Everything You Need to Know About Contest Management


Is your company thinking of hosting a contest to boost business? Although contests are a fun way to connect with new and existing customers, you’ll want to be sure to avoid common mistakes. Below are some easy-to-follow tips for successful contest management.

Comply With Laws and Regulations

If you’re using a social media website to host your contest, you’ll need to comply with the regulations of that website. Make it readily apparent that your business, not the social media site, is offering the contest. Be aware that laws vary between countries and even sometimes within the same country, so do your research.

Choose a Unique Prize

Selecting just the right prize for the contest is important. You want it to reflect your business and be desirable to consumers so they’ll enter, but you also want to make sure the prize isn’t attracting people you won’t be able to convert into customers. For example, you won’t want to give away an iPhone unless it’s relevant to what you do because people will enter to win it without caring about your company. Instead, choose a prize that will help you gain business long term.

Geotarget Your Posts

Nothing is more irritating to consumers than discovering a great contest and then finding out they’re ineligible because of where they live. Avoid this by geotargeting your posts, which is simply targeting your posts to a specific geographic location. By doing so, you’ll receive more meaningful interactions per post and comments won’t be clogged by consumers outside of your target area.  

Make It Simple to Enter

You aren’t going to hold the interest of potential entrants very long, so you need to make their time count. Include the link to enter on all advertisements for the contest, especially ones sent through social media websites and emails. If you’re using Submittable as the entry method, the customizable forms make the process of entering a breeze. Don’t ask users to fill out more info than necessary because they will click away if they don’t think it’s worth their time. Keep the contest rules easy to understand and let entrants know how the information they provide will be used.

Set a Clear Time Frame

Some companies make the mistake of hosting a contest and not letting consumers know when it will end. By setting a time frame for entry, you’ll encourage consumers to enter while they’re on the page. You should also provide the date that you’ll select and notify the winner. With clear deadlines, entrants will know what to expect and not feel distrustful toward your company.

Measure the Results

The results of one contest can help you plan a new one. If the metrics were less impressive than what you were hoping, you’ll know you need to change a few things. On the other hand, if you find the customer engagement skyrocketed after a specific kind of advertisement, you’ll know to replicate that in the future. These results are invaluable from a marketing standpoint. Even though there will be some trial and error associated with running contests, it doesn’t take very long for the benefit to outweigh the cost.

Don’t Forget to Follow Up

The biggest mistake a business can make is not following up with the entrants who lost the contest. Once it’s finished, you should send a thank-you email to all who participated and invite them to enter the next contest you host. You can even include a small coupon, discount, or promotion from your organization. Previous entrants are already interested in your company, so you have a chance to convert them to loyal customers.

With the above tips, contest management won’t be simple, but it can be easier. Remember that contests can be a win-win situation for companies; consumers are happy to interact for a chance to win a great prize, and the company gets to expand its customer base. Have fun with them and watch your business grow.