Marketing Strategy Blog

Promotions, Contests & Sweepstakes: A Better Way to Engage Your Audience

Businesses are increasingly looking for campaign ideas that drive tangible results and increase revenue. Promotions, contests and sweepstakes are great digital products that generate revenue and are a better way to engage your audience.

photo_promo.pngPromoting your business with a contest that encourages community involvement with your brand is the next digital product ready to drive warm leads. Use integrated solutions to drive traffic to the contest, generate leads and leave a lasting impression on consumers. Benefits of running contests and promotions include:

  • Generate qualified leads
  • Increase brand awareness and engagement
  • Grow social, email and mobile databases
  • Drive foot traffic
  • Reach the audience you want

Luckily, at Swift Local Solutions we’re here to help those that are seeking to identify consumers at various stages of the buying funnel from awareness to ready-to-purchase. In particular, promotions excel at achieving these advertiser goals:

  • Collecting leads and consumer insights
  • Building an email database
  • Increasing social media interactions
  • Gathering consumer demographics

In this blog, we’ll elaborate on the benefits of running a digital promotion and all of the great results that come with each campaign.

Collect Leads and Consumer Insights

How does it work?

When a consumer enters a promotion, they can be asked questions to help qualify them as a lead so businesses can better understand their place in the buying funnel. Typically, it is a best practice to limit the questions to 3 to ensure that the barrier to entry isn’t too high for the end-user. However, if your goal is to generate more high-quality leads, consider making your forms longer to weed out those prospects who aren't that interested in your offer. And if your goal is getting more lead volume, consider shorter forms that cause less friction.

Remember, asking sensitive questions (budget, salary, company revenue), despite the form being short, can still lead to friction. Be mindful of when in the buyer journey the questions you're asking are presented.

What does it look like? Registration form questions generally fall into four buckets:

  • Lead Generation: “May we contact you for a free estimate?”
  • Informational: “Did you know we provided low-interest financing for 12 months?”
  • Buying Intent: “When do you plan to purchase a dining room table?”
  • Industry-specific: “What make and model car do you currently drive?”
  • Bonus! Another good question to consider asking is “Have you ever been a customer of ABC Flooring?”

How can promotions help my business?

Anyone who answered “Yes!” to your promotion form is a top priority. These contacts should be contacted as soon as possible because these are the people who have raised their hand and said they want to be contacted. These individuals are at the critical stage of nearing a purchase, so they’re of the utmost importance. Furthermore, knowing whom in the promotion audience has not been a customer of your business is one way to gauge the success of a campaign. For instance, understanding that 65% of the people who entered your promotion has never been a customer of your business indicates that the campaign reached new prospective customers for your company. Even more - you’re growing your email database!

Other questions, such as the examples listed above, help segment and prioritize consumers. For example, if you’re a furniture store running a promotion with a Swift Local Solutions brand, those who answered that they plan to make a dining room table purchase in the next six months aren’t as hot of lead, but they should still be nurtured and communicated to regularly to keep the business top of mind with them. So, when they are ready to purchase, they will know where to go for that product or service.

Promotions Build an Email Database

How does it work?

SCH-optinsWhen a consumer enters a promotion, they’re given the option to opt into receiving emails from your business. Most opt-ins can be pre-checked to increase database participation, but a promotion will always allow the user to uncheck the box if they don’t wish to receive emails.

Keep the copy for email opt-ins short, positive, and to the point. Make it clear to the user what they’re signing up for. Example: Yes, I’d like to receive helpful home tips and promotions from ABC Home Remodeling.

Once a consumer has opted to receive more information from your business, they can be added to an existing advertiser database or CRM tool. These are now assets to your company that are incredibly valuable.

Email is widely considered one of the best digital tools for communicating to prospective buyers and existing customer, so providing an advertiser with a fresh list of new people can help keep them generating sales for months to come. Many of these consumers are likely at the start or middle of the buying funnel, so they’re important to nurture and communicate to as they move down the funnel and closer to making a purchase.

Increase Social Media Interactions

Promotions and contests are built for social media. These are exciting events. People love valuable and relevant prizes. People love to win. And they love to share.

Incentives for your promotion can be created to encourage sharing. Typically, these are extra chances of winning the grand prize. Follow and Like buttons can also be added to the registration form to make it easy for users to stay in touch with an advertiser on social media.

Getting people to share on social media broadens the audience and brings new people into the fold. This means more reach and exposure. Promotions inherently generate more engagement than more traditional advertising as one has to actively interact to participate. While, social followers are likely to be in a more passive state and around the top of the buying funnel, but they can certainly be moved down the funnel and be a future opportunity for your business if nurtured properly. Your business can also drive more traffic to your social media channels from a promotion.

Gather Consumer Demographics

How does it work?

Every contest captures the demographic data of all entrants. Basic information about a person is entered as part of their participation in the promotion. Data fields like zip code, age, name, and gender are captured on the registration form. These data points help your business gain insight into who entered the promotion.

These demographic details can provide a snapshot of who’s interested in your products and services. Demographic data can also help inform future campaigns and promotions. The data provides insight to help you see how your core audience aligns with your target audience.

Steamboat Ace

The "Spruce Up Your Space" giveaway from Steamboat Springs Ace Hardware effectively combined all of these audience engagement strategies. The contest included an opt-in to the Steamboat Ace Hardware email list, a button to follow them on Facebook, and several questions about what contest participants planned to purchase, like lawn care equipment. 

Are you ready to learn more about custom promotions and how Swift Local Solutions can build a better way to engage your audience? Contact us today to learn more about contests and promotions and your account manager will get started on your custom campaign!

Try a contest today!


This post was originally published in 2017. It has been updated for relevance and accuracy.



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