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How to Offer $500 Contest Prizes for Only $25

written by Michael Kwan on October 1, 2013

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Marketing your blog or online business has always been a challenge. There are many different tactics or strategies that you can use, but most of these either require a lot of time or a lot of money (or both). You might recognize, for example, is a good way to generate buzz and build brand awareness, but where you are you going to find the cash to afford the expensive prize that will actually lure people in?

Offering an interesting solution to this problem is Incentivibe, an online service that can help you “virally grow subscribers and fans” with a minimal time and money investment on your part. Let’s get started with today’s review and see how Incentivibe works.

Big Prizes for Little Money

Normally, if you wanted to offer a prize worth $500 in your contest, your cash outlay would have to be about $500. You might score a discount, but this is generally the case. What Incentivibe does is allow you to offer that $500 prize but you only have to pay a fraction of the prize cost.

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The idea is actually quite simple. Instead of running the contest on your own, you effectively pool your resources with other websites and other online business owners who have similar goals of growing their audience base. This way, instead of paying $500 so you can offer a $500 prize, Incentivibe pricing is a flat $25 fee. They have a number of prizes available in their pool, including Visa gift cards, PayPal cash, Apple iPads and so on. In effect, you are all co-sponsoring a contest for the same prize.

Co-Sponsored, Not Co-Branded

There is an important distinction to be made here. Even though you are co-sponsoring a prize with other companies, you’re not technically working with them. When you have a look at how it works, the contest as displayed on your site or Facebook page will only have your branding (along with Incentivibe’s) and not the branding of the other companies participating in that same giveaway.

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The contest entries can be displayed as a lightbox, as shown, and then your readers can go ahead and enter by providing their email address (letting you add them to your mailing list), liking your Facebook page, answering a survey question, and so on. It’s up to you. At the end of the day, your visitor data is not shared with the other businesses and your visitor won’t really know that other companies have contributed to the prize you are offering.

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The setup process consists of a pretty simple form. You choose your contest prize, the entry requirements, your Facebook page URL, your website URL, and whether you’d like a lightbox or slider widget. You can optionally change the color scheme and other appearance settings, adjust the widget location and so forth. The contests are held every month, so you’ll also have an opportunity to join in on the action.

Analytics and Logistics

Incentivibe recognizes that contests are a great way to grow your business, but it’s not about getting that isolated surge in website traffic; it’s about utilizing the contest as a conversion strategy. This is how you get people to like you on Facebook or subscribe to your newsletter, retaining these visitors for the long-haul. And that’s why Incentivibe offers detailed stats on the visitors who enter your contest.

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One very important detail worth noting is how the winner is selected. Even though you are co-sponsoring a contest with other businesses, all the entries don’t fall under one giant pool. Instead, to give every company a fair shake at having a winner among their entrants, a single name is selected from each of the businesses participating in that specific giveaway.

Let’s say that there are 30 companies involved; that means each company gets one randomly selected nominee. And then, the final winner is selected from the resulting pool of 30 nominees. This keeps things fair so that one larger company doesn’t overwhelm other smaller companies.

The 14-Day Free Trial

In addition to helping you pool your resources with other businesses to offer a bigger prize, Incentivibe also handles all the contest logistics too. They host the contest, manage the data, offer you the analytics, give you the corresponding embed code and more. All you have to do is cut and paste some HTML. It’ll probably help if you promote your contest too.

Considering that you could pay more than $25 for proper contest software alone, this pooling of resources for a bigger prize is a huge bonus for Incentivibe. If you’re not sure if you want to invest that $25 yet, Incentivibe offers a free 14-day trial. Even if you opt out, your contest entrants are still eligible for the prize.

One last thing. Incentivibe is doing a giveaway contest for bloggers/marketers/small businesses where the prize is a $1000 facebook ads credit. Entering is very simple and if they win you can use $1000 facebook ads to drive traffic to their website.

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