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How to Run a Profitable Facebook Contest


  Facebook contests and giveaways can be one of the best offers to put out there to your audience. Too many people have tried and failed. What happens if you spend all of your ad spend on a contest or giveaway, you end up with registrations, but no sales.

The very first thing that you want to understand before you get started with a giveaway or contest is, what are your goals? For some businesses, it may be to simply grow an email list. You need to understand what’s your offer. This offer is ultimately this very important aspect of getting someone to act now, opt-in, register, sign up for a call and appointment, or just go ahead and buy what it is you’re presenting to them. This is going to be offered after they register for your contest. Once you have a very clear picture of the offer you’ll be promoting, you can begin planning your contest.

The first thing I want you to consider is what are you giving away? What you’re giving away needs to tie directly into that offer that you’ve already decided upon. You need to make sure that through this process you’re not just growing an email list, you are actually getting people to register that actually need what it is you’re selling so when they are presented with that offer it makes sense for them to buy.

We don’t need quantity necessarily, we need quality. But the great thing about contest is that you can get both, just be intentional about that giveaway prize. For instance, if you’re deciding to give away some Air Pods but you’re a business that sells horse equipment, that prize says nothing about those people who enter that would tell you that they’re a good fit for what you’re selling. There could be a few people in there that own horses and need horse equipment, but most likely they’re not going to be your ideal audience. You’ve got to let that prize identify the need for your product or service. So, for example, that same horse equipment business, I would likely give away a horse saddle because if they enter that contest, it means they need that thing, and if they need that thing, it means they’re my ideal customer because they own a horse. So, this is a crucial element of your contest. Please don’t overlook it. And it’s fine to be able to give away special bonuses to clients such as those same Air Pods, give it away as a thank you, not as a contest prize. So, once you’ve got that prize in line, you want to determine the length of time this contest is going to span. This is actually a pretty critical element as well. Kind of going back to that last point, the problem can be that if you’re giving away exactly what you sell and your contest is too long, some people will actually wait to buy until they see if they win the contest. We don’t want that to happen because we want to plant the seed of desire by getting them excited about the contest and the prospect of winning, and while we have them in that state of mind, we’ll still be able to promote that ultimate product or service if they don’t end up becoming that contest winner.

For some businesses, you may actually want to set this up as a monthly recurring contest. So that’s what we did recently for one of our clients, they have housecleaning business. This business wants people to sign up over and over again. Originally their idea was to do an entire year of housecleaning. You’re going to wait a really long time to see the ultimate results because after a winner is announced is when the direct promotions going to start.

So, by structuring this as a monthly contest, it does a couple of different things. It makes that timeframe short so that when someone signs up for a free month of house cleaning, we know this is a person who needs someone to clean their house. However, if they don’t win, that thought is fresh on their mind. The other benefit becomes you can serve 12 winners, making 11 additional people really happy and hopefully become clients for life because they just got a free month of house cleaning from you.

The other thing that it does is keep people interested in staying on your email list. If somebody signs up for a contest, often if they don’t win, they’ll unsubscribe. We don’t want that to happen, we want them to know that there’s a contest every single month, and if you stay on this list, you’re going to get direct access to it and you could be that winner next month.

So now that we’ve got our price, we’ve got our timeframe, it’s time to get people to sign up for our contest. Contests are easy to promote because if you’ve got a good prize and you’ve got an audience of people who actually want that prize, you don’t need to create complex ads.

It can be as simple as creating a set of graphics that very clearly show that this is a contest or giveaway. The images need to spell that out very clearly, and I’d encourage you to make them bright and fun. It’s also great if you can kind of brand the name of the contest so that people are going to see that over and over again, and it’s really going to resonate in their minds. That ad copy can typically be pretty short and sweet.

If it’s something that’s really complex, you might need some additional details, but overall, you do not have to go through your detailed terms of service of the contest as long as you do have a link to that on your website that you can reference, on your landing page, or on your form or in your messenger registration flow. You want to avoid having specific dates in those ads if at all possible, I’d prefer you to add the date on your landing page or in your follow-up messages.

