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             01 December, 2023

Category:  Articles » Internet » List Building


Contests as List Builders

         Views: 1914
2006-08-23 20:16:20     
Article by Genesis Davies

Contests are a great way to build your opt in list. Everyone loves the chance to win something, so they’ll be more than thrilled to give you their email address. Contests fit into any genre, as well.

In order to enter the contest that you set up, the entrant should be required to give their first name and email address. You can set up a simple form using the HTML from your autoresponder. The autoresponder would send a short notice letting them know that they have been entered.

What kind of contest should you hold? That depends entirely on you. You can adapt most contests to nearly any theme, so take a look at the list below and see which fits your readership best.

- Essay contest. You could use this as a content builder as well. Set a word limit, usually 400-1,000 words is good and easily publishable and let your visitors know the rules, what your theme is, entry deadline and what is not acceptable (i.e. pornographic essays, violence, etc.). You should also specify what you can do with the entries, if you will retain all rights, or if the author can publish the work elsewhere.

- Photo contest. You might set up three or four categories depending on your site theme. For example, on a mother’s site, you could have a category for pets, for kids and for still-life in the home. This is a good way to get content as well for your website.

- Link draw. This is a useful way to promote your website. In order to enter, the visitor must place a link to your site on his own website and then send you the URL where the link is located. Draw a name at the end of each month (or week) to choose the winner.

- Email draw. If you don’t want to be reviewing photos and entries, just have visitors enter their email address and draw from a hat on the chosen day.

You could charge for people to enter your contest, but that would limit it’s potential, so I don’t recommend it. Instead, offer free entries and you’ll build your list faster, which is the point after all.

Unless you already have a huge number of visitors to your website, you’ll need to promote elsewhere. There are lots of contest directories, just do a quick search on Google. Try to submit to 3-5 directories per day.

As for prizes, that could be anything at all, but you’ll find that info products are the easiest to deal with. Offering a free ebook (that would normally be sold) to your winners is a good way to get them to enter.

You could also offer one of the following:

- Free inscription to your paid e-course.
- A product related to your theme (i.e. gourmet cat food for a pet site contest).
- Free membership to your paid membership site.
- A year-long winner’s link from your main page
- A free ad for a month in your ezine
- A month’s worth of advertising on your website
- A service related to your theme (i.e. a website critique for a webmaster contest)

The prize will depend on what your theme is and what you already have on hand to offer. I don’t recommend running out and buying a bunch of cameras to give away just for a contest! If you are set on real world prizes and don’t mind paying a bit, consider a dropshipper.

Give people a couple months until the deadline so the word can really get out. That way you’ll end up with more subscribers. Make the contest appealing, with really great prizes and a snappy name and you’ll build your list quickly!

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