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You may have noticed that I’m a big fan of enter your email to win style competitions, contests and giveaways – and there’s a good reason for this.

Submit your email or enter your email to win competitions, when run correctly, offer a whole host of benefits and advantages for your business; from increased traffic and engagement to higher conversion to sales. Enter your email to win competitions also offer the best ROI (or return on investment) of all competitions, as they result in more immediate purchases during and immediately after the competition, as well as the opportunity to convert subscribers to sales in the long-term through nurture sequences and emails following a competition.

Here’s how to run a successful enter your email to win competition in 6 easy steps.

First things first, do your homework.

A successful competition requires a well-thought out strategy. You need to make sure you set yourself a competition goal, know who your ideal entrant is, create your competition messaging, set yourself a budget (so you can track your track your ROI), decide when and how long to run your competition and choose your prize.

Once you’ve done your homework and set your competition strategy, you can start building your enter your email to win competition.

If you need a hand planning your competition, check out OrigamiGlobe’s The last guide to competitions you’ll ever need to read.

Next, create your competition entry form.

There are three main ways to collect email addresses for your competition, you can build a competition landing page on your website, use a competition app or use Facebook’s lead forms. Each have their advantages and disadvantages.

The preferred method for collecting email addresses from competitions is always to build a landing page on your website, because…

  • Increased, targeted traffic and/or referral may offer SEO benefits for your website
  • You can collect and utilise data about your visitors and entrants using both the Facebook pixel (also useful for retargeting ads) and the Google Analytics tag
  • If you redirect entrants to a thank you page after they’ve entered, you can measure conversion and retarget those who don’t enter more effectively
  • Thank you page redirects can also help keep people on your site longer and even encourage purchases
  • You’ll create higher brand awareness when bringing people to your website instead of keeping them on or directing them to a third party website

None of the above are possible when using a third party solution such as Facebook lead ads or competition apps to host your competition entry form.

Once you’ve decided where to build your competition entry form, it’s time to create it. Remember not too ask too much information from your entrants and keep your fields to a minimum. Most enter your email to win entry forms simply need a name, email address and tick box to agree to the terms and conditions and that’s all. If you’re running a game of skill of course, you can add your question to the entry form too.

Most email platforms such as Mailchimp, Klaviyo and ActiveCampaign give you the option to build your own forms and embed them, which is the easiest way to create a form that directly feeds your entries into your email platform for further nurturing and marketing.

Set up an automated ‘thank you for entering’ email.

When someone submits their email address to your competition, you’ll want to make sure you acknowledge their entry.

As discussed above, this can be done with a thank you page redirect, but I also recommend setting up an automated email that is triggered to send as soon as someone submits their email address.

The thank you for your entry email doesn’t need to be long or complicated, you simply need to thank them for entering, remind them which competition they entered and what they entered to win by restating your company name, competition name and the prize up for grabs and then tell them what to do next – e.g. ‘keep an eye on your inbox, winners will be announced at the end of July’.

Our client, the Australian Animal Poisons Helpline’s thank you for entering email example.

TIP: even though you’re not running a follow or like to win competition, there’s no harm in encouraging a few extra social media followers during your enter to win competition, so why not add a sentence to the bottom of your email to say something along the lines of ‘don’t forget to like us on Facebook or follow us on Instagram to stay up to date with the competition!’.

Though it’s good practice to acknowledge an entry, this email also serves another very important purpose… it increases the chance of future emails not only landing in the inbox, but also being opened. By sending a thanks for entering email as soon as they’ve entered, your open rate is likely to be very high, telling your email platform you send quality emails and telling the entrant’s email provider that you’re a sender they like and to deliver future emails to the inbox.

Monitor and optimise your competition.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, competitions are not set and forget.

Whilst your enter your email to win competition is open, you need to be monitoring its progress and making tweaks and optimisations as you go if you want to get the best results.

When working with my Competition Concierge clients, I’ll monitor their competitions on a daily basis. Here’s what I’ll typically keep an eye on and tweak:

  • I’ll log into Google Analytics to check traffic numbers, percentage of new vs return visitors, time on page, bounce and exit rates
  • I’ll also pop into the ‘Behaviour Flow’ screen in Google Analytics to see which pages people visit before and after the competition pages to see if I can increase the conversion rate to entrant
  • Still in Google Analytics, I’ll also take a peek both the Audience and Acquisition tabs to see who is entering the competition and where they came from, to ensure we’re reaching the right people in the right places and look for opportunities to improve
  • When I’m done poking around in Analytics, I’ll head over to Facebook Ads Manager to check on the ad analytics. There’s a whole host of information available here, but I usually focus my attention on the cost per result (or entry) and the conversions columns
  • The cost per entry will tell me how much it’s costing to acquire an email address, this is important for budget management and ROI calculation. Based on the cost per entry, I will then turn off adsets or change creative to get the best value for money
  • The conversion rate essentially tells me which ads are ‘working’ well in terms of driving entries and which ads aren’t working as well. As I do a lot of AB testing during enter your email to win competitions, I’ll usually be testing multiple versions of an ad to find the best performer.

If any of the stats look unusual, I’ll delve deeper and make adjustments to ensure each and every competition gets the maximum amount of warm and relevant entries as possible. You’ll need to do the same if you want your submit your email address to win competition to be successful.

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Don’t forget to promote and engage.

As I said above, competitions are not set and forget – that goes for the promotion too.

In order to run a successful enter your email to win competition, you need to get your contest, competition or giveaway in front of as many relevant, warm and engaged people who fit your ideal demographic as possible.

Our competitions leverage a multitude of marketing channels including owned, earned and paid depending on the client’s time, resources and budget. Essentially, you need to promote your competition wherever you have access to promote it. Whether it’s via your social channels, partners, or paid advertising, the more you promote your competition, the more emails you’ll collect.

TIP: when running enter your email to win style competitions, it’s a good idea to ensure you keep your entrants engaged during the competition, so they continue to open your emails and see your marketing messages. If you’re running a longer competition, consider sending an update around the halfway point to let people know when the competition will be closing, how and when you’ll be announcing the winner and reminding them to let their friends and family know about the competition to encourage shares and extra entries.

If you get stuck for ideas on how to promote your competition, check out How to promote your competition:

Finally, close your competition and announce your winner.

When you’ve closed your competition, be sure to remove the entry form from your competition landing page to prevent any further entries or emails being collected. I usually remove the embed code for the form and replace it with a message detailing when to expect the winner announcement.

Once you’ve picked your winner and followed the appropriate process for notifying your winner privately first, you’ll want to send an email to your entrants only (before announcing the winner publicly on social media) so that you can combine your winner announcement with a special offer and increase your chances of converting your entrants to paying customers.

You can find full instructions on the best practice for announcing your winner here.

Running an enter your email to win competition is not only incredibly rewarding, it’s easy too. Simply create a competition strategy, build your entry form, set up a thank you for entering automated email, keep an eye on your competition whilst it’s open, promote and engage for best results and when your competition closes, just remove the form and remember to announce your winner. 

If you want to see what’s possible with enter your email to win competitions, check out the case studies. You can also get in touch with me via the contact page or book in a free strategy session to discuss your enter your email to win competition.