How Running A Contest or Promotion Can Help Build Your Email List

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Nowadays, everybody is trying to come up with new ways to get people’s attention. Business owners both far and near are all competing for the same customer’s business. Regardless of the niche, your business will need to have creative marketing to help with building your email lists.

There are plenty of strategies that small businesses have used to try and build their lists. Still, the ones who incorporate social media into the mix have the most success with gaining more organic traffic to their landing pages. When you funnel more traffic through your social media posts or ads, you have the opportunity to grab more conversions from fresh new leads.

Using social media to run a promotion or contest is one of the best ways to reach a new audience and promote your business or brand to fresh eyes. When you think about it, building your email list is all about offering incentives and providing value to your reader’s lives. If people believe you have something to offer that will make their life easier, they’ll go all in.

One of the most successful and straightforward ways of enticing people to share their contact details with you is via some type of contest or promotion. Honestly, who doesn’t love to win or score some free stuff? We know we do! When the chances of winning something only rely on sharing one tiny detail, people can’t type their email address fast enough in hopes of being the winner.

How Much Will This Cost My Bottom Line?

The best part about hosting a contest or promotion is that you don’t need to spend a lot of cash. In fact, it’s possible to give something away for free that adds a ton of value to other people’s lives. Think about all the eBook’s out there that people pay money for, give away a free guide or eBook about something that relates to your niche, and you’ll see how fast people start signing up.

However, that free guide or Ebook needs to provide some value; it also needs to give details or information about achieving or doing something that isn’t common knowledge. A perfect example would be for a company specializing in SEO to run a contest that gives people a chance to win the Top 10 Best Secrets For Mastering SEO Optimization.

People interested in that niche will jump at the opportunity to learn something new that could make life easier for them when it comes to SEO optimization. You can choose the niche you want to promote, but it has to be related to your actual business, with no exceptions. You will not maintain a list of new subscribers who signed up to win a new iPhone, and when you bombard them with emails trying to sell skin products—not happening. 

Ideas for Running Contests on Social Media

There are unlimited opportunities for running contests or promotions on social media. Some have proven to be more successful than others, but you can decide what would work best for your business or brand.  First, you need to choose the contest’s format or style, and then you will need to decide on what the prize will be for the winner or winners.

Our Top Format Suggestions:

Photo Contest

  • This is an easy way to get people engaged; just ask them to share their best selfie, pet, food, travel, or nature pictures.

Video Contest

  • People love sharing videos of themselves doing odd things, make it fun by asking for some type of funny fails, song covers, or even magic tricks.

Story or Poem Contest

  • This allows people to express their passion for a particular poem, short story, or even a funny anecdote.


  • If you want to keep it simple, just set up a sweepstake where the only requirement is giving their email address to enter to win.

Now that you’ve chosen the type of contest, promotion, or sweepstake to offer, you need to think about the prize you want to give away. The options are never-ending, and some are always a huge success, such as cash or gift cards. If your business sells products, then giving away some samples or a gift basket is ideal.

But don’t underestimate the value of information; for people whose business niche falls under tech or services, your knowledge is golden. The people who are following you or are interested in your company aren’t looking to win some hair care products. Instead, they want to get some inside trade secrets. Be creative, and you’ll know exactly what to offer.