Contests can help to engage with your audience and grow your email list, and entering contests is fun! But why thousands enter to win a test-drive and only hundreds to win a car? Learn about the psychological factors influencing your audience to run successful Facebook contests.
Your fans run a quick cost-benefit analysis when arriving to your promotion. They evaluate their odds of winning by looking at the incentives provided and effort needed.
Time, value and the number of winners have a high mark on the subscription rate.
To dive in let’s put our customer-hat on!
#0. The more valuable the better – WRONG!
Contests are skill-based promotions where your fans need to upload a photo, video or submit an essay to attract the most votes.
Would be a valuable prize enough of a motivation? Not necessarily.
Just take the example of a car retailer who is one of our customers. Without the understanding of psychological factors, they gave away a car first.
Do you think they attracted more people than with the 5 test-driving weekends drawn in their following campaign? NO! The implied probability of winning the car was so low that literally none entered the promotion.
Exciting, isn’t it? Read further…
Give them hope!
Before we reach to the next conclusion let’s take a typical campaign proposition:
“Upload a photo and ask your friends to vote for it. The entry with the most votes wins”.
Not that interesting. Why would you submit if there is only one prize and there are tons of people having more friends than you do? You may think it’s simply not worth the effort.
So what is the secret ingredient then?
#1. Increase the implied probability of winning by offering more prizes!
Researches show that the odds of winning increase with multiple prizes. Whilst the curve may not be linear fans tend to perceive their chances to be higher when several prizes.
An appealing proposition would be:
“Upload a photo and ask your friends to vote for it. The top 3 entry wins.”
This increases motivation, however if the top 3 were very extreme from start, fans would shy away from participation.
#2. Involve luck; draw from a pool of entrants!
How else can you motivate fans besides the aforementioned? Well, luck is a great tool. Do you think you would submit if luck was involved?
“Upload a photo and ask your friends to vote for it. The winner will be drawn from the top 3 entries.”
Surely you would. Even if there is only one winner, you don’t need to have the most votes, just be in the first 3 and rest is a matter of luck. However, this proposition has a similar downside as #1.
#3. Combine luck and multiple prizes!
This is the killer combo. The odds are now determined by the number of winners and the size of the pool.
“Upload a photo and ask your friends to vote for it. 3 winners will be drawn from the top 10 entries.”
These contests perform the best attracting the most submissions. Surprised? I guess, no more.
+1. Voters are mostly ignored – NOT SMART!
America’s got talent does it right. Motivating voters drives engagement resulting in super-viral campaigns. Eventually that’s your ultimate goal as a marketing professional.
Just apply the earlier analogy with similar deviations:
Base: “A winner will be drawn from the voters.”
#1. Lift hope by giving away more, lower value prizes: “3 winners will be drawn from the voters.”
#2. Involve luck by drawing from a pool of voters: “A winner will be drawn from the top 10 voters. Vote every day to increase your odds.”
#3. Combine luck and multiple prizes: “3 winners will be drawn from the top 10 voters. Vote every day to increase your odds.”
Straightforward, isn’t it?
Conclusion – The ultimate recipe
The secret is to figure out smart who will win the prizes.
Motivate both fans and voters to engage with your contest. You can do this by going through the following selection method:
Our recommended and proven word-by-word script is as follows:
“Upload a photo, and ask your friends to vote for it. 3-3 winners will be drawn from the top 10 entries and voters. Vote every day to increase your odds.”
This proposition involves motivating both entrants and voters combining luck and multiple prizes.
Antavo is a great solution capable to handle these psychological factors. It’s up to you to determine the variables, which work well with photo, video and essay contests.
Will you experiment with these lines? If you have tried them already, what’s your experience? Let me know in the comments below.