5 Things to Consider Before Starting Your Contest

We know you are excited to start your contest right away, and who can blame you? We certainly don’t! However, there are a few things you should think about before you hop in and start creating your contest. We want to help you create the best possible contest, that accomplishes the goals you have in mind for your contest!

1. What is your contest about?

When you start your contest, one of the first items you will need to complete is your contest description. This tells entrants what you expect from their submissions. This should give clear expectations, as well as paint a picture for why someone would want to enter your contest. Elements may be things like type of submission, emotions you want the submission to express, any prizes offered, and any information you want to add about your organization or what the submissions may be used for. By clearly defining the purpose of your contest to your entrants, you are ensuring that the submissions you receive are suited to your needs.

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2. What are your contest rules?

You can also define your contest rules. This may include items such as the number of times entrants can submit, who is eligible to win prizes, and what parameters a submission must fit in order to be eligible to win. If you have selected to export your contestants into a mailing list, you will want to notify them here of that intention. You may also add information here about how the winners will be selected, which we will go into more detail on in the next point. If you have a legal department, you may want to utilize them to make sure that the rules you are placing on the contest are legal and in line with your companies objectives and standards.

Need help? Check out some examples of rules here that can be modified for your purposes!

3. How will the winner be selected?

Another consideration is how the winner is going to be chosen. This ties back to the purpose of your contest. If you are creating a logo design contest, do you want to select the winner yourself, or do you want to have a vote so the most popular choice is selected? While many people tend to simply pick one and move on, this section really requires some thought. Consider your purpose and your end goal. If you want something that you are going to be happy with, then you may want to select the winner yourself. If you are looking for the most popular option, then you would want to do a vote contest. If you want to know what your executives think about the submissions, you may want to invite them to be judges!

Win a Contest

This is an awesome feature, and a great way to get engagement from different groups. For example, say you wanted to select a new slogan for your church. You want to get as many submissions as possible, so you allow anyone to enter as many times as they would like. However, this really impacts your parishioners, so you invite them all to be judges. This way you are able to crowdsource ideas, but still give the final say to the people that it will impact the most.  Another example may be when you are selecting employee uniforms. In this example, you may want to hold a private contest so you can invite specific designers that you have approved to submit designs. You want to be able to control the submission process, but you want to give your employees freedom to choose their own wardrobe by inviting them to be judges of the contest. This way, you are able to get their input, and ultimately select something you will all be happy with.

4. Who is the audience for your contest?

The next thing you want to think about is who you want entering your contest, and how you are going to engage those people. There are two main types of contests- public and private. Public contests are open to anyone to enter. This is what you want to pick to have the most possible entries, if volume is what you are going for. This gives you a lot more to select from, and if you are adding a mailing list feature to your contest, a lot more people you can remarket to later. Choosing to feature your contest is another great way to get additional exposure, as it will not only show up on our homepage, but also at the top of the category page. There are also options to share your contest socially, which is a great way to get your existing customers to engage in your contest, and it can even be embedded on your website for further promotion!

Hosting a private contest means that you add a group of people that you would like to have the opportunity to enter your contest. This is done by inputting the email addresses or usernames of the people that you wish to invite. This means that you can invite users that you have found by viewing other contests on Contesty, or by inviting your employees, friends, or your own customer mailing list.  They will be sent an email notification letting them know that they have been invited to enter your contest, and a link to create an account if they do not have one already. Creating an account is always free, and the only time we share user information is when a contest holder pays for their entrants to be added to a mailing list, and only with the user’s knowledge.

5. How will your contest benefit you?

Although this is listed as the 5th item, it is probably the most important consideration you have, as it impacts many of the choices you make for your contest. Knowing what you want to accomplish with your contest can help you to define many of the other items, such as the description, judging type, and what optional upgrades you may want to add to your contest. So why are you creating your contest? Are you looking to simply build buzz and create excitement about your business, or do you need content or design work done for you and want to have options? If business growth is your main goal, then we recommend a public, featured contest with open voting, and having your mailing list created. If you are looking for a talented individual to create something for you, then you may want to do public or private contests, based on your needs, with judging or contest holder selection of the winner, and offer a guaranteed cash prize. Really taking time to consider how you want your contest to benefit you will help you make many decisions about your contest and the options that are available to you on the create a contest form.

Get Started!

So, now do you feel more prepared and ready to tackle your first contest? Well, there is nothing holding you back now! Go ahead and take the plunge, and if you don’t get the exact results you want the first time, try another one! While basic contests are free, there are many paid features that can add a lot of value to your contest, and are of minimal cost. So click that green button at the top and go ahead and get started!

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