List Building: How to Hold Your Own Contest
You probably know that by having a contest, you can generate a lot subscribers within a relatively short period of time. Yet, it seems to be something that has fallen out of fashion.
Not many people do it any more.
To me, that's an opportunity.
And so in this article, I want to show you how to do it.
What's the prize?
Before you can hold a contest, you need to have a prize.
Perhaps this is why so few events like this are held. Few people have anything of value to give to the winner (s).
Whatever you choose needs to have a high perceived value.
It has to be something that people would want to win.
For many, that means an iPad. But unless you get an affiliate commission for each one of them you sell, that should not be the prize.
The prize needs to be one of your mid- to high-end products.
And that's because the goal of having a contest is to get people to subscribe to your list.
Why would anyone feel the need to be on your list if you were going to give them something that was unrelated to your business?
What are the rules?
You'll also need to establish the rules before you begin.
The rule for creating rules is that there are no rules.
You make them whatever you want them to be.
For example, what's the criteria for winning a prize? What will people need to do to win the star prize?
- Maybe you'll give it to the person who sends the most people to your squeeze page.
- Maybe you'll give it to the person who says the nicest thing about your product.
- Or maybe you'll give it to the person who has the best reason for wanting that product.
How would you know if they qualified?
In the first instance, you've got to put something in place that would enable contestants to enter the email addresses of those they were recommending. I'm sure that you've seen forms like this on other web sites.
I do not know how this was done, but it would not surprise me if there was not something like this available on WordPress.
The second and third suggestions can all be handled with comments.
Now comments add social proof to your web page.
They demonstrate that people are reading your content.
And that alone makes other people want to read it. It's one of the laws of persuasion. The fact that others are willing to do it removes the risk that you might feel if you were to do it.
That's why testimonials can be so valuable for the products you sell.
The second suggestion amounts to free advertising. It's pretty hard to sing the praises of something if you have not tried it. And so that could drive sales to a certain extent.
But it would mean that people would have to buy it first before they could tell everyone how great it was.
That probably will not happen for the simple reason that people will feel that this is a veiled attempt to get them to buy from you.
The whole thing could backfire.
The third suggestion is much more likely to work.
When people tell you how much they want something, it not only builds value into it, but it also has a way of persuading them that they bought to buy it.
So even if they do not win, having told you (and there before them) how much the product would do for them, they in effect have persuaded themselves that they need it.
How to promote your contest
Once you've decided on your prize (s), and the criteria for winning, you need to think about how to promote it.
You could tweet it, put it on your Facebook page, blog about it, make a YouTube video, create a presentation, or even talk about it on someone else's blog.
This could also be a great place for a joint venture.
I'm sure that you will think of many more places to tell people about your contest.
Most people want to get things for free in any case.
If the winner (s) will get something really valuable, then the word will get out.
You'll get a lot of traffic and, as a result, a lot of new subscribers.