You’ve put in all the hard work to get your competition off the ground, the last thing you want is for a tiny hitch to stall your competition’s launch or for turbulence to disrupt its progress. Check your competition ticks all these boxes on our pre-flight competition checklist.
A goal for your competition.
Without knowing what you want to achieve, it’s going to be difficult to achieve it! Make sure you’re clear on the reason for launching a competition in the first place.
e.g. “To collect X number of email addresses to increase our mailing list so we can market our money-can’t-buy holiday packages to a bigger audience”
An audience to promote to.
Do you have a clear target demographic in mind? It’s no good investing time and money in a competition that will not attract people who actually buy your product or service… Make sure you know exactly who your target audience is, so you can get your competition in front of them.
e.g. Young couples between 25-35 with large disposable incomes and no children.
A clear timeline.
The three key dates you need to know are your launch date, your competition duration and your close date. Everything else slots in around those key dates, so start here.
Tip: Plan backwards. For a close date mid-October, the competition will launch mid-September so licences, legals, entry pages etc need to be in place by early September.
An attractive and compelling prize.
Get this right and everything that follows will be easy! What does your target audience desire? What would motivate them to enter? (Clue: it’s not an iPad)
e.g. With a large, disposable income, our example target demographic will have most modern gadgets, so offer something more exclusive that would be difficult for them to obtain themselves – for example an all-inclusive, romantic getaway at a private island not available to the public.
An easy entry method.
You could offer the most enticing prize in the world, but if you make it too difficult to enter, your competition will be a flop. Beware that what’s easiest for you, may not always be easiest for your entrants…
e.g. You may think a ‘Tell us in 25 words or less why you deserve a romantic getaway’ competition is easier and cheaper because it doesn’t require a licence; but it involves a lot more effort for your entrants, so you’re likely to see fewer entries. ‘Enter your email to win’ does require a licence and therefore more work on your part, as it constitutes a game of chance; but it’s a lot easier for your audience so will attract more entries and therefore more email addresses…
Somewhere to enter the competition.
Where will your ideal entrant actually enter your competition? Where would they most likely come across your brand – in a bricks and mortar shop or online? If online, via social media or your website?
Tip: Look at where your audience already hangs out – if they normally post pictures of their trips on Facebook, that would be a good place to start. If they prefer boasting about their overwater bungalows in the Maldives on Instagram, get them to enter via Instagram.
An arsenal of relevant marketing material.
It’s no good having a stellar competition if no one ever finds out about it! Promote the hell out of it with brilliantly designed and targeted graphics on your website, social media and/or store fronts. The more you promote your competition, the more entries you’ll get.
e.g. Posters, flyers, banners on your website, pop-ups, promotional giveaways, emails, updates and even custom hashtags to name just a few. From experience, a custom competition landing page is the best way to convert visitors to entrants.
Terms and conditions.
Making a competition easy for your audience to enter is one thing, you also need to make sure you protect your business legally with a clear set of terms and conditions covering all aspects of your competition.
Tip: If you have no idea where to start when it comes to terms and conditions, let us give you a hand.
Applicable licences and permits.
An essential part of any competition. If you don’t have a licence for your competition, it may be illegal and you risk hefty fines and even jail time. Do your research – check out our guide and then double check on the relevant state government’s website.
Tip: If you are running your competition in multiple states, you will need to check the laws of each state your competition is open to, not just the state where your business is registered or based.
A way to monitor your competition’s success…
What’s the point in setting a goal if you don’t know if/when you’ve achieved it? Ensure you have a way to track and analyse your progress, so that you can work out what’s working and what’s not and tweak your marketing if you’re heading off track.
Tip: Benchmark your stats before you launch your competition and then again when your competition closes – and make sure you celebrate when your goal is achieved!
Setting up your competition correctly from the beginning means you get the right results and have a stress-free experience. If you’ve checked everything off on this list, congrats! You’re ready to launch your competition! We’d love to hear how it went in the comments below, or feel free to share your own pre-launch tips.