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Enhancing Your Sweepstakes Promotion to Entice People to Purchase

by Susan Erler

Sweepstakes and contests aren't always the single best promotion tool depending on your marketing goals and objectives. If your goals are to build the image of your brand, increase brand awareness, increase visibility for your Web site or product, and/or increase Web site traffic, a sweepstakes or contest can be the right promotional choice. If your objective is to dramatically increase incremental sales from your already existing Web site traffic, then a sweepstakes or contest alone may not help you reach your objective. Consider combining your sweepstakes with other promotion tools to entice visitors to purchase your products.

There are many places on the Web where you can announce your sweepstakes or contest promotion. While this will help build your brand awareness, put your product in front of potential customers, and increase traffic at your Web site, people may not visit the rest of your Web site after entering the sweepstakes promotion, depending on how your promotion and your Web site are structured.

How can you entice people to visit the rest of your Web site after entering your sweepstakes or contest? Combine your sweepstakes with other types of promotional tools!

Coupons, Rebates, or Free Samples

Consider offering people who enter your sweepstakes a coupon or free sample or rebate. The "thank-you" page that appears after someone completed and submitted your sweepstakes form can contain a coupon for them to use at your Web site, or for a rebate after making a purchase. This will entice people to surf the rest of your site to see what other offerings you have. Online coupons can also be printed and used at traditional brick-and-mortar stores or through a phone order -- they don't always have to be used online only.

Sales or Discounts

As with coupons or samples, use the "thank-you" page to announce sales or discounts you may be having. Use it as advertising space or as a pointer to suggest an area on your Web site that people might like to visit.

The "thank-you" page is the most underutilized page on most Web sites. Use this space wisely, and you can keep visitors at your site longer.

Other Promotional Games

Offer other promotional games at your Web site. Consider having trivia games, instant-win games, slot machines, scavenger hunt games, and so forth to keep people returning to your Web site, like we do at our Web site. These games can help improve the "stickiness" of your site -- people will come back to play your games, and become more comfortable with your site and your offerings, and thereby increasing sales. People have a tendency to buy from sites they visit more frequently.

Sweepstakes and contests can be very effective for increasing the traffic to your Web site and in promoting brand awareness, but what happens to people after they enter your sweepstakes? That can make or break your sale. Offer them something else to do -- other games to play, offer them other incentives, suggest content-rich places on your Web site to visit. Your site needs to be enticing enough and structured so that people will want to continue surfing. Don't let people enter your promotion and then leave. Don't close the door for them to go surf somewhere else... By combining other incentives and promotion tools, your attention-getting sweepstakes can be used to entice people to further surf your Web site and purchase your products or services. The sweepstakes did its job and attracted visitors -- now it's up to you to keep them there...

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About the Author:

Susan Erler is the owner of Winning Ways, http://www.onlinesweeps.com, a sweepstakes site that includes an online newsletter, various articles and hints and tips, and provides sweepstakes management services.


















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