If this sounds familiar, don’t panic.
We’ve all had competitions that struggle to attract attention (yes, even us). The good news is, that with a little investigation, it’s usually quick, easy and possible to get the entries flowing again. The first step is to work out why no one is entering and the second step is to fix it. So let’s get our detective caps on, pull out our magnifying glasses and get to work.
Have you tried turning it on and off again?!
The first port of call when investigating a competition with no entries, is to rule out the basics first – technical difficulties.
If you’re hosting your competition on social media…
- Is your post actually published?
- Is your post/account public?
- Is your competition post pinned to the top of the page?
- Are people seeing it?
- Are people clicking/liking/engaging with it?
If you’re hosting your competition on your website…
- Is your page live?
- Have you shared the correct link?
- Is the rest of your website accessible?
- Have you linked to your competition page from banners, menus, your homepage, in your emails and across social media?
If it all looks good, log out of everything and try to access your competition as a member of the public and ask your colleagues, friends and even your mum to enter. You know she will.
If people can see your competition, it’s not a technical issue, so let’s move on to the next step.
Are people seeing your competition?
If your page is working or your post is live and you received your mum’s entry a-OK, it’s time to check exactly who is seeing your competition.
You want to make sure enough people see your competition to help you achieve your competition goal but also that they’re the right people – i.e. your ideal demographic or people who actually buy your product or service.
HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE SEEN YOUR COMPETITION?
If you’re running your competition on social media and not getting entries, check your insights.
You can see exactly how many people have seen or engaged with a post on Facebook, by heading to your page, clicking on ‘Insights’ at the top of your page, and then heading to ‘Posts’.
Head to Insights > Overview on your Facebook page.
On Instagram, you can easily see your insights for each post by clicking ‘View Insights’ under the relevant post and checking how many people have seen your post.
If you’re hoping for 2,000 entries but your post has only been seen by 268 people, you obviously need to get cracking on promoting your competition, here are some ideas to get you started.
‘View Insights’ on Instagram.
Running your competition on your website? Don’t worry, we’ve still got you covered. Here, Google Analytics is your best friend.
Head to Google Analytics and open your Behaviour > Site Content > All Pages report and click on your competition page. Here you’ll be able to see exactly how many visits in total (and how many of those visits are unique) you’ve had to your competition landing page.
Behaviour > Site Content > All Pages from Google Analytics.
… AND WHO ARE THEY?
If your post has been seen by 20,000 people and you’ve only received 20 entries, it could be that the people seeing your competition aren’t the right people.
To find out if this is the case, we’ll have to dig a little deeper into your insights and reports.
On Facebook, head back into your Insights tab and this time click on ‘People’ > then ‘People Reached’.
Facebook shows you limited demographics for the people your posts reach.
This will show you very basic information about the gender, age and location of people your posts have reached. It does only cover very basic information, but you’ll quickly be able to see if they match your anticipated target audience or not.
Again, for competitions run on websites as opposed to social media, you’ll need to check Google Analytics.
Google Analytics gives us much more insight into the people seeing your competition than Facebook does.
Head to Audience > Demographics for your basic gender and age group breakdown and then take a quick look at Audience > Interests > Overview for a run down of your visitors’ Affinity Categories (what Google thinks they like) and In-Market Segments (what Google thinks they’re actively shopping for).
Check out this screenshot from a recent home-improvement/gardening focussed competition we ran for a client:
How’s that for laser-focussed targeting?
Their In-Market categories (or what they’re actively searching to buy) is so targeted and focussed on home-renovation and gardening that we’re certain we’re attracting the right audience.
If it were to say fashion lovers, pet lovers, vintage car enthusiasts etc we’d recalibrate our ads targeting and refine our audiences towards our desired audience.
Is your prize valuable?
If you’re attracting enough people and they’re the right people, but you’re still not getting entries it might be your prize.
If it’s an iPad, I can’t help you, you’re beyond help. You should stop reading now.
If you’re not giving away an iPad and you’re still puzzled as to why people aren’t entering despite your kick arse prize, make sure you have…
- Explained clearly what exactly the prize is.
- Detailed the inclusions of the prize, not just the boring ‘what’ but the enticing ‘so what’ – e.g. “Win our brand new family calendar” vs “Win our brand new family calendar so you’ll never forget hubby’s poker night or your daughter’s school play ever again!”
- Chosen a relevant, compelling and valuable prize that appeals to your audience. Dollars don’t come into it, I’ve seen $10,000 prize pools flop and $30 prize competitions go viral. Valuable to your audience is what matters.
Invited some of your favourite clients to enter or for feedback and see what they say.
- Added some hi-res, quality images of your product or service – some people like eloquent descriptions, others love bullet-point lists of features and others still (like me) prefer visuals every time.
If you can safely say you’ve sold your prize as well as you can with descriptions, images and features, you may just be asking too much of your entrants…
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Are you asking too much?
Our next and final stop is to check your entry method/process.
I shudder when I see people asking for first name, last name, full postal address, date of birth, telephone number and email… when they don’t even have a physical product to ship and they don’t run specials on birthdays.
Why are you making them jump through hoops when you don’t even plan to use the information you’re collecting?!
Assume everyone is a couch potato, with the intelligence of a potato. It may sound harsh but people are inherently lazy, they don’t want to complete a 3 page form, write an essay, refer 100 friends and do a little dance. They want something they can enter in seconds.
If you can’t cut down the steps of your entry process, see if you can edit your instructions to make them as clear and as simple as humanly possible.
Some people need a little extra explaining than others, so hold their hands and walk them through it step by step – I’m talking literally.
For example: ‘For a chance to win our fantastic [prize], simply go to [website], enter your first name, enter your email address and click the big pink enter now button’.
That’s it, good job, have a cookie.
If no one is entering your competition/contest/giveaway, I can hand on heart guarantee it will be down to one of these four elements. The first step is always to rule out technical difficulties, it’s the easiest to detect and the quickest to fix and it’s always where you should start. If your competition is functioning fine, take a good look at your analytics and see if you’re attracting not just enough, but the right kind of traffic to your contest. If not, ramp up your promotion and tweak your targeting.
Whilst a prize may be difficult to change once a competition has launched, you can always market it more effectively, sell the ‘so what’, not just the ‘what’ of your prize and finally, take out all unnecessary steps to ensure your competition is as easy as possible to enter. If in doubt, just ask them to complete the action that will help you achieve your competition goal.
Tried all of our solutions and still no one’s entering your competition? We’ll help you find and fix the problem and get those entries flowing – think of us like the plumbers who swoop in to save the day (and the princess – that’s a joke for my fellow Mario nerds). Book a free session with us or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.