Free Q-Tips for a year! Win a lifetime supply of Brussel sprouts! Win a truck! Only one of these sweepstakes interests me, although I do appreciate a good ear cleaning. These sweepstakes have one goal in common – lead generation.
Both a contest and a sweepstakes are great ways to feed the funnel and generate new leads. (Side note: The terms “contest” and “sweepstakes” are not interchangeable. A contest is a game of skill where the winner is selected with the use of set criteria. A sweepstakes is a game of chance with the winner being selected randomly.)
After marketing goals are established and your legal team is on speed dial, it’s time to enjoy the benefits of a lead generation sweepstakes. Here’s what you can expect:
New Leads in the Funnel
A sweepstakes provides the motivation to get contacts into the funnel, which can lead to ongoing contact engagement. Now you have to do your part to start a dialog. Make sure to include an opt-in for future communications. Dropping opted-in contestants into your email newsletter is a great way to expand your mailing list, but take care to review the new contacts you’re talking to.
Use the sweepstakes as an opportunity to ask detailed questions. When you’re giving away a high-value item, a contestant is willing to complete a longer form with more detailed questions. Use the data captured to build timely and relevant nurture campaigns.
One of our clients recently followed this formula when running a badass Win-A-Truck Sweepstakes. The Knapheide Manufacturing Company provides customers with high-quality, work-ready transportation solutions. They were ready to feed their funnel.
(Pro tip: The higher the value of the prize, the more information you can ask for.)
The result: They were able to start targeting and segmenting their database. Knapheide increased their marketable database size by 135 percent, which accounted for 18 percent of the total sales leads from July to December 2016.
Before launching your sweepstakes, develop guidelines on what qualifies a lead. Outline what will happen to the qualified leads and what will happen to the rest of the leads. Then determine if the qualified leads can be segmented even further.
A Great Deal of Shares
Sweepstakes are cost-effective ways to promote your brand, your company, your services and your products. The message can be spread quickly with the use of cross-channel marketing, especially when it is picked up by sweepstakes pages and social media.
The Knapheide Win-A-Truck Sweepstakes was picked up by numerous websites and shared by those who entered. You may not have control over what they share, but it does drive brand awareness and traffic back to your site.
— John Tabor (@JohnTaborUP) August 23, 2016
— Peter Palumbo (@PeterPalumbo1) August 14, 2016
August 31st is the last day for the Knapheide Win-A-Truck sweepstakes. Click-through for a video with more info. https://t.co/a0aUkaiEqE
— ECmag (@ECmagdotcom) August 24, 2016
(Pro-tip: Bogus submissions are still submissions. Don’t always focus on filling the sales funnel, but on brand awareness, too.)
A Surge in Website Traffic
Online sweepstakes give motivation to continue visiting a website … “Did I win, did I win?!?” While on the site, many contestants will continue to explore and learn about what you have to offer.
During the nine-week promotional period for the Knapheide’s Win-A-Truck Sweepstakes, there was a 5 percent increase in overall website traffic. After the sweepstakes, a lift in overall organic visits has remained. Remember to benchmark the number of visits to your website before the sweepstakes begins; this way, you can properly track the impact.
(Pro-tip: Make sure to have the right content live on your website during a sweepstakes. Website visits aren’t only about the prize.)
New Brand Ambassadors
A well-run sweepstakes can turn contest submitters into brand ambassadors and advocates.
The Knapheide Win-A-Truck Sweepstakes winner, Jason Jackson, is ecstatic to have won a truck for Jackson Electric. Not only does he get a brand new work truck outfitted with a Knapheide service body, but he also gets to scope the truck body to fit his business needs. Jason is now a brand ambassador for Knapheide and a local celebrity. Readers can follow Jason’s journey.
It’s also important for brands to think beyond just the winner. The experience overall has the potential to create multiple brand advocates, even those who don’t win. Continued communication throughout the process (and post-sweepstakes) will help to build brand preference.
Whether you’re looking to sell more Q-Tips or market Brussel sprouts, a sweepstakes done right can increase leads, drive traffic to your site and provide future sales opportunities. But before you can reap the benefits, make sure to carefully craft your goals and build your program around a hook. Don’t forget to build a follow-up plan for handling and nurturing new leads.
So, are you ready to feed your funnel with a sweepstakes?