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Why free stuff helps win customers

The use of the prize draw in marketing is well-known. FMCG brands offer prizes on their packaging, websites promise the potential of a win if you just fill in their form, and customer newsletters often try to build your loyalty the same way.

A prize draw can be a cost-effective marketing tool, but only when it is used efficiently. The website that puts up a prize and simply says, “send your entries to this email address” is missing a major trick. What about data capture? What about opt ins? What about auto-responders and follow-up emails?

Done properly, a prize draw is a superb way of capturing a consumer’s attention, building an instant relationship with them on which you can build a bigger relationship, and boosting product or brand awareness.

To maximise a prize draw you should do the following (where appropriate):

  • Use an entry form that captures details into a database
  • Ensure you opt people in to your mailing list if you can (but don’t fool them into doing so)
  • Send them an auto-response once they have entered, promoting your brand
  • Make sure you pick winners properly at the end of the draw and announce the draw by sending another email to all of your entrants (with another call to action and brand message)
  • Send a welcome message to those that opt into your mailing list

You can promote a prize draw via Facebook and other social networking sites, and there are websites that will help you promote the draw to a wider audience. Loquax and The Prizefinder are perhaps the two best free directories.

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Published inDigital Marketing

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