How to Choose a Contest Prize That Attracts Qualified Leads and Helps You Go Viral

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Are you guilty of this?

You’re super excited to run a viral contest. Excitement overwhelms you, and so you rush to get everything done.

You can’t wait to launch it.

As soon as you did, you realized that a couple of things were missing. You honestly thought you were ready, but you weren’t! 😆

It’s not just you who experiences this, but anyone who tries to create a contest or giveaway for the first time. Don’t fret – it’s normal.

But wouldn’t it be great to keep mistakes to a minimum? That way, you spend less time going back and forth to review your campaign.

Don’t commit this mistake…

Get it wrong, and you mess up your whole campaign.

Can you guess? Yup, the contest prize.

While choosing the right contest prize is the first step you take, it’s also the most crucial.

Unfortunately, most people assume that expensive and fancy prizes (like an iPad or a diamond watch) are the best.

It doesn’t work that way. While these super attractive prizes motivate a large number of people to join your giveaway, a lot of these people do not qualify as your ideal audience.

A prize must possess certain attributes to make your contest a huge success.

Let’s discuss more on that in the next section.

Related: 50 Creative and Small Prize Ideas for Different Industries

How to Choose a Contest Prize That Gets You Qualified Leads

Follow these guidelines to attract genuine fans and future customers with your prize, and at the same time deter prize hunters!

1. Attracts your ideal customer

Ideally, your prize should help you connect with your potential customers.

Imagine that you own a local fitness studio. You’re new in the industry and are thinking of a giveaway to increase brand awareness.

What would be the best incentive to offer? Is it a free haircut? A beach towel? Or a complete yoga kit (which consists of a yoga mat + outfit + book)? Obviously, the yoga kit is the best giveaway prize.

Universal prizes or prizes that appeal to everyone, tend to fall flat. Even if you don’t have a product to offer as a prize, the best thing you can do is choose a prize that aligns with your business.

By doing that, you attract people who are likely to buy from you in the near future.

2. Exclusive to your business

Why don’t you offer your own product as a prize? This is a surefire way to ensure that you attract only the right people for your business.

In fact, if you’re launching a new product, you can build buzz around it by running a contest and using that product as the main contest prize.

It’s a fast and inexpensive way to get the word out about your offer.

Below is an example of a brand, ISLE Surf & SUP, that uses a giveaway to get more exposure for their new inflatable paddleboard:

To create hype, they made it clear that their new paddleboard is not yet available for purchase. However, people can still “win it” by entering their giveaway.

Tip: If possible, let your audience choose the exact color and size they want. This shows that you are sensitive to their needs.

3. Socially acceptable

It is usually impossible to promote something that people feel awkward or hesitant to talk about in public. An example of this would be adult toys.

If you require people to share the adult toy giveaway to as many friends as possible on social media so they can win the prize, people may actually decide not to join the giveaway anymore.

Even if they want your prize, they still care about what others might think or say about them.

Here, we realize that it’s not enough for a prize to be related to your niche or business. If you want to go viral, you need to make sure that it doesn’t spark controversy or possibly risk your audience’s reputation.

4. Highly valuable to your audience

Is your prize something that your target audience truly cares about? This is an important rule to remember: Choose an incentive that provides value.

Your audience should be able to consider it useful. They need to see it as a tool that will solve their problems.

Here’s an example of an Instagram giveaway that offers high value. The contest prize is a free private barre fitness class where winners can also bring one friend along.

To make sure that your prize is valuable, think about your audience’s hopes, goals, and dreams.

Does it improve an aspect of their lives, like their health or fitness? Will it save them time or money? Does it help them appreciate their first year of motherhood?

5. Bonus tip: Ask them what they want

A surprisingly simple way to know what contest prize to give is to ask your audience!

This strategy is great if you sell multiple products and you want to figure out which one people like the most.

But instead of simply asking what they want, provide options or multiple answers that they can choose from. Here are a few ways to ask them:

  • Start a poll inside your Facebook group (if you have a group).
  • Create a survey using Google Forms and send an email that links to the survey.
  • Write a blog post about the giveaway and embed the poll or survey within the post.
  • Pin an image to Pinterest and use that to drive traffic to your survey.