So, if this is a monthly contest, say we’ll be choosing winner at the end of the month. You don’t have to give a specific date. Now, where are they going to sign up? A funnel, a form, or a messenger flow? And that’s exactly what your options are going to be. There are so many people out there that are doing contest where someone would comment, share, tag three friends, like the page, things like that. Truth be told, that just has never been something that I’ve found to be valuable. It’s great to get that additional exposure of people tagging friends, you could do that as a bonus entry if you want to, but ultimately the most valuable thing that you own as a business owner is your list. That list can go with you wherever you go. If you get kicked off of Facebook in the future, you can take that list and market through email, you can upload it to another platform as a custom audience.

So, we don’t need that engagement, your ads are going to get engagement, it’s a contest, but you need the registration, that is crucial. The next thing that we have to do here is give them the option to sign up for our core offer as soon as they register. This is not something where you want them to enter a contest and just say, “Thank you, we’ll let you know if you win.” We want to say, “Thanks so much for signing up “for free month of house cleaning. “If you just signed up, “that probably means that you’re tired “of cleaning your house, you don’t have enough time, “you just don’t want to do it anymore. “We really hope you win the contest. “But if you sign up for our initial client offer right now, “you’re going to get 50% off of your first deep clean. “If you end up winning the contest, “you’re still going to get that prize.” So, let them know that their entrance in that contest tells you they need your help. Give them a reason to go further and pay you right then and there. If it’s something you sell directly online, allowed them to purchase. If it’s something where they need to schedule a call or an appointment, let them schedule. If you’re using something like a Facebook lead form, you do want to reference that offer on that very last page.


So now how are you going to follow up these people? Some people choose to actually call those that enter their contest. The cool thing about contest is you can actually ask for quite a bit of personal information if the price is good, it’s not like a traditional lead magnet where you’re really only going to ask for their email, maybe their phone number. You can get name, email, phone number, their address, the reason they want to enter, people will give you those details if they want that prize.

If you’re the kind of person who wants a high volume of leads for your team to call, that can be a great way to do it. You’re going to have emails and text messages go out after they sign up, first to confirm their entry, Second, to promote that new client offer again. I wouldn’t necessarily continue to do that super heavily leading up until that winner is announced, but you can definitely have content or value focused emails where you still talk about the new client offer, it’s just not the only thing those messages are going to focus on. Once the winner is announced, that gives you another reason to reach out. The winner, obviously they’re going to be excited. Those who don’t win; however, they can get a consolation prize. That could be your new client offer, it doesn’t even have to be anything different, it just needs to be phrased differently. From there, you still want to continue to market to these people. If you’ve got a monthly contest, you’re going to have those same opportunities each and every month. Even if you don’t do this monthly, continue to provide value to them, continue to promote those offers to them and you’re going to get more sales along the way.

Ultimately, that long-term follow-up is key. People often need time to make decisions on purchases. It doesn’t always matter if it’s expensive or a lower price, timing is a major factor for a lot of people. So be consistent in your follow-up and don’t do one contest that succeeds and never do another again. There is no limit to how many you can do. With everything I’ve just given you, you could probably run a pretty great contest. But if you really want to kick it up a notch, one thing I didn’t talk a lot about was promoting this contest to your existing email list. You might be wondering why you would want to do that because you want to grow your list. But if you’re like most businesses, your email list has kind of sat untouched for a little bit or it’s not being leveraged to its full capacity. This is another reason to reach out, re-engage them, get them to learn about that new client offer. You can do that exact same thing with other businesses, whether it’s local businesses or online businesses, you need to make sure that the businesses you’re going to reach out to have the same end customer in mind. They do not have to do the same thing that you do, they just need to serve the right type of customer. All you need to do is create a list of the businesses you’d like to work with.

Decide how many, if you have a limit you would like to include in this campaign, you could do a few this month, a few next month. It doesn’t have to be you choose a few and stick with them forever, it’d be great to try and rotate through some of these other businesses. If you’re choosing businesses that serve the same type of audience, you really need to ask them to contribute a prize to the contest. They’re not going to have to contribute very much. You’re setting up the ads, you’re setting up all of this entire campaign, they’re just giving a prize and sending some emails.

So, I would provide them with the emails that they should send to their list, make it full proof. You don’t want them to have to spend a lot of time, but when they send those out, you’re reaching their audience 100% free. They’re going to now sign up for your contest, get on your email list and hopefully make some sales because it’s the right type of person. You also want to tag them in every single ad or Facebook post about this contest. They likely are going to share it with their own audience because they want to get the benefits, they want to share this fun thing that they’re doing and it’s just going to allow you to expand your reach at really no cost and make your contest prize that much more exciting.


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