Contests are great for many things like list building, brand awareness, and even selling products. What’s also great is there are many built in features a contest has to help you go viral and get free traffic. Unlike a quiz, which I’ll cover in another episode, quizzes could potentially keep running forever. A contest usually has a start date and an end date. This is a built-in scarcity factor that causes people to take action and join before the deadline.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 112
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars[04:07] Tom's introduction to Contests [06:12] BIG WARNING! [08:02] Don't inadvertantly run an illegal lottery [09:18] Going viral with contests [14:55] Contest Domination: Tips from Travis Ketchum
Higher Education Webinar – It's the second webinar on the page: https://screwthecommute.com/webinars
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How to Automate Your Business – https://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/
Contest Domination – https://contestdomination.com/
WARNING! YOU MUST BE CAREFUL THAT YOU DON’T VIOLATE ANY LAWS WHEN YOU RUN A CONTEST. BELOW IS A LINK TO A SITE THAT TELLS YOU WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR. I AM NOT GOING TO ASSUME ANY LIABILITY IF YOU RUN AN ILLEGAL CONTEST. AND HERE’S ANOTHER BIG ANNOUNCEMENT. I AM NOT GIVING YOU LEGAL ADVICE.
CLICK THIS LINK FOR MORE INFO – https://www.targetmarketingmag.com/article/key-legal-compliance-considerations-before-administering-a-contest-sweepstakes/all/
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Jim Barber – https://screwthecommute.com/111/
Yanik Silver – https://screwthecommute.com/113/
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Episode 112 Contests This is a great and viral way to build a list and make sales. Plus, we have a guest expert who has helped over 20,000 business owners successfully use contests. You’ll hear from him a little later.
Last Episode. 111 Jim Barber In 2019, Jim Barber has screwed the commute for 40 years. Jim has done many things, but the common thread in everything he's done is that he's always had a good time. Screwing the commute isn't for everyone, but it's definitely for Jim Barber.
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Contests are great for many things like list building, brand awareness, and even selling products. What’s also great is there are many built in features a contest has to help you go viral and get free traffic.
Unlike a quiz, which I’ll cover in another episode, anyway quizzes could potentially keep running forever. A contest usually has a start date and an end date. This is a built-in scarcity factor that causes people to take action and join before the deadline. The psychology behind this is to get people to convert sooner rather than later for fear of missing out on the whole thing.
When it comes to list building, each entry into the contest requires an email sign up. In order to be eligible to win the prize, each person must opt-in and verify their email address. This is how contests can help create an email list.
You can get social shares too. Each contestant can gain additional entries into the contest by sharing your contest link to their social media accounts. This helps your content go viral on social media and rank higher in the search rankings.
Even better is the Refer-A-Friend aspect. That means each person can gain even more additional entries by directly referring friends to your contest. They earn more entries to the contest for each new person they get to enter the contest through their special link. ….Kinda like an affiliate link.
When it comes to sales, if an entrant doesn’t win, they will be given the chance to buy your products usually with some incentive that our guest expert will talk about a little later. Some people will go ahead and buy your products right away instead of waiting around to see if they’re the winner. ¬
Before I go too far into this, I’ve got a big warning for you.
WARNING: YOU MUST BE CAREFUL THAT YOU DON’T VIOLATE ANY LAWS WHEN YOU RUN A CONTEST. JUST BELOW IS A LINK TO A SITE THAT TELLS YOU WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR. I AM NOT GOING TO ASSUME ANY LIABILITY IF YOU RUN AN ILLEGAL CONTEST.
AND HERE’S ANOTHER BIG ANNOUNCEMENT. I AM NOT GIVING YOU LEGAL ADVICE. I don’t want you to overly worry about legal considerations, but I don’t want you to ignore them either. Anyway, I’m not a lawyer and I’m just alerting you that there are things you need to pay attention to if you do this.
Here’s the title to the article: “Is Your Contest Illegal? 33 Important Legal Considerations for Contests and Sweepstakes” it’s got a big long link so I’ll put it in the show notes and they make you opt in to read it, but it’s worth it to stay out of trouble.
Just some things you need to consider, certain states like Rhode Island, New York and Florida may be too much hassle for you. If your prize is over a certain value some states make you register the contest and get bonded. Other states have special rules for Sweepstakes as opposed to contests and chance contests as opposed to skill contests. So, some places could be too much hassle for you.
A lot of times you see “Void where prohibited by law”. I imagine that’s kind of a catchall the lawyers tell you to put in there. Again, I’m not giving you legal advice but you see that phrase at almost every contest.
I may as well address it here. Because frequently the terms are misused and you want to be darn sure you don’t accidentally run an illegal lottery. That could mean jail time and fines.
A sweepstakes is where prizes are given away at no charge. Winners are selected at random. You can think of it as a game of luck.
A contest is where people try to win by doing something better than the other contestants. The winners will be judged by a set of criteria you set up. It’s pretty much a game of skill and it’s OK to charge an entry fee. Many times, people think they’re running a contest when they’re actually running a sweepstakes and vice versa. I think I’ve done it myself.
A lottery …. Now this is the one you want to watch out for. A Lottery is a game of chance and the winner is chosen at random and you have to pay to play. Watch out for this. It can get you in deep trouble as it’s highly regulated.
Remember I’m not your lawyer and I’m not a lawyer at all and I never played one on TV LOL
How Contests Can Go Viral
Here I’ll be using a real-life example we did for a Public Speaking contest. This will be a step-by-step break down of how the contest works to grow your email list, get your contest shared and get it to go viral. I wasn’t having people speak in public as a contest. It was to win public speaking training materials. I just wanted people “interested” in public speaking to buy my stuff.
