Make Your Site a Winner in the Monthly Game of Contests
by Ray and Martha Durgin
FREE Give-Aways never cease to draw the large group of contest enthusiasts that continually surf through the sea of opportunities on the internet. This is a good thing for them and it can be a very good thing for your website!
There are many sites on the internet that are directories for Sweepstakes and Contests and they are great targets of the throngs of folks that love to enter a contest to win a free gift. It is very easy for you to participate in this tide of activity and direct a large stream of visitors to your site.
The first thing you need to do is decide what you have to offer as a giveaway item. It can be a service such as a free period of hosting, a free advertising opportunity, a free piece of software, a free product anything that you have to offer can be a candidate for a contest. As an example, we have found a gift basket to be an extremely popular contest item. Whatever you choose, it needs to be perceived as worthy of an individual’s time required to enter the contest.
What are the benefits of holding a contest?
- Increased traffic to your site
- This means increased visibility of your products or services.
- It also means revenue opportunities for advertising in the form of banners or other ads. (Advertisers will pay higher rates on higher traffic website pages.)
- A great source of contacts for a mailing list
- Contest entrants enjoy hearing who won and where they live.
- At the same time you announce the winners it is an excellent opportunity to mention any specials you are offering.
- Be sure to follow netiquette and use a hidden mailing list and thereby not expose your individuals’ e-mail addresses to spammers.
- Increased Sales – Both of the items above will lead to more sales from your site.
The increased revenue you will recognize will vary depending upon what you are selling, the amount of response you get to your contest offer, how you follow up, how you set the contest up on your site, how you advertise the contest and how often you hold the contest. You can get creative and try different approaches to see what works best.
To illustrate how effective a contest can be we can relate our own experience. We offered a gourmet food gift basket as a free give-away in a monthly contest. This basket has a retail value of approximately $60, including shipping. We normally receive 10 to 30 business emails a day.
When our contest offer recently hit the sweepstakes sites we received over 1200 emails entries in one day! For the week we exceeded 2000.
The first day your site is featured on a Sweepstakes site is when you will get the largest wave of entries. They taper down over the next 3 to 4 days and then stragglers will come in. This will happen every month.
Granted, a lot of these folks are only looking to enter your contest and leave but there are a percentage of the people that will stay awhile and peruse if they find themselves in an interesting location. Make it an interesting location!
For people to join our contest they must go to the heart of our Specials Page at specials. They must scroll down through some of our best offers to get to the contest location. In doing so it is inevitable that some folks will develop interest in these offers that highlight your site’s special values and are naturally the most intriguing offers you have to make. It is one of your best opportunities to capture a surfer’s interest!
To set up a contest follow these steps:
- Decide what you want to offer and make it worthwhile, the sales you generate will offset any costs of what you are giving away.
- Set the offer up in your site to maximize the visibility of your product to those coming to the contest. You can see our set up at Specials.
- Find high traffic Sweepstakes sites to place your advertisement on they are FREE and EASY to submit. The first one has been particularly successful:
- Set up a form which entrants will supply email address , name, mailing address, and phone number if you want it.
- Compile the list of entries.
- At the end of the month pick your winner, notify that individual, and mail out the results to the entire list of those who participated. Encourage them to join again for next month’s contest and if you have a special offer tell them about it and give them a hyperlink to your site to go check it out.
It is as easy as that and it is a lot of fun. So go out there and be the big winner with your own contest!
Martha and Ray Durgin
Treasure Books and Gifts
A great selection of gifts for kids and grown-ups!
Visit us at www.treasurebooksandgifts.com.