Every online marketer who has a web site is always looking for ways to increase traffic to their web site. There are many ways to do this, however, one of the most powerful ways is to offer a Free Contest! Why? Because it’s human nature to want something for free.
Web site contests have been around as long as the Internet has been used for online commerce. They come in many shapes and forms but they all have one thing in common. “They are designed to drive traffic to their web sites!” These contests can work if you take the time to understand and utilize them to reach your goals.
So how do you go about running a contest on your web site effectively? Here are four tips you’ll want to consider before deciding to offer a contest on your web site.
What Do I Want The Contest To Achieve?
Before you decide to run a web site contest, determine exactly what you want the contest to do for you. Like the old saying goes “Nothing is ever really free!” Whenever you’re offered something for free you’re also asked to do something to get it. Now it’s up to you to determine if what you have to do is worth it, to receive the reward. If it’s too difficult or the reward is not perceived to be worth the effort, you decline. So when you offer a contest, you need to be looking at what you want to accomplish from it.
For example, you might want to get feedback about your product or service, about your web site, build an in house mailing list, build a customer base for new product offerings, produce a link to your web site, build a reputation or whatever reason you may have, you’ll need to have a clearly defined goal in mind when offering a free contest on your site.
Once you’ve decided on your agenda for the contest, you’ll have to decide how to go about producing the desired result. If you’re looking for feedback then make the feedback form simple and easy for the entrant to complete. If you’re looking for a link to your site then give them everything they’ll need and make it simple to accomplish. Simplicity is the key if you want your contest to be a success.
What Kind Of Prizes Should I Offer?
This is determined by the business you’re involved in and the goal of your contest. Your prizes should be related to your business and what you’re trying to accomplish by having the contest in the first place. It makes no sense to offer a prize that has nothing to do with your business or the goals of your contest. If your goal is to create a customer base, then you want to offer one of your products as the prize. When you make the prize related to your business, you’ll be attracting the entrants you’re looking for, your target market! You also want to make sure that the prize is worth the entry requirements. Too difficult of an entry process or a prize that isn’t of value to your target market can doom your contest to a small number of entrants.
How Long Should I Run The Contest?
Usually the best time frame is a monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly basis. The time period depends on the type and cost of prizes you’re offering. A simple rule of thumb is: The higher the cost of the prizes, the longer period of time between drawings.
How Do I Let People Know I Have A Contest?
This is a promotion you’re running so advertise it just as you would any other promotion. If no one knows about your contest then how do you expect to get the traffic to you’re web site? Advertise your contest in newsletters, bulletin boards, classified advertising sites, newsgroups, digests, forums and any other place online that allows advertising. Add it into your e-mail signature. Get the word out so you can accomplish the goal of your contest.
A web site contest can be an incredible marketing success if you take the time to figure out your goals, develop an easy method of entry so that both parties win, control the cost of your prizes and promote the contest for maximum exposure.