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How Social Bamboo Helps Businesses Grow With Online Sweepstakes

"He did $58,000 in sales that July compared to his previous year of $6,000 just because we did the contest leading up to the sale."

Derek Videll Managing Partner + Co-Founder Black Pearls VC

3-4

weeks

Best time frame to run a giveaway.

90%

Conversion rate

The conversion rate from ad clicks. 

$500

Minum ad spend

The best amount to spend to ensure your ad quality is being accurately assessed.

$250 

Prize budget

For small business, this is a good value range to set for prizes.

Key Takeaways

The best way to grow your audience is to just do it, start that contest and see where your company goes from there. 

"Ultimately, running giveaways was actually the only thing that was a positive ROI pretty much every single time."

Have a Reason

Derek points out that people love a 70% sale if there is a reason such as maybe a going out of business sale, however people are less inclined to appreciate a 70% sale on a regular day because this leads to regular item markup related questions and concerns. So having a reason makes it exciting. Same with your giveaway, leads aren't going to be as interested in you randomly just wanting their information- so show it more like an event. For example, a big anniversary giveaway or a celebration of something specific to build that extra layer of trust.

"If there's a reason for the giveaway, it's also a little bit more believable."

"Having some kind of reasoning for it, especially when it's how long you've been in business, just kind of gives a natural testament to your product and your company just being in business for however long. When there's a reason for the giveaway, it's a little bit smoother of a way to present it."

Tap Into Your Organic Audience

Make sure to use your resources and grow the audience you already have. Tap into your socials and email list first and grow from there.

"Because you're doing all these additional entry steps to follow you on your other social media platforms, this is also the best time to cross-pollinate your audience."

Focus on Marketing Budget

Create a marketing budget that works for you. Derek recommends $500 for ads to ensure people are seeing your marketing efforts. He warns that sometimes below this number, your ads don't get the chance to be seen and this can cause incorrect assumptions/frustrations that your ads simply aren't good enough.

"So, it's very hard to overmarket; it's very easy to undermarket a giveaway."

Participant Discounts

Create engagement post-contest by leading your audience back to your business with a "thank you" discount code. This will encourage future purchases and participation in the next contest.

Company:

Social Bamboo

Campaign Goal:

Grow Social Bamboos platform/audience as well as help other businesses grow their audience and boost sales through sustainable social media strategies like running different KickoffLabs contests.

Key Features Used:

 

"we had 50 followers. We ran a giveaway. And then two weeks later, we had 500 followers. Ran a sale to them. And got our first probably $1,000 in sales."

Contest Type(s): giveaway - leaderboard

Interview Bio

Melissa picture

Derek Videll- Host- Social Bamboo

HOF Direct Salesman turned online marketer and host of The #1 social media marketing podcast for businesses - The Social Bamboo Podcast. Derek mostly helps businesses looking create their first profitable Facebook/Instagram ad campaign.

Full Transcript

Josh:
Hi everyone. This is the On Growth podcast. I'm Josh. Ledgard, one of the founders at Kickofflabs. My guest today is Derek Vidal from Social Bamboo. He helps people run giveaways for their online stores with a class, a podcast, and personal consultation with clients. I discovered Derek after watching several of his students generate predictable results from their online giveaways with Kickofflabs. Derek knows what he's talking about. He knows how important it is for sales to keep your audience engaged online through regular contests. In this episode, we'll walk through the basic success factors that he teaches his students and have helped them generate not just leads, but thousands of dollars and follow-on sales from running competitions. If you enjoy this episode, please subscribe to the On Growth podcast from Kickofflabs and rate us in your platform of choice.
All right. Hi everyone. I'm now talking with Derek Videll, founder of socialbamboo.com and host of the Social Bamboo podcast. Derek is amazing. He's been sending several customers to Kickofflabs that we found out recently. And he's been doing so because he's teaching a class on how to run online giveaways and competitions based on some of the success he's had in the past, running online competitions for his own e-commerce site. Derek, thanks for coming on the podcast.

Derek:
Pleasure, Josh. This is my favorite thing to talk about. So, very excited to speak about it with you.

