We get many enquiries around the benefits of running competitions online, so have decided to give you the lowdown. First, we will discuss why competitions are a good way to introduce your brand, company, product or service. Secondly, we’ll discuss some competition mechanics and how things work. Lastly, we’ll dive into why running a competition with Prized is a great way to get a feel for how competitions work.

Online competitions are a great way to:

Grow and clean up your existing (opt-in) email database

Companies that have been using bulk email marketing as a tool to communicate promotions and news often find that their email databases go stale if not maintained well. Using competitions, you can add new users to your email database and also cleanse your list by monitoring engagement activity. We recommend removing email addresses from your database that do not engage because there is no point in sending those contacts emails. Unresponsive recipients will cause your send statistics to remain low. A good example is having a list of 1,000 recipients, where you have a 30% open rate, which over time, reduces to say under 15%. By removing recipients that are not engaged, you will automatically increase your open rates and also save funds by not sending to recipients who aren’t reading your emails.

We, as email marketers, often refer to “list health” and to maintain “list hygiene”, but the practices mentioned above. You don’t need to summarily delete records, but you can perhaps segment unresponsive recipients into a separate remarketing automation flow to poll whether they are still interested in receiving emails or not. We know people get busy and priorities change, so you want to always give readers the option to opt-out, or stay in.

Another aspect that helps grow your email list is by adding viral components to your online competitions. By adding an invite-a-friend, or “share socially” option, you add a virility to your campaigns that will increase engagement. By highly personalising those shares & invites you will increase chances of growing your mailing list.

Improve your customer segmentation

Apart from segmenting to the standard fields like location, age & sex, you can also be creative in how you segment your email list. By running a competition (or giveaway) you have the chance to poll your audience (existing and newcomers) on new interesting segments like interests, how well they know your offering, preferences in lifestyle & how they like to be communicated to and so much more. All of this information allows you to segment your database better for future communication. In the e-commerce world, we further have additional segments like ‘average order value’, ‘customer lifetime value’, abandoned cart and more. Segments like those allow us to communicate with customers (often through automated emails) with very specific messaging, hoping to increase engagement, or ultimately sales.

Running regular online competitions is the first step in helping you achieve a slightly more advanced level of customer segmentation and remember, it can be multiple ‘questions’ that you ask your audience that over time helps you to get extremely good insights into who your customers/clients are.

Ultimately, as a recipient of offers & email marketing, you want brands you like to engage with to send you more and more of what you really want vs just a shotgun approach, and competitions give us the opportunity to start doing that.

Increase your social media following

With the ever-decreasing reach of organic social media, email, even though it’s a complementary channel to social media, is a great way to increase your social media following and engagement on social platforms.

We know for a fact that when users engage with our social channels, it allows for a period of heightened reach & engagement that depreciates over time. Social media algorithms are built that way and ultimately, because social channels are businesses, they WANT you to pay to gain bigger reach.

By bringing social media into the mix on your competition campaigns, you automatically increase engagement on your social channels and also your number of followers. We refer to the number of likes and followers as vanity figures because it’s never a true representation of engagement and social media reach.

Ultimately, engagement and reach are the two important metrics that we try and elevate by adding social media options to online competitions.

Increase brand awareness for your company & brands

Some key questions when it comes to developing a marketing strategy:

  • What does your competitive landscape look like?
  • How are you different from the competition?
  • Who is my primary and secondary target markets?
  • What problem do you solve for your customers?
  • What is your sample offer to first-time customers?
  • What is your acquisition cost for a new customer?
  • Which keywords & phrases should you use in your messaging to reach your target audiences?
  • What are your short and long-term goals & strategies to increase your customer base and increase sales?
  • What positioning & messaging would work for your audience?
  • What is your brand story? or How can you tell a better brand story?
  • How will you measure success?
  • What resources would you require to execute a successful marketing strategy?

Once you’ve started formulating answers to the questions above, you can start to develop your messaging and something simple like an online competition will help you get your key messaging & branding out to existing and potential customers. We know that email performs very well when it comes to conversions, so why not utilise it by running a competition online?

Grow your digital reach, engagement & SEO

Search engines like Google monitor activity or shall we say signals around your company and brands. They monitor signals from your website, other websites linking to you or mentioning your company, your social channels and hundreds more.

By building buzz around your brands, products or services, you increase your digital reach & visibility to search engines. By running a competition with Prized for instance you also get a link back to your website which will give Google an extra inbound link to add to your inbound link profile.

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