Have you ever run an email contest? It’s a great way to engage your audience and today’s guest post, Marry McAleavey shares her tips for a successful email giveaway.- Elena
According to email marketing data compiled by Privy, based on the activity of over 5,000 users, “enter-to-win” campaigns actually generate the most conversions — by a lot! Compared to offer email campaigns, enter-to-win generated 300% more conversions. When stacked up next to sign up campaigns, enter-to-win contests were ahead by 1,500%. This is quite a huge difference, and worth sinking your teeth into.
What this data tells us is that the most incentive leads to the most sign ups. So, the more you can give, the more you will receive. This doesn’t mean that you should rule out the other two common email offers.
Here’s why not: For every 100 sign up emails you send out, you’re likely to gain a new conversion. So, if you have a list of 10,000 subscribers, you could still gain 100 sign ups. But, when you really want — or need — to see major action, here’s how you can do it.
First, Remember to Never Spam Your Readers, No Matter What
By now, we should all know that spamming and buying email lists is bad practice, but I still like to include this disclaimer: If you’re still not allowing all of your readers opt-in, you’re not going to generate the conversions you like. Consumers are smart; they have ad-blockers on their browsers, spam filters that will get you black-listed, and the brains to know whether or not they asked to be signed up for your list.
So, just use the the subscribe forms offered with your email marketing platform, and you will be golden. You can build your list organically if you don’t already have one.
This Checklist Will Help You Easily Plan Your Email Contest
Planning is an email marketer’s best friend. Many people don’t plan their campaigns very far in advance, but that can lead to failure. One of the first things you need to do is plan and schedule. This gives you the time you need to go back and make edits (the magic always happens during the editing process). Here’s a checklist to get you started.
- Goals of the campaign – you will want to know what the measurable, attainable goals of the campaign are. If you’re looking to gain a certain amount of new subscribers, write it down. If you want previous subscribers to share your contest with their social networks, include that in the plan too.
- Target market; list segmentation, if necessary – Your target market, for an email contest, may or may not be your current subscribers. It may include only a portion of your email list, or your entire customer base. This is an important detail that you need to consider.
- Language used by target market – During your market research, you should be collecting samples of the language used by your consumers. This way, you can duplicate it. Use words and phrases that are familiar to your audience for the highest engagement. For example, a millennial may be more moved by the word “selfie,” where a senior might like “portrait of yourself.” Include word-use in your strategy.
- Number of contest winners – Will there be several winners, or only one? Will there be a tier with a grand prize and several smaller gifts? Decide what your approach will be.
- How long the contest will run – If you don’t set a calendar for your contest, you run the risk of watching the momentum fizzle out before the end of the campaign. So, let your readers know what to expect from the moment you launch. You could run it for a week, and you could run it for a month. When deciding the length of your enter-to-win email campaign, consider what a reader has to do, and how long it will take. Essay contests take longer than a facebook sharing contest, for example.
- Where the contest will be promoted; will it run on multiple platforms? – Just because this is an email campaign doesn’t mean that is can only happen via email. You should at least have a landing page on your website, and you may cross-promote on social media and other marketing platforms. Include the final decision in your plan.
- Setup tracking – Your email marketing platform may have an awesome analytics dashboard. If so, that’s fantastic, but think about whether or not Google Analytics or another system will be valuable for monitoring the success or failure of your contest.
- Create a calendar – Once a strategy is in place, it is a good idea to use a calendar for your team and yourself, to ensure that everything is done thoroughly and on-time. Before you ever start creating content, know when you will need content. Deadlines for your email scripts should never be the same day that the content will be published.
- Create content for email campaign – Once the calendar is set in place, you can start using the language and word-use strategy to generate compelling content, introducing your readers to your exciting enter-to-win
- Schedule posts in advance – Remember that you may need to make last-minute edits when you schedule your emails to go out well before the launch date. Do this, also, so that you have the time to test all of your software. You want everything ready to go for the highest probability that your contest will roll out like a well-oiled machine.
- Set times for analysis and modifications (try running to only a portion of your list at first) – A day or a week after you launch your email campaign, you will want to take a look at everything to see how well it’s converting. If you’re not meeting your goals, take a deep look into your analytics to find out how you might make adjustments to improve things. So, before you ever launch, just so you’re ready for it, set a schedule for analysis to happen.
- Launch campaign – You’re all ready to go. Just hold your hat!
6 Awesome Platforms to Help You Run Your Next Email Giveaway
You may have noticed that the checklist didn’t include what software you would use to run your contest — the best was saved for last. Here is a list of the best platforms to help you run your next online contest.
- Strutta – This platform is self-proclaimed as the best platform for running branded contests and sweepstakes that convert. They offer a DIY promotion builder to launch contests and sweepstakes on multiple platforms with customizable templates that are excellent at driving entries. The turnkey promotion builder is available at $249.
- ContestCore – The most flexible platform for online contests and sweepstakes, this system is customizable, scalable, responsive, and viral. You will get full design control, customizable data capture, and an easy-to-use dashboard and insights. Pricing starts at $3,999.
- Votigo – Offering custom and full-service or DIY solutions for your next contest, this software is setup for sweepstakes, photo contests, hashtag campaigns, polls, quizzes, and coupons. Small business pricing starts at $29/ month.
- WizeHive – With contest management software to grow and engage your audience and contestant pipeline, you can set-up, integrate, and manage your online contests. Take advantage of contest flexibility, easy embed forms for your website and emails, customization, lead inspiration, and payment integration. You’ll find the features you need to streamline the management of your online contest. Pricing starts at $249 + $3/day for the duration of your contest.
- Binkd – Engage your audience and grow your brand with the software to help you generate leads and engagement with your contests and social media. You can sign up for free to try it out, then pay $29/ month or more, depending on your needs.
- Rafflecopter – This is the world’s easiest way to run a giveaway. They make it simple to launch and manage a giveaway on any website, as much as you want, with no IT assistance required. They claim you can launch a giveaway in three minutes for free. Pay up to $84/ month for pro features.
The very best way to increase conversions via email is to offer an enter-to-win campaign. Make sure subscribers have opted-in to receive emails from you, use the checklist above to plan your contest, and enlist the help of software designed specifically for this need to see the most success. Start planning your next email marketing campaign today, and if you integrate what you’ve learned here, you will see tremendous gains in reader engagement.
Marry McAleavey is a social media enthusiast and enjoys crafting exciting content. She currently works at TheEssayService.org writing company.
Elena is founder of a technology PR agency that works with startups to billion-dollar companies. She is passionate about helping marketers and small business owners with practical publicity strategies, which she's also using for her own bling flip flop company.
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