7 Traits of Dazzling Marketing Apps That Convert Customers

Do you agree with me that marketing is not a science?

It’s more of an approach guided by constant testing when you do something and measuring the result.

But sometimes you can’t measure, and you don’t know why things happened the way they did.

That campaign didn’t work. You haven’t the foggiest idea what went wrong.

They ignored your best-ever subject line. And you don’t know why!

To help you find the “why”-s of the success or failure of contest and sweepstakes apps we did a bit of a research.

We ran customer interviews and looked into our internal data of 20.000+ marketers who have used our contest and sweepstakes platform so far.

I took a picture during a customer interview. Research shows that working with a kitty improves your sense of humor. (Kidding.)

I took a picture during a customer interview. Research shows that working with a kitty improves your sense of humor. (Kidding.)

Although running customer interviews and doing market research came in handy for writing this post, the true purpose was to use our new insights to rebuild our software. (That we just launched, see our new website.)

It took us 6 months of work to build a platform that helps you to run apps that are not only fun and gather customer information, but helps you to find the answers to your “why”-s.

Here are the 7 traits of running apps that help you to find answers to your questions.

Your CMO would agree, if she was standing behind you now. Or you can test it and share this with her.

Trait #1. The App Supports the Aim

Tell me, what do you want? More love from your customers? Or more customers who know you and have the potential to fall in love with your company?

Contests are typically for engagement (more love), as a bit larger commitment is needed to enter: like taking a picture, uploading it, and asking your friends to vote.

Sweepstakes are typically for lead generation (more customers), as they are easier to enter and to spread. You can enter by simply giving your name and email address, and then share and invite friends for bonus points.

Moral: choose the right app that helps you to fulfill your needs.

Choose your app wisely. Different campaigns support different marketing aims. Quizzes support lead generation.

Choose your app wisely. Different campaigns support different marketing aims. Quizzes support lead generation.

Trait #2. The App Is Viral by Nature

There is always an apparent contradiction when sharing sweepstakes. As a subscriber why would you invite friends to participate if you just beat out the competition with it?

A smart app can handle this by granting bonus points:
– Points awarded after sharing (so the friends of the subscribers will know about the campaign)
– Points awarded after invited friends actually enter (so there is a driving force for the subscriber to invite friends personally)

Moral: always apply some incentive to share unless you need to pay for every visitor.

It’s an example from Antavo’s platform where you can easily grant points after sharing and invitations.

It’s an example from Antavo’s platform where you can easily grant points after sharing and invitations.

Trait #3. The App Keeps Up the Interest

You have the right prizes. You have the best design. What’s holding back your subscriber from entering?

He might think it’s not worth it.

There is a common misunderstanding pertaining to contests: that the winner is the entrant who rounds up the most votes.

And it’s wrong for multiple reasons.

  1. The chances of winning is low, as there is only one prize. Multiple prizes help.
  2. Entrants with less friends will never enter, as they feel they would never have a chance to win.
  3. After a while the campaign’s spread would slow down to a turtle’s pace, as those with less points lose motivation.

Moral: mix winning conditions. Have public voting with a jury round, who can select multiple winners for multiple prizes. This setup provides maximum exposure.

You set the conditions, but there are best practices. In Antavo’s new platform we offer what (according to our experience) works the best.

You set the conditions, but there are best practices. In Antavo’s new platform we offer what (according to our experience) works the best.

Trait #4. The App Has Clean Design

Each day you make thousands of decisions. What to eat for breakfast? What to wear today?

You know that it’s exhausting, right?

So help your customers decide faster by eliminating any distractions. Make your apps one-way.

Moral: make it crystal clear what to do on a page, so the visitor needs to make only one decision. If she wants to enter your campaign or not.

In Antavo’s platform we offer multiple templates that all have one thing in common: they are simple. On their front page you can do a single thing:  enter the campaign.

In Antavo’s platform we offer multiple templates that all have one thing in common: they are simple. On their front page you can do a single thing: enter the campaign.

Also, you can customize the design to suit your own taste, change any colors and shapes fitting your brand.

