Practical Guide to Finding the Best Competition Prizes to Attract Potential Clients

People who just want your prize vs. People who are ready to buy your product

The promotions and competitions are useful, among other things, to drive fans and, what’s even better, to get more subscribers for our newsletter. However, often, when the competition has finished, we add participant details to our database and we start sending them customised offers, emailings to encourage them to buy, etc. But they might not be interested in what we sell. Maybe, these new subscribers only wanted to win the prize on offer in your promotion. This means that they are not going to buy anything, they are going to affect your performance metrics and, if the promotion is very successful, you will end up having to buy a new and more expensive tool to send your newsletters.

Which prizes can drive the right people to your contest?

The best thing to do is to identify your clients and design a marketing strategy according to the objective of your campaign: attracting customers, building up loyalty or engagement with them, or making them turn into customers. Once these two aspects are clear, you should bear in mind that the following prize types will not attract the right people:

  • A prize that is not designed for your target audience.
  • A prize that everyone wants to win because it is a very good one.
  • A prize of an expensive gadget or a highly demanded product from another company (unless the target consumers for your products and services are the general public and you are looking to make your community grow).

If the prize you are offering is one of the above, you will inevitably attract prize hunters. Prize hunters are people who are not really interested in your brand and will never buy your products or services. But still, they will be automatically included in your mailing list and receive newsletters. This is why we want to suggest some prizes that will prevent you from driving this kind of people to your brand.

1. Your own product or service.

Best Prize: Your own product or serviceThe best way to know whether or not participants are interested in your brand is to use your own product or service as a prize. If you are looking for people who like your products or services, this is the way to find them. Moreover, if your product or service is very valuable, you can use a more complex format for your competition, such as a photo, video or a score-based competition. It depends on the product you sell. If, individually, your products don’t have a high monetary value, you can offer a selection of them.

Example:

– The successful case study of Dulcesol: the prize on offer for their competitions is a box of their cakes.

– The successful case study of Shiseido: They gave away 10 anti-cellulite treatments with their anti-aging body treatments.

  • Upside: Participants will be interested enough in your product or service to be willing to win the prize.
  • Downside: You won’t know whether or not they would be ready to pay for your products or services.

2. Product samples

Best Prizes: Product SamplesThis prize is similar to the previous one, except that it is particularly used to increase participation and so, the formats used are much simpler, like a random draw or a 1 question – 1 answer quiz. You can also give out samples for participating until stock lasts. In any case, the competition should be easily accessible to participants and very original, as the only thing you are offering here is free samples of your product.

Examples:

– Have a different cake with your tea every day of the week! Participate in our competition to try our range of products!

– Which face cream suits you best? Get 2 free samples of each of our BB creams and find out which one is the perfect one for you. Can you think of a better way of learning the benefits of a cream than actually testing it?

  • Upside: Participants are interested in your product or service. They are that interested that they are willing to try it and are ready to take part in a competition to get a sample of it.
  • Downside: As it was the case in the previous prize type, you won’t know whether or not they would be ready to pay for your products or services. Besides, you may attract prize hunters.

3. Discounted prices on your products and services

Discounted prices on your products and servicesThis type of price is particularly useful to turn fans into new clients and build up loyalty with your existing customers. If we want to boost conversion rates, the dynamic of the competition can be to offer free discount vouchers with a unique code. This way, the fans who are interested in taking advantage of the discount will participate and, eventually, end up buying our products and become our clients. If what we want is to build up loyalty with our clients, we can distribute these unique codes with purchases in our physical shop or online store. If we do this, clients will have to participate in the promo in order to redeem their codes and get a discount voucher for their next purchase.

  • Upside: Participants are interested in buying you product or service.
  • Downside: This action will be perceived as a loyalty promotion with a little entry barrier, the registry. It won’t be seen as a competition where you can get a gift, but as a discount that you get for registering or for purchasing products, so the participation rates won’t be very high.

4. Gift card to buy things online or in store

Best Prizes: Gift cardsWe need to make sure that the card is worth is. For example, if the cheapest product in your store costs € 50, clients should be given a gift card worth at least this amount. Moreover, if you have an online store, free delivery should be available for the product purchased with the card, so that the gift card is really considered a prize.

The complexity of the dynamic used for a competition in which the prize is a gift card will generally depend on the amount of money you offer with the card, how you products are valued and if they are well-known or not .

  • Upside: The participants are that interested in your product that they are going to buy it with the gift card. They are even likely to expend more money, in case they want to buy goods of a higher price than the value of the card.
  • Downside: The gift could be interpreted as an obligation to buy something, instead of a prize. This is why the participation process should be as simple as possible, and we should reinforce the idea that, with this kind of prize, clients are the ones who choose the gift.

5. Exclusive VIP product or service from your brand.

Exclusive VIP product or service In this case, the prize would be one of your products of services, which is well-known for being your premium option, or something exclusive and unique from your brand that you offer to the winner, a product or service that isn’t usually available for sale.

You can also offer exclusivity to clients with a product or service that is not yet available for sale. Then, the prize would be to test a new product or service from the brand even before it is available on the market.

Example:

– If you work in the Arts industry (cinema, theatre and music), a good prize would be a backstage pass, or the opportunity to attend a shoot or meet one of its main characters.

– If your company is a manufacturing company, the prize could be a factory tour so clients can learn about the manufacturing process of your product.

  • Upside: As in previous examples, participants are interested in your brand because you are offering something extra that is linked to it.
  • Downside: You don’t know whether or not they would be ready to pay for this product or service.

6. A product or service that goes with the one you have on sale

A product or service that goes with the one you have on saleThis will enable you to attract people who are interested in your products or in competitors’ products and have already bought an item. You will be offering something that complements what they already have, that is, something they need. This way, you will mobilise participants from your target audience.

Examples:

– If you sell bikes, you can offer a free cycling rucksack; if you sell cameras, you can offer a tripod; or a luggage pack if you operate in the tourism industry.

– Another complementary service could be to offer advice on your products. A prize could be, for example, an appointment with a personal shopper, a stylist, a personal trainer, a dietician, etc.

We can find a downside in this kind of prize, though. Even if you are offering an extra value and complementing a product they already have purchased, they may not relate you with the complementary product and still keep buying competitors’ products.

7. The chance to become the face of the brand

The chance to become the face of the brandThis prize doesn’t work with all brands. You need to be a well-known actor in the industry with a big network of followers to attract users to participate. This is a good way for the brands to get their social media followers to generate positive content regarding the brand (User Generated Content).  The format of the competition can be a a photo, video, or writing competition, or a score-based competition.

Examples:

Give users the change to become the image of a dancing club, have their texts (short stories, tales, poems, etc.) published in a magazine, become the Miss or Mister of a cosmetics brand, etc.

  • Upside: The participants like the brand so much that they want to become visible through it. Moreover, the audience wants our attention, this is a good way to get it.
  • Downside: You need to have a certain reputation to be able to offer a prize like this and, depending on the sector, the defence of privacy could make things difficult for you.

So, these are the seven prizes that can make the difference between prize hunters and real fans who can eventually turn into clients. Go through all of them before you start your competition.

Apply the tactics of the Practical Guide to Finding the Best prizes for Your Competition: Run a suitable competition for your target audience >>