Case Study: How 2 Travel Bloggers Tripled Their Email List in 7 Days with a $0 Budget
Editor’s Note: We asked one of our first beta testers to write up a summary of their first giveaway with VYPER. A big congrats to the Who Needs Maps travel blog for such a successful giveaway!
Why you need to run a giveaway?
Digital marketers preach time and time again the value of building an email list. The best way to grow your loyal following is by building a list, and one of the most successful ways we found was to do contests and giveaways.
Now, the first question you will probably ask yourself is, how can I create a list from scratch?
Well, to be honest, it takes a lot of time, effort and trust. People don’t just sign up to email lists for fun, they sign up to learn something, to gain exclusive access, or because they are loyal brand customers. As a business or brand owner you must offer some value in exchange for a visitors email. Think to yourself “ why would I want to get emails from this brand and what can they offer me?”
With an email list you can continually get to re-engage your list with interesting content and ultimately, inviting them back to your website. An email list gives you access to contact the people that are interested in your brand and you can notify them when you have a new post, a sale, an event, or special/exclusive offers.
Did you know – “59% of B2B marketers say that email is the most effective channel for generating revenue.” So that alone should be the reason to start building your list, right!
So we know the importance of building a list but HOW do we actually build one is the real question. We run a travel blog and the most effective way we have found to generate emails is to run a giveaways. Our last giveaway doubled our email list in just 7 days!
This strategy is a win-win as the people who sign up get rewarded for entering and the prize is usually something relevant to the giveaways website so they are targeted email addresses. This works out to be a lot cheaper than paying for leads, writing article after article hoping people will click on our link, and the pop up email subscriber box that annoy the crap out of people.
Below are the steps that we took to generate over 1000 emails in 7 days–we doubled the size of our list with less than 4 hours of work and our blog is relatively new and gets very little traffic. Still not convinced? Check out this list of reasons as to why a giveaway will skyrocket your customer acquisition.
Reach out to companies about a potential partnership to do a giveaway. Companies are always looking for way to get their products out there to a niche crowd so you become the brand ambassador.
Reach out to companies that make sense to your brand – asking for dog shampoo as a travel blog doesn’t make sense but a luggage company does. Remember, practice what you preach-only partner with brands you would use yourself. It builds your personal brand’s authority. Here are some more tips about choosing the write giveaway prize.
We are Jack and Jenn and we run the popular travel blog XXX, a blog about XXX.
We are contacting in you hopes to partner on a giveaway with you. We truly believe that [insert product/service] would be the perfect fit with our readers and that they would love to try out your product. Your product is [complement product here].
We will be running the giveaway for X days and promoting it through all our socials, emails, and website.
Please let us know if this is something that would be of interest to you. We look forward to hearing back.
In the meantime, have a great day,
Jack and Jenn
If you are an eCommerce website, there is no need to write to other brands as you simply giveaway your own products. We suggest making the giveaway of great value to get that WOW factor rather than doing a number of smaller value giveaways. Giveaways are very much built up on momentum and that momentum is easier to get if your giveaway prize is something you can’t just get from the eCommerce store!
Ideally, you should be running a giveaway at least once every 1 or 2 months to keep a healthy amount of leads coming in and sift out the spam.
If your product is physical, you are going to need some good looking photos of what you are giving away. You need good lighting, a white background and any phone with a decent camera will do the trick. Make sure they look professional and your reflection is not in the shot (we had sunglasses, so that was tricky!).
If you are giving away a service, make sure the you use approved brand images. Usually, they have images of people using their service and cross promote that way. You can always ask if you can use their images and put your logo on it too so it looks like you are working together and not just for the brand!
Remember that the colors are important–this image will most likely be used in all of your social posts so you want to create an image that stands out.
We used Vyper as our giveaway platform. The first step with Vyper is to create a giveaway landing page.
The trick to an appealing landing page is to make it super clear and give uses a focal point for the action you need them to take (enter the giveaway). Embedding your giveaway on a blank page can work but a landing page without a navigation bar or footer to distract people is even better.
The landing page builder breaks out the elements of the giveaway page and makes it easy to add logos, images, text, branded colours etc. There is even an image editor so you can resize your images to create the best crop for your giveaway landing page.
Vyper allows you to make beautiful visual landing pages for your giveaway. You can create a unique landing page from Vyper and post about the giveaway for your site (that way you can bring more traffic to your own website). Vyper is great because anyone can use it! You don’t need to be a developer to implement this giveaway.
Tips for creating the best giveaway landing page:
- Use a neutral color background image so the text stands out.
- Add images into the content area.
- Give a shout out to all the brands in your giveaway.
- Tell people the value of the giveaway (i.e worth more than $250!)
Create the rules for your giveaway. Give as much detail as you can so people understand and don’t get upset. What country/city do you accept entries for? What is required for them to do and how many entries does that add up to? When does the giveaway start and when does it finish? What time does it finish? How old do participants have to be to enter?
The more specific you are, the less questions you will get in regards to the giveaway. Vyper also lets you generate a terms and conditions template which was extremely useful as we had no idea what to include here!
Here are also some regulations that you might want to consider following:
- Facebook Guidelines
- Twitter Guidelines
- General Giveaway/Contest Guidelines which gives you a pretty good overview for running sweepstakes, contests etc.
Now that our giveaway page was up and running, we needed to get some eyeballs on it. Remember, your content can be great, but it’s only seen by how well you market it. Below is an outline of the steps we took to build exposure for our giveaway.
- Write a blog post about the giveaway (who the partners are? Is there a specific reason for the giveaway? What’s the value?) – example
- Share on all your social media channels. Tag the brands too to tap into their audience.
- Stumble your giveaway page (using Stumble Upon).
- List your giveaway on some giveaway directory sites (this is lower quality traffic but good for building momentum). See our full list of giveaway sites here.
Once your giveaway is up your entrants will be many options to earn points such as sharing on social media, liking your pages and getting sign ups through their personal link. The more points the entrants collect the better their chance of winning. This is also great your brands as every time someone shares your giveaway it is potentially a new place to collect emails.
Engage with people that comment on your post and social media posts. Try and thank people for entering and answer any questions people may have. A little thank you goes a far way.
Before the last day of the giveaway, make sure you do push on social media again. This is your time to use urgency to get your giveaway noticed. People respond much more when there is a sense of urgency so use words like “Last Chance” or “While it Lasts!”.
You can sit back and relax. It is time to choose your winner!!!!! There is a simple “pick winner” feature that randomizes the entries based on how many points each user has earned. Once you choose your winner, send over their prize! Try to add a personal note saying thank you for entering and to follow you on your socials channels. We also offer to feature the winner with their prize on our social as well, this makes an interesting post!
You also need to not that not everyone will respond to your “You Are A Winner” email so it is best to give them a time frame to claim their prize (Winners have 48 hours to claim the prize before choosing another winner..), this keeps you from waiting for days and is a fair way to keep other entries in the running.
Common Problems You Could Face Running A Giveaway:
- If you want an influencer to partake in promoting your giveaway, notify them in advance. Let them know when the giveaway starts and finishes so they can help promote on their platforms. Please note, that not all influencers will promote it.
- You will need to decide if you want to automatically import your emails or leave them in a .csv and clean the list before uploading it to your ESP (email service provider) a large increase in emails could increase your monthly costs or decrease the quality of your list if a lot of sign ups are spam. Unfortunately there will always be that 1% who want to win so badly they try and cheat the system.