One universal truth for small business owners and operators big and small is they are all seeking new customers. Lead-generation is on the mind of many, but finding those leads, and them being qualified, is something few have mastered. How can a business draw in new, potential customers who they know have an interest in their product or service?
Unlike a marketing of the past, the goal of a typical digital campaign isn’t always tied to huge numbers (though no one scoffs at those when they happen). Instead, savvy marketers seek to find small, highly engaged groups of people who are ready to purchase today or the near future. Basically, the ones who are farther along in the purchase funnel. These individuals have tremendous value to all businesses.
Coupons and discounts will entice people to sample a product or service, which will hopefully lead to additional future sales. These methods of email marketing are used every day by SMBs and often quite effective, but if overused, they can be expensive and, unintentionally, train consumers to only buy when there is a coupon.
Coupons and discounts fall into a marketing category of “promotions”, as do contests. A contest comes in many forms from photo submission to voting in a ballot to a simple giveaway, and all entice users to participate with the chance of winning something. Since giveaways or sweepstakes are the easiest for folks to enter, they’re the most universal and popular type of promotion.
It may be enticing for an SMB to offer a giveaway in their store and leverage the good ol’ fishbowl with paper forms or business cards in it. Or, to create a post on social media and have people like it for a chance to win something. Though easy, they are also far less effective at driving actual leads and sidestep many of the benefits of running a contest.
The formula for success with any contest is this:
Here’s an example an advertiser who was able to take their promotions to the next level by partnering with a local media company to generate significant leads for their business:
Love Your Skin Giveaway
- Advertiser: Medical Spa
- Prize: $500 spa package (valuable to the user and relevant to the advertiser)
- Target Audience: Women, 55+ with concerns about their skin
- Entries: 974
- Leads: 180 people requested to be contacted about a free skin screening
- Demographics: 88% female | 68% between 43-65 | 87% somewhat or very concerned about skin