While our business has enjoyed a fairly consistent amount of success over the last few years, we are always looking for new opportunities to grow.
In January, our very own Spencer Haws did a podcast interview with Travis Ketchum who is the founder of Contest Domination – a contest management tool.
He described how small businesses could generate enormous amounts of new leads and sales by running effective contests, and provided actual examples of how it had worked for other businesses.
This interview was an “aha” moment for us.
Why hadn’t we ever tried this with our business?
We decided to take a run at our first contest and we were very pleased with the results. I want to share some of the key principles we followed and show how this plan might work well for your business too.
1. Avoid Generic Giveaways
One of the first pieces of advice we heard in our interview with Travis was to avoid the trap of doing a generic giveaway.
How many times have you seen an advertisement to enter to win a free iPad or a free big screen TV?
These types of giveaways appeal to almost everyone; who wouldn’t want a free iPad?
At first, having a contest with wide appeal seems like a great idea. After all, you’ll cast a wider net and probably get more entries since almost everyone wants what you’re giving away.
The problem with being too general with your giveaway is that the point of the contest is to generate leads and sales.
What do we know about people who enter to win an iPad?
They want an iPad.
So if you’re a cosmetic dentistry practice and you’re giving away an iPad, you might get 3,000 entries. But how many of those 3,000 entries are leads that might turn into revenue for your dental services?
Perhaps there are a few people coveting a free iPad that are also looking for teeth whitening, but there is certainly no direct connection between the two.
It’s quite possible that you could end up with 3,000 contest entrants and zero solid leads.
What if, on the other hand, the cosmetic dentist decides to give away something like free professional teeth whitening instead of an iPad?
What do we know about people who enter to win professional teeth whitening?
They want professional teeth whitening.
Since professional teeth whitening is a service the dentist offers, he can feel confident that almost everyone who enters the contest wants what he sells.
This is huge!
More than likely, a teeth whitening giveaway won’t be as popular as an iPad giveaway. Maybe instead of 3,000 entries to the iPad giveaway, they end up with 150 for teeth whitening.
Remember, the whole point of doing this is to generate leads and ultimately sales. So in terms of leads, give a cosmetic dentist the choice of a list of 3,000 people who like iPads and 150 people who want teeth whitening and see which one he takes.
We sell a keyword research software, Long Tail Pro, so it seemed obvious that giving away a copy of our own software would fit the bill. However, we still wanted to brainstorm to think about a unique spin we could put on it so it would be even more appealing to our subscribers and maybe even current customers.
2. Everyone Is A Winner!
Once you’ve run a contest that is targeted at your ideal customer, it’s important to make everyone feel like a winner. Nobody wants to walk away empty-handed, right?
Travis shared a case study with us about a small company that sells ribbon printers. As the name suggests, these are the types of printers you need to print on ribbons that you might give away for first place at the county fair pie contest.
So needless to say this is a very niche product.
In their case, they ran a contest giving away a ribbon printer. While they only had 310 entries into the contest, what did we learn about these 310 people from our earlier example?
(Say it with me.)
They want a ribbon printer.
At the conclusion of the contest, they did something very important to turn their new leads into paying customers. They made sure that everyone was a winner by offering a truly limited time sale on that same ribbon printer they had entered to win.
In their case, they made the discount available for 72 hours and generated about $6,000 in new sales.
Because of their success, they ended up running the same giveaway two more times.
Each time, they generated a similar number of sales by offering a “everyone wins” discount to those who had entered the contest but didn’t win. Besides the immediate revenue from these 72 hour discounts, they’ve also generated other sales from leads that they acquired from the contest.
In total, they generated about $35,000 in revenue from about 1,300 contest entrants.
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: How To Leverage Contests To Generate Thousands Of Qualified Leads
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