We all know that competitions are one of the most engaging ways to seduce new leads, reinvigorate old customers and get major brand exposure. But how do you write persuasive, engaging copy that encourages your readers to get involved?

In this post Amanda Westphal from Prize Pig shares her tips on how to create competition copy that will rock your entry numbers.

There are two ways to use competitions for your business.

  1. You run our own competition, and promote it within your network.
  2. You offer prizes to someone else, and they run the competition and promote you.

The copy of a competition is essential for success. It needs to be short, sharp, and seductive.

However time and time again I see competitions by small businesses that are a complete waste of time. This is usually down to two major issues.

These two mistakes are poison for your giveaway, and can be the difference in thousands of dollars in sales.

Mistake Number 1: It’s all about you

The first few words need to really seduce the entrant.

While the opening of your online store, or your birthday, or whatever reason you’re running the giveaway may be keeping you awake at night with excitement, the people you’re targeting simply don’t give a damn.

They’re going to be excited by the prize.

Therefore this needs to be the priority of the first sentence.

Oh, and anytime you tap out copy that starts with, ‘to celebrate’, stop.  No-one really cares, but congratulations anyway. :-)

Your competition is the first introduction many will have to your brand. It’s the first step to entice and excite your new target audience. This is why we’re going to take it easy and just focus on the prize for now.

You’ve selected a prize that your target market will be attracted too.

We don’t need to clutter up the copy with information about your business just yet. Let’s not go in for the hard sell.

The objective of the competition is to get entrants. When you have their email address, you have plenty of time to build a relationship and tell them all about you.

Think of it like a first date, take it slow and keep your eye on the prize…  

They don’t need to know your mission, vision and values, or your full service of offerings. They just need to know about the prize and where it’s coming from; you can tell them the rest a little later.

Mistake Number 2: It’s all about the winner

It’s simple. Don’t give away a gift voucher.

You need to select each word with purpose as you only have a few words to convince this person to enter the competition.

Sorry, but the words ‘gift voucher’ just aren’t  that exciting.

While you may have decided on a gift voucher to make it easier on the winner to redeem their prize (or because it would be nicer for them to pick the prize that they win), remember: we’re not running this competition to make one winner happy.

Our objective here is promote your business!

By talking about a product you sell, you’re much more likely to increase your entrants.

If you sell organic teas online, it’s better for your business if the competition says,:

‘WIN! A pamper me tea pack bursting with our entire organic tea range!’,

rather than,

‘WIN! A gift voucher valued at $200 to our tea website!’

The first option includes your brand name and details of a product; it’s much better for your potential customers to see these rather than the words gift voucher.

When you select your winner, by all means send them a voucher to redeem – but use the copy to highlight your product or service.

Bringing it all together

Now, let’s look at the copy, keeping in mind the points above.

This is awesome competition copy:

WIN! A pair of brand designer stilettos!

Want To Win A New You? Enter now for a $1000 Styling Session with yourbrand.com.

This is not so great competition copy:

To celebrate the launch of our new online store, we’re giving you the chance to win a $500 gift voucher!

It’s our birthday! And you get the presents! Enter now to win a homewares pack.

Can you see the difference?

In the awesome example there’s more information about the prize, and therefore about your brand. That’s what’s going to get you entrants, and in turn, clients!

Once you have an entrant to your competition, you can slowly introduce all the messages you want them to know about you and your business with a little email marketing process.

Remember, when writing the copy for your competition, use each word with purpose and make that headline seductive to your potential audience.

Competitions are seven times more engaging than advertising because they don’t look like advertising.

The excitement and casual attitude of a competition is a magnet for your business. And if in doubt, ask yourself, would I enter this?

Over to you

Do you have any tips and tricks for writing competition copy?

Who is Amanda Westphal?

prize_pig_elin_bandmann_photography-98-1Amanda Westphal created Prize Pig to connect small business to big media competitions, to grow their business by offering their products and services as prizes. It’s an online innovation that has just hit $8 million in media exposure for Australian small business. Amanda was featured by Start-Up Daily, released her first book on Amazon, How To Win Publicity – An Insider’s Guide To Using Competitions To Expand Your Brand in 2015, and was named the Innovator of the Year by Flying Solo.

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