"Contesting" Your Success

I have been targeted by a lot of contests lately, and I have to tell you, I find it quite exciting. When I have a chance to win something...and it can really be just about anything...I all of a sudden have a strong and fervent desire to WIN!

I don't think I am alone. I may be one of the few who starts living my life according to the prize I am [not] guaranteed to win, but I think most people are fairly jazzed by the possibility of winning something. Especially if you can win something that you actually want, or need. 

It took a little while to sink in that this might be a great way to start increasing the excitement around my business, but eventually I decided to put it to the test. I am already running one contest (check out my Facebook page for details & to enter --http://www.facebook.com/liquidpoolcovers), and I have a real whopper of a contest coming up soon.

It turns out that it is almost as fun and exciting to host contests as it is to participate in them. Which leads me to a great idea for retailers:


Have a contest!


I am certain there are many things that you can give away as prizes, and when you start thinking about it, the ideas start pouring in. It is a great way to get your creative juices flowing! If you really think about it, you can almost always figure out a contest that is going to make sure your business comes out the biggest winner. 


For example, here are a few ideas that I came up with while writing this email:

  • Coloring contest for kids! Every entry is a winner - 1 Ecosavr liquid pool cover fish per family (or 1 pool noodle, or 1 nerf football, etc.)
    • by getting kids involved in the fun of your store, they will want to come back more often, and encourage their parents to spend more money. Also, by getting customers to try a consumable product with a "free" one, they will likely get hooked and continue to buy it for future use.
  • Like our Facebook Page - Every new "like" this week will be entered in a draw to win a FREE lunch!
    • A $10 - $20 coupon to a local deli will be well worth your investment if you are able to build a targeted audience on your Facebook page, where you can consistently market your great products and keep top-of-mind awareness
  • Customer of the Month - every purchase of "X" product will get you entered to win a 1 month supply of "Y"
    • Recognition is a very powerful tool. Whoever wins customer of the month will feel like frequenting your store more often, because they feel special. You can encourage sales of a new product by highlighting a different qualifying purchase each month.
If you do decide to run a contest or two, share your ideas and results with the rest of the group here. If we all work together, I would be willing to bet we could come up with some pretty outrageous ideas. Good luck!
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  • Those are great ideas, Monique! I have done some of that in my retail store. I have had a children's pool design contest simply by giving each child who wanted who came in the store a simple piece of paper and drawing materials and letting them design a pool and enter while Mom and Dad shopped. Then we had a judging and picked winners in several age categories, got them in to get their prizes of pool toys, took their picture and wrote and article and put it in the paper. 


    We also have a design class at one of the local high schools and a couple of years  offered small scholarhip prizes of money for a design competition. The kids loved it and we also took their pics and promoted the contest.

  • Thanks for that input Rex, I hadn't even considered that!
  • Great ideas Monique.  We do something slightly different since we are a manufacturer and not a retail store.  Usually in the fall, we will run some contests for our dealers...(ie) Sell 20 covers, and receive $20 off per cover during the month of X....Sometimes our dealers call us requesting contests to help their sales staff.  Last year one of our larger clients called and proposed a contest...If they could sell more than the amount of covers we established (let's say 50), then they would receive $50 off / per cover, for example, on anything over that amount.  Our customer loved that we were willing to jump on board with the idea.  In the end, they didn't reach their goal, but their sales team had fun with it, and they appreciated our willingness to work with them. 


  • I'm so excited by all the great feedback! I hope you all post your contest ideas here, so we can start a huge industry trend!
  • Great ides, Monique!  Sal and I were talking about something like this over the weekend, so this is very timely (and a better idea than we had!).
  • I really like your idea for contests, particularly using a consumable product to get a customer coming back to buy more of the product.
  • Maybe a fish


  • Think I'm going to try the coloring contest for the kids.We give out free beach balls anyway so we can just give another toy for a picture entry.


  • Don, 


    I completely agree with you, and I would always recommend making sure that you adhere to all Spam laws and restrictions. There are email servers out there that will allow you very high deliverability rates and very low Spam rates because they are so careful about ensuring your list WANTS to hear from you. I use Constant Contact, and I have very little problem with Spam.


    I also recommend doing more than just advertising a contest when you send out an email. For example, many of my posts here on the network come directly from a Retailer Email I send out weekly. You will notice that I tried to focus heavily on the benefits to the Retailer...making sure they continue wanting to read my emails...but I also mentioned a contest of my own that I am running.


    Thanks for bringing that up Don. Email is a great way to notify your customers about contests, but you have to be careful about treating your list with respect and courtesy.

  • Nice..We have done a lot of contests but you bring new outlook on it with the everyone wins aspect.

    I like it.

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