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Online Contest Software: Engage With Your Community In Style!

By Ekaterina S.

a cover of the article on online contest software

Are you looking for ways to increase your social media engagement? Would you like to boost your sales and make the most of your online store? If so, it’s time to check our new online contest software: the Giveaway Template we’ve integrated into the Landing Pages add-on!

We bet as a store owner you’ve been trying to figure out how to drive up engagement and increase your influence on social media. You might have even googled ‘how to go viral’.

They say there’s no silver bullet when it comes to increasing brand awareness. But it looks like there is one.

It’s time you turned your attention to the most incredible combination developed to help you catch a viral wave and add to your social currency. Contests and landing pages are just meant to work together towards a more discoverable business appreciated by a strong community of loyal customers.

Why run online contests and giveaways

Being the cornerstones of viral marketing, contests and giveaways can create a buzz around your brand and give the exposure it needs.

Plus, the chance to win a valuable prize creates a positive attitude towards the business. You can use this fact to strike up a conversation with your community and engage your audience.

Contests and sweepstakes have a temptingly low-effort entry. All you need to do to enter one is to somehow interact with a brand’s social account. Typically, you just share the contest page on your social media for a chance to win a cool prize. That’s why everyone is so obsessed with giveaway contests.

Social media shares are not only about numbers you can get. Contests can do a fantastic job of nudging users to invite others to check out your brand. People will share your contest with their friends who are very likely to share the same interests.

As you might have already guessed, this means your store is about to get referred leads. These leads are obviously much more interested in your domain than those who you might find in your random marketing efforts.

Just imagine if every person who shares your contest on social media brings two friends to your website, you’ll get an effortless 20% uplift! This creates a viral loop and opens up unlimited possibilities for growth.

To sum it up, with contest landing pages, you can:

1. Create buzz and increase brand awareness

2. Increase your social media presence

3. Engage with your community

4. Collect leads

5. Promote your product

6. Encourage people to visit your store

7. Drastically cut down on your Cost Per Acquisition

8. Get valuable insights into your target audience

Wondering how to achieve all of these? We’ve got you covered!

Meet AliDropship’s online contest software and enjoy the difference it makes!

With the brand new Contest template developed for Landing Pages add-on, you can create giveaways in just a few minutes. Have a look at the demo contest landing page.

a picture showing an example of a landing page online contest software suggests

You won’t need to sell hard to grow by leaps and bounds using contests. This time everything will work in a pretty much different (and exciting!) way.

Well, no more theory! Let’s jump to practice 👨‍🔬

How to choose a prize for your online contest

We recommend selecting such a prize you’d be happy to get yourself. Why bother competing for a one-penny-worth thing? Be honest with yourself. Would you enter a contest to win a low-quality useless stuff?

Rather, a prize that has that vava-va-voom is bound to attract participants. Obviously, nobody would like to miss a chance to get hold of a nice freebie.

The Contest template we’ve developed for Landing Pages add-on does not oblige you to stick to a product. Think about what your target audience would enjoy receiving. A good draw might be an awesome product, a helpful guide, a gift certificate, or a free download.

In short, create an incentive for a person to tell about your business on social media. Regardless of what you pick as an award, your financial investment is hilariously insignificant in comparison to what you can (and will) get instead.

How to create a viral contest page

We closely followed the best practices when developing online contest software, so you can quickly craft a perfect giveaway using the Landing Pages add-on. The professional-looking ready-made Contest template is filled with demo content you can take advantage of.

Pick catchy visuals

Visually pleasing, the template has all the right accents. A large featured image, a standout call-to-action button, and the urgency elements play their own crucial role in realizing the full potential of your contest landing page.

No matter what goal your landing page works towards, it should include attention-grabbing visuals. Fixed when you scroll the page, the large featured image plays a crucial role as it reflects the mood and feel of the page. The front-end builder offers a number of customization options for your featured image. Make sure to check them out in this detailed setup guide.

a picture showing a contest template featured image

Explain the contest terms and conditions

Start off by revealing the contest details. Add a compelling copy where you state clearly when the contest ends, how to enter, and how many prizes are being given away.

an image that shows a giveaway countdown timer you get

Show how much time is left to participate

A countdown timer is a must on each and every contest page. People tend to procrastinate when they feel they are not limited by time. To create urgency and get people to act fast, give an added visual trigger.

A large countdown timer like the one used on the demo landing page shows when the contest will be closing. Looks damn compelling!

a screenshot of the contest template countdown timer

Make it clear how to take part in the contest

Once potential participants are familiar with ‘what’, it’s time to get down to the ‘how’ part. Explain how to enter the contest and how points are scored. The Landing Pages add-on provides four social buttons to fulfill the task:

1. Facebook like button (add a link to your Facebook page here)

2. Facebook share button

3. Tweet button

4. Pinterest save button

These tools are sure to tap into engagement and grow your social following. Not only contest entrants will spread the word about your brand, they might also stick around as your followers.

a picture showing a social share block at a contest template

Thanks to the built-in Mailchimp integration, the Contest template is here to help you resuscitate your email list. The entry form is extremely easy to use: it’s the only field to fill that won’t turn visitors away.

