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Marketing folk love to use a bit of jargon in our everyday lives and the term ‘Easter egg’ is just another of them.

Nope, you guessed it right, it’s not a reference to a chocolatey treat we get for completing the monthly marketing reports (but it should be 😉)

In marketing speak, an Easter egg is a hidden piece of fun functionality or an in-joke that a brand may include in their website. They’re not just restricted to Easter time.

Google are probably one of the best examples of hiding viral Easter eggs across their site. I’m sure you’ve all tried one of the below and if you haven’t, now is your chance.

🔎 Search the following on Google:

“Google in 1998”

“Askew”

“Do a barrel roll”

The result you’ll get is a great example of a marketing Easter egg.

But why do brands use them?

Screenshot Askew On Google Search

The three main reasons brands use marketing easter eggs in their content strategy.

1. They make your brand feel more human. This is especially true for larger corporate brands that can sometimes feel like faceless robots. As a consumer, it makes you remember that there are in fact humans making these websites and digital content pieces happen. This in turn can help consumers connect with your brand.

2. The Easter egg itself can go viral. We all know viral content is a goal for almost every content marketing strategist out there. By creating something fun that makes someone want to tell their friends about it, you’re increasing your chances of your content being viral and getting those all-important free social shares.

3. They can increase website traffic. Through increased word of mouth referrals to ‘check out’ your site’s Easter egg you’ll see increased website traffic which can often result in sales (even if this isn’t the primary objective of the Easter egg).

 

Want to know more about how you can use marketing Easter eggs in your ecommerce marketing strategy?

 

There are some really easy ways to improve your content marketing strategy and include Easter eggs in your online store.

The most important thing before you start developing your ideas for your next Easter egg campaign is to make sure that you really know your customers. This is essential, because if your in-joke remains just that, an in-joke that your customers don’t understand, then it’s going to be a huge flop.

Once you’ve sussed out what turns your customers on and into your biggest fans you’re ready.

In the below example, European retailer HEMA included a complex animation on this page triggered by clicking a product image on the top row of the page.

HEMA Easter Egg GIF

3 easy ways to use marketing easter eggs in your ecommerce brand’s marketing strategy. 

1. Send your customers on a digital easter egg hunt.

Encourage your customers to really explore your website by hiding something/s that they need to find across multiple pages in your website. Once they find it this could provide them the opportunity to enter a giveaway or sweepstake. Entry by email address. This a two-fold win. Firstly, you get to grow your email marketing database by making it compulsory to sign up to email in order to enter your sweepstake*. Secondly, you encourage your most engaged customers to really discover your website, see new products they may want to buy.

Fun things you could hide include:

  • Hidden images in product image galleries
  • Spoof products that customers can find
  • Pop-up animations on specific product pages
  • Promotional codes on a specific-page pop-up.

2. Reward site browsing

Provide customers who have clicked on multiple products with a promotional pop-up that they aren’t expecting. This should be humorous in tone and not just same-old sales speak. Maybe it could include a GIF or a meme that’s relevant to your audience. This should help overcome choice paralysis (maybe they’ll buy everything in their cart) and help increase AOV (average order value).

3. Don’t have a website?

You should, but…

You can harness the power of temporary Facebook & Instagram stories to encourage your followers who are online at the right time and place to spot your ‘easter eggs’ and DM you when they find them. Or team up with like-minded brands and encourage more people to follow your content from similar accounts to spot Easter eggs planted across multiple branded accounts.

However you use marketing Easter eggs in your strategy they should always aim to do three things:

  1. Achieve something for your brand other than just ‘fun’ (e.g. email sign ups, drive sales, increase engagement).
  2. Encourage virality.
  3. Appeal to your customers directly, using humour that resonates with them (not just with yourselves).

*Just don’t forget to make sure you’re compliant with sweepstake legislation in your local state!