The most popular question asked at any social gathering when meeting someone new is, “What do you do?” in reference to what one does to earn a living. It’s fun telling people I am the Contest Queen as everyone has a winning story. The discussion is always lively as I explain how it’s both a hobby and vocation for me. I enter for fun as a hobby. I do not earn my living winning. I earn my living working with sponsors and agencies creating and executing promotions as a marketer. As we continue to talk I am invariably asked, “No one really wins, do they?“, even though I have just stated I frequently win.
And therein lies the problem.
Why would anyone enter your sweepstakes if no one believes they will win?
There are four objections I continuously encounter as to why people don’t enter sweepstakes are:
- No one really wins. Do they?
- The company will sell my information and I will get a lot of SPAM.
- I am afraid of identity theft.
- I never win anything.
No one really wins. Do they?
Why do you suppose people have that perception of sweepstakes? It’s because they never see the winners.
Back in the heyday of contests, when you had to complete a jingle in 25 words or less, the winners were announced when the sponsor used the winning entry in their future advertising campaigns. (HOMEWORK: Read the book or watch the movie The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio.)
How do people know there are winners now? Are you announcing them online?
Don’t just announce your winners in one place. Use the same platforms you used to promote the sweepstakes: blog, email, newsletter, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
Announcing the winners will:
- confirm to the entrants you are, in fact, giving out the prizes you are advertising,
- give you an opportunity to use the post as a Pull Marketing tool, vs Push.
As no sweepstakes is created in a vacuum, but part of an overall marketing plan, the sponsor should be encouraging the non-winners (I hate the word loser) to follow the sponsor for future winning opportunities.
The company will sell my information and I will get a lot of SPAM.
I recommend all sweepers have a separate email just for entering sweepstakes. Not only will this cut down on SPAM, it will partially address Objection 3. If you are not using your main email address(es) when filling forms it will make it slightly harder for Identity Theft to occur.
I am afraid of identity theft.
Sadly, there is nothing marketers can do about this objection. I used to say that no one was going to steal contest entrant information databases as no one cares you tried to win a gift basket. Thieves were interested in banks and credit card companies. Follow the money.
Now it seems no database is immune from theft. Earlier in 2017, I was contacted by many of the websites I am a member of to change my password due to a massive database breach. The sites I belonged to were for a variety of loyalty programs (offering exclusive contests) and deals websites with contest forums. Thankfully, I haven’t encountered any issues as I use different passwords for every website and encrypt them using a program called RoboForm.
My recommendation is to make your entrants feel as safe as possible by requesting as little information as possible for them to enter. It protects both you and them, as much as possible, in the case of a hack.
I never win anything.
This objection is about one’s outlook on life. Is the glass half full or half empty?
In general, sweepers are the most positive people you will find. Once in awhile I meet a sour contestor and wonder how they go into the hobby in the first place. I do not win every contest I enter, but I think I will and it’s that attitude that I believe attracts in the prizes. (HOMEWORK: Read The Luck Factor to understand why some people seem to be followed in life by a lucky star.)
ONE LAST THING
Even after you overcome all four objections, you have one last major hurdle to overcome. Just because you create a contest it doesn’t mean anyone will enter. (HOMEWORK: Read my previous blog: How Your Contest is Like the Field of Dreams.)