Everyone talks about the “crash” kids experience after the presents have been opened, but not many of us adults talk about the post-Holiday blues we experience. Let’s be honest…after you’ve taken down the decorations and scooped all the best sales, it gets boring pretty fast. So why not perk everyone up with a contest or 2!!
More than half of all Americans participated in a sweepstakes in the past year (FTC, 2009).
Apparently we like contests, and that doesn’t just apply to the US! But we also know that unscrupulous marketers have used contests to con people out of their personal information − and sometimes their cash! So let’s get the basic rules out of the way NOW! Fortunately, they happen to be email marketing best practices anyway, for example:
- Identify your business clearly and provide your contact information.
- Be crystal clear about the contest rules, terms and conditions
- Offer customers an obvious and easy way to stop further solicitation (opt out).
- No “pay to play”, in other words, no one has to purchase anything to participate.
Now let’s start brainstorming! First of all, what do you want to achieve with your contest? Surely more than just list building, though that’s part of it for sure! Maybe you need to get your audiences primed for a new product launch? Or you’d like to find out how customers are using one of your products to stimulate more interest (and success stories!). Contests will perform for you IF you’re clear about your goals and follow through every step of the way.
Have your goals clearly in your mind? Good, now what’s the perfect theme, prize, and channels for your business and your high-value customers and prospects? Let’s brainstorm! We know everyone has their own processes, so use this as a “cocktail napkin” plan only. After all, YOU know best how to design the perfect contest for your business!
- Establish a clear goal for the contest and list what you hope to achieve.
- Decide which channels you’d like to use for your contest promotion (and how).
- Create a draft plan, with action steps, communications, timelines, and follow up.
- Identify the ideal audience(s) for your contest and create an audience “profile”.
- Create your target segment lists and message (s).
- Check your message headers, etc. against the “SPAM” list.
- Test your messages and groups with GetResponse Split Testing.
- Set up, schedule, and roll it out!
Of course, cool graphics and videos, promotion on social media sites, and teaser emails are all a “must”, but we’ll go into that in our next installment. For now, let us know about your favorite contests, success stories, or even disasters (what to avoid!). Any contest topics you’d prefer to hear about? Finally, and most importantly, give your poor subscribers and prospects out there a bit of fun…and perhaps a nice gift to cheer them up! They deserve it − and it could cure your post-Holiday sales slump!