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BizReport : Internet Marketing 101 : August 31, 2009

Internet Marketing 101: Tips for running better contests

Ask any author, movie producer or screenwriter what they best traffic driver is and their answer will likely be: contests. A well-run contest can drive several hundred more hits per day for the length of the contest. Why? Because consumers love free stuff: free books, free appliances, free gift cards. But, the biggest benefit isn't the traffic - it is the lead generation.

by Kristina Knight

Every contest entry form should include a clickable box for future contact - and it should be checked from the moment it is uploaded to the website so that the consumer needs only to read it and move on. That information is a goldmine that too many marketers aren't utilizing. Many don't add contest traffic to their lead information folder. They don't send these leads newsletter information, 'welcome' packets or any other helpful information. This is the first tip into running a better online contest.

Next, make the contest interesting. Don't just offer something of interest to the consumer base. A self-help author running a contest with a grand prize including math tutorial handbooks won't work. But a romance author who runs a contest for a batch of romance novels? That will work - and bring in the traffic.

According to Wildfire Interactive, a group of app developers and designers, "Contests that focus on topics that people feel passionate about tend to generate interest. . .contests that focus on pets, children, sports, hobbies (cooking and travel) and affinity groups."

Finally, make the entry simple. Don't make the consumer traipse across their town looking for a rare product. For a brand selling cameras, allow for consumers to quickly snap a photo and send it in. For an author, asking the consumer to find a picture of a rare tropical plant related to a book won't work, but allowing the consumer to write in the name of that rare tropical plant will work.

A well run contest is very beneficial to marketers and brands. Not only does it increase traffic, but a fun contest is likely to quickly become viral as friends tell friends about it. The potential for a big lead generation is there, as long as the contest is simple and fun.

Tags: contests, lead generation, online contest, traffic generation, viral marketing, Wildfire

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