How To Use Giveaways To Explode Business Growth
When it comes to the most commonly heard business advice, “The money is in the list” ranks right up there in the number one spot.
Whether you’re a coach, an information product seller, a top-notch service provider, or you’re selling a line of skin-care products (like I used to), growing your mailing list must be a priority.
There’s plenty of strategies to help you add a steady stream of emails to your list, too. A downloadable resource guide prominently offered in your blog sidebar is a proven tactic, as is a training webinar that potential clients can attend live (or even pre-recorded). You’ve likely heard of—and tried—other strategies as well.
And while all of these ideas will produce a trickle of new opt-ins, or maybe more depending on your website’s traffic numbers, they won’t bring in a tidal wave of sign ups. But there is one technique that will.
The Beauty of Massive Giveaway Events
Imagine what would happen to your mailing list if you suddenly had 5, 10 or even more super successful business owners—all with big lists of their own—promoting YOUR opt-in gift? You’d open your autoresponder account in the morning and see hundreds of new email addresses each and every day. You could easily double or even triple your list in no time at all.
And you know what all those emails mean—more eyes on your products and services, and more money in your pocket.
Giveaway events like this work because a group of business owners in similar or complementary niches all work together to drive massive amounts of traffic to a single page. It’s a simple technique that’s worked time and again in nearly every niche, and it can just as easily work for you.
Organization is Key
Here’s the thing, though. In order to make this (or really, any list-building strategy) work for you, you have to get organized and make the process as smooth as possible for all involved.
In order to make this (or really, any list-building strategy) work for you, you have to get organized!
You’ll need an infrastructure in place that includes:
- A great looking landing page to collect email addresses
- A website server that can handle lots of traffic
- A hidden page where the offers can be presented, and participants can click each link to claim the freebies that appeal to them
- A mailing list provider to follow up with both participants and your fellow business owners
- A group of friends and colleagues who will commit to giving away some top-notch prizes and who will follow-through on delivery
It may seem like a lot of work, but when you consider what it could mean for your business growth, the benefits of hosting a large-scale giveaway are clear.
Inviting Giveaway Guests: Make Em' an Offer They Can’t Refuse
If you’ve ever been asked to participate in a virtual summit or giveaway event, your first thought was very likely “What’s in it for me?”
That’s perfectly normal—after all, we’re all in business to make money—and it’s exactly what your guests will wonder when you offer them a spot in your event, too.
How you answer that is critical to your success.
- List building. This is the big benefit for both you and your guests. By combining resources with other business owners in similar niches, everyone has the opportunity to grow.
- Exposure. Getting more eyes on your products and services—even if those people don’t become subscribers—is always beneficial. And the more people who attend the event, the more traffic each of your guests will have.
- Networking. We tend to stick to our own little circle of friends and colleagues, but by participating in this type of event, your guests will have the opportunity to meet business owners they might otherwise not ever get to know.
- Sales. While your event might not be an upsell-heavy event, all guests will have the same opportunity to monetize the back end as the organizer does. Savvy marketers will take advantage of that to add to their bottom line, even while giving away products.
Beyond the benefits, though, you also need to make clear to your guests that you will make it easy for them to participate. Swipe files, social media graphics, reminders and a promotional calendar are all tools you should include in your welcome packet. These will take the burden off your guests, and take away the friction element that might cause them to say “no.” (Look for tips on putting this together, below)
Hosting a #giveaway? Make it easy for your guests to participate!
Here’s another important point...
Be sure you invite only the highest caliber of guests, and consider instituting a minimum list size to participate. Business owners who have successfully built a list of at least 2,000 people clearly understand marketing, and will support everyone’s efforts.
Alternatively, seek people who have large online followings even if they don't list build *yet*
When reaching out to potential guests, include the names of others who have already confirmed. It will help make their decision easier.
Even when you have all of these pieces in place, don’t be surprised to hear some no’s. Don’t take them personally! Sometimes schedules don’t work out; maybe they don’t have a freebie that’s a good fit. Or maybe they just don’t do giveaways. Start with a large list of potentials, and even if you do get a few who refuse, you’ll still have plenty of guests to host a popular and profitable giveaway event.
The secret to a well-rounded giveaway
If you've read anything else I've ever written or have heard me speak, you know a HUGE part of my focus is identifying your ideal client... and a giveaway is the PERFECT place to keep your ideal client in mind!