Josh:
Before we dig into it, I'd love people to understand a little bit more about your background. So, did you major in marketing? Did you come from an engineering background? Tell people a little bit about you and how you got to where you are today.

Derek:
If we're going back as far as college, I mean, not until junior year of college did I really get a taste of entrepreneurship. I went for chemical engineering to start with, then transferred to communication studies, which I just consider the closest thing to undeclared, a year or two in.
And then I found a direct sales job, selling Cutco knives my junior year of college and got really good at that. By the time I graduated my super senior year, I was just really used to working for myself and being on my own schedule. Even though I had every intention of taking my resume with the sales experience and just seeing what I could get, and I definitely could get a decent amount of jobs, especially sales ones, but I was so used to just being an entrepreneur at that point. And I just loved commission-only pay structure. So, I just stayed with Cutco for another five years after graduating. I did that for seven and a half years total.
And then I got into e-commerce and ran a company in the aquarium space actually for three years. Eventually, closed that down just because the margins weren't... I mean, there's a lot of reasons, but ultimately, it just was a little bit too small of a market and there was other moves that I wanted to be making. So, didn't really quit entrepreneurship, just pivoted what I was doing. But that was my first major online marketing experience.
And then somewhere along that way, I started a podcast teaching a lot of Instagram marketing and growth tactics that I was using for the e-commerce business. Then that evolved to more of a social media marketing podcast. And here we are with Social Bamboo.

Josh:
Outstanding. So, I've talked to people that have done the Cutco knives before. Never somebody who stayed with it as long as you stayed with it. I'm curious, because I've always wanted to ask, what is your hit rate on a sale for a Cutco knife? Like, out of how many people you talk to before you generate a sale?

Derek:
Yeah. So, the average company stat is 60%. In 2017, which was my fifth year in, my actual number from doing 300 or 400 appointments was 94% of people bought something. I think it's pretty crazy when someone doesn't buy something. If the rep does the good appointment, the knives do all the work. But I could not have done that if it was anything other than Cutco. But yeah. Eventually, yeah, I got up to 94% in one year was my record.

Josh:
So, you're not used to losing a sale is what you're telling me?

Derek:
No, I like the customers way too much. I'd never let them not buy.

Josh:
Awesome. So, tell me just really briefly what was the product in the e-commerce site? What were you selling?

Derek:
There was quite a bit of them, but it actually started on the foundation of the invention of an aquarium smart feeder. So, I was actually really looking to invent something, which is an ambitious first business now that I look back at it. I didn't see how many steps there are to inventing something. But I was just sitting on the couch one day, thinking, "I don't really want to get up to feed the fish." So, I jokingly asked the Amazon Echo, I won't say the names to not trigger my own, and asked it to feed my fish. And then I was like, "Oh, I wonder if that exists." And found out it exists for cats and dogs and they sell millions a month. So, just that was enough data for me.
And me and my friend, he was mastering in robotics. He started 3D printing models and making the app for it. And while he was building that, I just started drop-shipping and private labeling and affiliate marketing and really doing a ton of different things, just selling probably about 20 different other products while he was building that. I was like I'll build an audience and just start trying to make money and drop-ship other aquarium-related items.
And eventually, we found out that if you don't feed your fish for a night, they're fine. And it takes, like, five days of not feeding them for them to die. And they're 35 cents. And they don't have a name. So, it just wasn't that big of a problem for someone to buy a $60 to $120, would really be what we wanted to sell it for, item to solve this non-existent problem, especially because even if you go on vacation, you can buy a $4 feeder block that will sit in your tank for a week and then they can all eat off of that. So, it was one of those things that we'd tell people the idea and they'd be like, "Oh, that makes so much sense," which really kept us going. Businesses rarely work like that, where everyone you tell your idea to loves it, but it's actually not a good idea. But it just made so much sense, but not from a numbers standpoint. So, eventually gave up on that.

Josh:
So, obviously, while you were doing this, you were building a related audience. So, you saw the value in building an audience to sell to. So, you knew that that was something that's critical.
What are some of the things that you tried, before running contests to grow an audience, that didn't work for you? Like, what are some things like, "I'm going to do this. I'm going to have a huge audience," and then all of a sudden, you're like, "All right. Now, I'll try something else"?

