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Lucky Door Prizes - Tips To Make Them Legal And Work For Your Business

Jun 8, 2008
Many businesses use competitions and lucky door prizes as a way of generating leads or building their data base. But if done incorrectly you will end up losing customers and could even find yourself on the wrong side of the law.

So how do you run lucky door prizes or competitions that are legal and get you brilliant results?

Top 10 Tips for competitions

1. Work out your intent. You need to know why you are running the competition in the first place. Is it to qualify leads, get email addresses for your database, get a new marketing slogan, and get feedback on your product or some other purpose? Start with the end in mind. When you know why you are running the competition you will adjust the prizes, competition form and process to best match your needs.

2. You need an entry box. A lot of people use clear bowls or fishbowls for people to put their cards into. These don't keep the details private so could breach privacy regulations in some locations. The best option is a solid sided cardboard entry box. You can buy a gift box and cut out a hole or buy a blank entry box from a cardboard box manufacturer. You can of course get one purpose designed and built for you. For online competitions I suggest setting up a separate email account just for each competition to keep your entries separate.

3. Somewhere to lean on to complete the forms. People need somewhere to lean on to fill in the forms. If the table you use is too low or you force people to sit down to complete the forms, many people won'T bother entering. Make sure your table is the right height for people to lean on (and no handing out clipboards with forms isn't the solution. Many people are juggling bags and kids so can't juggle a clipboard as well). Being comfortable also works for online competitions. If your form is tricky to complete you can expect people to click away rather than stay.

4. Make it obvious. Your competition needs to be located at the front of your trade stand or your office. It needs to be clearly and obviously signed so people can find it and are encouraged to enter. Put a banner on your website letting passing traffic know about your competition and where they can find you to enter.

5. Tell people about it. Tell your regular clients about your competition as well as your new clients. You could also tell some of the major competition sites ... where the site collates competitions and lets their members know so they can enter them.

6. Make it worth their while. Giving away a low value item is not likely to generate much interest in your competition. Make the offer enticing with high perceived value.

7. Protect their privacy. You need to make it very clear how you will handle their personal details. Will you pass on their information to other people? Will you contact them to send them marketing material? You need to tell people what you will do with their information. Give them an opt-out box for them to tick if they don't want to receive any further information from you (and respect that tick in the box if you don't want to fall foul of Spam Laws and Do Not Call Registers).

8. Sort out your legals. Many locations have strong rules around the operation of gaming including Lucky Door Prizes.

In Queensland the Office of Gaming Regulation Inspectors check every stand of almost every expo or tradeshow for compliance. You need to download the Guidelines for Promotional Games and comply with items such as retention of entries for 5 years, the order of drawing prizes, written terms and conditions which must include things such as:

a. the name of the person running the promotion
b. Eligibility requirements for players
c. Description and retail value of each prize
d. Closing and drawing dates
e. Order the prizes will be drawn
f. How winners will be notified
g. Whether the results will be published and where
h. What will happen if the winner is not present at the draw
i. Any elimination rounds

It almost goes without saying that of you run a competition you must honour your commitments and actually award the prizes (unless you get no entries at all). Running a competition and not awarding the prizes can see you before the courts.

9. Follow up promptly. If you are using the competition to generate leads or create a data base then follow up on all entries within 14 days of close of the competition. You may want to consider hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA) to convert the entries or business cards into a database for you. Pre-book your VA so they have time to do your data-entry when it arrives. When following up remind the person where you got their details.

10. Trumpet the winners. If you can get their consent, get photos of the winners that you can use in your marketing and promote the details of the winners to your mailing list and local media. Most people love the spotlight (and other people love to know the inside of other people's lives). Good news stories are great for business.

If you follow these top 10 tips you will improve the response to your competitions and lucky door prizes and get more "bang for your competition buck."
About the Author
Ingrid Cliff is a Freelance Copywriter with her Brisbane Copywriting Business (Heart Harmony). Ingrid writes a free weekly small business newsletter packed full of articles and tips and Small Business Ideas blog for small businesses. www.heartharmony.com.au
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