3 Things to Consider Before Launching Your Online Competition

Win a $50 gift certificate! If those words prompt you to spring out of your chair and into action, you’re not alone. That’s the driving force behind online competitions. They get customers to interact with your business. Plus, they achieve results. Outgrow.com reports businesses acquire 34% of their new customers through contests. Tap into this trend by checking off these tasks before launching an online competition.

Task 1: Define Your Goal

Why do you want to do an online contest? For most, it’s to increase customers engagement. But dig deeper and identify an outcome you can measure. Here are some examples:

  • Increase the number of visits to your website
  • Get more followers to your business Facebook page
  • Sign up more subscribers to your monthly newsletter
  • Repeat sales by existing customers
  • Generate leads or referrals

These goal statements will guide the design of your contest. For example, if want to increase website traffic, post the winner of the daily drawing on your website. That way people will have to go there to claim their prize.

Task 2: Choose A Compatible Format

Competitive promotions can take several forms—contests, giveaways. Contests award prizes based on performance. Giveaways don’t require a skill; winners are drawn at random. The key is to adapt the format to match your goal. Here are some examples.

Contest – ABC Garden Shop runs a daily trivia contest, “Name That Flower.” Their goal is to increase traffic to their Facebook page. Each day they post a photo of a flower and followers try to identify it by posting a comment. A prize might be awarded to everyone with the correct answer for the day. Or they could reward the first correct answer. The daily nature of the contest gets customers to visit the page often so they can enter (and learn who won yesterday).

Giveaway – Java Joan’s Coffee Shop runs a night-out-with-the-stars giveaway. The prize is a two tickets to a movie of their choice. Their goal is to encourage repeat business. Every visit to the store entitles them to register the code from their receipt on their website. Repeat customers are rewarded (and website traffic is increased). The contest runs for three months with the winner randomly drawn and announced on their website.

Task 3: Focus on Customer-Centric Prizes

Choosing the right goal and format will ensure you get what you need from the competition. But picking the right prize is what gets your target audience interested. So motivate them with a reward that gets them to take action. Think about these factors:

Customer demographics - Use your customer demographics to select an appropriate prize. 20-somethings might participate for a gift certificate to a music service. Families with children might get excited about a trip to a fun center. Another option is to focus on something that helps customers solve a problem. For example, an auto parts store might offer a digital tire pressure gauge.

Relationship to business - Whenever possible, tie the reward back to your business. But keep it meaningful. A tax preparer might offer an app that will scan and organize receipts. A computer-repair business might offer an e-book with tips to avoid being the victim of cybercrime.

Limited funds - If you don’t have the budget for rewards, consider partnering with a supplier. For example, a nail salon might work with one of their suppliers for free samples. Since you’ll be promoting their product during the contest, they benefit from the added exposure.

Need more inspiration to choose the right prize? Check out Rafflepress’ 105 Proven Contest Ideas. They’re categorized by industry so you can find one that might work for your business.

Online competitions can be an effective way to get customers engaged with your business. Start with these three tasks to be sure your promotion gets results.