Also, you can customize the design to suit your own taste, change any colors and shapes fitting your brand.

Trait #5. The App Reminds Subscribers

“See you tonight!” It’s good to receive a text message like this, right?

It reminds you that you have something to look forward to, and makes you excited.

Think about triggered emails the same way.

Your subscribers participated in your contest on purpose. They will be happy to receive an email about their successful entry, bonus points earned, or approved uploaded images.

The main advantages of these emails are that they show that you care, you maintain customer interest and you let subscribers reach you easily by replying to the email.

Ideally, emails are customizable not only by their appearance, but also with subscriber information. So if I enter the contest, the email will greet me as “Hi Zsuzsi”.

Moral: send emails. People are used to it already. If they liked your contest the first time they will not mind receiving information about good news, like points earned after a friend’s subscription.

After my colleague entered my test campaign this is the email I received about the points I earned. You can customize and personalize these HTML emails.

After my colleague entered my test campaign this is the email I received about the points I earned. You can customize and personalize these HTML emails.

Trait #6. The App Helps To Learn More About Your Subscriber

Do you email with strangers?

I do! And after a while I get to know them. But nothing can compare to the moment when I meet them in real life. It adds a new level of understanding.

Many times you can’t see your customers in online marketing. But there are metrics you can monitor to get to know them better.

When the subscriber entered? Who he invited? Were his invitations effective? Did he open your email?

With detailed stats you can answer these questions besides the regular conversion numbers. These can help to identify influencers who you should engage with further.

The more insight you can gain about your subscribers, the more you can give them what they want.

Moral: get to know them with smart entry form questions, and discover patterns in their behavior.

Learn about your potential customers. The more you know, the better you can target your message.

Learn about your potential customers. The more you know, the better you can target your message.

Trait #7. The App Can Push Data To Your Newsletter Provider

I enter contests every day. And I am often surprised how inattentively my data is handled. Sometimes I receive deals that are valid in another country, or they don’t include my first name even though they know it.

A way of converting contest subscribers to customers is to carefully email them what they are interested in.

(Always ask them on the contest’s entry form if they want to be on your list!)

Here are 3 tips on how you can benefit the most from having contest subscribers on your list:

  1. Instead of pulling all the subscribers from a certain campaign you can create segments of similar subscribers. E.g. ladies in their 30’s with 2 kids in a chosen town. It helps you to send them targeted messages.
  2. Sync subscriber data instead of exporting subscribers and importing them to your newsletter system. It helps your list to stay updated, and well, it’s much more comfortable.
  3. Push not only the names and email addresses, but also other data that might help in customizing emails.

Moral: a campaign doesn’t stop when it ends. That’s when converting subscribers to customers begins.

Get a clear image of your customers with their social profiles and activites. Let them stand in font of you as a real person not simply as data.

Get a clear image of your customers with their social profiles and activites. Let them stand in font of you as a real person not simply as data.

Smart Marketers Always Look For Answers

See, these 7 traits are a crucial part of a successful contest.

You need to have a toolset that identifies leaky points, tells you about your mistakes and recommends how you can fix them.

Our new platform allows much better customization for conscious marketers and marketing teams.

Be more conscious.

Find “why”-s.

7 Traits of Dazzling Marketing Apps That Convert Customers by
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Zsuzsa Kecsmar

Zsuzsa is CMO and co-founder of Antavo, a marketing tool to create sweepstakes, contests and giveaways to Facebook, mobile and web. Connect with her on Twitter and LinkedIn!
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  • http://www.antoniocalero.com/ Antonio Calero

    Excellent article Mrs. Kecksmar 😀 ‘Marketing is not science’ is the reason why I work around user behaviour management, always trying to predict how users will react to specific content, or analysing why their behaviour was not the expected… It’s not always easy, but I find this fascinating, and I must say your app has all the ingredients to make user behaviour management an easy task for marketers.

    Good job!

    • http://www.antavo.com/ Zsuzsa Szabo

      Haha thank you so much Antonio!

      I agree with all what you said, and I am glad you think our tool can help to solve this :)