We tried a lot of different Facebook and Instagram ad tactics mostly.
But ultimately, running giveaways was actually the only thing that was a positive ROI pretty much every single time. Even if it wasn't right at the end of the contest, the amount of followers that we gained from it would always turn into some kind of sale down the road with all the other different products that we were selling.

Derek:
Almost every major online marketing strategy that came across my plate, I tried just because it was also 2020 for a lot of this. So, I had all this time at home. But we did e-books. We did an e-book where it's like how to aquascape and then that would lead them to buying an aquarium and a whole upsell funnel, so an ascension funnel. And we tried doing just regular ads, where the ad would say like, "20% off," or just give some kind of discount right on the ad. We did a lot of blog posts that did okay, SEO in blog posts, but only so many sales come from that. That was actually profitable is why I mention it in a positive light. The other things were not that I'm mentioning. And I mean, we went on YouTube.
And we did a lot of Amazon PPC and Amazon FBA, I mean, I should say. So, Amazon FBA was really good when we started in 2018. And then by the end of it, the margins had basically gotten swallowed up from just the amount of competitors of people that came in the space selling similar things or the exact same thing, but for way less than us. So, yeah. We tried a lot of different Facebook and Instagram ad tactics mostly.
But ultimately, running giveaways was actually the only thing that was a positive ROI pretty much every single time. Even if it wasn't right at the end of the contest, the amount of followers that we gained from it would always turn into some kind of sale down the road with all the other different products that we were selling.

Josh:
So, what led you to say, "We're going to run a giveaway"? Was it just next on the list of things to try? Was it something you'd read about and you're like, "Oh, I'm going to do that"? And then what led you to Kickofflabs?

That first one we just ran... the first product we came out with, we had 50 followers. We ran a giveaway. And then two weeks later, we had 500 followers. Ran a sale to them. And got our first probably $1,000 in sales.

Derek:
It was a podcast episode I was listening to actually. It was one called The Amazing Seller. And that podcast doesn't exist anymore actually, but it's from a guy called Scott Voelker and he was talking about how giveaways had worked well for him. And that was about it. And then I kind of just ran with it from there. But I got the gist of what he was saying was that essentially there's three parts: they enter the contest; then on the next page, you give them a bunch of additional entries to build all your other assets; and then at the end of it, you say, "Here's the person who won. For everyone else, as a consolation prize, you can get a discount or just some kind of deal." And it just made a lot of sense to me.
But the first contest... I mean, I didn't even understand graphic design at the beginning of my online marketing career. So, our giveaway image didn't even look good at all, when I think back at it. But it went really, really well because we had this 50 page Instagram follower account. This is one of the first things that we did actually. So, I actually started with the giveaway. And that went well. I thought I had the Midas touch. Did everything else. And then I just went back to running giveaways for a lot of other products that I'll touch on. But yeah. That first one we just ran... the first product we came out with, we had 50 followers. We ran a giveaway. And then two weeks later, we had 500 followers. Ran a sale to them. And got our first probably $1,000 in sales, something like that. But it was just a great way to kick us off.

Josh:
It's a great transition. I'd love to hear, what are some other success numbers? So, we'll get into how you got those numbers, but I always like to tell people, what are some things that you've seen as you're counting as successes from the giveaway? So, you mentioned growing from 50 to 500 followers. You mentioned $1,000 in sales. Do you have other examples for other products or companies that stand out as like, this is something you could expect with a well-run giveaway?

He did $58,000 in sales that July compared to his previous year of $6,000 just because we did the contest leading up to the sale.

