99 per day. I’ve set the campaign to run for seven days, which will cost $11.93.

Campaign Timeline

Campaign Timeline

Entry Form

Next, you’ll customize your campaign entry form by dragging and dropping form fields where you would like them to appear and editing any default text within the fields. You’ll also be able to customize the campaign age and country eligibility.

Customize Entry Form

Customize Entry Form

Banners

In the next step, you’re able to upload custom banners (for headers, blocks and feeds) or create a basic one with Wildfire’s basic banner creator. If you run a campaign at a higher level, you’re also able to customize the layout and design of your campaign.

Customize Banners

Customize Banners

Campaign Rules

You’ll enter the campaign rules next, if you have any. There are laws governing sweepstakes and contests though so if you’re not familiar with those, Wildfire has offered assistance in this area by contacting their sales team.

Campaign Rules

Campaign Rules

Campaign Publishing

Once you’re done entering the details of your campaign, you’ll move on to the publishing step. As you can see below, Wildfire is informing me that I have incomplete information that I need to enter before publishing. This is great to see as it will prevent many people from accidentally publishing campaigns that are missing vital information.

Publishing Your Campaign

Publishing Your Campaign

Once you’ve paid for your campaign (and entered all necessary information), you’re able to publish to Facebook and Twitter, provide a widget on your website or create a microsite for purposes like newsletters. These methods of publishing can be customized (design) and monitored. You’ll get data and analytics to keep an eye on the performance and success of your campaign as well.

Some features such as data and analytics are only available to certain level campaign plans. Be sure to check out the pricing page to make sure you get the features you need.

Interface and Features

Walking through the campaign creation process, we can easily see how great the usability of Wildfire’s app is. Finding help is never more than a click away and helpful hints are available on essentially every page. Entering information is fast and easy, app and site navigation is intuitive and simple. Accomplishing your goal of creating successful campaigns is made easy and much less time consuming than doing this on your own.

I would definitely like to see other social media platforms available as Facebook and Twitter seems pretty limited, but they are the major ones. Other features will depend on the level of campaign chosen, but, for the most part, Wildfire includes a great selection of features and customizability even at the lowest level campaign.

Edit: One last quick note I wanted to make was that, unlike many other services, Wildfire makes it easy to delete your account. In my opinion that is how web apps should be; no hiding the “cancel my account” links or making it difficult. It should only take a click or two. I also think it shows confidence when it’s out in the open, such as Wildfire’s; they know people want to use their service.

Final Thoughts

While this review doesn’t cover every aspect of Wildfire’s internal campaign creation app, it’s safe to say that Wildfire is hot stuff. Although people can side step the cost of campaign creation by doing the work themselves, I think Wildfire is priced so affordably that you would save more money using them to create and execute your campaign.

With a well designed app and website interface, strong collection of features and capabilities, and great pricing options—I think Wildfire deserves a 10/10 on this review. No app or service is perfect by an means, but apps like Wildfire are leaders in their market for a reason.


Summary

Wildfire Promotion Builder allows companies both big and small to easily integrate branded interactive promotions like sweepstakes, contests and giveaways with the viral features of the social web to create engaging campaigns that spread like wildfire.

  • Wildfire  | 
  • $5.99 - $254.99+ / White Label and Subscription Options Available  | 
10
  • http://crispytech.com Saad Bassi

    I don’t know how you come to know these exciting and new apps.:(

  • Sid

    You fail to mention that the cheapest version doesn’t allow you to export your own data to an excel file.

    Really?? I PAY to have people sign up for a contest and can’t even export it for an email campaign?

    And NO analytics unless you sign up for the $250 campaign.

    10 out of 10 eh – may be you got too excited.

    • http://Web.AppStorm.net Jarel Remick

      I did state that the review doesn’t cover every aspect of their service/app, so I didn’t really fail to mention the lack of exporting capability—I just chose not to. That’s really a relatively minor feature, just depending on what your needs are.

      The lack of analytics at lower price plans is a bit disappointing but definitely not a deal breaker. It’s important to keep in mind that not everything on the web can be free; this is just one of those features you’ll have to pay for if you really need it. I do think a price plan between Standard and Premium which includes analytics might be a good idea though.

  • http://anchorpointoutdoors.com Chip

    I’m with Sid on this one. Wildfire can be roughly compared with Campaign Monitor and the price-to-benefit w/ Wildfire is ridiculous. I went the extra step and called Wildfire regarding their “White Label” level: $5,000 gets the Wildfire ads out of your campaign and for $15,000 they’ll build your campaign for you.

    I’ll give them a 10 on their site – it’s pretty – but a deeper look into the actual service is ugly.

