Don’t want a successful contest? Do these things.
- Procrastinate on your planning.
You should create a year-long promotional calendar so you can begin planning your contests for your sales and promotional teams. Your calendar should be centered around holidays, special events in your community, special sections or programming that you promote each year. By building a plan, your team will be better suited to target the right advertisers and drive ROI from contests. Bottom line: scrambling at the last minute to sell and build contests stresses both you and your team.
- Have 15 fields on your registration form.
Having an overwhelming number of fields on a registration or entry form for your contest will discourage people from entering. In order to maximize participation, make sure you only include fields that you will really use.
- Run the entire contest by yourself.
In order to be most successful with contests, create a small committee comprised of individuals from your digital sales team, promotions/marketing department and web team. Contest meetings should include a brainstorm of possible contest themes, advertisers to target, parameters of contest, plus, you get the benefit of planning ahead (see #1).
- Don’t include email opt-ins.
Growing email databases for yourself and your advertisers is a fantastic benefit of running contests. Be sure to include email opt-ins for all your programs and initiatives: deals stores, newsletters, and more. Don’t forget to include an opt-in for your advertisers so they can market to contest participants to turn them into customers.
- Assume that if you build it, they will come.
Make sure that you are heavily promoting your contest through all vehicles at your disposal. This includes traditional media (on-air or print), online banner ads, social media and email marketing. Consider having a link to all your current contests from your site’s main navigation.
- Don’t follow up with players post-contest.
After your contest ends, make sure to send a follow-up email to your participants to thank them for playing and let them know who won. This is a fantastic opportunity to include a message from your sponsors as well.
What steps have you taken to ensure you are running a successful contest?