How often do you actually enter your email for a chance to win?
Or click a friend’s referral link for a fantastic discount – and complete the purchase?
How often do you share a promotion or referral link on your social feeds?
Enter now for your chance to win…..…blah, blah, blah.
The problem with online contests is you have to enter to win.
To enter, you have to want to win.
The traditional contest model of ‘enter and share to win!’ is dead.
The point of a contest is to attract potential customers.
And you can only do that if you offer the right prize in the right way.
Contests Fail Because Prizes Don’t Have the Right Value
Usually, the prize is too:
- Cheap: Nope, I don’t have time to read 10 random books that you’re giving away for free (and that you got for free).
- Broad: I have an iPad, thanks.
- Specific: I do not need a free course or consulting session (unless it’s REALLY valuable and you’re REALLY well-known).
- Expensive: Yes, your product sounds cool, and I’d love to win it…but I still have to buy [insert additional product or software] to make it work. That costs money.
Business owners and entrepreneurs throwing out the ‘hey, let’s run a contest!’ line are better off handing out cash out to strangers on the street.
At least giving money away would make people smile.
After you convinced them you weren’t filming an episode of Punk’d.
Contests should an easy strategy for list-building – but they’re not.
Give something cool away and the contest will sell itself, right?
Good contests, promotions, and giveaways can be expensive, time-consuming, and tough.
Traditional contest models make me want earplugs to drown out all the ‘tweet to share!’ chatter.
You’re Fighting A Battle You Can’t Win
Unless you have a rabid fan base that shares your content like crazy and you enjoy a 70% email open rate, a plain ol’ contest just won’t work.
(If you have a 70% open rate, teach us, oh wise one.)
If you don’t, listen up.