How to Create a Giveaway Contest that Drives Traffic to Your Site

There are few things as enticing as a contest. Everyone likes winning something, and it’s hard to deny the power of “free.” Business owners understand this concept and now hold raffles on their website and social media as a way to drive traffic to their website.

Many people find that after they create an eCommerce store, they have a hard time catching the attention of consumers online. A simple raffle can solve this problem and result in explosive growth for your business. Contests are known for helping spread brand awareness on social media while keeping current subscribers and followers engaged. Until recently, it was challenging to create a contest that’s consistent across social media and your website. 

We are going to show you how to create a super simple giveaway that will expose your business to a broad audience and may improve the traffic on your website. 

Step 1: Decide on Rules and a Prize

Before you can create your first contest, you have to develop rules and figure out a prize. Do you want users to tag their friends in posts on social media? How are they going to enter the contest? Will you have user registration forms, or is just sharing your post enough? 

You also need to think about how many winners you want to choose. Some business owners pick multiple winners and give a smaller prize, such as a discount, to the runner-ups. This tactic can help convince consumers to shop with your business if they get a coupon code. Free is the best price, but some people are just as happy with a 50 percent discount. If you know the rules in advance, it’s much easier to get through the design phase of your contest. 

The prize you pick is going to vary on several factors. If you’re operating an eCommerce storefront, you’re going to want to make your prize something from your store. Perhaps put your most sought after product up for someone to win. 

Content-based websites like marketers and bloggers are going to want to use a digital prize such as a gift card, or early access to your newest ebook. There are countless prizes for you to choose from when setting up your contest.

Step 2: Download RafflePress

Do you know your rules and prizes? Good. The next step is to download the RafflePress plugin. RafflePress is known as “The Best WordPress Giveaway Plugin,” and it’s not hard to see why. They offer a free version for people interested in making basic contests, as well as a pro version for business owners looking for more features and support. 

Installing RafflePress on your website only takes a few seconds. First, you’ll want to log in to your WordPress website and click on “Add New” under Plugins. Search for RafflePress in the search bar on the right side of the screen. 

Click on the install button, then check to make sure the RafflePress plugin is set to “Active.”

Step 3: Pick a Template

After installing the plugin, head back to your WordPress dashboard. Look at the navigation bar on the left side of the screen and select the new “RafflePress” button. Click on “Add New” from the pop-out menu. 

You’ll now have to decide what kind of contest you would like to create by picking a template and naming your contest. At the top of the page, type in the name of your contest. In our example, we are creating a contest for a 50 dollar Amazon gift card. 

After deciding on a name, you’ll have to pick a template. If you’re using the free version of RafflePress, only have the “Classic Giveaway” option available. For the purposes of teaching, we are going to use the free template for our contest too. Hover over Classic Giveaway, and select “Use Template.” 

 Step 4: Add Giveaway Prize Details

Now you are in the builder and it’s time to create your contest. On the first page under the Setup tab, you’ll see a box that says “Giveaway Prize Details.” Here is what it looks like: 

You’ll want to type in your contest name, description, and add an image. Next, you’ll want to put in a start and end date for your contest. The length of your contest will depend on your prize, and how you want to generate traffic. When we were finished with this section, this is what our contest looked like: 

Step 5: Select Your Actions

During this next step, you’ll decide what actions your audience needs to take in exchange for an entry. Click on “Actions” and you’ll see a list of options to choose from.

If you scroll down, you’ll see other options — including actions that result in increased traffic.

You can select an action, and it will appear on your giveaway template on the right side of the screen. A list of settings pop up that allows you to fine-tune the stipulations around each entry. In this example, we wanted to direct consumers to our website, so we picked “Visit a Page.” 

In the settings, you can make actions mandatory. In other words, if consumers want to enter, they have to follow the steps listed on the contest page. 

Step 6: Design Your Layout

You’re almost done with your contest! Click on the “Design tab” and you’ll see a list of options that you can use to tweak the design of the contest. 

You can change the font, colors of the buttons, general layouts, and add a background picture, all in seconds. This step is going to vary based on the layout of your website, your prize, and your personal preference. 

Step 7: Publish Your Contest

Click “Save” on the top right side of the screen, then click “Publish.” The next screen will let you pick how to publish your contest. A novice user would likely use “RafflePress WordPress Block” because you can easily plug the contest on one of your website pages. 

WordPress Shortcode is for the more skilled creator who wants a little more control over the publication of their contest. Finally, there’s the Giveaway Landing Page for pro users, which allows you to create a custom page specifically for your contest, which makes sharing a breeze. How you publish your contest will depend on your skill level and preference. 

Bonus Step: More Gamification

Contests are fun, but there are other ways to use gamification on your website. For example, OptinMonster features gamified optins like “Spin to Win,” as you can see below. 

Once you’ve managed to accumulate traffic, you’re going to want to focus on obtaining and retaining customers. Gamified wheels are an excellent way to reward the people who come to your website with a chance of winning a big prize. As an added bonus, customers may act on discounts if they were on the fence about making a purchase previously. 

Contests are a great way to drive more traffic to your website and increase subscribers. If you want to monitor your contests and see how they improve your sales or traffic, don’t forget to add Google Analytics to WordPress for easy tracking. Part of building a great brand is creating connections with your audience. Contests and other gamification tactics can help build your business, drive traffic, and maintain an engaged audience. Now you’re ready to get out there and make your own contest.

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Syed Balkhi
Syed Balkhi | Contributor

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