Derek:
Yeah. I'll give two examples, one that just has the biggest number because it's the most exciting. And that was someone that I worked with. I ran so many giveaways from my own company before I started turning it into a coaching and consulting thing. I started teaching it on my podcast and then I just had enough people reach out to me about it, wanting extra help with it.
But someone I worked with, he owns a duck hunting company out in Arkansas or Alabama. I always get confused. I'm pretty sure it's Arkansas. But we did a giveaway for a three-day duck hunt on his land, so everything included apart from the flight out there. And we just ran it as a Facebook and Instagram ad to everyone interested in duck hunting and just said, "Enter to win a three-night duck hunt stay," and then just had it that they could follow him, enter their email. We had some additional entries that they could subscribe to his YouTube, like his Facebook page, a bunch of other things like that. And then at the end of it, I mean, he got about 7,000 entries from it. And we said, "Here's the one person who won. For the 6,999 of you who lost, thank you so much for playing. Over the next week... " or I think we did two weeks, "You can book your duck hunting trip for 20% off." And this was in July, so right before the season started.
And he said he booked... he did $58,000 in sales that July compared to his previous year of $6,000 just because we did the contest leading up to the sale. He said he had done some giveaways in the past, but didn't do the sale tied to it and didn't know how to do the Instagram ads or how any of that worked. A lot of people do very basic ones like, "Tag three friends," and they don't really work unless you really get the programs like Kickofflabs really going honestly to take it to that next level. But that was a really positive ROI because we spent about $3,500 on the advertising and then he did $58,000 in sales. I do think some of those people came from his existing audience already, but most of it was from the 7,000 people we got from the Instagram ads. So, it just took three weeks to run the whole thing. And it's not only that sales metric; it was 7,000 new Instagram followers as well.

A lot of people do very basic ones like, "Tag three friends," and they don't really work unless you really get the programs like KickoffLabs really going honestly to take it to that next level.

Josh:
Yeah. And for a business like that too, even if some of them came, people purchased came from a list he had already, the fact that he was engaging them for a couple weeks with this contest, put it in the top of their mind. And then they're like, "Oh, that's interesting. They're doing a contest. I like duck hunting." And then all of a sudden, it's like, "Oh, 20% off. I'll buy." That whole classic thing, like, it takes seven touches to make a sale. A contest was just an opportunity to create a couple of those customer touchpoints with people that may have already just had one or two before. And now, you've got three or four in quick succession plus the offer to close the deal.

Derek:
And you're not being all promotional or salesy because you're just saying, "Hey, you want this for free?" So, you're talking about your offer, but never in a light that bugs people. You can just talk about it all day because it's only for their benefit to win this free one, but then they're totally... they've processed, "Do we want to do a duck hunting trip this year? When would we go?" They've had all these thoughts already by the time the sale actually happens.
And then the thing I really like about it is the sale makes sense to the customer because everything's on sale all the time, right? So, the fact that there's a reason for it that people can actually buy into, "Oh, I get it. It's their way of saying thanks for entering the contest. This sale makes sense." It's the same thing when a business is going out of business. Everyone's like, "Oh, that makes sense why everything's 70% off." If it was 70% off any other time of the year, they're like, "Oh, what's the markup on this thing?" But 70% off and your business is going out of sale, it just all of a sudden makes sense. So, it just... yeah. Really good conversion rate.

Josh:
So, that's a great example. And it touched on a couple things that I wanted to drill into, which is when people, starting at the beginning when they're planning a competition, and these are some common questions we get, so when they're planning a competition, what should people anticipate having to spend in terms of marketing the contest? Because you mentioned $3,000 or $4,000 in ads. It sounded really simple. You said literally people who had an interest on Facebook or Instagram in duck hunting. So, if Facebook knew that was one of their interests, you could send an ad to them. And so, how did you pick how much money you were spending? Or how did they pick how much money they were spending per day on the ads for the contest?

We're not going to do one every week or even probably every month, so let's at least put a little bit more marketing budget into it.

