Running Competitions to Promote Your Membership Site

If you’re looking for a way to promote your membership website and grow your audience, then running a competition could be the answer. Of course, there are many ways to grow your audience, but contests and giveaways can work really well.

In this article, we’ll cover the benefits of running a competition to grow your website, as well as giving you some advice on getting started.

Benefits of Using Competitions and Contests

Rafflecoptor Giveaway Tool

Before we get to the tools that can help you run a competition on your membership website, here are some of the benefits of creating a contest.

Reach a Wider Audience

If entry to your competition requires the participant to share your site on social media or elsewhere, then reaching a wider audience could be the main benefit of running a contest.

Many contest management services give you the ability to accept contest entries via social media, with tweets and shares of your content giving your visitors a chance to win.

Each share on social media could be putting your website and membership product in front of potential new visitors or members, therefore, it’s a good idea to have some sort of social media component to your contests.

Boost Social Media Following

Getting more social media followers can be a goal in and of itself. If you do use social media activity to let your visitors enter the contest, then having them follow your profile to join the competition will naturally grow your following.

Now those extra followers can get involved in your social media marketing campaigns, hopefully, finding their way back to your website in the future, and even better, joining your membership program.

Increase Website Traffic

A good contest is sure to increase website traffic. For one, you can make entry to your content involve some type of promotion on the part of the participants. Secondly, a great contest with an exciting prize can become a newsworthy event in itself. Creating a generous contest giveaway gives you a good opportunity to contact relevant blogs, influencers, and other key players in your niche, giving them something to share that their followers might be interested in.

This new exposure could increase website traffic, giving you more chances to convert those new visitors into subscribers or members.

Grow Your Email List

Membership Site Contests

As well as using your optin forms and lead magnets to encourage the new visitors that your contests bring to your website to join your email list, you can also use a subscription to your email list as the method of entry to the contest.

Once those visitors have joined your list to enter the contest, you can put your email campaign to work and start sharing great content with your new subscribers. Once your new leads are warmed up, you can share your membership product with them.

Encourage Discussion

Another popular way to run a contest is to choose a winner from everyone who has left a comment on your blog. As comments can generate discussion about your website and its membership products, it can be worth putting in the effort to entice your readers to share their thoughts.

Not only could this approach provide you with new ideas for your membership site, but it also gives you an opportunity to communicate with your visitors by responding to their comments. As well as blog post comments, you can also use contests to boost participation in the discussion boards of your website.

Promote Your Membership Product

Last but not least, running a competition can help you promote your membership product. By creating a newsworthy contest that others in your niche will want to share with their audience, or having a competition entry procedure that involves social media promotion, you can spread the word about your membership program.

Key Points to Consider Before Running a Competition

Before you get started and launch your first competition, there are some things you should consider. For starters, it’s a good idea to spend some time carefully thinking about what prize you will give away.

Will you offer one grand prize, or have runners up prizes as well? Free or reduced access to your membership program is an obvious choice. However, if you want to promote your contest to your existing members, then you’ll have to think outside of the box.

Just make sure the prize is relevant to your target audience, while also being something they’ll be happy to share on social media and put their name behind. Also, make sure your budget for the prize is in line with your realistic expectations for the contest and its results.

Hopefully, your contest will bring more visitors to your website. If it does then you’ll want to make sure that you’ve put in place systems to not only handle that extra traffic but also make the most of it.

Load Impact Testings

To do so, ensure your web host can handle an increase in visitors by using a free tool like Load Impact. It’s also well worth adding some optins and popups to your website to convert those new visitors into email list subscribers or some other goal. A conversion optimization tool like Holler Box can certainly help with this. You might even want to go as far as enabling live chat on your membership site so that you can communicate with any new visitors in real time.

Finally, don’t forget to set up website analytics to track the results of the contest. A free service like Google Analytics makes it easy to see if your site has experienced an increase in visitors, where those visitors came from, and what they’ve been doing on your site.

How to Run a Competition for Your Website

If you’re using WordPress for your membership website, then it’s even easier than usual to run a competition. With some great free and paid plugins available that have been built for just this purpose, all you have to do is choose the right tool for your goals. Here’s a quick overview of some popular WordPress competition and contest plugins.

Contests & Giveaways by Fatcat Apps

Fatcat Contests Plugin

The free Contests & Giveaways plugin lets you set up and run a contest that requires your visitors to submit their email to enter. Once the competition end date has arrived, the plugin will automatically choose a winner by random. Thanks to IP tracking and the use of cookies, this contest plugin can fight against contest fraud.

If you want a quick and easy way to try out contests on your WordPress website, this plugin is a good option.

Comment Contest

The free Comment Contest plugin can help you generate discussion on your blog posts. Once enabled, this plugin will allow you to choose which comments are included in the contest, before picking the winner. As leaving a comment is all that’s needed to enter the contest, there should be a good uptake from your visitors.

If you combine Comment Contest with a plugin like Subscribe to Comments Reloaded, you can give your visitors the chance to sign up for future comment notifications at the same time as entering your contest. This then gives you a way to get more return visitors to your website.

No Frills Prize Draw Competitions

This freemium plugin will let you start running competitions on your WordPress website for free, with the option of upgrading to the paid version and unlocking more features.

Through the settings, you can choose what your contestants must do to enter the competition, including entering some text, answering a multiple choice question, or just hitting the enter button. The winner is automatically picked by the plugin, leaving you to contact the lucky participant and hand over the prize.

If you really want to dive in at the deep end with competitions, then the premium KingSumo Giveaways plugin isn’t cheap but is feature rich.

Final Thoughts

Competitions and contests can be a great addition to your website promotion and marketing toolkit. With the right plugin, they can be very easy to set up and manage. If your website already has an audience, then simply publishing the details of your contest can be enough. But if you don’t yet have the visitor numbers, or you want to reach a wider audience, then you will need to put some effort into promoting the giveaway.

If all goes to plan though, your contest could result in increased website visitors, more exposure on social media, and new members for your program.

Do you have any questions about running a competition for your membership website? Let us know in the comments below.

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Categories: Marketing
About Joe Fylan

Joe uses WordPress to create websites of all types and loves sharing his experiences of using this software with other users. If you need a steady stream of great content for your website, or you want the latest WordPress news and reviews check out his writing services and WordPress blog.