Many of our clients here at KobeMail run contests via email. This is a great way to build lists, keep your readers engaged, and promote your business. However, just like any email marketing tactic, having a successful email contest takes proper planning and execution. Here are some steps that we have found to be imperative to take in order to run a successful contest campaign:
1. Define a specific goal. This step is important to keeping your campaign on target. You do not want to try to do too many different things with your contest. Your goal should be apparent throughout all of the mailings.
2. Define success metrics. Similar to the step above, you need to be specific about what you want to achieve from running the contest. Do you want to create a buzz on your social media accounts? Do you want to grow your email list? Do you want to add to sales?
3. Offer clear directions. While a successful contest can do great things for your email marketing strategy, a poorly managed campaign can be devastating. The rules for the contest need to be clearly defined and easy to understand for your subscribers. Once the rules are established, you should not change them at all. It is advised to run the proposed rules past your legal department to ensure compliance.
4. Promotion! Like any successful marketing campaign, promotion is a huge factor. Who is your audience? Once that is defined you can target your promotion. Do you use facebook and twitter? Do you take out ad space on similar sites?
5. Follow through. Once the winner(s) are determined, make sure to share the news with all contestants/readers. Be sure to follow up with the winner(s) with a personalized email congratulating them.
Good luck, and Happy Mailing!