Nothing quite draws in the same level of excitement as a good contest. Between the motivation to win, the satisfaction of winning, and the desire to perform well, there are a lot of reasons why people enjoy competition.
If you’re looking to up your SMS marketing game, then a contest could just be the answer that you’ve been looking for. SMS contests can engage an audience, increase subscriber numbers, develop brand awareness, and provide your business with plenty of data.
But how exactly do you run a contest that your audience is actually going to want to take part in? That’s the difficult question…
It’s estimated that around 55 million Americans put their luck to the test and enter sweepstake contests every year, but what makes a contest popular?
We’ve put together seven tips for how to create an SMS contest that your audience are going to want to be a part of, so you can turn your next big business contest into a resounding success. Here are the seven top tips that you should bear in mind when running your next contest…
1. Provide a Prize Worth Winning
It may seem obvious, but if you’re running a contest, you need to make sure that the prize you’re giving away is something that your audience is actually going to want to win. This means that the prize needs to have financial value and personal value.
A good prize will generate excitement, and if the prize is close to what your business is already offering, like a free 2-night stay in a hotel if your business is in hospitality, then you’ll also generate interest around your products and services.
Your potential prize could be:
- Money, coupons, gift cards
- A new appliance
- Free services
- Tickets to events
- Experience days
- A selection of your products
- A holiday
2. Offer Runner-Up Prizes
The only thing better than one prize is multiple prizes. Offering more than one prize will make your leads feel like they have a better chance of winning, which is essential if you want to increase participation numbers.
Surprisingly, not all consumers are going to be interested in a single big prize, sometimes the best way to get leads on board with your competition is to offer lots of small prizes to make winning the contest feel like more of a possibility.
3. Don’t Shy Away from Partnerships
Partnerships may just be your key to a very successful contest, especially if you get the partnership right. By partnering with another business, you could run a joint contest, instantly doubling the potential audience, or join prize pools for a prize that gets your audience to sit up and take notice.
Offering a free stay in a hotel in conjunction with event tickets in the local area, or a free house cleaning service and a new set of kitchen appliances, will generate a lot more attention that just a single prize.
4. Give Your Audience a Reason to Create a Buzz
The larger the number of people that see your contest, the larger the number of potential participants there will be. The good news is that with a great contest, your audience can do a lot of the sharing leg-work for you, as long as you make it easy for them to do so.
Providing good reason to share a contest to friends and family or to social media will help you to increase your subscriber list and participants. Extra incentives thrown into a contest will also be more attractive to leads and encourage higher participation.
5. Make It Easy to Take Part
Running an exciting competition only to make it a hassle to sign up is not a good way to get a large number of participants. Providing clear instructions on how to take part and not overloading your leads with information will make entering the contest enjoyable, not a chore.
If the entry process is too time-consuming, you may find that a good percentage of leads give-up half way through, leaving you with less participants and leaving a bad company image in your customer’s minds.
6. Invest in Quality Content
If you’re running a large contest with amazing grand prizes, then you want to make sure that your audience are going to be confident in your ability to deliver on your promises. Even with outstanding prizes, you may also still need to entice them to sign-up – sometimes a prize is not convincing enough.
This is where quality content is so important. The message needs to be clear and concise, whilst still departing plenty of excitement. Investing in quality content could very easily catapult your contest to the next level, especially if you have a well-written call to action.
7. Design Your Contest to Look Exciting
It’s one thing to tell your leads that your contest is exciting, but you’re also going to have to show them if you want the maximum number of participants. Creating an eye-catching SMS contest design and tailoring it around your brand will help you to attract and retain your audience.
Using the same design on your social media platforms and website will help to tie the contest together and provide plenty of ways for your target audience to get involved with your contest. Separating the design of your contests from your standard SMS marketing will also create the feeling of exclusivity in your contest, and make it feel more special.
Creating a contest to wow your leads and make them want to participate doesn’t have to be difficult. As long as you remember that the contest needs to be valuable, special, and clear, you’ll be able to excite your leads with the kind of contest they want to be a part of and the kind of contest that delivers results for your business.