There is one universal truth for small business owners and operators of all sizes: they are all seeking new customers. Lead-generation is on the mind of many, but finding those leads, and making sure they are 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?Digital marketing offers a variety of opportunities for businesses to find those new potential customers. Unlike some of the traditional mass marketing tactics 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, today's savvy marketers seek to find small, highly engaged groups of people who are ready to purchase today or in the near future. Those potential customers are extremely valuable to any business!
One of the most common and effective ways to drive engagement with potential customers is through promotional tactics, and coupons are one of the most widely used strategies. The offers on a coupon entice people to sample a product or service, which will hopefully lead to additional future sales. If a customer was on the fence about a purchase, a well-timed discount offer can also be the push they need to decide they're ready to buy. Today, coupons and discounts are often deployed in email campaigns. They are quite effective, but if overused they can be expensive and unintentionally train consumers to only buy when there is a coupon.
Another smart promotional strategy to consider is running a contest. Contests can come in many forms, from photo submission to voting in a ballot to a simple giveaway. All of these offer a simple proposition: they 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.
Through the contest registration process, you can gather a bit of information about the individuals who enter. This is where the magic happens: you can ask if they're interested in what your business offers. This is a great place to offer a sample of your product, a free consultation or a discount. This will help you qualify potential leads out of the contest entrants, so you can follow up with them and nurture them to a sale!
Putting together a contest to bring in new leads isn't difficult, you just need a plan and a partner who can help you execute effectively. You'll need to provide a valuable prize to offer: this could be a product you sell, a gift card to your business, or even just cash. Your local media partner can help you put together a marketing package that will attract a qualified audience to the contest. They can also assist you in creating a registration form that gathers the information you're interested in, without asking so many questions that users abandon the contest altogether.
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
There's nothing quite like a sponsored contest to build engagement with your brand and bring in new leads. Are you ready to reap the benefits? Click below to get in touch with your local marketing expert today and learn more!
This post was originally published in September 2018. It has been updated for relevance.