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It’s human nature to want to win. Whether it’s a trip to Hawaii or a $50 gift card, there’s something thrilling about entering a contest with a glimmer of hope to take home the big prize. For that reason, marketing contests have always been a great tool to boost sales and increase overall engagement.

Utilizing contests in email not only reaps the traditional benefits, but it can also help grow your subscriber list and turn more leads into customers.

An email contest can boost conversion rates by more than 700%.

Are you ready to run an email contest? In this post, you’ll learn what an email contest is and how to get started.

What is an email contest?

An email contest is a promotion sent to your segmented list asking for an action, such as submitting personal information or a Facebook follow, and, in turn, the person has the opportunity to win some sort of prize.

Types of email contests

While the type of contest depends largely on your company or brand, there are many different avenues you can take:

  • Sweepstakes
  • Photo contests
  • Caption contests
  • Video contests
  • Text contests
  • Vote contests, and more

With many options to choose from, you need to think about what your audience would engage with the most. If you’re a pet brand, a photo contest where subscribers submit a picture of their dog will work perfectly. On the other hand, sweepstakes with the same audience where a simple email address is submitted might not have the same effect.

On the other hand, sweepstakes with the same audience where a simple email address is submitted might not have the same effect.

Source: Really Good Emails

How to start an email contest

You need to set rules, figure out the prize, and promote the information to your database. The key is to make sure that the contest is easy to enter and shareable so you can expand your reach beyond your subscriber list.

To begin your email contest, start with these simple three steps.

1. Set up your contest.

The logistics will be the backbone of the entire campaign so not only your subscribers understand the stakes, but your employees as well. First, you need to determine your contest goals. If you’re hoping to earn 500 leads and your usual lead-to-conversion rate is 10%, you will need at least 5,000 contest entries.

You will also want to consider:

  • What’s the prize?
  • How long will the contest run?
  • What channels will you promote it on?
  • What are the rules?
  • Who’s your ideal target audience?

2. Run your contest.

Now the fun part. It’s time to actually start the contest, promote it, and receive entries. With your email campaign, you’ll want to determine the email journey and frequency in which your subscribers will receive the message. How many reminders will inactive subscribers receive? Will subscribers receive a confirmation email once entered? Will you notify your database about the winner?

It’ll also be important to promote on other marketing channels, such as:

  • A dedicated landing page
  • Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
  • Pinterest boards
  • Video segments, and more

3. Analyze your results.

After your winner is chosen and the contest is wrapped up, you’ll need to dive into the analytics to understand how successful your contest was. Once analyzed, you’ll be able to tweak future contests for even better results.

How to measure an email contest

Within Campaign Monitor, you can view email metrics like open rate, click-through rate, and bounce rate. These metrics will be important to analyze how the email itself functioned within the campaign.

To determine overall success, you need to measure how many submissions you received and how many of those converted into customers.

Does it really matter?

If you’re looking to grow brand awareness and your subscriber list, an email contest is a great strategy. Contests give you a chance to connect with your audience in an entertaining way.

With the ability to boost lead generation, email contests are an important tactic for your strategy to consider.

What now?

Email contests can be a great way to build your brand. To begin, you need to define the contest’s logistics and create demand, spread the word, and analyze your results. Now that you understand what a successful contest takes, learn how to cultivate your new subscriber relationships.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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