Giveaway is one of the best ways to attract your website visitors` attention and keep them engaged for a really long time. The secret is very simple — everybody likes free stuff. Moreover, giveaways often engage users in some process which is very similar to a game. A good game with a good reward is what the best entertainment looks like.
You could have thought that a giveaway is very simple and straight-forward — you just present your users with some gifts for a particular action. But when it comes to the real process, a lot of complications can appear for an unprepared WordPress administrator. Let us look at the process of creating a giveaway with a complex approach and underline the most important stages of it. We will see how a successful giveaway is built step by step.
Determining the Reason and the Goal
It is not enough to giveaway something just because you like (or even love) your website visitors or even regular customers. If you do a giveaway just to get rid of something, then it will be forgotten very quickly by all the participants. That is why we need a Reason and a Goal — to stay focused on important milestones and to have tool for measuring any result you get after your giveaway. With such an approach it is much more involving to create giveaways and to participate in them.
The Reason of your giveaway should somehow correlate with the main idea of your website or your business (represented by the website). Moreover, your giveaway`s Reason should support and broadcast your main idea. For example, if you have a website about travel and its main idea is to inform your visitors about all the travel destinations as full and interesting as possible, then a good Reason for giveaway will be to present even more information in form of free books or magazines.
The Goal deals with another side of your giveaway — more pragmatic and measurable. If it is your first giveaway, then you can set up some goal in testing mode. For example, the Goal could be: 1000 new subscribers for your Facebook page, or 500 new subscribers for your email newsletter, or 100 comments for the post on your WordPress website with the giveaway. Possibilities are unlimited, but the Goal should be set up before the actual giveaway. It will allow you to focus on the main goal and then precisely measure the result.
Choosing the Giveaway Gifts
The algorithm of choosing an appropriate gift could easy or very complicated depending on your Reason and Goal. On the other hand, it is always much easier to choose a gift when you already set up the Reason and the Goal. Otherwise you could wander for a good idea for ages.
Let us look at another example to see the difference. You represent an online store selling souvenir production. The assortment of your store is pretty large and you could just pick a random item or select from the items with the lowest price. But such giveaway does not correlate with any idea.
We will pick a good Reason for your giveaway first. For example, we want to spread the idea of environment protection by means of your souvenir production. In this case we can pick some T-Shirts with environment-protection slogans and present them as the gifts. Such approach will allow us to spread the idea and satisfy our clients simultaneously.
The Goal for such a giveaway could be set up as following: to get 100 of new posts on our Facebook page with photos of our customers. With this goal the rules of the giveaway come naturally: set us your photo (we can also clarify some rules for photos) directly via Facebook and you are already participating in a rally for prizes!
Deciding on the Approach
There are 2 main approaches on giveaways: Freebies and Contests. A freebie is often some set of actions a user should perform to get a guaranteed prize. For example, you can motivate your website users to comment on your posts by giving them some media content which is locked for other visitors. Or you can set up more pragmatic goals with much better prizes: $20 gift coupon for each customer who buys for more than $100 this week, for instance.
Contests are much more complicate to organize but they get much more response from any audience. The first step of contest`s creation should be the thoughtful thinking of rules and restrictions. On the other hand, you can try to keep it simple even while conducting a contest. Out example with a photo contest is one of the perfect ones. Maybe that is why such contest are hold nearly in any community. Whether to take some tested options or to create something absolutely new, is for you to decide.
Preparing the Toolkit
There is always an option to handle every giveaway by your own. But special tools for giveaways have been already created and they can simplify your giveaway process to its maximum.
One of the most versatile tools in this field is Giveaways by KingSumo. This plugin allows you to create a giveaway like a simple WordPress post and then handles all the work by itself: collects emails and feedback, carries out a lottery for contest type giveaways and even send the prizes to the winners automatically. The tool costs $198 for a lifetime license without monthly fees. It has 60-days demo period for those who want to estimate the features before the purchase.
Another interesting plugin for giveaways is Invitebox. This tools allows a WordPress administrator to set up different types of giveaways: instant rewards for particular user actions, referral program rewards, goal-based presents for customers, manual and automatic contests. The plugin has the monthly-based fee starting from $29/month.
There are also some prominent free tools to set up your giveaway. Contests by Rewards Fuel is the representative of such plugins. The tool allows a WordPress administrator to create giveaways based on different social network shares, email subscriptions, visiting and commenting entries, and much more.
Advertising Your Giveaway
The main options to advertise your giveaway and make it really popular are: email newsletter, blog posts, interaction with partners and direct advertisement placement.
Email newsletters and blog posts are the things you can perform with your own resources. These are the basic methods of informing your users about what is happening with your project and what gifts can they obtain via freebies or contests.
Interaction with partners is a bit more complicated process, involving additional personalities into play. On the other hand, you can organize giveaways together with some projects you have partner relationships with and share the load on creating and supporting the party.
Direct advertisement can be performed via Google AdSense or social networks` advertisement tools. This option requires some real funding and is usually held by large projects.
Analyzing the Feedback
Feedback is one of the main goals you create a giveaway for. You can receive much more testimonials and just important information about how your visitors estimate the work of your service within a giveaway. Moreover, a giveaway is another way to check your ability to communicate with audience in its language. If something has gone wrong with a giveaway, then it is the first sign of misunderstanding between you and your users.
Do not forget about your Reason and Goal at this step. Check out, whether you have achieved the improvement of your main idea`s message among the audience (subjectively) and analyze the pragmatic data according to your goal (objectively).
With all the information you have got from a giveaway you can improve your website or service to be more relevant to your audience`s needs and wishes. And the more giveaways you carry out, the easier they will go in the future!