I’ve seen a lot online lately about giveaways and how incredible they can be for driving traffic to your site. Supposedly they can be a quick and easy way to jumpstart a mailing list and hook you up with some new leads.
This can be true, but I want to tell you a story that illustrates some of the downsides of giveaways that bloggers don’t seem to be talking about.
Promotions like these aren’t as quick and easy as it seems, and ignoring the realities can set you back way further than you might expect.
— Olivia Derby (@OliviaRDerby) April 21, 2016
So, on to the story.
While I was working at a big digital agency, my clients and projects were usually (and I mean like 99.5% of the time) super cool, and super fun to work with.
There was, however, one campaign that, to this day, makes me feel icky.
The project was for a company that sold hearing aids, and the idea was fun and quirky. You would click over to a landing page filled with distorted sound bytes and if you could figure out what they were saying you would be entered into a giveaway of a huge TV and fully loaded surround sound system.
To make a long story short, the project sucked. It was a total failure.
The client got thousands of entries, each one added to the mailing list, and hundreds of new likes on Facebook and Twitter.
But almost ZERO sales.
What can we all learn from this epic fail?
The reason that client made no sales off of a HUGE list, was that the giveaway attracted the wrong people.
What happens when the wrong sort enter your Giveaway?
The neighborhood just goes straight to hell.
When people that don’t match your ideal customer profile enter your giveaway, they cost you money.
1. Wasted Mailing List Space
They will never become customers because they aren’t interested in your product. They clog up your mailing list, decreasing open rates and use up valuable space (that you’re probably paying for) which should be devoted to subscribers who actually care. The emails they don’t open skew your data making it harder for you to tell what your real audiences likes and what they don’t.
2.Decreased Reach on Social Media
When you get a lot of likes and unlikes in a short period of time your reach takes a hit. All the networks will punish your posts when this happens and it doesn’t stop there.
When Facebook sees a decline in the percentage of your audience that engages with your posts, your kick ass content is going to get shoved to the bottom of newsfeeds and treated like spammy junk no one wants to see.
This holds true for every other social network out there. Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, even Google + will penalize you by decreasing the number of people your posts get shown to.
3.No Network Value
One of the biggest advantages of doing a giveaway, can be the “network value”. This is the idea that your best followers will share the content with their friends, who also fall into your target market, and your business attracts more, potential customers from the endorsement.
If you’re reading this and are now feeling grumpy and sad, cheer up. Now that you’re armed with some information, you can put together a giveaway that doesn’t run into these problems, and instead accomplishes exactly what you were hoping to do in the first place.
Here is how you use a giveaway to build your tribe and fill your lists with the right people.
How To Attract The Right People To Your Giveaway
1. Put Together A Package That Appeals
Before you put together a giveaway, think about what exactly you’re offering to paying customers. What would attract them to your product or service? The prize is going to be the biggest motivator for giving up an email address, so make sure that prize represents you as a company.
If you’re a business coach, don’t giveaway an ipad. Give away a 90 minute coaching call, a 6 month subscription to a productivity app, A 6 month subscription to your downloads library, AND the ipad.
Build a package that emphasizes things that your audience needs and then throw in the fun stuff at the end.
Remember, you want to attract people who could potentially become members of your tribe and customers.
2. Get guests exploring
After you’ve built a beautiful landing page for your giveaway and included an easy way for guests to enter, be ready to supplement it all with some of your regular content. Don’t forget to set up some good tracking with google analytics so that you know who did what.
Once your reader submits his/her email address, provide them with links to some of your most popular content.
Your goal now, is to move them through your site and keep an get them to willingly engage with your material. Someone that enters the giveaway and then downloads one of your ebooks is likely a great addition to your email list. Someone who enters then immediately clicks away is not.
3. Weed out bad matches
Use your next few newsletters to start weeding out the people who don’t fit your market. This is the time to include a call to action in your emails asking readers to “Download” something, “Register” for something, or “Buy” something.
These actions will appeal to good matches, and inspire bad matches to unsubscribe (which is a good thing!).
4. Protect your ranking
During, and immediately after the giveaway you should be kicking your social media game into overdrive.
Invest more time than usual into engaging on social and encouraging your audience to “react”, “comment”, and “share”. Post content that inspires these actions, and the extra engagement will help protect your account from getting punished by non committal visitors, and “fans” who won’t ever give you feedback.
5. Start with your best circles
Launch the marketing of your giveaway with your past clients and most loyal followers. Instead of throwing the announcement up on Twitter with hashtags like #FREESTUFF #Giveaway #Freebie and #winstuff, expose it to your tribe first and you will be rewarded. You might get fewer immediate sign ups, but those you do will come directly from people who are advocating for you.
Your loyal fans will share it with their networks which have been primed on your awesomeness, since they’ve probably seen you contente before.
This type of launch strategy keeps out the deal seekers and junk entries.
If you’re having trouble finding your tribe, or figuring out where your ideal customers hang out, let’s talk. I’ve helped women all over the world take their businesses from great ideas, to money making empires. Click here to get started.
Now that you’re an expert on giveaways, go out and host one that really, ACTUALLY works for your business.