As we slowly approach the end of our current lead generation blog post series, we can’t miss the opportunity to present you the contest entry form as a trustful lead gathering partner.
You may remember we’ve presented an array of forms to help you with lead collection. Now, we could divide these up into two main categories:
1. forms that are used for business communication, which people can use to send messages or to request information: the contact form, the request a quote form, the newsletter subscription form
2. forms that are enticing and incentivizing through offering something more ‘playful’ in exchange of the respondents’ data: the freebie form, the contest entry form.
The forms from the first category have a clear role: while keeping things professional, they provide site visitors with a way to get in touch with you, to ask something, report a concern, request an offer, or subscribe to your updates. All that is done by requesting a way of coming back with a reply to the visitor’s contact details. Thus, they will receive the kind of information they’ve opted for, after leaving an email address, which turns into a lead.
When it comes to the forms in the second category, though, the working mechanism is a bit different. The freebie form uses the principle of human reciprocity, which states that someone will be more willing to give you something if they received something from you. In other words, if you give your visitor an ebook, they’ll feel that you’re entitled to ask for their contact details.
The contests organized for customers employ the human competitive spirit, the wish for testing one’s luck and the joy of winning. Think about when you participate in a contest: isn’t it exciting to submit your participation in a sweepstake, to hope for being the lucky winner, and to await and see if your chances are favorable?
That’s the way contest entry forms work. Their main advantages are:
– they are a clear lead collector
– they have the power to engage your audience and to facilitate interaction between your business and them
– there’s a broad option gallery for how to organize the contest, mainly for what to ask from your participants as an entry condition, like submitting a photo, a video, an essay and so on
– they can raise your business’ online exposure, especially if your contest or your prize has a high level of shareability.
Every contest form is designed in a particular way. You generally shouldn’t find two alike ones. And that is because each form is tied to a specific contest, a brand and some clear functioning mechanics. There are some tips that you can take into account, though, when it comes to contest entry form creation.
1. A clear benefit. Perhaps the most important feature of a contest form, the benefit of the participant filling out the form has to be an easy-spotter at the first sight. Contest participants need to find a quick answer to the “What’s in it for me?” matter, otherwise they won’t be rushing to take part in your sweepstake. The clear benefit has to indicate what winners will get in terms of prizes. What’s there to win in the contest? How many prizes are available? What are the rules for participating?
2. Attractiveness. Your contest entry form should be visually attractive, so that it motivates people to fill it out, not only for the sake of the prize, but also for the way it looks. If the form has some nice graphics, some enticing colors, and a stand-out call to action, site visitors will notice it more likely and will be drawn to filling it out. Don’t forget about branding – people still need to be able to tell the contest is tied to your business, as it’s your business’ exposure you want to increase, among others.
3. A well set goal. Like you always do in business, you need to have a goal, too, when organizing a contest. Besides lead gathering, you may want to set goals like increase business exposure with x percent and others. You’ll also want to have a clear objective for the ongoing contest, meaning it’s important to know how you select the winning contributions, for example.
4. The level of involvement you expose the user to. Based on your business goals and the way you want to contest to happen, you can choose how much involvement you ask from contest participants. Two main options are either running a lottery-style contest, where participants only enter their contact details, or hosting a bit more complex contest. In this second type of contest, participants will have to make at least a small effort for taking part. What could this effort mean? Well, it could be taking a photo, making a video, creating something, writing an essay or responding to some business-related questions.
5. Right conditions for submissions. This is another area where your contest type/purpose matters. To be more explicit, you have to design the form according to your contest requirements. Do people have to send you a photo, a video or an artwork of theirs? Then it would be useful to include a file upload field – or even start from a ready-made file upload form. Do they have to write a short essay to participate in the contest? A text area field will come in handy. You can even set a minimum and a maximum character limit for it.
6. Confirmation with digital signature. When running a contest, you have to pay attention to the legal aspects. If only there would be a way people could confirm they’ve read the participation rules, comply to them, and submit their own work… Wait! There is a way! It’s our digital signature field. Include it on the form and you won’t be made responsible for not informing people on the contest guidelines or by knowledgeably accepting a submissions that represents a copyright infringement.
We love contests. Especially when they’re held with the help of our forms. And we would love to hear if you do too. Have you organized any contests yet? Don’t hesitate in sharing them with us!
Image courtesy of 1shots/freedigitalphotos.net