TrophyOne of the most frustrating aspects of email marketing is that, even if you frequently send your subscribers well-crafted, relevant content, it’s likely that you will still lose people from your list. If you are at your creative wits end, thinking that you’ve tried everything to retain and gain new subscribers, why not try running a competition?

Competitions are a great way to quickly build your list. If you offer an enticing prize in return for a sign up, it’s likely that you’ll gain a lot of new subscribers. However, they may not always been the kind of subscribers that you want. There will be some that are only interested in the competition prize and not in what your company offers. However, as long as you use the competition as an opportunity to engage with your new subscribers, the chances are you will see some positive results. Here are some of the ways you can do that:

Say Thank You

This is particularly important. When someone enters your competition, follow up and say thank you with an email. If you don’t do this and simply start sending entrants your regular mailings, they may have forgotten that they entered the competition or not realise that they’d signed up to your list. They are likely to then, at best, unsubscribe or, at worst, report you as spam.

Here’s a good example from Montezuma’s:

Entry Thanks Montezuma

This email works because it reminds the subscriber of the competition they entered and lets them know when the winner will be announced (they have to stay on the mailing list until that date at least!). It also tells that they will continue to receive emails from the brand (future emails won’t come as a surprise), while letting them know they they can opt out at any time.

They also used the email to introduce subscribers to some of their products, and give them the opportunity to buy them with one click:

Montezuma's 2
They have also shown subscribers how they can follow them on social networks. All-in-all, this email shows a number of great ways to engage with customers after a competition entry.

Engage With The Losers

After the competition draw has been made, take the opportunity to follow up with everyone who entered. Notify the people who didn’t win, making sure you include additional content which will encourage future engagement.

Take a look at this example from Diginage:

Diginate Subject Line

Firstly, they use a particularly enticing subject line. Who wouldn’t open that email?

The body of the email then lets the disappointed subscriber know that they didn’t win the competition:

Sorry Didn't Win
However, they’ve included a 20% discount. This may encourage some subscribers to visit the website and even make a purchase. Don’t forget that some subscribers may have just entered the competition without knowing anything about what the brand offered.

One way they could have improved this email is by letting their subscribers know when their next prize draw will be. This may encourage them to stay on their mailing list until then, at least.

Competitions can be a great way to gain new subscribers and quickly build your list. However, make sure you take full advantage of the opportunity by keeping your new subscribers engaged into the future.