Drive Traffic To Your Website: Run a Contest!

By Terry Williams

Every online marketer who has a web site is always looking for ways to
increase traffic to their web site. There are many ways to do this,
however, one of the most powerful ways is to offer a Free Contest! Why?
Because itís human nature to want something for free.

Web site contests have been around as long as the Internet has been used
for online commerce. They come in many shapes and forms but they all
have one thing in common. ìThey are designed to drive traffic to their
web sites!î These contests can work if you take the time to understand
and utilize them to reach your goals.

So how do you go about running a contest on your web site effectively?
Here are four tips youíll want to consider before deciding to offer a
contest on your web site.

What Do I Want The Contest To Achieve?

Before you decide to run a web site contest, determine exactly what you
want the contest to do for you. Like the old saying goes ìNothing is
ever really free!î Whenever youíre offered something for free youíre
also asked to do something to get it. Now itís up to you to determine if
what you have to do is worth it, to receive the reward. If itís too
difficult or the reward is not perceived to be worth the effort, you
decline. So when you offer a contest, you need to be looking at what you
want to accomplish from it.

For example, you might want to get feedback about your product or
service, about your web site, build an in house mailing list, build a
customer base for new product offerings, produce a link to your web
site, build a reputation or whatever reason you may have, youíll need to
have a clearly defined goal in mind when offering a free contest on your

Once youíve decided on your agenda for the contest, youíll have to
decide how to go about producing the desired result. If youíre looking
for feedback then make the feedback form simple and easy for the entrant
to complete. If youíre looking for a link to your site then give them
everything theyíll need and make it simple to accomplish. Simplicity is
the key if you want your contest to be a success.

What Kind Of Prizes Should I Offer?

This is determined by the business youíre involved in and the goal of
your contest. Your prizes should be related to your business and what
youíre trying to accomplish by having the contest in the first place. It
makes no sense to offer a prize that has nothing to do with your
business or the goals of your contest. If your goal is to create a
customer base, then you want to offer one of your products as the prize.
When you make the prize related to your business, youíll be attracting
the entrants youíre looking for, your target market! You also want to
make sure that the prize is worth the entry requirements. Too difficult
of an entry process or a prize that isnít of value to your target market
can doom your contest to a small number of entrants.

How Long Should I Run The Contest?

Usually the best time frame is a monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly basis.
The time period depends on the type and cost of prizes youíre offering.
A simple rule of thumb is: The higher the cost of the prizes, the longer
period of time between drawings.

How Do I Let People Know I Have A Contest?

This is a promotion youíre running so advertise it just as you would any
other promotion. If no one knows about your contest then how do you
expect to get the traffic to youíre web site? Advertise your contest in
newsletters, bulletin boards, classified advertising sites, newsgroups,
digests, forums and any other place online that allows advertising. Add
it into your e-mail signature. Get the word out so you can accomplish
the goal of your contest.

A web site contest can be an incredible marketing success if you take
the time to figure out your goals, develop an easy method of entry so
that both parties win, control the cost of your prizes and promote the
contest for maximum exposure. HBM

Terry Williams, the publisher of “Internet Marketing Issues”, publishes
a Free Weekly E-zine that provides online marketing tips, techniques and
secrets that will explode your online profits. You’re invited to learn
all about the latest in online marketing and see why over 1000
subscribers in 10 countries around the world rely on the information
provided in IMI for their online business marketing needs. For a free
subscription, or check out his current issue at

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