How 3 Businesses Drove $22,068 in Sales With Contests

Can you make real money from an online contest?

This article examines three real-world businesses who ran an online contest successfully, giving you a complete blueprint to find the same success.

I'll break down their exact strategy as well as how much they spent, where that money went, and the sales they made from each campaign.

Bhu Foods Makes $4,628 with Protein Bars

Before I show you exactly how Bhu Foods built their successful online contest, I'll show you the numbers:

Total Spend - Facebook Advertising $3,023
Cost-per-Entrant $1.20
Number of Entrants 2,737
# of Entrants Who Used Coupon Code 178
New Social Media Fans 806
Total Direct Sales $4,628

The Online Contest Page:

online giveaway strategy

They also used an exit-intent popup to drive their website traffic to the online giveaway:

My recommendation is to make sure you're using an exit-intent popup exclusively. If you use an entry, timed or scroll popup, you have a chance of reducing the chance of someone buying from you. Showing your contest exclusively to people who are already leaving reduces the effect, but still drives your website traffic to your contest.

Campaign Breakdown

Objective:

Bhu Foods set out to increase their online sales. Their brick-and-mortar sales were consistently strong, but they were struggling to get online sales off the ground.

Prize:

Bhu foods gave away a 6-month supply of their organic whey protein bars - valued at $234, wholesale.

Target Market:

Demographics:

  • United States
  • Male and Female
  • Aged 18 - 55

Interests:

  • Vegan recipes or
  • Organic food or
  • Crossfit or
  • Gluten-free diet or
  • Yoga
  • Dieting or
  • Vegan nutrition or
  • Natural foods or
  • Whole Foods market or
  • Camping, triathlons, marathons, hiking, bodybuilding

Entrant Nurturing Strategy:

Wishpond's account managers wrote a 3-email series focused around a discount code which was made exclusive to contest entrants.

Top Takeaway

The coolest thing about this online giveaway is that the merchant has run 5 campaigns almost exactly the same as their first one - giving away a 6-month supply of different products as they release them.

Once you find a campaign model where the ad campaign and design works, the page converts, and entrants can reliably be turned into customers, stick with it. You can run this type of campaign every few months (just be sure to exclude previous entrants from your target audience on Facebook).

HomeopathyStore Makes $14k During Flu Season

HomeopathyStore.com, an online provider of homeopathic remedies, ran a contest in late summer in anticipation of the upcoming flu season.

Again, let's start out with the numbers:

Total Spend - Facebook Advertising $588.27
# of Entrants from Facebook 420
# of Total Entrants 482
Contest Page Conversion Rate 55.21%
# of Entrants Who Used Coupon Code 343
Total Direct Sales $15,677.94

Note: I'm saying "Total Direct Sales" in these breakdowns because determining the long-term value of an online contest can be impossible. Entrants may convert in a couple months because they first heard of your business through a contest, and brand awareness is difficult to quantify. So these breakdowns are focused on direct sales only.

The Contest Page

They also used a popup on their website to drive traffic.

Note the similarity in design. This makes it faster and cheaper for designers, and consistency in design increases conversion rates

Campaign Breakdown:

Objective:

Generate pre-orders for homeopathic flu season remedies.

Prize:

1 of 3 Natural Flu Relief Kits

Target Market:

  • Mothers between 18 and 65

Interested in:

  • Homeopathy
  • Natural Product
  • Veganism

Entrant Nurturing Strategy:

Homeopathy Store sent two primary emails.

Their first was focused on education, and included a 10% discount code:

Once the contest was over, they also sent an email giving 20% off three products related to the contest prize.

Raw Apothecary Gets 4,888 Entrants With a Prize Worth $100

A Latin-American skincare business, Raw Apothecary's contest success looks like this:

Total Spend - FB/Insta Advertising $124.23 USD ($1,359 MX)
# of Contest Visitors from FB/Insta 1,538
Cost per conversion (FB) $.50 USD
# of Total Entrants 4,888
Contest Page Conversion Rate 71.45%
Conversion Rate of Entrant to Customer 81%
# of Entrants Who Used Coupon Code 42
Total Direct Sales $1,762.23

The Giveaway Page:

Raw Apothecary drove 1,538 contest visitors with Facebook and Instagram ads, and another 2,000 or so from this popup, shown on their website:

Campaign Breakdown

Objective:

Raw Apothecary

Prize:

Raw Apothecary gave away an option to win one of three skin care packages, each valued at about $100 USD.

Target Market:

Demographics:

  • Mexico
  • FB Desktop & Mobile, Instagram
  • Female
  • Aged 20 - 45

Interests:

  • Burt's Bees or
  • Clinique or
  • Neutrogena or
  • The Body Shop or
  • Vichy or
  • Kiehl's or
  • Avene or
  • La Roche-Posay or
  • Nivea or
  • Olay or
  • Lancome or
  • Cetaphil or
  • Revlon or
  • L'Oreal

The Entrant Nurturing Strategy

Raw Apothecary sent an automated three-email series, educating their contest entrants about their products, the benefits of natural skincare, and delivering a discount code.

Here's what the email series looked like within Wishpond:

Conclusion

I hope these three case studies have shown you just how profitable an online contest can be.

All the contests in this article were run by our experienced team of campaign managers. If you need a hand setting it up, get on a free, no-obligation call.

And if you have any questions about these contests, or contests in general, reach out in the comment section!

Related Reading:

Written by James Scherer

James Scherer is the content editor at Wishpond. When he's not writing or designing for Wishpond he's risking his life biking around the city. Reach out to him on Twitter @JDScherer.