How to build sales through competitions

Lee kenny, CEO of Snowflake Media
Lee kenny, CEO of Snowflake Media

When times are tough business often revert to price-led discounts, which can be an effective short-term boost to cashflow, but equally can hurt long term profitability.

Every business should have a great range of competitions in their marketing armoury to remove some of this reliance on reducing margins.

Use this checklist to ensure that you maximise their long term value.

Use a Marketing Calendar

Tying a competition to specific events or holidays makes a lot of sense. Customers are almost trained to understand the link between your business and why the contest is running. Good events to tie in may include Valentines Day, Fathers Day, Mothers Day, new season arrivals and anniversary of the business.

Too many businesses rush their promotions and leave them until the last minute.

#1 Mistake on Facebook and Twitter

One of the biggest mistakes you can make on social media is simply asking someone to like or share a post in order to enter. You may get a short term spike in interest, but you have no solid way to keep in touch with those entrants. Always ask people to share some contact information in order to enter.

Make the prize relevant

Make the prize something that a potential customer would want. This way if someone enters, you know that they are a relevant and potential customer for the future.

Make everyone a winner!

Not everyone can win first prize of course, but what could you give everyone who enters that still has value for the customer and is an acceptable cost to your business if it results in a new customer?

This might be a £5 voucher when someone spends £25? A flat rate discount? Maybe a free upgrade on a hair treatment if that makes sense?

Follow up

Ideally a competition will run for two to three weeks. During that time, be sure to email or text entrants with an update. Reminding them that the competition prize will be drawn on XYZ date and also highlighting some of the other things you offer within that email.

Rewards loyalty

As businesses you probably focus the majority of your efforts on acquiring new customers, however spend some time nourishing and rewarding your existing clients. Consider running exclusive competitions that are only available to people who are already customers.

Mix it up

When using social media consider using video to spread the word. On average you’ll reach eight times more people for free on Facebook with video over a simple text update. Also make sure you spread the word through all your marketing channels and physically tell everyone you come in to contact with!

Using these simple, but effective tips your next contest will be a sure fire winner.