Derek:
That is a higher budget than most. So, I throw that number out because it's the fun one, but I also really love giving some examples of a lot of lower-spending contests because that's who I mostly have worked with is a lot of businesses that are really trying to get their feet wet with Instagram advertising. And rather than putting out this campaign that requires all this clever copywriting or content, where you go out and interview customers who have had your product, "Hey, try this tea. What do you think?" Like, just doing all this crazy marketing with all these different options. Just running a giveaway for your products is a really simple first Instagram ad to do.
So, what I say is spend a minimum of $500 on it just because that will tell you conclusively if it's working or not. If you spend less than that, it's kind of like you didn't really give Instagram or Facebook a chance to warm up, although I have had a very successful giveaway from only spending $350 before. But I've just run enough of them that I'm like it's just enough setup. And you don't want to run a giveaway every week or something. So, it's like all right, we're not going to do one every week or even probably every month, so let's at least put a little bit more marketing budget into it.
He just spent that because he's a well-established company. He's been around for over a decade. And he's selling a very expensive product.
And the cool thing with Instagram and Facebook ads is you can adjust your budget every minute. So, if you're seeing great results and you're like, "All right, this is going well. We've got this marketing budget for this next venture. Let's just put it into this." You can really just choose how you want to do it.
But I mostly just say spend a minimum of $500 because, even if it doesn't work at all, you won't have to rule it out as maybe we just didn't spend enough. Like, that would be enough to get data to tell you if it's not going to work.

Josh:
Okay. And then another related question is, what should people budget for a prize? Kind of like what should they be giving away? What do you think they should be budgeting for a prize? So, this is another common question like, "Oh, do I have to give away a $10,000 trip to somewhere?" or "Can I do just a t-shirt?" Like, where on that spectrum do you suggest to people get started with?

Derek:
The $10,000 trip is almost not believable because it's just too crazy. So, it's almost good not to do that. The t-shirt would be more believable. If it's like a $20 thing though, it doesn't look like a great giveaway image for people to see in their feed like, "Win this $18 thing."
So, I more say $70 is the bare minimum of the prize value that I give away, but I still try to go $100 to $250 as more the average. So, I've worked with a lot of artists or people that own their own clothing stores or people that have invented just anything that is original where they try to run this giveaway. And when they do a store credit for the people who do the art store or the clothing store, they usually do a shopping spree because it's not like, "Win this one piece of art from my store." So, we usually say $250 shopping spree. So, I like $250 shopping spree. If the person I'm working with is like, "I don't want to do that," I say, "$150 or a $50 shopping spree doesn't sound that great," but you just keep it around that range.

Josh:
So, this is an important distinction too that I picked up on the first time we talked, which is that a lot of times people are searching for the one item on their store that they think is worth giving away. And in fact, the simpler thing, which takes the thought out of it for you and actually is better for the person who wins, in my mind, is saying in the examples of contests I've seen run, "Hey, here's $200. You win it. You can just spend it on whatever you want in the store. And you'll have $200 credit to do it." And they don't have to think about it. You just have to say a number. You have to promote what couple items are in the stores like, "You could buy this or this," maybe, but you don't have to spend a lot of time thinking about which item is going to be the best item for my audience.

Derek:
I recommend it for clothing stores and art, like, things where the person might like your style, but not like every single thing you make. In the aquarium e-commerce business, if I was doing a giveaway for the smart feeder and then there was a fish net thing that I had, I would not do a gift card for that kind of business. It is way better to be like, "Let's get the smart feeder audience," because that is different than the fishnet audience. Even though they both could use it, they're both in the space, giving away the exact prize is better because it's easier for the customer to visualize how cool it would be to win. Like, the shopping spree, especially if you're a newer art store and you really have no idea what your most popular painting is, then that's a good way to do it.
I've also worked with an artist in the past that did paintings of different NFL, MLB... literally, every major sport, he painted the athletes of. And all of them were from different states too. So, one person who likes the Michael Jordan painting does not mean they're going to like the Saquon Barkley painting. So, for that case, it was better to do a giveaway for a Michael Jordan painting to people interested in Michael Jordan, keeping it separate. So, there's some gray space to it here, but the shopping spree is only really for the clothing and the art stores.

Josh:
Okay. That makes sense. I mean, if you have a very specific product, it's better to target that audience. Okay.
So, we worked about advertising and we talked about picking prizes. What other things do you tell people to think about before or as they're setting up the competition, like as part of the planning phase?

Derek:
Just like I said before about running the discount, where if there's a reason for the discount, it's more believable. If there's a reason for the giveaway, it's also a little bit more believable. Rather than, "Hey, we want your email so we're running a giveaway," is kind of what it subconsciously looks like if you just say, "Giveaway!" So, we say, "Hey, for our 8th anniversary in business, we're deciding to give back to our customers. To celebrate our 500th customer. To celebrate the grand opening of our store." Having some kind of reasoning for it, especially when it's how long you've been in business, just kind of gives a natural testament to your product and your company just being in business for however long. When there's a reason for the giveaway, it's a little bit smoother of a way to present it.

