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You’ve put in all the hard work to get your competition to the point of launch. 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-launch competition checklist.

A competition goal.

Without knowing what you want to achieve before you launch your competition, 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”

> Read more about setting a goal for your competition…

An ideal customer.

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.

> Get to know who your ideal entrant is here…

A clear message.

What do you want to communicate to your audience during the competition? What do you want them to know about your product or service, how do you want them to describe your business to others? Get clear on your messaging before you launch.

A set budget.

If you don’t keep track of your spending during your competition, it’ll be impossible to calculate the return on investment from your competition. So grab a notebook, our workbook or an excel spreadsheet and write down everything you’ve spent on your competition to date.

A timeline or schedule.

The three key dates you need to know – at minimum – are your launch date, your competition duration and your close date. Everything else slots in around those key dates, so ensure you have these locked in.

NOTE: You can’t launch your competition and leave it open-ended hoping to close it once you get enough entries/make enough money. It’ll get you in trouble with licensing boards, not to mention seriously annoy your audience.

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? (Spoiler alert: it’s not an iPad).

e.g. With a large, disposable income, our example demographic will have most modern gadgets, so offer something exclusive and difficult to obtain – such as 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…

> Check out our ultimate guide to entry methods here…

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.

> If you need an app to help collect entries, check out this post…

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.

A quick check you’re not breaking any rules…

The last thing you want is for your competition to get shut down before it’s begun because it breaks the rules.

If you’re running your competition on Facebook, make sure you DO NOT ask your entrants to tag or share and if you’re running it on Instagram, DON’T ask entrants to tag themselves in images they’re not in. Simple.

> You can check out all social media platform rules here…

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 or grab our DIY template.

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.

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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!

A quick test.

Finally, before you go live, just quickly log out of everything and attempt to enter your competition to check it’s all working correctly. No one likes a broken link when they’re excited about winning a prize!

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!

Want to make sure you’re ready for launch? Book in a free competition strategy session with our team of competition nerds!