I’ve heard contests can increase customer involvement and sales. How do I organize a contest? You can use a contest to get customers to come out to your truck, to buy more stuff and even to be consistent about making their weekly payment. Technically a “contest” is judged on a skill or...
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I’m a huge proponent of technology. But, I’d say avoid online entries. It’s best to stick with paper and pen. It’s easer to control a fishbowl with entries than to police online entries.
The form can be simple. Just ask your customer for his name, cell phone number and email address. Add a check box that reads “put me on your email list” so you can beef up you email promotions. Rather than a fishbowl, I’ve seen dealers using a huge “pickle jar” with a slot in the top -- so no one can snatch entries.
You’ll want to set some rules for the contest. You can put them on the entry form or your poster. For example, you might limit a customer to winning a prize every six months.
Promote the contest
Make a big poster or get a dry erase board that you can reuse every month to promote your contest. Since you’re changing the award monthly, leave space for an interchangeable prize photo and description on the poster.
Also, mention the drawing when you talk to customers, in your promotional emails, and on your Facebook and/or Twitter pages.
Draw a winner
This is the fun part. To avoid any controversy, gather a group of customers on the truck, ask one of them to reach in the fishbowl and draw the winning name at random. Be sure to stir-up the entries so the first ones and last ones are all mixed together. When you get the winning entry, announce the name in front of everyone, then call or email the winner to let them know they’ve won.
Announce the winner
It’s a good idea to create a smaller poster that says something like “Last Month’s Drawing Winner” where you can display the winner’s entry form, or you can take a quick photo of the winner and put it on the poster (with the winner’s permission, of course.) You can also mention them in your emails and post them on Facebook and Twitter. Seeing other winners will excite more customers to participate in future drawings.
By rewarding the behaviors you want, like coming out to your truck, buying more often, and paying on time, chances are you’ll find more customers doing what you want without feeling pushed. Especially when it comes to collections, carrots are a lot nicer than sticks.
Phil Sasso is president of Sasso Marketing Inc. (www.sassomarketing.com), a technical marketing agency specializing in tools and equipment. Subscribe to his free marketing tips at philsasso.com/blog.
Give extra recognition to customer contest winners by showing them off on your truck.
When running contests, have customers write down their email address for future contact.
Skip the store gift cards and offer what you know best: tools!