Because you're doing all these additional entry steps to follow you on your other social media platforms, this is also the best time to cross-pollinate your audience.

Josh:
What other things do you tell people? Or what other ways have you seen be successful at marketing a contest, besides the Facebook targeting?

Derek:
You definitely want to tap into every organic audience that you have. Like you said, just sending them through this process can be what was needed to get the sale, rather than just them knowing about your company, but nothing really going on. And because you're doing all these additional entry steps to follow you on your other social media platforms, this is also the best time to cross-pollinate your audience. So, email list is hearing about it. Every Facebook group, every single audience you have is all going to it because then it makes them go everywhere after. So, definitely every organic audience.
Facebook and Instagram ads has been the best thing for so many reasons. I mean, just a giveaway just runs really cleanly on their platforms. It looks nice. It blends in with the rest of the content. On LinkedIn, I haven't done it. I can't imagine it would be nearly as productive, as far as running ads go. Running ads are usually a lot more expensive actually per impression on there. And they don't know as much about people as Facebook and Instagram does. Doing it on Pinterest, I think would do very well. I have not done the ads. But really, during the time of the giveaway, which I always like to run for 14 to 21 days at least, is it's like all right, try to... apart from the paid advertising, if you don't have as much budget, then just go crazy on the organic. Make some reels about it. Make some TikToks about it. And just put out all of this organic content with the chance of getting people to see it.
You could run Google ads. I have not done that successfully though. I mean, typically, people searching for things giveaway-related, they're not exactly your dream customer.
Oh, and then I would say influencers: paying influencers to post the giveaway. And that is very market-based. In most markets, it's actually way overpriced. In the aquarium one, for instance, there's like a 250,000 follower page that costs $45 to post with. Totally worth it to post the giveaway from that 250,000 follower page.
If you are giving away a trip to... like, I had a student that had a camper van in Costa Rica and she did a three-day... you get the camper van to travel around Costa Rica for three days. She can find random influencers that have 20K, 30K followers. And maybe they're travel-based, so these people like to travel. But it still is hard to really bank on paying that person $500 to post to their 12K followers. And all those people are going to want to go to Costa Rica that summer, right? So, it's like-

Josh:
Yep.

Derek:
... that one, that $500 with that 12K account versus the $45 with a 250K, it's situational, but I have had some really good results from paying influencers.

Josh:
It sounds like you just have to weigh the audience: looking at the audience, the size of it, how targeted it is to your niche and the money that they're asking and just kind of weighing that, you know, is this going to be worth it or not?

Derek:
Yeah. Ultimately, I designed an equation that involves their follower metric, their engagement percentage. And then you actually ask them for their audience insights and everything. And I would just give it to people like, "All right, if the score is above this, it's probably worth it." It's still situational, but I don't know, I was just trying to make something concrete for people to be able to gauge if that was going to be profitable. And you can have that for sure. That's just a free resource to give out.

Josh:
So, you're recommending people run a giveaway for somewhere between two to four weeks because that gives you enough time to ramp up advertising, to test it, to ramp up organic traffic, to make sure that you're getting the right kind of traffic and then kind of pouring on the gas in terms of telling all your different channels about it.
What else? If you're running a contest for three to four weeks, are you sending multiple updates during the contest to these audiences? Or are you just saying it to announce the contest and then afterwards you're just crossing your fingers that everything happens? That's a silly question I know, but people ask. Like, how often should you be re-engaging these audiences?

So, it's very hard to overmarket; it's very easy to undermarket a giveaway.