    • http://wildfireapp.com Maya

      Hey Chip,
      I’d hesitate to compare Wildfire with Campaign Monitor, which is a email marketing program. What Wildfire does is provide a platform for people to create dynamic, well designed, functional interactive promotions that run in several channels including Facebook, Twitter, and microsites. Users can choose amongst a wide variety of campaign types and set up their promotions with a huge degree of freedom in terms of administration, timelines, and other varying functionalities. The white label option provides a lot more features than just getting ads out of a campaign– companies have the ability to co-brand the sponsorships, mandate “Likes” for participation in the campaigns, create custom newsfeed streams, and a couple other items. Its not a price point for everyone, surely, but those who do sign up are usually really stoked on it.

      Anyway, we appreciate that you took a deeper look into the service, but sometimes its even more telling to give it a trial run. Did you know you could create and preview fully functional promotions as they would appear in all channels, without having to pay anything? You should check it out!

      Cheers!
      Maya

      • Richard Miller

        Take a look at Ad2action.com all the tools of both of these and much more. A more robust platform and more affordable. I have used it for several campaigns and several business models. Works VERY well!

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  • YoYo

    Wow, the whitelabel pricing is bloody ridiculous. It would be much cheaper to hire a freelance programmer and designer. As for the cheaper packages, you could literally just do it yourself (the benefits are not that special). I suppose it saves time or helps people like my old man who has problems navigating through GMAIL or using the new TV remote control.

  • http://twitter.com/webbroi Casey

    I like the review and am in the process of setting up a handful of campaigns for some clients. I am still trying to figure out how necessary Wildfire is if you are doing relatively basic campaigns though. They don’t help spread your ad and like everybody mentioned above, you really have to be ready to spend some good money to get some of their better features.

    All in all, they are definitely worth several test runs. I hope it goes well.

  • http://www.matixu.com Nathan

    Looking for a cheaper alternative to wildfireapp. I also checked the white label and at $5K per campaign over a 12 month period the product just doesn’t warrant the cost. A custom dev would be cheaper once you start to run a few campaigns over the year.

    Anyone used something better?

  • GK

    If you’re looking for documentation on how to use Wildfire’s whitelabel tools and custom edit CSS for your app, go to http://goo.gl/OkLZ

    These guys offer help with custom CSS for white label WildfireApp. They can teach your agency/team how to white label so you can resell, or they can do it all for you.

  • sticki

    WildfireApp is very expensive. I can see how brands who run nationwide sweepstakes with prizes valued at $50k+ would benefit from it, but for a small local company targeting a tiny population with prizes worth $5k, you’d have to double your budget just to get one up and running.

    Are there any less-expensive alternatives for small local businesses targeting a small population?

  • Lurk

    Been trying to build a promo with this.
    • Designing anything but the standard setup requires a _lot_ of CSS tweaking
    • Does not support other languages than English – ie lots of standard texts can’t be translated

  • http://www.beamondcreative.com/ Sam Beamond

    I’d like to see examples of live campaigns at different levels. The examples on their site appear to be all white label so obviously will look really nice. I also need to know more about the auto opt-in to their email piece for lower level campaigns. Does the person signing up have the chance to opt out when they enter?

  • http://www.beamondcreative.com/ Sam Beamond

    BTW. there’s a few more options available here for those looking for an alternative:

    http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/facebook-promotions-what-you-need-to-know/

  • Jesse

    Yeah, the dissenters here are right. I got all excited about Wildfireapp, and then you get down to the details and you find it’s a huge rip off. The ONE thing that any business is going to need is that, in order to participate in your sweepstakes, the contestant needs to LIKE your page. What is the point otherwise? To give valuable prizes to random people?

    The whole reason we’re running these promos is to get people to like our pages so that we increase our contact base. And guess what? You have to pay at least 5 grand to get that option, which is completely out of range of 90% of the businesses that are going to need this.

    It’s like telling people you’ll sell them a Sofa for the perfectly reasonable price of $500, then later telling them that they have to pay an extra $5,000 to sit on the thing.

    The link Sam posted above me is a good one.. I’m still looking through the 10 or so alternatives to Wildfireapp they have listed.. Easypromos: facebook.com/easypromos looks like a good starting point for a normal business.

  • Betty

    I am disappointed in the entries we have received. The whole point is to gain new likes and possible new people to your database of people. Most people who fill these out don’t even know they are doing it. They use a software called roboform to fill everything out and enter sweepstakes around the web. I looked at nearly 100 FB profiles of our 1500 entries and more than 80% were filled out by a auto form fill software. Not as good as I thought :(

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