Conducting Contests and Sweepstakes

Sweepstakes Promotions

Sweepstakes promotions are a great way to increase your marketing visibility and obtain sales leads. Before you conduct a sweepstakes, read this article. There's a lot to know and think about. Most importantly, don't conduct an illegal lottery!

Okay, they say that there is no such thing as a "free lunch," but we all live in the hopes that there actually could be....if we could just win one.

Sweepstakes Promotions

Everyone likes to hope and dream about winning large sums of money, but the truth is we don't mind winning smaller prizes too. After all, most of us just like the exhilarating feeling of being called "the winner"!

That's why sweepstakes promotions are a great way to increase your marketing visibility and to build sales leads. Here are some things to consider if you are thinking about launching a sweepstakes promotion.

Carefully select your prize. Obviously the prize will be one of the first considerations when you begin to develop your promotion. Choose prizes that are in some way related to your business. Remember, the goal of the promotion is to increase sales, so it makes sense to choose a prize that will attract people who will have an interest in your products or services. Therefore, if you are selling women's cosmetics you do not want to offer an all-inclusive fishing expedition as a prize. The two are just not related. Choose a prize that your average customer would love to buy. If they don't win it, maybe they will come back and buy one later!

Go big. Offer a prize that has a significant value to the customer and then advertise what the retail value is. The wholesale cost might not be that great to you, but the prize is worth as much as it would cost the consumer to purchase it.

Share the wealth (and the costs!). Sweepstakes are a great way to initiate cooperative marketing strategies. Choose companies or businesses that offer products or services that appeal to the same clientele that you service. For example, if you cater to women with young children, consider a cooperative marketing strategy that pampers mom for the day. You might do a joint sweepstakes with a local spa and/or hairstylist. There are benefits for everyone involved because all the businesses get exposure while sharing the overall cost of the promotion and the prize(s). Cooperative sweepstakes also allow new or smaller business to demonstrate credibility by affiliating with others that are more established.

Use the Web! Don't miss the opportunity to generate sales leads through online promotion of your sweepstakes. Several websites even offer free sweepstakes advertising and they will link your site to theirs. The sweepstakes will give people a reason to visit your website, and you can use these hits to generate even more names through referrals. After they have entered the sweepstakes direct them to a page that gives them the opportunity to "tell-a-friend." You might even offer additional chances to win as an incentive for them to participate in the "tell-a-friend" promotion. However, because of spam, make sure that when you do contact these friends that you properly identify who referred them. Then obtain their permission for any future solicitations.

Know the Law It's easy to break the law if you just impulsively jump to offer a sweepstakes promotion to your customers or prospects and don't learn about sweepstakes law. You might end up conducting an illegal lottery. Illegal lotteries are contests that awards a prize to a winner who has been chosen from a group of people who paid something of value to enter the contest. Make sure you consult with somebody who will help you to conduct a legal sweepstakes, rather than an illegal sweepstakes.

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