You won’t just get your visitors’ email addresses. You’ll build an engaged email list which is way better news. When an award that a target audience finds interesting enough to sign up is handed out  — lead quality just cannot be better.

a picture that shows contest template mailchimp integration

It might be a good idea to score one point for every entry channel used. This creates an incentive for people to use other methods to get more scores and raise their odds of snagging the prize.

Show how many people have entered

What else can you take advantage of to build a drive to compete for a prize? Try to inspire competitiveness by showing how many people have already entered. Entrant count might well become a contributing factor in the decision to participate in your giveaway.

a picture showing an example of online contest software you can get

Make your contest look trustworthy

Everyone wants to make sure that a giveaway is trustworthy. So, don’t skimp on testimonials. They are a classic go-to hack you can enhance your brand credibility with. Hover over a comment to adjust it to your needs.

Feel free to upload customers’ photos, edit the default dates, and add more reviews by drag-and-dropping the Facebook comment element.

a picture showing social proof on the contest template

At the bottom of the page, you’ll find the disclosure area where you can tell your visitors more about rules, terms and conditions, etc. Your utility pages will open in a popup to keep your visitors from leaving the page.

an image demonstrating contest template disclosures

Work on the entry confirmation page

When your visitors hit the Enter now button, they will be redirected to the Entry confirmation page. This is a great place to experiment with some extra incentive. Why don’t you reward your visitors with a coupon code to encourage those who have already demonstrated interest in your store to discover your product range?

Chances are they’ll find something valuable for them or at least get to know your brand to get back later. Plus, you can use psychology to your best advantage. By offering coupons you’ll make your participants feel like they’ve already won something. By default, the button integrated in our online contest software leads to your Homepage, but you’re free to link to any other page.

A fine background image and an encouraging copy will be a nice finish.

an image demonstrating a contest template entry confirmation

You’re done! Like what you see? We bet you’ll be even more pleased with the results you get. Since you can create an unlimited number of pages with the Landing Pages add-on, don’t waste your time and start building your next landing page!

How to announce your contest

There’s no need to spend a fortune on advertising your contest. Our landing page template is designed in such a way that it can generate free publicity and self-promote thanks to the built-in engagement mechanism. Here’s how you can tell your audience about your contest absolutely for free:

  • Announce your giveaway on your blog
  • Launch an email campaign to let your subscribers know about the contest
  • Publish a post on your Facebook page
  • Create a dedicated post on Instagram and post a story
  • Tweet your giveaway in your Twitter account
  • Tell your Pinterest followers about the new giveaway
  • Show a popup on your website Homepage with a link to your landing page
  • Shoot a video and upload it to your YouTube channel

To fuel your efforts and expand your reach, consider promoting your contest on Facebook, Twitter, Google, Reddit, etc. You’ll capitalize on your advertising investments in no time.

Your contest is over. What’s next?

The giveaway came to an end and you picked your winners. You can contact them via email, make an announcement on your social media page, or publish a post in your blog.

But don’t stop here.

You can ask the winners to send a ‘happy customer’ photo with your product once they get it. User-generated content is great at building trust with your audience and inspiring extra confidence to make a purchase.

Also, we recommend getting in touch with other not so lucky entrants to offer a nice consolation prize. Thank them for taking time to enter the contest and sweeten the pill with a coupon code. Invite them to sign up for your newsletter so that they keep an eye out for the next giveaway.

This way you’ll kill two birds with one stone: foster loyalty + grow your email list. Nice move!

Bonus tip

That’s not all. We’ve got one more trick up our sleeve.

When you run a contest using our online contest software, you will notice that some users are more active than others. These enthusiasts might become influencers you will be able to count on to promote your brand in the future. To establish a trustworthy relationship with them, you’ll want to reach out to them personally.

A good idea is to send them a personalized ‘thank you’ email or to offer them to share their experience with your brand in return for some perks from your business.

In other words, you can build a mutually beneficial collaboration.

What’s more, they might happen to have a large number of followers. This fact is kind of self-explanatory: the more people hear about your brand, the more visitors you’ll get.

To wrap it up, contests and giveaways are a true win-win that simply is too good to miss. They trigger a social sharing cycle and get the viral loop rolling. Keep building your expertise and remember to live up to customer expectations! With the latest addition of an online contest software functionality, our Landing Pages add-on will be an efficient and reliable assistant to help you with all your undertakings.

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By Ekaterina S.
Ekaterina is a Product Manager at AliDropship. She is responsible for planning, delivery, and optimization of multiple AliDropship solutions.

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