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    Our First Competition - do's and don'ts?


    (I hope this is the most suitable forum for this question - please move if not.)

    We are preparing to run our first competition to raise site awareness and hopefully make a few sales out of it. I'm reading up a lot about the best way to approach this but I thought I'd ask a quick question here.

    In general we thought of a offering a couple of prizes to the people who send in the best selfie (relevant to our niche) which would be determined by public vote.

    Do you have any DO's or DON'Ts and tips before we launch our competition? Is there anything we should avoid or anything which is a must in your opinion?

    Many thanks indeed for your help!
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    @Arathra - one tip I have learned is to pick a prize that only a niche audience to your service will kill for. It's easy to announce a free iPad or iPod, but that will bring in the generic crowd that will also move out once the contest is over. So if you have a programmer blog, announce a software license as prize - it's not as glamorous, but will get in the right audience to fight for the prize.

    Also, make sure you gather the email address of everybody participating - you can channel them into a sales funnel for future sale.

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    Do ask everyone to refer friends - Facebook, Twitter, email etc. Do give them a unique referral code that allows you to track (with mysql?) who referred who.
    Do state when the drawing will be so that people feel more and more time pressure to sign up - I've seen this make a huge difference in conversion to email signup.

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    Hey, competitions are always good methods to grab attention but remember competitions are short lived and they vanish quiet fast after it is over.
    You need to milk it as much as possible and do not let it go until you know it is dry. for example use the prize giving time as a point to advertise more and show people
    you actually did it. Talk about the prize you gave out with people and also ask those who won to share it with their friends.
    Do not forget the power of social media as well.
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    Gotta agree with Alexandersim. You need to ride that wave as much as you can. Have in mind that this is all marketing. Even though we might recommend 100 different ideas, it just might be the best to invent something by yourself. Of course, prizes are good example but they are only the starting point. Try to involve people as much as possible. You might interview them for blog or something like that. Remember, this will also increase number of shares because they will be willing to promote your brand (website) by themselves if they are part of it. However, have in mind that (if you do not have big enough following) it might go to waste. Not sure about your particular situation.

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