37 Elements of Effective User Engagement #12 – Award Visitors

Welcome to Part 12 and we’ll be discussing how awarding visitors for their participation can increase engagement. However, the trick here is to make sure you have the right strategy in place and how you should award your users. For example, if you award them for participation and this doesn’t increase engagement, then it’s a complete waste of effort. Over the last several months, I was able to test and tweak some different contests that worked enormously well. I was able to double traffic to some pages and increase subscribers 3-4 times from the previous month. Let’s look at a few strategies you can implement into your blogging going forward.


Types of Awards

Depending on the business you have, there will be several different types of awards you can give to your visitors. Some will be money, points, freebies, and software tools. All are perfect for this type of engagement but you need to make sure they are as relevant as possible. Just like high valuable content ONLY increases engagement on your blog when it’s relevant, the same will apply to awards. Start by conducting research and finding what’s readily available to you in your niche. You can’t offer money if it’s hard to implement that type of award into your business model. If you can’t, then you have to switch over to points or giving away freebies to your visitors. Here are a few questions to ask when getting started:

  • What is my niche and purpose?
  • Who are my audience and what are they looking for?
  • How will contests and awards help me increase engagement?
  • Why will these people find the freebie, money, or points attractive?

Even though the questions require some research before you can answer them, they’ll be perfect because they help you establish a game plan going forward.

Implement Strategy

Many won’t tell you that engagement only increases with a specific action, for example, if I’m trying to increase engagement on my website, then I’ll have to create a video, write awesome content, or optimize my landing page. I can’t expect people to interact on my website WITHOUT having a clear call-to-action in place because this will simply be impossible. With that said, I have to think hard about what I need and am trying to accomplish in the near future. This can be anywhere from create a logo for my business, start a new online forum, increase email subscribers, etc., so you need to write down your immediate goals. Once you have a clear objective, you can start to think how the following awards will help you achieve them:

  • Money
  • Points
  • Tools
  • Software

Now that you have the objective and awards….what’s next?

It’s time to get the word out…

Here are two of the best ways to increase engagement through an award model:

First, blast out an email to all your subscribers to give them a heads up about the award you’re offering. It’s as simple as saying, “I’ve just launched a new online forum and I am giving away “1” point per post for the next 30 days” then add “These points can be redeemed for money at www.example.com.” You can purchase affordable gifts on wholesale websites and create a landing page where these people can redeem the points. It’s a great incentive and you can even take this one step further. Contact a starting software company, asking them for 2 FREE licenses in exchange for exposure, then offer them to the top posters in your forum.

Many forum software portals will allow you to purchase a referral upgrade so every user will have its own referral link so they can send their friends over, too. You can give the highest referral $100.00 in the end, which will NOT only increase exposure, but also engagement.


Create a landing page for visitors coming directly from search engines. The landing page will have a breakdown of your competition and what it’s all about. They have to opt-in to register and this is a cool way to get them in your follow-up sequence. The landing page should be short and right to the point, however, always split test this page, too, to make sure it has been optimized. Many ESP’s (email service providers) offer a split testing mechanism so this should be very easy to incorporate into your landing page.

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