This example was setup to target people interested in public speaking. Of course, we know that most people HATE PUBLIC SPEAKING so you won’t see the giant numbers like you would see on a general contest on Buzzfeed or some other mega site.
I will tell you though that the old saying, “The Riches are in the Niches” has certainly held true for me even though the numbers are smaller. You can still make enormous amounts of money focusing on specific target audiences.
This contest matches up the audience with targeted prizes. In this case, the prizes are different training products of mine created to help anyone improve their skills at public speaking and professional speaking.
This particular example was created with a special software called Contest Domination. There are lots of contest services and software but this is considered the Gold Standard. But don’t worry too much about that now. We’ll hear from the owner of that service a little later. Just focus on the how to do it for now.
Here’s how this is going to work. I’m going to explain to you what we did in the contest. If you want to see all the landing pages, you’ll have to visit the show notes for this episode which is episode 112 so you go to https://www.ScrewTheCommute.com/112
OK. In my public speaking example, when people arrive on the landing page, they first see a video and an email signup box. This is where each new visitor can watch a short video you make and sign up for the contest. The video tells them what it’s about. This is only the first step. They’ve opted in and you have their email address, but it doesn’t end there.
Once they’ve opted in to your email list, they are immediately redirected to a custom thank you page. Again, you’ll want to refer to the show notes to see exactly how all this is laid out. So, this thank you page provides the entrant with even more options for them to get more entries for themselves to the contest. This time they earn entries for inviting their friends to come and enter the contest. For each friend that signs up and verifies their email address, the original entrant gains an additional entry to the contest.
After the new contestant is finished referring friends, then they are redirected to another landing page. This landing page now has additional chances for them to gain entries to help the contest go viral.
Now they are shown options to share your contest link on their social media accounts in order to get a better chance at winning a prize. This is another great feature of contests that help them naturally go viral.
After all of that sharing, the contestant is now redirected to yet another landing page. This is the final landing page they’ll see through this process. Nobody gets mad at all of this because each page only takes a minute or so to deal with and it gives them more chances to win.
This page simply says “I Never Win Anything” and gives them the opportunity to buy the prizes instantly with a special discount. Not only do contests naturally have the ability to go viral, they also can help sell products and build your lists.
So, what were the results? The email blast was able to generate 2,795 visits to our contest. Out of those 2,795 a whopping 2033 were from referral sources. That means they were referred to by another source such as a social share or an email referral from one of their friends. The total leads ended up being 1183 from our own direct visits and another 438 from additional referral traffic. That’s a 26.65% and 21.54% conversion rate for each.
This was not bad at all considering the effort put in, the results achieved and topic that most people hate. You also must consider that those 438 new people will spend many thousands of dollars with me over time.
Imagine what you can do if you tried something similar. You can choose a completely different audience with a totally separate prize. However, you can still use the general flow and viral features used for this example. Check all the graphics out in the show notes.
Remember this example was created with a particular software called Contest Domination. So now let me introduce you to the founder. Travis Ketchum started his company on a shoestring budget and has built it to the point where besides using contests to build his own business he’s helped over 20,000 companies pull in over 29Million contest entries and sell an unquantifiable amount of products and services. Let’s take a close listen to what Travis had to say.
Hi it’s Travis from ContestDomination.com Tom asked me to give you some tips on how to run a really successful viral contest. I’ve been helping 20,000 business owners not only generate leads, but actually generate sales using the power of viral contests. Here’s the three things I want you to think about when you’re running a contest that you actually want to generate sales. First and foremost, you want your prize for your contest to be directly correlated to what it is you want to sell at the end of the campaign. Using something generic like a gift card or cash does nothing to disqualify those who shouldn’t be in your business and prequalify those who meet the criteria of your perfect avatar. So, for example, if you’re giving away a gift card, it’s going to make it very difficult to sell high end coaching.
The second thing is when you’re looking to expand the reach of your contest and drastically lower your cost per lead, I want you to consider what we call contest sponsors. These are people who have a community of people who have exactly who your avatar is but are not direct competitors. You can ask them to send you traffic and promote your contest in exchange for cross promotion. If you get several of these sponsors and a little bit of advertising, it’s easy for the return for each sponsor to be immense and for you to end up with a much larger list of your perfect audience.
The third is, when you finally announce your winner, this is a great opportunity to drive sales from the intrigue and interest and mystery about revealing the winner. So, you send an email with a subject line something like and the winner is dot, dot, dot and in the very short body copy of the email you simply say, “We’re really excited to announce our winners of the cabin getaway or whatever and click here to find out if you won.” You send them to your landing page. You can even put the headline something like, “Congratulations You’re a Winner” and make sure you announce who the actual contest winners are and give everyone else a consolation prize which can be a discount or bonus on one of your popular products or services that you’d like to sell them.
Anyway, if you do those three things, you’ll generate more leads, you’ll generate more sales, and you’ll reduce your costs of building a list. I hope that was helpful. If you want to check out a tool to do it, check out the free 7-day trial at https://www.ContestDomination.com Thanks Tom. Take it easy.
Thanks to Travis Ketchum and ContestDomination for those really powerful tips and we have used all of them and more that we learned from Travis and his gold standard service. Pay attention to what he said and you’ll bring in lots of new blood to your business and if you play your cards right lots of sales.
Okie Doke. That’s contests and they can really transform your business I don’t want to say overnight, but certainly in a couple weeks. Check out the show notes for all the examples and links to Contest Domination.
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Next episode 113 Yanick Silver. What a big thinker he is. He’s going to teach you how important it is to have soul in your business not only because people like buying from companies that have a purpose, but recruiting and retaining today’s employees is now part of the mix.
I’ll catch ya on that episode. It’s about time for me to work up a contest.
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