Using Contests to add New Subscribers to Your List

Surely you’ve heard about several strategies to increase the number of subscribers, such as creating an email list, give an incentive to persuade them to subscribe, provide with a great content and expect people to subscribe.

They are all a very good advice, the problem is that everyone is doing it.

Another strategy that has great potential is the creation of contests. Organizing online contests give people the opportunity to:

  • Increase traffic and improve rankings for specific keywords on Google.
  • Develop relationships and gain notoriety in your market niche.

To ensure the success of a contest we must:
Know clearly the objectives of the contest.
The competition should be designed with a clear goal. For example to get ideas, to conduct a survey, design a logo, get followers on Twitter or Facebook, get subscribers, inform about our website or get content.
Know our audience
We must be clear about what will motivate our visitors to participate in the contest. May be the expectation of exchanging opinions and knowledge, demonstrate a particular capacity, share stories or help others.
What will make them come back again and again to our site?
Design the competition considering what your market niche. If your website comes to veterinary, it is clear that organizing an animals photo contest will have more success than organizing a contest about flowers …
Make the prize description or product as attractive and appealing as possible for our subscribers.
An original and striking design, highlighting the most interesting aspects of our promotion in order to achieve the maximum range is a key factor to consider in the first place.
Try shortening the duration of the promotion. If the campaign is extended too much time the potential subscribers may think they have plenty of time to sign up and let it go. In contests with gifts the ideal length could be about 10-15 days, whereas for voting systems we extend it a little more. It is advisable that the remaining time is visible at all times.
Don’t request too much information to the subscriber.
One of the main reasons why users may be deterred to sign is because we ask too much information on entry forms. Normal users usually spend only a couple of minutes of their time filling out the forms.
Advertise the contest
The most common problem when organizing a contest is the lack of participation.
Only a small percentage of those who are aware of the contest will decide to participate. For this reason it is essential to promote the contest.
We can promote it with banners in our blog, send in the newsletter to our subscriber list, advertise in forums, groups, etc.
Although the idea of a competition is to promote our website, we must promote the contest itself for it to be effective. If nobody knows it exists, the contest will be useless.
Announce it on your blog: it is the first step you cannot miss. Meke a post to convince your readers to participate and spread.
Other ways to make it visible: create an icon and put it in your navigation menu for anyone to know without reading your blog post.
Spread it on your community forums: if you participate in forums on your topic post a message announcing your contest, with a link to the post you wrote on your website promoting it.
Send a message to your friends bloggers: be careful not to spam, is not a matter of sending a message to all the bloggers out there, but to those with whom you’ve had some dialogue at some point, you comment on their blogs often or you know them.
Be professional.
When creating a contest we must clearly establish the rules, among other things, they should include:
1 Start and End Date
2 Requirements for participation
3 Criteria for the selection of the winner
4 How will the prize be delivered
We must not hesitate to reject the participation of any person who does not meet the requirements established in the procedure
Once the contest ends, we must select the winner and contact him/her to formalize the prize. Do not post the winner only on your website, be kind to the people who took part of the contest and send an email to notify the winner and thank them.
To achieve participation in future editions we should be professional and serious in implementing the standards.
Analyze the results of the campaign.
Finally, it is important to analyze the results of the contest with the help of performance evaluation tools, and so we can have even more clear those errors that have made and find out the reasons why they are doing wrong.

Can you think about any other factor to consider in launching product campaigns and promotions? What else can we do to increase the conversion rate of subscribers?



Alicia Diaz
ALD Group – Virtual Assistance