The 5 Most Common Mistakes with Sweepstakes and Contest Rules
Contests and sweepstakes are great tools to engage an audience, and it can be an easy sell to business owners and executives on their effectiveness. However, there are many steps that go into ensuring your contest has what it needs to really succeed, before it is launched. One of the most vital parts is determining the contest rules, and of course, that’s where many marketers and contest administrators fail.
1. Not making any rules
Novices can come up with many rationalizations to go without any rules for a contest. Just to name a few:
- The prize is too small
- The contest is straightforward
- The promotion period is short
- The launch date is too soon
The bottom line, though, is that not providing rules for a contest is always wrong. The audience you want to participate needs clear instructions, and if they decide to enter, they want to be sure that they’re doing it correctly. And, your company needs to be legally protected. It’s up to you to provide that information. Here are a few areas to consider when creating your rules:
- Prizes available and odds of winning
- Age and location eligibility
- How entries will be accepted
- Possible disqualifications of entries
- Location eligibility
- Selection process
- Relatives or employee entries
2. Typos and grammar
Noticeable grammar and spelling errors are quick ways to establish negative associations with your brand in any situation. If you personally create the outline and content for the sweepstakes or contest, have multiple people read it over for you. After spending so much time and effort scanning the content, fresh eyes are needed to pick up on what you might have missed. Proofreaders are valuable to ensure that you’re not sending out the wrong message, which leads to our next point.
3. Confusing language
Your campaign should not be overly complicated if you want people to enter successfully. Your proofreader(s) also have the responsibility to make sure that the directions are clear, concise and simple. If you’re creating a high-stakes sweepstakes or a contest with a large prize amount, you’ll typically need to involve a legal team to create official and abbreviated rules that comply with state and federal laws. Always make sure you’re answering at least the 5 W’s and an H.
- Who can enter?
- What exactly do you want your entrants to do?
- When should they do it?
- Where can they go for more information?
- Why should they?
- How can they enter?
4. Copying or reusing rules from past contests
No matter how many times you’ve duplicated a contest, copying or reusing the rules is a serious misstep. Just because your campaign hasn’t changed, that doesn’t mean the people and outside platforms it involves have also stayed the same. Many brands choose to run campaigns on Facebook, and it has its own guidelines for how promotions (eg. a contest or sweepstakes) can run. Changes on Facebook happen frequently and brands have to follow suit. The demographic and geographic definitions of your contest may change as your business shifts or refocuses its marketing efforts, as well. It’s important to remember that these and other conditions can and do change. So never assume that copying will do the trick, and never simply copy from a competitor or unrelated business’s promotion. That could present entirely more difficult problems.
5. Mixing up the definitions of a contest and sweepstakes
In the public eyes, a contest and a sweepstakes are the same thing, but for marketers there are clear differences. A contest is a competition where entrants perform a task (submit a photo, follow a social account, share content, etc.) and are subsequently judged based on the results of that action. A sweepstakes is a way for sponsors or brands to give away prizes based on luck of the draw. The entrant typically enters with only their name and contact information. Both are very popular, but it’s vital that the rules establish the difference.
Want more information on how to make an eye-catching contest and sweepstakes? SCA Promotions is here to help! Reach out to us, toll-free at 1-888-860-8805. Also, read The 5 Basic Rules to Any Promotion.
How to Plan Your Exhibit Booth Location
Ask anyone who has exhibited at a tradeshow and they’ll tell you there’s more to it than placing booths in neat rows. For exhibitors, location matters. And, many times, location placement is selected behind-the-scenes by the show organizers. However, there are various strategies exhibitors can implement to ensure their location is perfect for traffic and engagement.
High Traffic – The Good & Bad
What’s great about high traffic areas? You get more eyes on your booth. The bad? A lot of that traffic is just trying to get past the traffic. It’s common to think that the best spots in a tradeshow are down the center aisle where most of the traffic will funnel in and out of. If you’re interested in simply handing out a lot of cards and materials, then be prepared to do just that. The center aisle may get the most traffic, but that also means you’ll have difficulty holding meaningful conversations. You don’t want to miss out on qualified clients because they can’t reach your booth or because the flow of the crowd causes them to miss you entirely.
Look for Opportunities
Prime booth location is usually determined by seniority, space needed and, of course, money. If you end up in an undesirable location, don’t start to panic. Cancellations by other exhibitors can give you an exit strategy out of a bad spot. Follow-up with your event organizers about cancellations and cross reference new spots with your current one to evaluate whether it’s truly the best move.