Derek:
You know what the funny thing is, is that I came to this conclusion recently, the amount that you need to market is the level that most businesses consider, "Oh, I would never market to my customers that much." And it's like they didn't even see it the first time. You're worried about posting about your giveaway a second time and I'm like, "They didn't even see it. You can look at the impressions on the post. You have this many followers and you got 250 people that even saw it." And even if they see the giveaway seven days ago on their Instagram feed and just scroll by it, them seeing it again on their feed by no means does it annoy them to the point of like, "Oh, I'm going to unfollow them." So, it's very hard to overmarket; it's very easy to undermarket a giveaway.
So, just remember even though you know, oh yeah, they'll follow us and we'll try to sell to them after, you're essentially just asking if they want to try to win something for free because you're actually going to give them the prize. Promote it. Scream it from the top of the mountain. You're giving away your product for free. Of course, they want to know about it. They wouldn't be following you if they weren't interested in your product.
So, post about it to the level of kind of how I was talking before about Cutco, I was like, "Oh, I like my customers way too much to let them get away without buying something." You kind of do have to have a ton of conviction in your product here, where it's like if you can't even mass promote when your product is free, then you don't have enough conviction in your product. So, yeah. When the giveaway's going on, you got to let people know about it all the time.

Josh:
Yeah. And I think you brought up something, which is what I try to remind people too, which is that in your head, it's the current thing that you're working on and you're focused on it 24/7 so you always think like, "Oh, if I tell people again, it's too much," because in your head, maybe it is too much because you're like, "I'm thinking about it all day." But everybody else has their own thing that they're thinking about. And, as you said, people are scrolling by their email, they're scrolling by their Instagram, they're scrolling by their Facebook feed.
And it can take... there's products I've followed that, like, some of the products I followed for a year before I bought anything from the store or from the company. And I don't know how many things I scrolled by, but the fact that at least they were posting kept it in my head. I'm like, "oh yeah, that'd be cool. Oh yeah, that'd be cool." And then one day, you're just like, "That's it. I'm buying it." You don't know when that day is for people that you're going to trigger it. You just know that if you didn't keep posting, I probably would forget about those products that I thought about.
So, now, let's talk about... so you talked about the promotion and what we're doing during the contest. And so, you mentioned in that example ending the contest, picking a winner, and then kind of following up with everybody else. Can you kind of walk through some best practices for closing down and marketing after a contest that you recommend to people to get the most out of what they've done during the contest?

I let them know the winner will be announced by email because I don't want them unsubscribing the first thing once they get on the list. So, everything is announced in that email.

Derek:
So, the day that you debut the prize, I debut it only on email, like, who the winner is. And on all the other platforms, I just tell them that the winners are in their email, go check your email because that is when they're slowed down, that is when they're going to click the link to visit my site. They're not on Instagram and they're just like, "Oh, I didn't win," and they don't see any of the other stuff. I don't want to catch them on social media, when they're in fast-pace mode. I want them to read that there's a consolation prize and everything like that. So, I really try to get this email upwards of 60% to 70% open rate and really just drive all the traffic there. So, everywhere gets told the winners have been announced, check your email.
And I also say that too when they first enter. I let them know the winner will be announced by email because I don't want them unsubscribing the first thing once they get on the list. So, everything is announced in that email. And at the beginning, I kind of let them know like, "Hey, if it's not you, don't panic, we got a consolation prize for you." I say all this kind of stuff before I actually debut the winner just so that they're not like, "Ah, Jimmy. Not me." And then they just exit the email, right? I try to slow them down like, "Don't worry. Got a prize for you, if it's not you." Let them know who won. And then just lead to the sale.
And, of course, even the sales period, they need multiple notifications too for this to work. I think some people will be like, "I sent out the email telling them that they didn't win, there's a sale. And I didn't get nearly as many sales as I thought." And it's like, "Yeah, there's, like, seven days left of your sale," or however long you're running it. So, I definitely market that quite a bit too.
And then the email subject line, the word winner, I'll just say, and the word giveaway is not email spam filter's favorite word. So, I usually do try to beat around the bush in a lot of ways, you know, "The results are in... " stuff like that. I used to put, "The winner is... " but I think it's now getting picked up more in email spam filters. Words like prize, winner, discount, sale, it's very easy to use all of these words on this email. So, I just really try to reduce the amount of trigger words on it.

