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Your contest is over, you’ve announced the winners, and thanked participants. Now what? Follow-up is the next step in contest marketing is to nurture those contest participants into becoming opportunities and then paying customers.
You can find a ton of resources that will help you follow up with leads to run effective nurturing campaigns. But, this article talks specifically about what you should do after a contest marketing campaign ends.
IN THIS ARTICLE:
- What happens after a contest marketing campaign ends?
- How do you keep in touch with past contest participants?
- How do you convert contest participants to customers?
What Makes Follow Up After a Contest Effective?
Sales studies indicate that 80% of leads require 5 or more follow ups before they convert. The same applies when it comes to nurturing your contest participants to get them to take another action involving your brand.
It’s not just about what you want participants to do, what about your audience’s needs? They are all unique individuals with their own customer expectations of your brands. On the other hand, there are some brands that bombard contest participants with discounts and special offers and see great results.
You need to utilize social listening to better understand what your audience’s expectations after your contest ends. Don’t just assume that they are ready to purchase. By listening for feedback, you will be able to ensure that you offer value in every follow-up, even if it’s just to provide additional education about your product or service.
Contest Marketing Follow Up Creates Brand Advocates
Another advantage of investing in customer relationships after your contest ends is that it helps to create brand advocates who become your most loyal customers. When consumers are happy, especially if they didn’t even win the contest, they are likely to recommend your brand to their family and friends. Always keep in mind that a happy audience means more new customers for your brand!
Contest participants are fresh from the excitement of seeing your winner announcement and want to know what happens next. Here’s how you keep the engagement and fun with a captive audience of social media contest participants.
5 Tips to Follow Up With Contest Participants and Nurture New Customers
If you want your brand to remain the lifelong trusted staple brand for your customers and make sure you have participants that will enter your promotions again and again, you need to follow up after you run a contest, regularly.
Here are some tips to keep in touch with past contest participants:
1. Communicate With Your Participants Via Their Preferred Channels and Frequency
Your social media contest participants already know your brand exists. So there is no need to bombard them with tons of marketing communications that they didn’t ask for. Instead, send follow up messages based on how frequently your contest participants have determined they want to be updated. You can even ask them to choose their communication preferences when they opt-in to receive emails, phone calls or SMS messages from your brand.
2. Ask Participants to Schedule a Time for Follow Up
Even if you promise to keep your past contest participants updated, it’s very easy to forget a new lead that might become a paying customer. Instead, make sure that you segment your contest participant list to identify prospects from the pool of participants your brand has amassed. Then these participant leads can be sent to the sales team for follow-up.
3. Send Contest Participant Leads to Your CRM System
Make sure that a good CRM system is a part of your martech stack and is integrated with your contest platform. This can help you better prioritize contest participant leads and avoid sending repeated information to your prospects.
4. Ensure That Your Contest Marketing Attracts Qualified Participants
To determine if your contest is successful, analyzing the leads you’ve amassed from contest marketing should result in the outcome that your contest generated a list of qualified participants that have the potential to become paying customers. You can only do this by following up with contest participants and making sure that you get the answers to relevant top of the funnel sales questions.
5. Don’t Push It: Contest Participants Owe You Nothing
While it’s nice of you to run a giveaway for customers, they know that your brand likely expects something in return. However, it’s important to keep in mind when designing your contest campaign follow up that past contest participants don’t owe you anything. Their decisions to interact with your brand is based on their own interests, not yours.
Coupons, sales, and discounts can be useful, but they shouldn’t be used as the default method to engage with customers. Focusing on giving shoppers what they really want will help to keep your customers happy without cutting into margins.
You have to be patient and consider observing customer behavior as a normal part of getting to know your customers’ needs. That way, even if you contest only attracts a few participants you will still obtain valuable data that you can use to improve the customer experience for your brand.
What Communication Channels to Use for Follow Up With Past Contest Participants?
SMS and email marketing are highly effective for following up with new customers and past contest participants. SMS has higher lead engagement and it can be both done at scale and automated using SMS messaging services.
If you want to avoid your audience your audience missing messages from your brand or worse signing up with email addresses that they never check, SMS messaging offers an alternative. Mobile marketing and social media are great ways to keep in touch with past content participants and avoid ending up in the spam email box.
Your best bet is to ensure that you connect with contest participants via all of the marketing channels where you advertised your contest. By doing this, you’ll be able to reach your contest participants via omnichannel marketing that reaches them in the places where they spend the majority of their time.
Maximize your contest follow up ROI by using marketing automation to manage your nurturing campaigns.
First, make sure that you’ve obtained explicit permission from contest participants to use any user-generated content they submitted to your social media or other platforms in relation to your contest. Once you have the permission, use your website and social media channels to display video content and images from your contest campaign. By doing this, you’ll be able to demonstrate that real customers value your brand, which helps to build trust, customer loyalty, and authority.
Sharing contest UGC will also help to attract future contest participants for the next time you run a contest marketing promotion. It also helps customers get an idea of what kinds of rewards they can expect in return for becoming a loyal customer.
Final Tips for Contest Marketing
Congratulations! Your contest campaign is over! Give yourself and your marketing team a pat on the back and get ready for the next steps. Now it’s time for your brand to cash in with lead generation ROI in the form of sales and increased brand awareness, if you just follow up with all of those contest participants. Then, create a plan to make your future contest marketing even better!
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