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From secret weapons to countdowns, no, we’re not planning a space mission, just a good old fashioned competition. This year marks 6 years in business for OrigamiGlobe… So we thought we’d share with you the top 6 things we’ve learnt over the years of running competitions and giveaways.

Join us on a journey through the years and benefit from 6 years of specialist competition knowledge in approximately 6 minutes worth of blog post.

SPOILER ALERT: graphs ahead… many, many graphs 🤓

Lesson 1 – always count down to competition launch.


Counting down to launch is one of our secret weapons (well, maybe not so secret now…)

You may wonder what difference this could truly make, when the competition isn’t even open or ready to accept entries yet; but trust us, countdowns are rocket fuel for competitions.

Check out this stunning graph that shows exactly how powerful our pre-competition countdown was for one client, netting 1.687 entries on day one:

How did we do it? A simple series of organic posts on social media to let people know a competition was coming and to stay tuned for the big announcement. It’s so simple and so often overlooked as a promotional tactic.

BONUS: see that spike at the end of the competition? That’s a countdown too. At the end of our competitions we remind people that it’s their last chance to enter and count down to the close date. There’s nothing like a good deadline to motivate action.

Lesson 2 – you can learn a shed load about your audience through competitions.

One of the most interesting parts of running a competition is learning who your entrants (and paying customers) are.

Sometimes, we start a competition with an idea of who we believe our ideal entrant  to be, other times, we begin with an assumption – especially for new businesses… but in every competition we learn exactly who our audience are.

One particular client described their ideal entrant to us as a retired male; as that’s who they believed they earned most of their revenue from. In actual fact, the competition revealed that those who converted to paying customer and handed over their cash once the competition had closed, was in fact a 30-something female.

Another client threw in a simple tick-box question to ask their entrants to choose one of four options that helped them segment their entrants and email database so they could tailor their email content and product offerings to each segment and increase their conversion to purchase .

Now, we don’t want to scare you off with too much talk of data, after all we’ve already thrown a graph at you; but your competition data is so rich with insights about your audience, that it’s near impossible to run a competition and NOT learn a tonne about your audience in the process.

Lesson 3 – competitions work for all types of business.

In 6 years of running competitions, we’ve worked with close to 100 different businesses spanning many diverse industries.

Competitions have worked for each and every single one of these industries:

  • Charities and not for profits
  • Automotive
  • Homewares
  • Clothing and accessories
  • Health and fitness
  • Cooking and baking
  • Personal styling
  • Industrial supplies
  • Medical and wellness
  • Hospitality and accommodation
  • Higher learning institutions
  • Foundations
  • Cleaning services
  • Food and beverage
  • Photographers
  • Gifts and keepsakes
  • Travel
  • Sporting goods
  • Skincare
  • Jewellers
  • Real estate
  • Financial services
  • Magazines and publishing

The point is, regardless of your industry, business, product, or service, with some solid strategy, a genuine goal, and on-point promotion; competitions and giveaways will work for your business.

Lesson 4 – to get high competition entry numbers, you must leverage paid ads.

As we’ve discussed before, organic reach can only get you so far when it comes to competitions.

If you want high reach and entry numbers, you need to tap in to new audiences – and the best way to do that, is with paid ads.

That huge spike where we jump from on average 15 entries a day organically to 500+ entries a day? That’s when the ads went live.

Through careful targeting, we got our competition in front of exactly the right people, who went on to enter the competition.

It’s also worth noting with this competition, the drop in entries per day after 19 March. As it turned out, 500 entries/emails/leads per day was an unsustainable amount for the business to realistically follow up on. On 19 March, we changed the ad targeting from 18-65 year olds to 45-65 year olds deliberately to decrease the amount of entries to a manageable amount and to narrow our demographic to a higher quality segment that would have a higher likelihood of converting post competition.

… Even with the targeting changes, the competition still attracted well over 12,000 entries!

Lesson 5 – it’s a good idea to combine your winner announcement with an offer.


This is one of our favourite tricks of the trade.

Once you’ve drawn your winner, hold off on posting to social media and instead email your entrants with the announcement first.

You’ll naturally see high open rates for this email because your entrants are waiting with bated breath to see if their name will be inside. Now you have their attention, give them a consolation offer to soften the blow of not seeing their name announced as the winner.

One competition saw $72,000+ worth of sales as a result of this exact tactic.

If we spruik this offer email idea all the time, trust us, it’s because it works!

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Lesson 6 – competitions never get old.

For us, or for our entrants.

Head honcho Suki van K has been in the competition biz for over 10 years now and she’s just as excited about running competitions as the day she cut her teeth on competitions and giveaways back in corporate land.

But it’s not just the OrigamiGlobe team that never get sick of competitions… Our entrants don’t seem to get tired of them either.

This final (we promise) graph shows one of our client’s competitions broken down by entries per day for the duration of the competition.

You can see that for the majority of the competition, we averaged a steady 100 entries or so, per day, indicating that our audience stayed excited, interested and engaged with our competition for the duration.

There are fluctuations of course. The lower entry numbers in the first week for example, reflect the fact that we ran the competition on organic only promotion for the first seven days. Organic reach is traditionally a fraction of the reach you would expect when paying for reach with ads, as evidenced by the huge spike of entries on 2 September, when we started running paid ads.

As is always the case with ads, we see an initial spike of higher entries once the competition ads go live, then that tapers off to a steady and sustainable number of entries per day.

We’ve grown a lot as a business over the past 6 years, but only with the help of our incredible and amazing clients who have taught us almost as much about competitions as we’ve taught them. As the competition landscape continues to grow and evolve, we’ll continue to learn lessons from our giveaways – and of course, share them with you.

If you’ve enjoyed learning these lessons as much as we have and wonder what a competition could teach you about your business, book in a free 20 minute strategy session with Suki van K, or get in touch with us to chat.