Some people question the strength of leads obtained through competitions and sweepstakes but I think they’re very worthwhile. Competition entrants are at least somewhat qualified. People have shown some interest in your product. They have calculated that the time it takes to enter the competition is worth the value of the prize combined with the likelihood of winning. Think about competitions that you’ve entered. You don’t waste time with prizes that you don’t want to win.
Collecting an email address gives you a chance to repeatedly market your product. In the short term, they are not likely to convert into paying customers like an ad-click thru might. However, over time, you have the opportunity to convince them to pay for your product.
I was recently discussing consumer databases with a contact at the South Australian Tourism Commission. Convinced of the value of repeated marketing, one of their major goals in the North America market is to generate 500 new email addresses for their consumer database each week in 2010.
How many of your company’s genuine Facebook Fans and Twitter Followers were obtained using a prize incentive? (By genuine, I mean actual sales leads, not people who are industry contacts looking for reciprocal follows).
You should acquire leads in your target market using any cost effective strategy available. These leads can be in the form of email addresses for your database, subscribers to your blog, Fans for your page on Facebook or Followers on Twitter. Although, William Bakker at Tourism BC tends to favor Twitter and Facebook because there’s an opportunity for two-way communication. They key point is that the leads need to be in your target market. Then use social media to develop a relationship and walk them through the sales funnel. That is if you don’t lose their attention first because Followers and Fans are fickle.