Marketing Quick Tips: Contests
By Rich Harshaw
Pretty much all remodelers hate contests.
When I bring up the topic of home improvement giveaways during seminars, I can hear the collective (non-verbal-but-clearly-evident-in-the-body-language) groan from the audience. Nobody wants to mess with them. Nobody sees the point in them. Nobody wants anything to do with them.
And I keep right on preaching that you should have one.
So before I hop into the quick tips for contest best practices, let me first overcome a few contest objections in an unconventional FAQ format:
Q: When You Say Contest, What Exactly Are You Talking About?
A: I’m talking about a one-time per year giveaway of your products or services. The amount should be big enough to make people feel like it’s worthwhile to enter. I recommend a $5,000 minimum and a $20,000 maximum. The giveaway should be used in two places: home shows (or other events) and on your website. I’ll cover those below.
Q: It Costs Too Much. That’s Not A Question, But Still.
A: Nope. First of all, most contractors have 50% margins, which means your $10,000 giveaway is really only going to cost you $5,000. Granted, that’s a lot of money. Only give it away once per year, and allocate the cost to your marketing budget. If you escrow money monthly to cover it, you could pull this off for about $400 a month.
Q: Won’t This Just Generate Trash Leads?
A: Some, yes. But it will also generate tons construction and home improvement leads you never would have gotten otherwise. You just have to position it right.
Q: Won’t This Just Jam Me Up At The Home Show?
A: The main benefit of the giveaway at the home show is as a mechanism to stop traffic, start conversations, and follow up with people after the show. Definitely worth the extra work involved.
Now onto the quick tips: