Customers love to feel appreciated and contests are great ways to show them you care. A contest encourages customers to interact with the business and do some word-of-mouth advertising. March is the month for luck so begin planning the contest now. If your business has never held one before, here are some tips.
Brainstorm with co-workers to come up with a prize that is related to the business and makes it worthwhile to participate in the contest. For example, a spa could offer a free facial or massage and a restaurant could offer a free meal. With the prize out of the way, move on to creating the rules, which should be simple.
Design a contest entry form, incorporating it into advertising like thin flyers and postcard mailings. Use this form to gather basic information about customers. List the rules so customers understand how to participate. Hype up the prize by including eye-catching images and a description of the item on the contest entry.
Making the contest creative generates more publicity. Ask entrants to submit a photograph of themselves using the company product or service in a unique way. Or, have them write an essay about how the item made a difference in their life. Get their written consent to use this information in future marketing campaigns.
In addition to using postcard mailings and thin flyers, publicize the contest online. Post the contest on the company website and Facebook page, tweet about it, and mention it in email marketing efforts. If you have a store, promote the contest from there, offering entry forms at the register. Inform the media by uploading free press releases online and notifying local news and radio stations. Hold a ceremony to announce the winner and give this person some well-deserved media attention in print and online.