Look for spaces surrounded by multiple traffic avenues. This means that there are more than two ways for traffic to flow to and from your booth, so you don’t have an area that is congested. You should familiarize yourself with entrance and exit points, bathrooms, food courts and lounge areas. Remember, attendees will take the time to travel the floor, but you shouldn’t rely on a directory to send traffic your way. What you ultimately need is a way to command your audience’s attention – a solution that connects with their needs and interests.
Regardless of the size or location of your booth, it should make a statement. What is your company about? What do you offer? Why should people stop? These are questions, also known as unique selling propositions (USPs), you should answer in your exhibit planning phase. The answers present the foundation for any creative element you want to employ.
Interactive event promotions are crowd favorites and can be customized to fit your booth space. Table tops and floor space can all be transformed to a game arena for attendees to play games with head-turning prizes ranging from a Ferrari 360 Spider to cash or destination trips.
Tired of having tradeshow conferences pass you by without quality leads and sales? Transform your booth space with an interactive element from SCA Promotions. Contact us today and let us help you plan, execute and evaluate your next tradeshow strategy.
November Promotional Marketing News Round-Up
With the year coming to a close, marketers are already planning for 2014. This is a compilation of some of the most interesting headlines from November that marketers should be paying attention to. From future predictions to promotional marketing mistakes, last month produced a variety of learning opportunities to help your next campaign turn into a success.
SCA Promotions Releases Promotion Times 2013
SCA Promotions wrapped up projects with Haggar, the Georgia Lottery, and Marinela among others in November. The individual divisions of SCA combined to distribute considerable amounts of prize money and drive considerable engagement in game show style contests, social media sweepstakes, and hole-in-one games.
Make Your Incentives the Icing on the Cake
Coupons and discounts are not enough to drive the interaction you want from customers. They’re looking for something more enticing. With more shoppers turning to their mobile devices, promotions need to be adaptable to continue a seamless shopping experience, as well. As you develop your promotional strategies, think about how you can add personalized options, build loyalty, and implement social coupons.
Experiential Marketing: How can it Grow Your Business?
What is a consumer experience? The answer to this question goes beyond a consumer watching a video or looking at an ad in a magazine. It’s an active connection with a company or brand. Marketers use experiential marketing at tradeshows, festivals, pop-up shops, traveling shows, and more. SCA Promotions has helped grow businesses and produce results through experiential marketing promotions from development to implementation to review. As the market has evolved, so have our strategies and technical platforms to provide engaging and dynamic solutions.
The Future of Marketing: 4 Things You Need to Know
SCA Promotions knows how to play the odds, but accurately predicting the future is a stretch beyond our capabilities. However, it’s always interesting to read how today’s trends will impact next year’s marketing strategies. Geoffrey James from INC.com provides his insight on four main areas that will change in 2014.
Gillette Gets Set for the World’s Largest Shave Lesson
Movember and Gillette are a match made in partnership heaven. To raise awareness for men’s health, Gillette held an event to style and cut the facial hair of more than 380 men in a Guinness World Record attempt. In the U.S., the brands decided to shave off the beards of a few Red Sox players and then put the facial hair up for auction. Designated hitter David Ortiz’s whiskers sold for more than $10,000!
The Joy of Six: When Sports Promotions Go Wrong
Not every good idea for a promotion turns into a perfectly executed campaign. In fact, some of the biggest mistakes have happened with big brand names partnering with sports teams. Russell Jackson of The Guardian outlines six of the worst promotional ideas and the disastrous results.
Check back with SCA Promotions for upcoming news! You can also contact us directly at 1-888-860-8805.
Introducing The Prize SDK™ - A New Way to Make Your Promotions Actionable
What motivates your target audience? Bragging rights, exclusive content, or is it something else? Even if you have discovered what that behavioral driver is, you still have to compete with so many other distractions - unless you know how to truly stand out.
Few things can hold a person’s attention like a mobile application. When you’re trying to reach the next level of a game, your focus is air tight until you absolutely have to look away. This ability to hold one’s attention is what marketers want to take advantage of but many are missing the right incentive to inspire a desired action.
Marketing technology company CataBoom™ (a subsidiary of SCA Promotions) has created a prize software development kit, The Prize SDK™, to make every mobile app, game release, online marketing campaign or social media play a success. It has integrated the intelligence from software and game developers with the strengths of brand activation to motivate customers on a new level.
