If you are involved in the business of running and promoting online competition, you will realize that keeping your site relevant and attractive to visitors is quite a challenge. Although more and more people are joining online competitions, it does not exactly guarantee that it would increase the traffic towards your site. One reason could be that a number of similar sites that provide the same service have grown as well. Competing for attention is much stiffer than ever and keeping visitors, loyal members and followers interested are much more difficult to do as well.
You will learn to appreciate how fickle minded online competitors are. In one cycle your site is the apple in the world of online competition; in the next they may feel a little bored or disappointed with it.
A misstep or miscalculation on how you handle your events will always translate into loss of interest in your site. If you want to enter, or remain or have a continuous run of success in this field of online competition, trying to remind yourself of some of the basic principles will help go a long way.
- Follow the rules. The Australian Government has provided rules and regulations for online competition to protect you and the competitors. Anything that involves lottery requires a permit from the state. Strictly follow them, understand and memorize them if you can. If you don’t understand or you are ambivalent in any line or section of it, seek legal advice to clearly understand the terms and what they are trying to say so there won’t be any confusion and misunderstanding with the authorities. Always keep in mind the rule as you formulate and implement your strategy.
- Make it easy as possible for your visitors to join. Your site at first glance should be interesting, at the same time simple, uncomplicated and it is easy to understand what you are offering and trying to convey. Provide clear and simple instruction. Ask only for pertinent information. Don’t ask for unnecessary details nor ask them to purchase anything especially if you are new.
- Offer them a real competition. Do not make visitors feel that they are joining something that is a complete waste of time for them. No schemes. Do not attempt to ask them to shell out some money. Especially if you are a newcomer, they might think you are stingy or worst, a scammer.
- Gain trust by being transparent. Provide competition details, state clearly your terms and conditions, state your requirements if any, avoid hiding loopholes in the fine print. Mention how, where and who will conduct the draw. Indicate the start, end of promo and date of draw, value of prizes, how to find out the winners, how winners are informed and how to claim the prizes. Remember that you want to build up enough confidence for your visitors to join your promo.
- Make your prizes enticing. Offer the latest gadgets, vacation, fine dining, concert tickets, etc. Make sure you always offer interesting items that people actually want or can use, that would attract people to your site and keep them coming back as they look forward to your next event. As you build your reputation, you continuously build up your following and visitors and, at the same time you will have more sponsors that would be willing to give away and promote their products in your site.
- Follow through with what you promise. Promptly give the right prizes to the winners. If your competition is going very well and you see that competitors are having fun and enjoying it, do not be tempted to extend it. Thank your followers and participants and invite them to your next event.
- Do not pull out your competition if things do not go well for you. It is illegal and your reputation as competition promoter may never recover from visitors thinking you are a prankster. Learn your lesson and move on to the next event.
- There is wisdom in regular maintenance of your site. Do regular dry runs; test your programs and web page if it is running perfectly. Update your hardware and software, do upgrades so you will not be left out on what is the latest development in the online industry. It will be embarrassing and very costly if something goes wrong and you are forced to pull out your page in the middle of a competition due to technical issues.
- Take care of the data base that you have collected. Privacy is the magic word. Take serious steps to protect them from hackers and unscrupulous employees that are willing to sell them. Do not sell them yourself especially when you are already closing shop. If you have to email them, do it sparingly only for notice or clarification or to remind them of your next event.
- Solicit honest feedback in black and white. Be direct so you get what you want from them. Do not ask essay type questions because entrants do not have the patience or the time for that.