Josh:
And so, then you're saying basically, just to summarize, you're recommending a time-based offer to people that you're debuting at the time that you're announcing the results of the contest. And that time-based offer is usually a discount on the product or a discount at the store? Is that usually kind of what you're recommending people do?

Derek:
Yeah. It's really whatever you can create the coolest offer around and create the urgency in any way that you can. So, if you wanted to do first 20 get this deal, next 20 get this deal, or there's only 50 total, or the sale ends this day. I mean, if you're brand-new, it's hard to really know what's going to work. So, that's when I'm maybe a little bit more flat discount, ends by a certain day, I think that's always the go-to, if you don't really know how to be fancy with it. Otherwise, if there's like, "Hey, if you buy this, you get a thing for free." You can totally do a buy-two-get-one, something like that. But in most situations, just a discount does work best. Yeah.

Josh:
So, what parts of this does KickoffLabs help the most with for your customers and for your clients?

Derek:
So, the entry page looks beautiful, which is very important. A giveaway already throws up enough scammy vibes in ways to some people just because there have been enough giveaway scams, you know?

Josh:
Yeah.

And with KickoffLabs, I had a student recently get over 90% of people that came from an Instagram ad that then entered the contest. And that is humongous for your ad results.

Derek:
Like, even in the crypto market. They're totally unrelated to what is going on here, but their walls are already up, brand-new company. And then they see, "Oh, this is a legit page." So, the page looks really great. And I've worked with some other builders in the past that just does not look good or I even tried to make an entry page in ActiveCampaign or in a CRM. In all the CRMs, you can make landing pages in a lot of them now and they look very lame. It's not good. So, one student tried to do it because he was trying to save money and he got, like, a 17% conversion rate for people that came to that page and entered. And with KickoffLabs, I had a student recently get over 90% of people that came from an Instagram ad that then entered the contest. And that is humongous for your ad results.
The other thing is just the additional entry steps, the share factor. I mean, you don't want to have to monitor any of this manually, going through and counting all your Instagram follows and your Facebook page likes separately. This would be a nightmare to keep track of. So, picking a winner is obviously really easy, but then just the share feature for them to earn points. All of this is not things that you would even want to use a general landing page builder to do. You would want to use a giveaway builder.

Josh:
Yeah. Exactly. We try and make that really easy for people to set up those additional actions, where, as you said, post-entry, a chance to earn additional entries by telling their friends, following them on all the different social channels. In one example I'm looking at, it says, "Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Instagram. Visit my website." I like this one. "And email me one thing you would pick if you won." Just kind of like a fun little thing. Not just you thinking about, like, just list your social channels and say, "Follow me." It's like, hey, maybe there's one sort of extra thing or you might catch a couple influencers going through that extra little step that you're getting people to take.
So, my last question. If somebody listens to this, reads the post that we do about it, wants to get in touch with you to have you help them with their contest or take your class, how can they do that? What's the best way for them to sign up and get connected with you?

Derek:
I have a free course that is on socialbamboo.com just under courses that explains a lot of what we talked about today. It would be more of an illustrated version of what we talked about today. So, if you like that, that would be the free course.
Otherwise, I offer a free call just because every business is so different. And I work with people who are like, "I'm trying to sell beats to rappers," or, "I'm trying to sell... " the most random stuff. You're probably listening to this like... someone with a really unique business, you're just never going to hear your business mentioned in an example. So, that's why I like to do a lot of just individualized free calls with people because some people, I'm like, "Yours is kind of hard maybe to figure out exactly how to plug this in." More for B2B businesses can be kind of difficult. But that's just available on my website as well to talk to me about this for free, and kind of let me know, "This is my idea for a giveaway. What do you think?"

Josh:
Cool.

Derek:
Mm-hmm.

Josh:
Yeah. People should certainly do that. You and your students have run a bunch of successful contests on KickoffLabs. It's how we found you to talk to you. I think you're following exactly the beats that I would suggest people do for running contests. And so, it's great to see. And I wish you and people taking your course and following up with you, I wish you all continued success.

Derek:
Thank you so much. I'll be letting you know about all the awesome results, as they come in. And they are coming in right now. So, more stories to come.

Josh:
That's fantastic. All right. Thank you.
 

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