Should You Host a Contest as Part of a Lead Generation Program?

Online VotingMy Facebook feed feels like Main Street the day before an Election… “Vote for me,” says one friend… “I want to be the next ‘top mom-blogger,’” says another… “Watch my video and vote,” reads a third status update… I’m happy to lend my support and know the favor will be returned when it’s my turn to enter a contest. Drive Traffic to your Website with a Contest Contests can be part of a powerful lead generation program because it gives people incentive to spread the word about your website. Contestants set up events designed to get everyone in their network—and their network’s network—to vote. They Tweet. They write blog posts designed to drive traffic to the voting site. But, with thousands of contestants and only a handful of top contenders, the real winner in an Internet contest is the website that hosts the contest. How can you use a contest as part of a successful lead generation program? It’s all about the numbers… I can’t even guess how many people have visited Oprah Winfrey’s OWN-TV site to vote for the next T.V. show star. I know a friend of mine, who isn’t even close to the lead, has 6,000 votes with two days left in the contest. Oprah’s contest is a bit unique, since she doesn’t need to drive traffic to the site, necessarily. But after this contest, it’s a safe bet that everyone with Internet access knows Oprah is launching a new TV network. The hits and publicity paid off. Collect Contacts for Successful Lead Generation Odds are, when you have thousands—or millions—of people visiting your website to vote in a contest, some will stay awhile. Others will subscribe to your RSS feed. Some might subscribe to your mailing list. That’s a successful lead generation program. But to make sure you get a return on your contest investment as a lead generation program, you may want to make registration mandatory in order to vote. Most people are happy to give out their name and email address in order to help a friend win a contest. Now you have a lead. Think about it: What kind of contest could you run as part of your lead generation program to help promote your site?
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