How to run a successful contest during BFCM

A well-planned contest can be a great way to attract a lot of eyeballs. Learn how to run effective contests during BFCM.

October 9, 2023
How to run a successful contest during BFCM

As the BFCM season draws closer, grabbing attention becomes the primary goal that every brand wants to achieve. But with every brand promoting their "never been lower" discount offers, it's never been easier to go unnoticed on the field.

Standing out from the rest of the crowd can be tough, but there is an ace up your sleeve: Contests. A well-planned contest can be the converting point for the customers who've been eyeing your brand for a while but haven't made that buying decision yet.

But, in the rush to increase engagement and visibility, brands often make mistakes that turn their creative contest into missed opportunities. Proper planning is vital to run a successful contest that yields desired results. And that starts with…

Setting a goal

Running a contest without a goal is like driving a car without a destination. It sure is fun, but the fuel is better used with a purpose, especially during BFCM, when resource optimization cannot be overlooked.

So, set measurable goals like growing your contact list by 20%, increasing social media audience by 2k, increasing website traffic, generating UGC, etc.

Pro tip: Set "growing the contact list" as a primary goal, to have a sizeable list before BFCM. And choose a secondary goal that fits your brand.

Decide on a contest type

Another reason why setting goals is important - contest types vary depending on the goal you set. For example, if you wanna expand your social media audience, an Instagram challenge is more apt than a gamified contest on your website. The latter would best fit the goal of increasing website traffic.

You can also bend certain contests to fit your goal, like trivia, which can be conducted on social media, website or even both.

Looks like Cookieman wanted to expand their social media audience with an instagram giveaway.

Plan your prizes

Prizes can be as enticing as a new Iphone, but it is irrelevant to a trivia about apparels. At the end of the day, contests are run to engage and build your own audience. So, offer prizes that are either your products, or relevant products of a collaborating brand.

Here are some attractive prize options to consider:

  • Free products/Sample products
  • Special discount codes on collaborator's products
  • Early access to your product
  • Limited edition items  
  • BFCM Gift cards
  • Collaboration bundles
  • Free subscription for X months
  • Free merchandise

Define the rules

Rules tell participants how to play and win the contest. Make sure it is simple to understand, easy to play and has less room for loop holes.

After curating the rules, ask a few friends for their feedback on the difficulty of the rules and make any necessary changes.

Launch and promote the contest

The big day is finally here and your contest is successfully up and running, but the job's not done yet.

Use marketing channels like email, SMS and WhatsApp to send campaigns promoting the contest. While, social media, website pop-ups, push notifications helps you reach other existing and new consumers.

Highlight that the contest yields BFCM rewards and create FOMO with the time window of the contest.

Segment contest participants

The "Pro tip" comes in handy here allowing you to segment your contest participants. Run campaigns to share tips to win, offer additional prizes, announce winners and promote your BFCM sale.

Address queries

Be active on your socials, chat box and email platforms to address any audience queries. This ensures a smooth experience and enhances customer perception of your brand. Queries also act as a feedback. For example, find out which part of the contest lead to a lot of confused participants and fix them in your next contest.

Announce the winners

Use all your marketing channels and website to announce the winners of your contest along with their prize and congratulate them. Encourage winners to share their achievement on their social profiles. Finally, Thank everyone for participating in the contest and give them a BFCM reward.

This is how Floralacres displayed their contest winners:

Follow up on the segment

As the contest dust settles, start promoting your BFCM sale and encourage participants and winners to use their BFCM rewards before it expires. Provide exclusive deals to make them feel special.

After the BFCM period, nurture your newer contacts to foster a long-lasting relationship.

Track your metrics

Analyze and compare the metrics with the goals you set and to your success rate. Look out for improvements in other unexpected areas. Take notes of things that worked out well and things that didn't. With these notes, make your next contest even more successful.

A good contest can be the ace up your sleeve, but it isn't a shortcut to success. So, Take great care while planning your contest. Here's a neat checklist to help you with it:

Need an in-depth guide on BFCM email marketing? Check out our BFCM 2023 Email Marketing Handbook.

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