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“How many entries can we expect from our competition?!” – that’s usually one of the first questions our clients ask when we start working together. Whilst we would love to be able to peer into the future and tell them exactly – to the last person – how many entries their competition will receive, it’s not quite as easy as that.

For starters, we don’t have a crystal ball.

What we do have though, is hundreds and hundreds of competitions worth of experience, so whilst we may not be able to give a precise number, we can give you an idea of how many entrants you can expect, simply by answering the following questions…

SPOILER ALERT: there’s a lot of maths in this post. Sorry, not sorry. We’re nerds.

How many entries do you want?

Whilst we don’t doubt your manifesting game is strong, we’re not talking about ask and you shall receive here – more like plan and you’re more likely to receive…

By working back from the number you want to achieve, you can get an idea of the reach, budget and amount of work you’ll need to do to get your desired number of entries.

From there, you can either reset your expectations to suit the amount of work you’re willing to invest, or shoot for the (competition) moon.

HERE COMES THE MATHS BIT…

When we were in the process of planning Ramp Champ’s competition, we were asked this exact question: how many competition entries will we get?

As we were chatting through the the planning process for the competition and asking the client about audience sizes and conversion rates, we realised it wasn’t just peering into mystical objects that could bring us the answer, but simple maths.

Let’s say you want 3,000 entries to your competition or giveaway.

In order to work out how many visitors you’ll need to get to your competition entry or landing page to get those 3,000 conversions to enter, you’ll need to know your conversion to entry rate.

Typically, for our competitions, we’d have between 65-80% conversion rate (or 97.8% if you’re Ramp Champ), so as a conservative estimate let’s say you’ll convert 50% of all visitors that see your competition entry page into confirmed competition entries.

That means you’ll need to bring 6,000 people to your competition entry page, at 50% conversion rate or higher, to get your 3,000 entries.

How will you get 6,000 people to visit your contest entry page? We’re glad you asked…

How big is your existing audience?

The number of people you’ll be able to share your competition with – and therefore the number of entries you’ll receive for your competition – is going to depend on your reach.

What is reach?

The number of people you have access to or the number of people in your audience.

Let’s say you have an email list of 2,000 people, plus a social following of 5,000 people. Your potential reach is 7,000 people.

Your realistic reach is probably more likely to be about 850 people, based on an average email open rate of 30% of your total subscribers and an average organic reach on social media of around 5% (yep, sad but true).

Let’s say all of those 850 people head to your competition landing page and 50% of those 850 convert to an entry. You’re up to 425 entries.

So how are you going to get the remaining 2,575 entries?! Well, you’re going to need to promote your competition.

Feel like you’re back in high school with all this maths?!
Image of a calculator and pen on a notebook full of complicated maths terms and formulas by Vishwarajsinh Rana on Unsplash.

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How are you planning to promote your competition?

We’ve written a pretty extensive guide to promoting your competition already, so we’re not going to list all the ways to promote your competition here, but we will say that you’re going to need to know your numbers to decide the best way to promote your competition and get those all important eyeballs on your competition entry page.

Let’s say you decide to run some Facebook ads to promote your competition and drive traffic to your entry page. You’ll need to know how much it’s going to cost you per click on your ad or per conversion to entry.

Let’s say it costs you $1 to get an entry via Facebook ads, you’ll need to budget $2,575 to get your remaining 2,575 entries from Facebook ads.

By contrast, you could pay $500 to advertise your competition in another company’s email newsletter, which goes out to 50,000 people with a 30% open rate. That’s a potential reach of 15,000 people who could head to your competition page, multiplied by your 50% conversion rate, you could end up with 7,500 entries for your $500.

Do you see now why we’re such nerds for numbers?

Here are some stats you might want to get your head around when working out how and where you get your entries:

  • Potential reach – total number of people who will see your competition
  • Engagement rate – total number of people who will engage with your competition promotion (e.g. open rate, click through rate)
  • Visitors – total number of people who will visit your competition landing page
  • Conversion rate – total number of people who will turn into entrants after visiting your competition page
  • Cost per mille – total cost to get your competition in front of 1,000 people
  • Cost per acquisition – total cost to get someone to enter your competition (or cost per entry)

You were probably expecting us to crack out the usual ‘how long is a piece of string’ reply to the oft-asked question of how many entries you can expect for your competition, but you underestimate our nerdiness. We’re all about the data, which whilst it may be dull and dry, is a far more accurate predictor of the number of entries your competition will get. Knowing your numbers will give you a pretty good idea of how many contest entries to expect as well as how and where to promote your competition to get those entries.

Want to know how many entries your competition could get or want us to run the numbers so you don’t have to? Get in touch with us via our contact page, or book in a free strategy session with us. We promise we won’t nerd out too hard on the numbers…