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Tag Archives: Contests

ideaMany businesses, especially small and locally owned, need to use creative ways to promote.  In a previous blog, I wrote about Cross Promoting with other businesses in your area.

This will talk about HOW to USE Infothe information you gather.  It’s a waste of time and money to just run a contest, give away a prize, get information and feedback and then do nothing with it.

Entry forms:  if using to build database for future emails – name, phone and Zip Code are important.  Gathering information on zip codes can tell you where the bulk of your customers live.  It’s a good idea to start off the entry form “box” with a couple of empty folded forms – people will enter when they see other entries.

Using the information correctly is vitally important. You may want an outside eye on this – getting a Marketing Consultant who can interpret this info and use it to YOUR Advantage can be a HUGE ASSET to your business and save you money in the long run – while creating new customers and cash flow.

After the contest: you should send an email newsletter out to your database, about the contest that just ended, what the prize was and WHO WON it – just a first name and initial of last name – do not give out personal info!   (You had already hopefully sent out info about the contest and how to enter to your existing database.)

Etikett Special Offer
SPECIALS and TEASER:  Run a special that you can announce to get customers back in quickly.  Tease to watch for details coming on NEXT CONTEST!

Sales info:  use your sales information to see what products were popular during the contest timeframe, IF sales increased, and any other feedback you may have gotten from customers.  Then highlight the item(s) by running a promotion or sale, possibly with a buy 1 get 2nd half price or combo a popular item in with a package of 2 or more other products.

Customer flow:  ask your staff, or take note yourself, what the popular days and hours were – you could even use different color paper for the entry forms to track day and/or times of entries – then possibly have a Special on the Off-Hours.

Follow-Up: make use of the information gathered by running either a SALE or in-store special – give the customers a reason to come back.  With the tight budgets right now during Covid, businesses need to give the buying public a reason to choose YOUR place over a competitor.

With so many brick and mortar stores closing and going on line, small businesses need to be pro-active in creating reasons for consumers to come into and shop, dine, use the services of small locally owned businesses.

Remembering your customers names if possible goes a long way in a customer returning and bringing others with them, especially in a restaurant.  Everyone wants to feel a little special!

Owners cannot do it all – getting the right help is so important in keeping a business viable!


winMost business owners, managers and staff have heard the term #Cross-Promote at one time or another. But many are not quite sure or understand what it really does.

Cross Promoting with other business(es) in your area can extend your (and their) budgets, save you $$$, and generate new customers.

Running contests in your store is a good example.  Find a business that doesn’t compete with you (you would not believe how many times I have heard of contests that have actually LOST customers for the contest running merchant!) – ask them about being part of the contest by providing a prize for the winner.  A small item AND a Gift Certificate to their store (as well as yours) so winner has to actually go into their store to claim prize.   Do not use % Off or BOGO coupons as prizes! Value of prize should be worth enough for people to want to enter and win.  At least $25 but of course the higher the value, the more entries you’ll get.   

Too many prizes are beautiful items or gift baskets OR even worse, I have heard of owners (and marketing professionals) sending prize to winner. HolShprsYou want them back in your business and the other prize contributor stores. Prize(s) should be worth a trip back for the winner.  Contests and prizes are a great way to potentially gain long term customers and create some talk about your business.

Both businesses should hang up signs in the business and on windows facing out explaining the contest, and have both logos, business addresses, web and social media info. You should provide the other business with the signs and flyers – the easier you make it for them, the more likely they will participate in your promotion. I would suggest saying 1 Entry per person per visit. Age requirement. No purchase necessary. There is other fine print you can add to help make contest more successful and run smoothly.

If you want to build or increase an email database, then use forms for people to enter…name, email and/or phone number as well as ZIP CODE. Zip code will give you info on where customers are coming from. Provide the business giving you prizes with the info at end of contest.  Learning how to successfully use the info you gather for future sales, promotions, specials will be in a future blog.

Both of you should promote contest in store, in advertising (if doing any) and on social media.  Contests can also be run on Facebook, and mobile phones or apps but those are subjects for another blog!

Have an entry box in your business, NOT right at front door – you want people to walk through store and see what you have to offer.

  • Contests should not run too long. 1 month is plenty. 
  • Keep it current – be seasonal or topical.
  • Prize should be a good value to winner
  • Prizes should be able to be used soon, so not forgotten by winner
  • Be HONEST when picking winner!
  • Notify winner and give no more than 2 weeks to claim their prize.  

Future blogs will touch on more details and some other ideas to create new customers, and excitement about your business.

If you are interested in talking to me about these and other types of creative and cost effective ways to promote your business, check out my website with contact info. BestMarketingNC.com