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Run a Contest: Build a Large Opt In List Targeted for Your Products

Aug 17, 2007
Run contests on your website (or include surveys and polls) to grab opt-ins for your newsletter then put your new subscribers to work for you.

A contest at your web site works on the same principle as signing up for a contest to win a free dinner at a local restaurant. Both parties get something of value (you get their contact information and they win a prize). Make sure that the registration for this contest is SIMPLE. Your visitor should not have to spend more than a minute or two to complete the task - otherwise, they'll frequently opt-out and leave your site before you've had a chance to get their email address.

To run a contest find a prize, set a date, create the terms and conditions and promote.

Pick the prize that you think will get your most targeted visitors to your site, for instance if you run a site on air purification you might want to give away an air purifier. Why, because you are seeking to target your list for your products and services. The prize relates directly to the target market, people who have indoor air pollution issues. Giving away $5000 will create several opt ins to your list very quickly but you will create a list of people who are seeking a cash prize, not a list of people who may eventually be interested in your air purification products. After all the goal is not the size of the list but the responsiveness of it.

Set the date for the contest. Run short contests for 3 reasons. Reason 1. This will give you the chance to contact your subscribers very quickly by announcing that the contest has been completed. Any opportunity you have to connect to your subscribers is a good one. Your subscribers will become familiar to your list if you build a relationship with them. What better way they to announce the winner and provide them with some valuable information at the same time.

Reason 2. You can promote your contest for free at contest directories. The promotion time is short lived. You will get a burst of subscribers for a few days and then it will taper off. If you run short contest you can submit your contest more often keep a revolving door of new subscribers coming to your site.

Reason 3. You can keep your subscribers coming back to your site time and time again using your list and your contest. Contact your winner with a personal email. Ask their permission to post their testimonial on your site with a picture if possible. Next send an announcement to your list stating the winner has been posted on the site. Please visit the site to see if you have won the prize. Viola your visitors will keep coming back.

Be sure to include terms and conditions with your contest. Find similar contest review their terms and conditions and work from there. It is probably best to have your lawyer review the terms if you have something of value to lose. State that the winner must have a valid email address to win. You never want to give a prize away to someone how enters bogus information just to win. A valid email address on your list is a must. I also put this right on the sign up form to deter junk entries.

The mechanics of the contest entries are simple you can runa contest or a poll with an autoresponder. Use their form and tracking idea and you are all set to take entries, keep can spam compliant and email your new subscribers.

To market your contest and draw a ton of free visitors to your site hunt down contest directories and contest announcement lists at Yahoo and Topica. :

Open up notepad and create a little cut and paste text file to use when you start submitting your contest to directories.

Key points to include in your notepad document. the directories will ask for.
*Title of your contest
*Description of your contest
*Description of your prize with value
*Contact information
*Link to your terms and conditions
*Link to your contest sign up page
*Date your contest is over
*Special rules like: Must be over 18 to enter, USA only,
*Entry schedule: Is this a one time entry or can contestants enter more than once.

In less than 24 hours you should start seeing new opt ins if you have a compelling prize. Your new list will be targeted and ready to receive information on your products.
About the Author
Charity Adams, CEO Mom is a 8 year veteran of online marketing and lead generation. For more information on list building, SEO and article marketing pick up our free Ebook
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