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How to Make Money Running Contests And Giveaways

Chapter 28 by Nicole Martins Ferreira

Contests and giveaways are one of the best marketing ideas if you’re looking to build up your email list, social following or your store’s brand presence. According to Hubspot, approximately 33% of contest entrants agree to receive information from brands allowing you to remarket to those customers to land the sale. The best time to host a contest are June and November with the best campaigns lasting between 25 and 60 days.

Example: Showcase’s online store features a contest and giveaways page that customers and followers can enter. For most of the giveaways, customers are required to follow/like the brand’s page, invite friends, or retweet. The contest ends when the brand’s social goals which are clearly defined on the website are reached such as 10,000 likes. In return for winning the contest, participants have a chance of winning products from specific flyers, collections or as listed on their page.


Giveaway Contest Ideas and Tips:

Advertise your contest. According to Hubspot, those who used paid advertising for their contest received 10 times the entrants. This can be beneficial if you’re looking to grow your grow your email list or social following as you can continue to remarket to them after the contest has ended.

If posting the contest on social media start the post with ‘GIVEAWAY ALERT:’ or ‘CONTEST ALERT:’ in all capital letters. It captures attention as people scroll and it’s proven for boosting social engagement.

Offer a runner-up prize. The winner of the contest wins the big prize you’re promoting. However, let everyone who entered win something as well. It can be as simple as a special discount for entering the contest or a gift card for a small amount that can only be used on your store. It could even be a free plus shipping product. The runner-up prize when done correctly can drasticly boost your store’s sales. When sending the email for the runner up prize make sure you have a captivating subject line like ‘(Brand Name) Contest Winner’ or ‘Congrats! You’ve won the (Brand Name) Contest!’

Run your contest on your website. Some choose to run their contest on social media. However, if you host the contest on your website then you’ll be able to retarget them with products from your store. Contests help drive traffic and engagement. You can use tools that’ll help increase your social media following so that your contest still helps you achieve social goals. However, the contest details and entry form should always be exclusively on your store’s website. Use social media to drive traffic to the landing page though. Add your Contest page to the top navigation of your website for maximum views.

Make your contest viral. Many contest tools allow you to give entrants entry points for following you on social media. While getting new followers is great, you also want to expand the reach of your contest without investing money. Look for contest tools that also allow you to refer friends for points. By getting your customers to refer their friends to the contest, they’ll likely share it with those who have similar interests as them.

Pick the right prize. Giving away a free $20 bracelet won’t be as effective as giving away a gift basket of your best selling products. It might be a good idea to do one medium sized prize and a couple of small prizes to make people feel like they have a chance of winning. Give a prize that’s relevant to your brand, products and niche. Sell the prize as well as you’d sell the product. After all, it is the product.

Create urgency on your contest page. You can add a countdown timer for the end date of the contest. If you add a countdown timer make sure that it’s only used in the final seven days. If it shows that a person has 3 weeks, it doesn’t create urgency.

Promote your contest. Send an email out to your list and former customers. Share the contest on all your social media accounts. If you have a budget, spend it on ads. Use the contest tool to improve your audience reach. Share your contest on giveaway sites by searching ‘giveaways + [country].’ Fill out the forms for the most popular countries your key target audience is in.

Look into the contest and giveaway laws for each country your contest runs in. For example, some states or provinces might need to be excluded from the contest. Make the contest eligibility clear on the contest page. Citizens of those areas will likely be used to the exclusion.

If the contest campaign is successful, run another one using the list you’ve used before in a few months. With each contest, you’ll likely notice that your audience size gets bigger with each contest. Especially if you continue marketing to your growing list.

Contest and Giveaways Tools:

ViralSweep is a great contest, sweepstakes and giveaways app. By running contests with this app you can grow your email list and social media following which can lead to increased sales over the long-term. The app allows you to collect emails, offer points for social engagement such as comments, likes, website visits and more. If you have a retargeting ad running with the website visits option, you can immediately remarket to the contest entrants before the contest ends which could potentially grow your sales. When it comes to choosing a winner all it takes is a simple one-click. ViralSweep also includes a template for rules so that you can ensure that your guidelines are legal.

Rafflecopter offers the full package when it comes to running contests. Their Premium package offers email integration for top email providers, social media entries, entries for friend referrals, analytics, unlimited giveaways and more. They have a free version of their tool with limited features which is perfect for those starting out.

Gleam is a great contest tool that allows you to set up contests quickly. The Shopify app integrates with several social networks, Disqus comments, and includes viral share. You’ll also be able to build your email list.

Contest and Giveaway Resource:

25 Creative Facebook Contest Ideas You Can Use Today lists some quirky contest ideas you can use for inspiration for your contest. From taking photos using your brand’s products to caption contests, this list covers a wide range of contest ideas. Keep in mind that the easier it is to enter the contest, the more entrants you’ll likely get. Ultimately, you need to decide what your contest goal is to determine what type of contest you should run.

next: Chapter 29

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