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Running a successful competition requires a strong strategy and a perfect promotion plan… but you can also guarantee a smash hit competition or giveaway by setting it up for success from the outset.

That means:

  • testing your competition works
  • tracking your vital statistics
  • and teasing your audience for your upcoming competition launch.

So if you’ve already planned and built your competition, let’s test, track and tease to ensure you get the best results possible from your giveaway.

Step 1 – test your competition works.

The first step to ensuring a successful competition is to test it actually works – after all, if no one can enter your competition, it’s guaranteed to fail.

So follow the steps you’re asking your entrants to complete to enter your competition and test that everything works.

  • Can you access the landing page or see the post on social media (even if it’s just a draft at the moment).
  • Is it clear what you’re asking your entrants to do to enter? Could you simplify the process?
  • Ask a friend, colleague or family member to test the entry process – sometimes it’s obvious to us what we’re asking entrants to do, but not always clear to our audience…
  • Did you successfully submit your entry and receive a confirmation, thank you message or email?
  • Can you see your test entry on your social post, landing page form, email provider or competition app?

If your competition appears to be working, you’ve thoroughly tested it and you’re confident it’s ready to launch, let’s move on to the next step.

Step 2 – track your competition’s vital statistics.

How do you know if your competition was a success?

Well, if you’ve set yourself a competition goal, the definition of a successful competition would be one that achieves your competition goal… so how do you know if you’ve achieved your goal?

Tracking your competition’s vital stats will show you whether you’re on track to achieve your goal or whether you’re way off and need to adjust your competition course.

We check in on our concierge clients’ competition metrics on a daily basis so we can make any necessary tweaks, but we benchmark the contest’s vital stats before the competition launches, at the halfway mark and then once the competition closes. This gives us three really useful data points to track our competition success against.

So how do you benchmark or track your competition’s vital statistics?

Before launch, you’ll want to make note of three to six key metrics that will tell you how you’re progressing towards your goal. You’ll then check in on these same three to six key metrics again at the halfway point and after your giveaway has closed.

Now, if your competition goal is to collect email addresses to build up your email list, you might want to benchmark:

  • The number of subscribers you have
  • Your current open rate
  • Your current click through rate
  • Your unsubscribe rate
  • Your conversion rate to lead, enquiry or purchase from your emails.

If your competition goal is to drive sales of your most popular product by pushing traffic to your product page on your website, you might want to benchmark:

  • Current website visitor numbers to the product page
  • How many sales you make via the website in a similar period
  • The sources of those sales – organic, social, email etc
  • Your conversion rate from visitor to purchaser
  • Even stats like customer lifetime value, average order value, cart abandon rate etc.
Google Analytics will be your best friend when it comes to benchmarking. Screenshot by Lukas Blazek via Unsplash.

The point is to choose vital stats that relate directly to your competition goal. There’s no point just tracking how many Facebook followers you gain during your competition if your aim is to get sign ups to your online course.

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Step 3 – tease your audience.

On average, our clients’ competitions receive six to ten times more entries on launch day if we run a pre-launch teaser campaign for them.

That could be the difference between launching with 40 entries on day one of your competition… and launching with 400 entries of the first day of your giveaway.

Think about it like this – when a new season of your favourite show is launching, you’ll be bombarded with ads months in advance, showing tantalising previews of the plot lines to come.

Teasing your audience prior to your competition launch is exactly the same – it’s informing them your competition launch is imminent, preparing them for what to expect, telling them when the big reveal is and getting them hooked, ready to reel them on on launch day.

The pre-launch teasers and promotional posts may even have intrinsic value to your business in themselves as people may share, like, interact and comment on your teaser posts, thus working towards your competition goal before your competition has even launched!

So how do you tease your audience?

It’s pretty simple, really – just tell them you’re launching a competition and when they’ll be able to enter!

Now, I’m not saying start priming your audience 6 months in advance, telling them your competition is ‘coming soon’ and it’s going to be AWESOME so ‘watch this space’ every day until launch; please don’t do this, you will lose more followers than you gain and your audience will get sick of you. What I am saying is be strategic.

Here are our top tips to strategically prime your audience with competition teasers:

  • 10 days to a week before your competition launches is ample time to prepare your audience. That will give people enough notice, but isn’t too far in advance that they’ll get sick of your competition before it has even launched.
  • Don’t be too mysterious but don’t give the game away. ‘Something exciting is coming’ is too generic, is it a product or service, a new range, a new colour scheme, a new staff member? Try something a little more indicative without spelling it out: ‘Time to give back to our loyal customers, stay tuned for an exciting announcement on December 15th!’ for example.
  • If you can’t decide whether to give away your hot pink yoga pants or your 80’s neon green yoga pants (also, where can I buy these yoga pants?!), why not post a picture of both – with a link back to your ‘buy it now’ page of course! Asking your audience to get involved, gets them invested and guaranteed to enter… for example ‘If we were to, hypothetically, host a giveaway… would you rather win the hot pink or neon green yoga pants?’
  • Consider pre-launching to your email database (if you’ve built one up). They already love you enough to sign up, they’re going to love you even more if they have a chance to not only enter your giveaway but have priority access. Remember your existing clients are just as valuable – if not more so – than new clients, so give them a little treat too.

The difference between a successful competition that launches with hundreds of entries on day one and one that falls flat on its face to the sound of crickets is a simple case of testing, tracking and teasing. The more you put in to priming and preparing your competition, the more you’re going to get out of your competition.

If you want our team of competition entrants to test, track and tease on your behalf, get in touch with us to find out about our competition packages and custom-tailored giveaways in a free strategy session.