A Piece of Helpful Advice

I see many marketers and business owners commit this mistake:

They ask their giveaway participants to perform several actions in exchange for a prize that’s so simple. The more actions you ask your audience to do, the more valuable your prize should be.

Case Study Example:

A great example of this would be the Bunkie Life giveaway. David Fraser of Bunkie Life did a giveaway where he offered a $6,000 bunkie.

In the giveaway, he did not only ask people to simply enter their email and share the campaign with as many friends as possible.

He also asked participants to complete multiple actions (through UpViral’s custom actions) to increase their chances of winning.

These “custom actions” included subscribing to their YouTube channel, posting a photo of their perfect bunkie location, answering a questionnaire, and more.

One of the best reasons why the Bunkie Life giveaway succeeded was that the prize was extremely valuable.

So even if David asked people to perform various actions to meet his goals, they were willing to do it because of the prize.

Read: 34,297 Leads and $300,000 in Sales: How Bunkie Life Went Viral [Case Study]

Ways to Increase the Perceived Value of Your Prize

Have you ever wondered why an incentive that’s so good doesn’t get that much attention?

This may sound ironic because earlier, we discussed ways to pick a contest prize that helps you go viral and get qualified leads.

But yes, it’s possible for your giveaway to get little traction despite having an awesome prize. This happens because of the way you position your offer.

You see, the way you present and explain your offer matters. Because obviously, it will affect how people perceive it!

Need ideas on improving their overall impression of the contest prize? Check out the tips below:

1. Make it a seasonal offer.

This is an effective way to leverage scarcity. People know that Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or another holiday won’t last forever!

With that being said, consider running a contest during a special time of the year.

2. Add social proof elements to the opt-in page.

Social proof can be a very effective tool in influencing people to join your giveaway.

If you don’t know what social proof is, it’s an informational social influence. Essentially, it’s borrowing third-party influence to sway potential leads and customers.

Social proof makes people think to themselves, “If they want that thing, it must be good, so I must have it as well.”

There are different ways to add social proof on your giveaway landing page.

If you’re offering your service as the contest prize, why not add some testimonials or reviews from your customers?

You could also mention the size of your customer base.

Partnering with an influencer in your giveaway builds social proof as well.

3. Make it personal!

Personalization increases the success of your campaign. It boosts the value of your prize because now, people think it’s extra special.

The founders of Max Rhymes, a children’s book company, does this by signing their giveaway prize, which was a set of books.

On their landing page, they mention this in the subheadline so their audience can easily see it:

Another way to personalize your incentive (and we already mentioned this earlier) is to give your participants the opportunity to pick their own color or size. This is beneficial if you’re giving away something that they would wear, such as a T-shirt or pair of shoes.

Read: Changing Children’s Lives One Story at a Time: How Max Rhymes Went from Zero to +7,800 Leads

4. State the actual value of your prize.

When you dine at a fancy restaurant, wear fancy clothing, or treat yourself to an expensive bottle of wine, don’t you feel good?

This is how your audience also feels if they know that your incentive normally comes at a higher price tag. But now, they can get it for free.

Be sure to mention the monetary value of your offer in your headline, subheadline, or somewhere in your giveaway landing page copy that people can easily see.

Here’s how Bunkie Life and Max Rhymes do it…

Bunkie Life mentions the price in their Facebook ad, specifically in the post text and headline:

Meanwhile, Max Rhymes mentions it on their opt-in page, right below the image of the contest prize:

5. Get clear about your offer.

The written copy of your landing page plays a huge role in convincing people to join your campaign. As soon as people read it, they must understand right away what it is about.

Use short sentences and simple words. Don’t use too many fancy phrases that confuse your audience. Write in a friendly, conversational tone!

Final Thoughts

Remember and apply these tips in your next giveaway. If you want to get as many qualified leads as possible, make your contest prize worthwhile.

When you do this, not only do you make your audience happy, but you also achieve your goals.

If you’re looking for a simple and reliable platform to create a successful contest or giveaway, choose UpViral.

With UpViral, you can design beautiful opt-in and share pages, set-up emails for your giveaway audience, and more. You can also gain access to our guides for a smoother sailing campaign. Learn more about UpViral today!