There are many reasons why you might have decided to set up your business. It could be for the love of your product, to spread an important message, or to help other people in the way that your product or service helped you. But across all businesses, no matter what their motives, there is one thing that everyone can agree on needing to survive: customers.
Without customers, sales wouldn’t exist. And without marketing, customers wouldn’t exist. That’s not just any old marketing, either; it’s vital that you create the best impression of your business if you want to attract the most positive attention. One form of digital marketing that, when done well, puts you in the best light in your customers’ eyes, is sweepstakes.
What is a sweepstake?
We’ve all heard of sweepstakes – in fact, we’ve probably all participated in one at some point in our internet browsing years. Sweepstakes are those enticing competitions that you might find on social media or a website, hosted by a big brand with the potential to win even bigger.
A sweepstake works very simply: first, the entrant must submit their details – usually just their full name and email address, but sometimes a phone number or postal address too – to enter for free into the competition. At this stage, they will be able to see what the prize of the competition is (essential if you want people to actually enter). It’s a wise idea to link your website so entrants can also get a good gist of your business in general.
Next, entrants must play the waiting game until the sweepstake ends. During this time, they can follow the sweepstake’s host on social media, or keep an eye out on their website, to stay updated with competition news. When the sweepstake’s winner is announced, the prize is handed out, and the sweepstake is closed.
How can sweepstakes increase customer retention?
“That all sounds fun,” you might be thinking, “but how can I, the business, benefit from hosting a sweepstake?” There are multiple answers to that question. Here’s a bulleted explanation:
· By getting your name out there
A good sweepstake will get you seen, it’s as simple as that. We all know that the easiest way to bring in more sales is to be seen by more people – it gives your products a platform for a bigger percentage of the population to appreciate – and sweepstakes can help you get your name out there to a far wider audience.
If you market your sweepstake right, you can end up spread out all across the internet, reaching all corners of the world (although be wary; if you’re only hosting a national competition, make sure you’re clear on that). When you’re seen by more people, especially in the positive light of offering up a free prize, you’ve got a higher chance of sticking in more people’s minds in the long run.
· By being simple
There’s a reason why you often need to get a degree in digital marketing to be an expert at it: it’s hard. Even if you’ve managed to pick up the basics of certain aspects of the craft over the years of running your business, marketing might simply not be your forte. Luckily, when it comes to sweepstakes, there’s not so much to worry about. Sweepstakes are easy to set up, and, providing you know the basics, you shouldn’t go wrong.
The only thing you need to be really certain on when hosting a sweepstake is the law. The legal side of sweepstakes can get messy if you don’t know your stuff. Save yourself the worry of getting something wrong and get in touch with a sweepstakes fulfilment company if you’re unsure – they’re the experts you can talk to before you get going, and they’re on hand to take over the legal aspects of your competition (or anything else you’re unsure about) if you would prefer.
· By being extremely cost-effective
How much do you currently pay for your digital marketing efforts? Setting up a website can be thousands of dollars in itself – not to mention hard to get right – and that’s before you’ve even thought about SEO maintenance and online ads. Digital marketing generally proves to be a costly aspect of any business on a year-on-year basis – and don’t get me wrong, it’s totally worth it. But, if there was a way to market yourself effectively for less, wouldn’t you take it?
Sweepstakes are just as effective, if not more, as other forms of digital marketing, without the hefty price tag. If you’re confident and knowledgeable enough to host your sweepstake yourself, you will only ever have to pay out in the form of the product you’re offering up as a prize. There are plenty of ways to get yourself seen without having to resort to payment, which is great news if your marketing budget is limited.
· By increasing your social media following
If you want to increase your customer retention the fastest, you need to make sure you’re doing it in the right places. While search engines are widely used by everyone today, people don’t just hang out there in the same way that they do on social media. That’s why it’s important that you get your sweepstakes shared on all of your social channels for everyone to see.
If you don’t have a lot of social media followers to begin with, don’t worry. The beauty of sweepstakes is that they can being new followers in for you without you having to lift a finger yourself. One good way of doing this is to include in the sweepstake’s terms that your entrants get an increased chance of winning (like another entry into the competition) if they share the sweepstake on their social channels or give you a follow on your preferred social platform. Think of social media sharing as a sort of online version of word-of-mouth – your sweepstake entrants are talking about you and spreading the word for you.