Let Somebody Win: Boosting Audience Engagement with Contests

Is there anything better than winning?  Whether you’ve worked hard for something or it was all luck of the draw, winning is just satisfying.  In email marketing, as in all other forms of marketing, there is the constant goal of engagement and mutual benefit. Sometimes, it helps to create a little incentive - like, say, the possibility of winning! There are lots of ways to set up your contest or giveaway, and some of them can even give your email marketing efforts a boost!

Have the sign-up for your email newsletter BE the entry into the contest.  What could be easier?  You can run this special offer online or in person. If you’re running it online, don’t stop at your own Internet presence.  Here’s something I’ve been seeing a lot of lately - companies are finding bloggers whose interests and audiences are in alignment with their products, and they’ve been either sponsoring the blog, purchased advertising on that blog, or given the blogger products to review (this is my least favorite - it’s so hard for that to seem natural).  Then, giveaways can be done through the blogger or by directing traffic back to the company.  That’s only one way that you can broaden your circle; there are plenty of other great ways to socialize and entice new readers.

You can also let signing up be just one of a few ways that people can entry - have a contest and offer up several ways for people to enter -  they can “like” your entry on facebook, shout you out on Twitter (give some context for the shout-out, like a product review) or sign up for your email newsletter. If you’re feeling extra generous, let them do all of the above and count each one as a separate entry.  Want a refresher course on integrating social media? Go back and read AJ’s One Click Metamorphosis posts - The Social Media Button and Sharing is Caring.