For many years marketers have known the popularity and selling power of contests that are offered to prospects and customers.
On the Internet, a fun and profitable (for the participant) contest can to lead to increased traffic and site popularity, returning customers, and word of mouth advertising among family and friends.
The contest you offer doesn’t have to be especially costly, cutting edge, or filled with large cash prizes.
Since you are working in a specific niche, the contest and the winnings should be somehow related to that niche.
If the theme of the contest and the prizes awarded is related to the subject of your business, your targeted customers will understand the added value that participating in the contest offers to them.
The prize they could win will be something they will appreciate as a devoted fan of the niche.
Here are seven important advantages of running a themed contest on your web site:
1. It can be an incentive to new prospects to give you their name and email address. If you require contest registration and a way to contact the participant for updates or notification of winner status, you will be able to add these prospects to your database.
Of course, you would want to tell them, at the time of registration, how the information they are giving will be used.
2. Set up the contest so that the participant is rewarded for coming back to the web site. Maybe you offer contest updates, further clues to a mystery, or additional chances to win. The object, of course, is to get people back to your web site often.
3. Create buzz and excitement about the prizes. Maybe you’re giving away some of your expensive products to contest winners. Take the opportunity to tell them all about the benefits, features and utility of what you’ve offering. You may have some folks making purchases after the contest simply because they listened to your pitch and were sold on the product.
4. Take advantage of the viral nature of “cool” contests. If you can design something that is fun to participate in, and cool to be a part of, your customers will share their experience with their friends, associates, and family thereby giving your business some cheap advertising and a wave of new prospects that have to register at your site to join the contest.
5. Contests can be used as a way to offer all your customers something of value. You might give a free digital information gift (a valuable report, coupon, or other download) to all who participated in the contest as your way of thanking them for playing.
6. Contests can be advertised and held at regular intervals and themed around specific events, holidays, or seasons of the year. They will help to make your web site “sticky” and will keep folks coming back for more.
7. Occasionally, the prizes or grand prize could be offered by another non-competing business in your niche. Think of this approach as a joint venture between businesses. Business A supplies the grand prize for Business B since it’s something that B can’t offer. In return, Business B puts up the grand prize for A’s contest.
There are a whole bunch of creative and profitable strategies that could be developed around targeted around themed contests run at niche business web sites.
Give it a try and let us know how it goes for you!
To your online business success,