CASE STUDY: Best of Denton Drives Customers for Merchants, $50K for Newspaper

Here Matt Coen of Second Street Promotions Lab presents a case study on a reader’s choice poll from the Denton Record-Chronicle that managed to drive customers for merchants and raise $50,000 for the newspaper…


Advertisers were thrilled with the new leads – and new customers – derived from expanded listings and ads on the ballot.

Best of Denton, Readers' Choice Poll


  • $50,000+ in revenue from ballot sponsorships and a print special section
  • Ads on the ballot led to new patients for local chiropractor and dentist
  • More than 140,000 votes cast


The Idea
The Denton Record-Chronicle, a part of A.H. Belo Corporation, is a 9,000 circulation newspaper located in Denton, Texas.

They wanted to continue the 21-year existence of the annual Best of Denton ballot by broadening its appeal and reach. The resulting print publication serves as a guide to readers’ favorite businesses, and the results are also posted online and distributed during the annual Arts & Jazz Festival, which attracts 100,000+ visitors each year.

The Execution
The paper promoted the Best of Denton ballot with print house ads in newspaper, web ads on their website, Facebook ads, Facebook posts on their Page, and by encouraging employees to promote the ballot in emails to their contacts, regardless of what department they were in.


You can see an example post from their Facebook Page below:


Best of Denton, Facebook


They sold 10 main category sponsorships for the ballot, 57 sub-category sponsorships, 44 expanded listings, and 37 “Vote for Me” print ads. You can see one of the expanded listings below:


Best of Denton

The winners and top  two runners-up were announced in the Best of Denton 2014 special section that ran on Friday, April 18th.

Best of Denton


The Results
The Best of Denton print publication generated more than $37,000 of revenue, in addition to $13,339 from the ballot sponsorships and expanded listings.

Two local businesses shared that their subcategory sponsorship led directly to new customers, making that purchase very well worth it! The Joint, a chiropractic clinic, and a dentist, Dr. Gary Taylor, both received new patients from the subcategory ad that they placed on the ballot.

Over a 30-day period, more than 7,400 unique users cast over 142,000 votes on the 120 categories they made available.


For more information on promotions, contests and more, check out Second Street Promotions Lab at second, and check out the related blogs below:

Generate Revenue With Holiday Promotions

Niche Ballots Can Help You Reach New Advertisers and Audiences

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Matt Coen

Matt Coen is the Co-founder and President of Second Street, the leading provider of online promotions platforms and partner success services for the media industry. Coen also teaches entrepreneurship at Washington University in St. Louis. In 2006, Coen Co-Wrote and Produced the award winning documentary Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore? Coen began his career in media technology at Pulitzer Technologies as Director of New Business and Product Development. Coen is a native of Rhode Island who loves spending time with his family, sports, politics, travel, and serving on a number of community boards.
Click here to view all of Matt's presentations.
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