We’ve all seen them – competitions that practically ask for your first born in return for an entry to the contest. You get halfway through filling out your address, name, email address, date of birth, your mother’s favourite colour, your dog’s middle name… and you realise that the $20 t-shirt you’re entering to win isn’t really worth the time you’ve spent filling out the entry form.

So how much is too much? What do you do if you need to ask more questions? What should you ask your entrants? We’ll answer all of these questions and more… right after you tell us what you had for breakfast and your shoe size. Just kidding.

How much is too much when it comes to competitions?

Think of it this way, entering a competition is like a hurdle race, the more hurdles you put in the way of the finish line (in this analogy that would be the entrant submitting their entry), the higher the chance they’ll stumble before they reach the finish.

No one wants to jump this many hurdles to win a free t-shirt…
Props to the person in purple going around the outside! Picture by Alyssa Ledesma via Unsplash.

So remove all the hurdles you can to increase your chance of receiving entries for your giveaway.

A classic example of asking too much information is a service-based business with no tangible product asking for a full address as part of the entry process. I’ve seen this so many times and every time I see it I want to tear my hair out. It’s a wonder I’m not bald.

If you don’t need – or use – the information, don’t ask for it because you’ll lose entries. A hair salon running a cut and colour competition would never need to know a full delivery address. Having said that, they may need to know which suburbs or postcodes their entrants live in so they can tailor their targeted Facebook ads or offline advertising. In that case, the salon should ask for the postcode only or provide a list of dropdown suburbs to choose from.

What if I need more information from my entrants or winner?

Can you request this information at a later date or in another way? For example, if you create diaries and planner inserts and you want to know whether your entrants prefer your monochrome or neon range, there are a number of ways you can do this, without sacrificing entries.

USE TICK BOXES

Firstly, if you absolutely must know the answer to this during the competition; instead of asking their name, email and ‘which of our ranges do you prefer?’ – try adding a tick box where they can select their preference. Tick boxes are quick and easy for entrants to fill out, don’t require too much thought, time or effort on your entrants’ part and will net you more entries than a text field question.

TURN IT INTO A GAME OF SKILL

If you absolutely must have your insights from your entrants as part of their competition entry, consider turning your competition into a game of skill. Instead of asking them to answer a question about their preferences, then picking a winner at random from all entries; use the answers to your question to pick a winner.

In our planner/diary example, we would ask for their name, email address and a question such as ‘tell us which of our ranges is your favourite and why’. You can then indicate whether you’re looking for creativity, images, or favourite product features in their responses and choose your favourite answer as your winner.

Turn your competition into a game of skill. Photo by STIL on Unsplash.

ENTRIES FIRST, QUESTIONS LATER

Sticking with our planner example, there will be a physical product to deliver to the winner, so in this case, we will definitely need the winner’s address… with emphasis being on the winner’s address only.

You don’t need to collect the delivery details or preferences of every single entrant, just the winner, so ask the bare minimum as part of the competition entry, then collect further details once you’ve picked your winner.

BE STRATEGIC

Just because you haven’t asked a direct question, doesn’t mean you can’t deduce an answer. Stay with me, here.

For our planner/diary example, we want to find out whether our entrants prefer the neon range or the monochrome range; so let’s present them with both options and see which one they choose. If you’re asking for their name and email address as part of their entry, you can send your entrants an email featuring both product ranges with images, buttons and text links to click on for more information. If your click through rates are higher for your monochrome products, it’s safe to say that’s the most popular range.

You can even take this one step further and segment your audience in your email provider based on which products your entrants and subscribers click on most.

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What should I ask my competition entrants?

Keep it simple.

Stick to the bare minimum – name and email address ideally, but if you need to add any other essential questions (for example if you’re running a game of skill) keep those to an absolute minimum.

Every question you ask is a chance to lose a potential entrant, so ask yourself if it’s really essential to ask this question, or whether you can ask it at a later date.

Some of our most successful competitions have only included three questions: name, email address and an answer to a game of skill question.

There is such a thing as too much when it comes to competition entry forms. If you’re wondering if you’re asking too much of your entrants, the answer is probably yes. Pare it down to just the essentials – the minimum questions you need to ask in order to pick your winner. Aim to get any other information you may need at a later date – and that includes delivery addresses for winners. If you keep your entry process simple and minimal, you’ll increase your entry numbers and achieve a better conversion rate from page visitor to entrant too!

If you’re still not sure if you’re asking too much on your entry form or just want to run it past an expert, get in touch with us or book in a free strategy session, we’d love to help make it easier for your audience to enter your competition!

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