By August 1, 2012on
We help our clients and promoters create and implement prize promotions and we understand how a promotion can meet their marketing objectives. But what actually makes an appealing prize promotion for a consumer? Is it the prizes, or is there more to it than that? We asked Di Coke comper extraordinaire (she’s won a colossal £200k worth of prizes) who blogs at both www.superlucky.co.uk and who writes for Compers News! to reveal what she thinks makes a competition work, or otherwise… over to Di…
I’ve been a successful comper for fifteen years and it’s fascinating to see how prize promotions have changed in that time. When I first discovered this addictive hobby, it was when the internet was just becoming popular. In the late 1990s I found most competitions on supermarket entry forms, flashed products or in magazines. These days most competitions and prize draws are launched on websites or Facebook; even if I do spot a printed form or on-pack ‘WIN’ flash, the entry method will often be via a website or by text message.
Comping has changed, and the ease of finding and entering prize promotions for free has meant the hobby has attracted a lot more keen fans. There are many different kinds of comper – tiebreaker experts, fast-paced Roboform users, Twitter RT addicts, Facebook Like & Sharers, Texters – with each having a certain amount of time and/or money to dedicate to the hobby. For most of us, comping time is limited, and many that use competition forum listings and autofill software will rarely stop to read the instructions or the Terms and Conditions. Indeed, for busy compers, engaging with the promoter isn’t top of their prizewinning priorities – so how can a brand ensure that their prize promotions are appealing, successful and get people talking on social networks?
From a promoter’s point of view, it’s the social compers that are worth targeting – those that are using Facebook and Twitter for competitions, but also find time for chat. These compers love to share competitions and recruit friends to their comping cause, and interact enthusiastically on promoters’ pages. If a promoter can engage with social compers then their Facebook page and promotions should be a resounding success. Social compers will post comments and photos, and tweet a Thanks message when they receive their prize. Their friends, on seeing these actions on their Facebook ticker or newsfeed, might be intrigued and pop over to the page to see what’s going on. Hopefully the content will be engaging enough for them to stay and browse for a while, and even interact themselves.
With over 1000 actively comping friends on my own Facebook newsfeed, the type of promotions that I have seen successfully create a buzz and get people talking are:
• Sending on a ‘gift’ to a friend, or choosing a friend who will share the prize with you
• Asking friends to work as a team to win a prize
• Ongoing promotions where a prize is given away every day/hour/week to a random entrant or to the best tiebreaker/photograph
• Instant wins with lots of prizes
Other promotions that can cause a buzz, but in a negative and potentially damaging way, are:
• Voting competitions: they encourage cheating, and the same names win every time, so it’s a better idea to judge or choose at random from all entries with, for example, 20 votes or more (or better still, don’t involve voting at all!)
• Referral competitions where the person who refers the most friends wins (a referral promotion where a fan has to get 2 or 3 friends to sign up, or extra entries in the draw for friends that enter is more effective)
• Games where the highest scorer wins: time and time again we see leaderboards topped by impossible scores, so there’s no incentive for people to play (try doing a random draw from everyone that achieves a certain score instead)
• ‘Like and Share’ competitions, which violate Facebook terms. Some compers love these because they’re so easy to enter, but there are a lot of pitfalls which I cover on my Superlucky blog.
There are lots of ways to connect with fans whilst plugging an online promotion:
• On a Facebook page, sharing competition entries or photos of previous winners can be a really appealing way of connecting with fans, and encourages interaction and chat
• When a Facebook user comments on a status, it appears in the ticker for all their friends/subscribers to see, so it’s always worth asking questions in a status update: ‘If you won our £1000 vouchers, what would you spend them on?’, or ‘What do you think of this fabulous entry into our photo competition?’ for example
• ’Like this post if you want to win a holiday’ is a classic – compers love the Like button and will use it even when it’s not a condition of entry; ensure that the entry URL is obvious though, as some people will think they’ve entered just by Sharing or Liking!
• Compers’ enthusiasm can be taken advantage of, as most of us love to share. Speaking from experience, when I’ve shared a competition link as ‘Public’ on Facebook I have noticed that several of my ‘normal’, non-comping friends go on to enter as well. Make Facebook posts appealing and fun, preferably with a photo. Bear in mind that when sharing a link with no photo, further shares by fans will NOT include the text of the original post – only the link. This doesn’t work at all well if the link is to the prize, rather than the promotion!
• When it comes to prizes, it might sound odd but it does seem people would much rather 100 prizes of £1000 rather than one big prize of £100,000. When huge prizes are given away on Facebook there’s a certain cynicism that rears its ugly head (usually from the non-comping fans!) and there might not be the congratulatory messages you’d expect.
• Most compers do love to see other compers win, so promotions where there are lots of smaller prizes (wine, t-shirts, vouchers, etc.) can be very effective, particularly if the prizes are staggered so there’s a regular flow of fans posting ‘Thankyou’ messages on a page.
• It’s difficult to please everybody all of the time, which is why it’s a good idea to try a variety of approaches to see what type of promotion works best and to give all fans a chance of winning a prize, whether they enjoy an easy prize draw or a complicated recipe competition.
• Always make sure there are clear and easily accessible Terms and Conditions, and that any important restrictions (if a holiday is for 2, or doesn’t include flights for example) are made clear, as most compers won’t even bother reading T&Cs!
• People hate to see cheats winning, so it pays to take steps to prevent them from entering, and also take accusations of cheating seriously – read my blog post about cheating here
• If running a promotion where a product purchase is required, ask for the receipt details upfront at entry stage; some cheeky compers will enter these competitions, then try and beg a qualifying receipt from elsewhere if they win!
There’s nothing I enjoy more than a well-thought out, creative and exciting competition – and if you have one to share, please get in touch so I can help promote it!
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.