In a relatively short period of time, the way in which most businesses are run has changed dramatically. You can now reach potential customers with your products or services on a global basis through the use of the Internet. However, there are likely thousands of other businesses in the world offering the same thing as you. In order to stay competitive, it's crucial that you continually add new leads to your database. Strategically implementing email marketing, it’s very likely that you can turn your customers into loyal ones. Using Facebook contests is a great way to start with it as it effectively collects emails of the people who participate in your contest and help build relationships, and there are convenient newsletter management software programs that can make this a breeze.

Step 1: Design the Facebook Contest

Deciding to start a promotional Facebook contest is only the first step. Next, you have to decide what angle you will take. There are two primary options which are skill-based and chance-based promotions.

Skill-based promotions require contestants to rely on certain skills or complete a specified objective in order to win the prize. Among the various types you could employ include:

  1. Photo contests where contestants upload a picture
  2. Essay contests
  3. Art contests
  4. Trivia contests

To ensure the best person wins and the contest is fair, avoid common mistakes such as making the questions too easy or difficult. You should also ensure potential ties are able to be broken based on skill, and make sure none of the entries are weeded out. Due to the competitive nature of skill-based contests, you may not get many entries but it is more engaging for potential customers than chance-based promotions.

Another option is chance-based promotions. They are generally easier to manage and often consist of a sweepstake where participants enter their information such as name and email address for a chance to win. While this may be less likely for people to share the contest with their friends, it's a great way to generate new leads.

Whichever method you choose, there are some general guidelines to best ensure your success:

  1. Provide clear and concise contest rules.
  2. Make a simple email opt-in form that doesn't request too much information.
  3. Provide incentives to refer friends by offering a higher odds of winning.
  4. Keep your target audience in mind. (For example, if your business sells studio recording equipment, focus on a musically-oriented theme.)
  5. Offer multiple prizes.

Step 2: Run the Facebook Contest

Once you have decided on a reasonable contest, it's time to run it. While you can opt to run it autonomously using your business Facebook page, it's likely you are busy and don't have sufficient time to stay on top of the intricacies in order to fully maximise your efforts.

Fortunately, technology comes to the rescue. There are various apps available that can do the hard work for you and manage your promotional campaign while you get on with running your business. Among the many available, you could consider:

  1. Antavo: https://antavo.com/
  2. Shortstack: http://www.shortstack.com/
  3. Wishpond: http://corp.wishpond.com/
  4. Votigo: http://www.votigo.com/

And many more!

From start to finish, these beneficial apps can help you make important decisions and assist you in weighing your options such as evaluating the various campaign ideas and putting your ultimate plan into motion.

Step 3: Promote the Contest to the Audience

You want maximum participation in your contest. In order to achieve this, you have to put in a little work. There are various outlets you have at your disposal to get the word out about the amazing chances participants have at winning fun and exciting prizes. For starters, use social media. Think about it. The average Facebook user has 338 friends. That means, for every one person who gains interest in your campaign and shares it, there are potentially hundreds of others exposed. It's not hard to see how this can quickly spread like wildfire.

While it's easy to get caught up in the thought of new business prospects, don't forget to include current customers with an email notification. Other advertising methods that have proven success include:

  1. Mention and introduction of the contest in your blog
  2. Promotion of the contest on referring sites
  3. Offline advertisements such as snail mails, flyers, etc.

Step 4: Collect the Emails and Update the Current Email List

Once the contest has run its course, you will hopefully be left with a long list of emails. If you properly catered to the interests of the target audience, the list should primarily consist of people who have a genuine interest or need in the products or services you offer.

You will want to be swift to add these new email addresses to your current database of contacts. In order to build rapport and ensure you stay on their minds, it's always a good idea to set up the generation of a congratulatory welcome email thanking participants for taking part in your contest. This will keep your business in their minds and provide them with courteous, positive insight into your company.

Staying Ahead and Moving Beyond

Let's face it, the market today is much different than it was as little as a decade ago. While the opportunities for new business are endless, in order to make your product or service stand out, you must engage potential customers and create an excitement for what you have to offer. This will help you both acquire new business and retain it for the long term. By using Facebook contests and helpful newsletter management software programs, you can quickly start generating new leads with a high quality email list!