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How To Get The Most Mileage Out Of Running A Contest

By Denise Turney
Posted Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Before you set up your contest, ask yourself a question. Think about the make-up and demographics of your target audience then ask yourself, "Why am I running this contest?" Your answer will help you focus and insure that you run a contest that compliments the products you sell at your web site. At times this may call for a bit of control and reservation on your part. Let me give you an example. A cash giveaway will attract loads of visitors from every market. After all, not many people will turn down the chance at gaining free money. But every market is not your market. Every consumer is not your customer.

If you are running a contest to pull in traffic to boost your site's appeal to advertisers then a cash giveaway will prove to be an excellent vehicle at pulling in visitors. If, however, you are running a contest to gain repeat visitors to your site or to increase your sales, you will gain the most benefit out of running a contest if your contest aligns with the products you sell. Think about this. Your company sells musical instruments. To boost your sells you could run a contest where the grand prize winner got the once in a lifetime chance to accompany their favorite musician (who uses the same products your company sells) to an awards ceremony.

I have seen online businesses run contests that have no connection with the products that they sell. It is not uncommon to hear these business owners say, at the end of the contest, that they gained lots of traffic while the contest ran but their sells remained the same. It doesn't take much effort to hear the frustration in these business owners' voices. When you visit their site and read up on the contest, it becomes easy to decipher the problem. The contest has no connection with the products the company sells.

After you decide on a contest that compliments the products you sell and also wets the appetite of your target audience, get busy submitting your contest to leading freebie, contest, and sweepstake directories. These directories will bring you good traffic. One such place to start is The Freebie Directory ( From the directory you can submit
your contest to 100 or more freebie, contest and sweepstakes sites. Keep in mind that many of these sites will request a reciprocal link from you. Create a link page before you place your submissions so you can complete the process of submitting your site to 100+ contest directories in less than a few hours. Once you're in, you'll notice immediate results!

At ( we recently ran the 1st Annual Chistell Poetry Contest. The response was overwhelming!

About the Author
Denise Turney
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