The Prize SDK works within your designated app and motivates behaviors such as:
- Download an app
- Play a game
- Watch/listen to content
- Like or Follow
- Play/use longer
- Increase traffic
- Share content
- Post content
Just ask yourself, “How can I persuade my audience to use my app or game more?” While extra coins, exclusive content or power-ups can definitely move the needle on engagement – why not think bigger? With The Prize SDK you can attach an incentive that gives your audience a chance to win tangible prizes – not just extra coins.
We will work with you to structure a prize pool that is the right combination of guaranteed and SCA-covered prizes to motivate behavior. And with The Prize SDK, you can quickly integrate it in no time and offer a chance to win up to $2 million per campaign for pennies on the dollar on what it will cost to pay the actual prize.
This new technology has already grabbed the attention of companies eager to launch products or boost their services. YooLotto is an emerging start-up in Dallas, TX with a mobile app that helps users track their lottery tickets. It also notifies users if they have a winning ticket and shows 7-Eleven locations for prize redemption. The company partnered with The Prize SDK to offer a $10,000 prize just for downloading the app.
Businesses are communicating with customers everyday on Facebook. Even if you’re not an avid Facebook user, you know someone who is. Platinum Pools and Lewis-Aquatech recognized that their customers were a part of the growing social network and wanted to start a conversation about its brands. The companies chose to partner with Bleapp and CataBoom to offer Facebook fans a chance to win $5,000 via a scratch-and-win game. Contestants were drawn to the promotion, and it was played more than 14,500 times by 3,160 unique visitors. It created 11,436 Facebook posts, 72,336 newsfeed impressions and the pages combined for 4,209 new likes.
These two case examples are only the beginning of what CataBoom and The Prize SDK are doing for app developers, agencies, and businesses. With the flexibility to match creative implementation and its commitment to results, The Prize SDK’s results will speak for themselves. For more information, visit www.cataboom.com.
The 5 Basic Rules to Any Promotion
Every company, large or small, can benefit from prize promotions and contests. Brand awareness can hit the spotlight and customer loyalty can skyrocket; however, successful promotions can be hard to initiate if your company doesn’t know where to start. Follow these 5 basic rules, and you’ll be able to get any promotion off the ground.
1. Know Your Audience
Your first step is to decide who you want to target with your promotions. If customers are the intended audience, then you should have a solid idea of your target demographic. If you’re hoping to explore a new audience, you’ll need additional research to decide how to effectively reach them. Understanding your demographic also means knowing the Five Ws. Here are some example questions:
- Who is it?
- What do they like?
- When are they most active?
- Where do they live?
- Why do they act a certain way?
Younger audiences might participate in a promotion because it’s on social media, while older generations might be more easily reached with direct mail.
As a company, you know that customers aren’t the only ones who can be relied upon to help grow your business and increase revenue. Employees can make or break a company, and it’s important to encourage them to be involved, as well. That’s where employee incentive promotions come in.
2. Define Your Objectives
Defining your objectives can help your company decide what you want the promotion to achieve. Ask yourself these questions:
- Does your company want to boost online customer engagement, drive more traffic to your website, or grow your social media presence?
- Do you want to increase sales revenue?
- Do you want to entice new customers to your retail store or simply reward your loyal customers?
Once objectives are set, then SCA Promotions can help your company decide which type of promotion is best for your marketing plan.
3. Create an Action Plan
After determining which audience you want to attract and defining objectives, a company can then create an action plan. This means deciding which promotion to pursue and when to execute it. We offer many different types of promotions, such as:
- Online and Social Media Promotions
- Sports Contests
- Try Me Free Promotions
- Game Show-Style Contests
- Scratch & Win
- Money Bags
- Taste Guarantee Programs
- Loyalty Programs
- + dozens more
4. Add Your Own Twist and Go!
Appealing to your audience means adding creative elements that will get their attention. This can include branding, the channels you use, or partnering with other companies. Promotions can be tied in to sporting events, on-air radio contests, social media, direct mail, and more.
5. Evaluate the Results
This step is arguably the most important, because it determines if your initial goals and priorities were achieved or not. If your audience was receptive to the promotion and met your specified goals, you’ll know your promotion worked. However, if the results didn’t come out the way you intended, you’ll know where it went wrong and can correct errors for the next run. Companies won’t know if they have been successful unless each step is documented and measured. Visit our case studies page to see how executing these steps can help brands of all sizes reach their goal.
Following these five rules, SCA Promotions can help you finalize the details that will make your promotion successful. Contact us for a free quote!