In fact, I highly recommend creating an ICA (ideal client avatar) just for the giveaway... Why?
Because this person will determine exactly WHO you invite to participate in your giveaway. Think about your ideal client. What would benefit them the most? What would they just love to win? What products or services would they JUMP on the opportunity to sign up to win?
Once you nail those down, THEN you can get out there and really create a targeted list of amazing giveaway parters that will wow your ideal client! Plus, they'll be much more likely to actually buy from you in the future, because any and every offer you make will be targeted directly to their needs.
For Best Results, Make it Easy on Your Partners
Entrepreneurs are busy people. They’ve got staff to manage, ads to monitor, products to create, and family to take care of.
So while your giveaway extravaganza is important to your partners (after all, it will build their list, too) it’s probably not a top priority when it comes to promotion.
As the giveaway organizer, it’s your job to make their job easier, and you can do that by creating a swipe file and graphics they can use for promotion. These cut-and-paste documents will allow your partners to quickly get the word out, so they can get back to work.
At a minimum, you’ll want to include:
- Social media graphics. Professionally designed graphics in appropriate sizes are a must have.
- Email copy. Create at least two or three versions so they'll have plenty of copy available to them.
- Social media updates. Tweets and Facebook updates are easy to schedule ahead of time. Be sure to include their unique link right in the updates.
- Promotional calendar. Make sure all your participants know the event dates and when they’re expected to mail or post on social media.
Ideally, you’ll want to put all your materials together in a single welcome packet and send it off as soon as your guests confirm they’ll be participating. But don’t stop there. You’ll also want to:
- Follow up. Emails get lost and we get busy. Remember to follow up with your guests to be sure they’ve received your welcome packet and to ask if they have any questions. This is a great job for your VA to handle!
- Send reminder emails. If you expect your guests to promote on a specific day, be sure to remind them one week in advance, and again one day in advance. Include the swipe file right in the body of your reminder email.
When you make it easy for your guests to promote you, you’ll have a much more successful (and far less stressful) event. Your mailing list will grow, your partners will appreciate the work you’ve put into growing their lists, and everyone will benefit.
Monetizing Giveaway Events: The Money is in the Back End
Think the ONLY money is in the list? Think again.
The real money is in the follow-up. Without a great back end to support your list-building efforts, you’ll wind up with a huge list of names that do little but cost you money. And nowhere is that more true than with a big giveaway event.
Think about it. You’ll spend time and money—and lots of it—just organizing your event. Between the design work, recruiting guests, writing copy, and setting up the infrastructure, you’re going to spend dozens of hours.
The way to make up for that is with a solid back end that brings in sales each and every day.
Two Pages to Monetize
Want to know the most underutilized page on your site?
>> It’s the confirmation page.
You know, that page where new opt-ins land while they wait for your confirmation email to arrive? If yours says something like “Thanks, now go check your email” (or worse, it’s ConvertKit or Lead Page’s default page) then you’re missing a golden opportunity.
This is potentially the first exposure your new subscriber has to you, so it pays to make it a good one!
This is the place where you should be offering a low-cost product that is a natural fit with your freebie. So in this case, your free offer is the giveaway event. Think about your products. Which one will help participants make the most of the event? That’s the one to offer on the confirmation or thank you page!
The download page is another often overlooked opportunity. Give your readers a relevant offer that ties in nicely with their download (or in this case, the gifts they’re receiving) and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the number of takers you get.
Email Still Works
Don’t forget the follow-up emails. Hopefully you’ve created a series of emails to go out after a subscriber joins your list, and a general nurturing sequence. These are the perfect place to make offers of relevant products and services, either yours or those of your event guests.
You don’t have to resort to hard sell tactics in every email though—and I don't recommend doing so.
Instead, send your subscribers valuable information they can use, so they learn to look forward to your emails. Save the selling for your P.S. or for the occasional (once per week or less) solo email.
Done right, these two techniques can ensure you not only earn back your investment in creating your giveaway event, but earn a tidy profit as well. Not only that, but these strategies work for every opt-in offer on your site, so be sure to take a look at your other funnels and patch up any leaks you might have.
I'm not going to sugarcoat it, giveaways take a good deal of time and effort to organize, but the return on your time investment can be amazing if you do it right! Thinking about hosting a giveaway in your business and need some tips? Drop a comment below and we'll brainstorm!
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