Running a social media contest or sweepstakes is a great way to reach more people. And attracting fans and collecting email addresses is often an added bonus.
But, occasionally, your sweepstakes or contest can attract the wrong people: people who will never buy. And that’s frustrating. Or even infuriating.
That said, there is no problem with people wanting to win a prize. That is actually the driving mechanic behind successful social media contests.
The issue is with prize hunters is that these people rarely ever become customers.
Why Prize Hunters Hurt Your Business
There are many things that can go wrong during a contest. One such obstacle could be the noise made by loud prize hunters. These are people who only want to win the prize you offer, but have no interest in engaging with your company.
They are the ones who are merely “comping” – participating in competitions.
They will do everything to win, even if it means inviting friends or, God forbid, creating fake accounts.
Furthermore, you don’t need irrelevant people on your email list as they’d just increase the cost for your newsletter provider. Who wants that?
The Only Case You Want To Let More People In
The only advantage of having extra people around is if you want to your page’s fanbase to be larger. More fans could help attract more respect.
Pages with more fans often have more authority in the eyes of the fans.
Wanting to pump up your Facebook page is not evil. You are allowed to do that.
But if you want to attract potential customers, be smart.
Even though you can never perfectly filter prize hunters, you can significantly reduce the chances of having them.
The most important thing when you choose a grand prize is to make it relevant. How?
The Contest Prizes Should Define Your Audience
“Yeah, I want customers, let’s give away an iPad!”
It sounds easy, but it doesn’t work like this.
An expensive gadget attracts those who want to win an expensive gadget. Unfortunately, the chances are low that they are actually your potential customers.
In this campaign below, you can win an iPhone. Or… wait, did they just say “iPod Touch” there in the pink bracket where they ask for your phone number?
See, another disadvantage is that fake contests typically use such gadgets as a prize.
So what is a good grand prize then?
A good grand prize defines your audience.
For example, if your company sells cameras, you may want to give away a tripod.
Those who are interested in winning such a prize will already be interested in cameras. They are likely to own one and might upgrade in the future.
If your camera store wanted to focus more on those who are about to purchase their first camera, then give away a photography course for beginners.
It will attract those who are likely to purchase their first camera sooner or later.
Here are some other grand prizes that can define your audience well.
Prize #1. Your Own Product or Service
If someone wants to win your product, then he might also buy it too.
So offer something that you actually sell.
Or, you can offer a gift card to your own shop so people can choose what they really want to win. And as a nice side-effect you might earn some money on the side because they spend more in your shop.
Prize #2. Other Things Your Ideal Customer Needs
Think about who your company helps, and what are their needs.
You can offer a prize that is not related to your company or offering, but that your customer definitely needs.
Here is an example. You sell wedding dresses. Your customer (the bride and her family) need to look nice on the wedding day. Treat them to beauty treatments!
Prize #3. Various Options
As a first rule, it’s always better to offer multiple, lower value prizes than a single, more expensive prize.
Let your subscribers choose from multiple options. It also helps you to learn about their product preferences.
The Contrary Example Where an iPad as a Grand Prize Works
As mentioned above, if an expensive gadget as a grand prize can’t define your ideal customer, it’s not very strategic to plan a giveaway around one.
But, there are exceptions when it works well and attracts actual customers. Don’t try this at home!
Okay, just kidding.
But be very cautious with such a grand prize. Here are the details.
One of our customers, a nutraceutical company helping people with migraines, ran a sweepstakes. The grand prize was an iPad.
At the end of the promotion they attracted 5,000 new fans and 6,300 new subscribers to their email list.
The best thing was that they converted 25% of subscribers into paying customers.
It turned out that many people suffer from migraines.
Anyway, Migravent’s secret was that their emails and landing pages worked very well after the contest. People could recognize the symptoms of migraines when experiencing them, and so they realized this company could help.
So What Are The Rules?
I would say: relevancy. But then again I just told you about this company who had a blast with their iPad giveaway.
There is no one-size-fits-all.
Experiment, and see what works the best for you.
What was the grand prize during your last sweepstakes?
Are you struggling with finding one that is a fit? Comment below, I might be able to help!