An ever more popular method of lead generation is through contest offerings. You may have seen such offers at your favorite retail stores or in shopping malls. A few times per year I stumble across a nice shiny new car that I can win. All I need to do is sign up with a valid email address and perhaps be open to receive a few sales calls. This strategy proves very effective to bring in leads, but there’s one problem. The dangling carrot of a new car or new smart phone instantly makes your email offering a byproduct. If you’re not emailing customers to tell them they won, interest in whatever you’re selling instantly diminishes. The ‘win a free ‘insert product here’’ will certainly bring in leads, just not necessarily leads that are interested in what you have to sell.
The astute marketer recognizes the futility of initiating a broad contest offer for the purposes of lead generation. A wide pool of prospects that are only interested in winning usually leaves you with a high number of spam complaints, bounces from contacts that enter fake addresses and little to no conversion rates. The result is your domain reputation took a hit from all of the complaints and bounces your content campaign rendered and your content is far more likely to land in the spam folder. This is not to say that marketers have abandoned this practice entirely. Instead, a more targeted approach has been adopted.
Instead of adopting such as wide approach, like an iPhone give away, offer something that you actually sell in the contest. Even better, make everyone that enters the contest a winner in some form or another. While you obviously can’t give everything away on the shelf, you should certainly have a single grand winner and offer the other contacts a discount for the same product or one that is similar. This is far more compelling and this strategy directly connects the prospects to the items you have stocked on the shelf. You are left with an engaged list of interested prospects that you can market to with your domain reputation intact.