Adam Turner
Technology Journalist

Adam Turner is a Sydney Morning Herald senior technology columnist who has been writing about the challenges facing Australian business for more than a decade

Convert competition entrants into new customers

Adam Turner
Technology Journalist

Adam Turner is a Sydney Morning Herald senior technology columnist who has been writing about the challenges facing Australian business for more than a decade

Your competition has just ended and you’ve been able to add hundreds of names to your database. Your next challenge is to tempt them to look at your offerings and make a purchase. But how can you do it when you know nothing about them?

You’ve been clever in encouraging people to enter your competition. Asking only for a name and email address was a smart move. We know that it brings you 80% more subscribers than competitions that ask for more information than that. But now you have a long list of names and you don’t know anything about them as individuals.

So what do you need to know about them and how can you find out?

arms being raised in the air by crowd of people

You’ve been clever in encouraging people to enter your competition. Asking only for a name and email address was a smart move. We know that it brings you 80% more subscribers than competitions that ask for more information than that. But now you have a long list of names and you don’t know anything about them as individuals.

So what do you need to know about them and how can you find out?

3 things you need to know:

In the beginning, these are the three most important things to find out. They will give you enough information to help you start the right conversations.

Gender

Yes, it matters. Men and women often have different priorities, and that means they’ll make choices based on different considerations. You’ll need to address both if you want to convert them into customers.

Where do they hang out? 

Where will you find these people online? Do they use social media or visit special forums? How did they find your competition in the first place?

What do they need? 

Your prize was tempting so it is something they want or need. Why? What’s driving their need? In other words, what’s their pain point?

Here are the top five ways to find your answers:

1. Facebook Conversion Pixel

You could set up a Facebook Conversion Pixel at the point of conversion (when someone clicks on something you want to measure). This matches your visitors with their interests and builds up a broad picture of your audience and what they are interested in. Facebook then uses the data and reports the size of this audience to you in Ads Manager.

By being able to see this audience, you can create a “lookalike” audience, which can help you reach people who will be interested in your original “conversion point”. You can target the whole audience or a segment of it in future Facebook advertising, all based on the insights Facebook has collected for you. Beautiful.

2. Social listening

Pay attention to where people are talking and what they are saying about your brand. Use online tools like Hootsuite, Social Mention or Google Alerts to track their comments. If your competition was popular, there is likely to be some chat about it. It will give you more idea about what people like and don’t like about your products.

You should also join in with conversations on social media. That’s your opportunity to learn even more.

3. Ask them

This simple technique is often overlooked. When people subscribe to your list send them a welcome email that includes a simple (and short) survey. They won’t all respond, but some will, and that’s going to add to your understanding.

Ask the right question and you might only need one. For example, “What’s the one thing you’d like to see us do in the future?” It’s amazing what people will actually tell you.

4. Test within your emails

When you write your emails, make sure you include a variety of options to click on, each relating to a different product or offer.

Now, don’t put them all into one email because that will frustrate and confuse your new audience. Spread them over a series of emails and monitor the clicks. You’ll be able to tell where their interests lie and can then segment your database according to their preferences. That makes marketing to each group a whole lot more effective.

 In fact, 30 per cent of email revenue is directly created due to segmentation, so it’s worth the effort.

5. Check out current customers

There’s a high chance that your new prospects will be mirrored in your present customers – similar needs, similar pain points and similar triggers to buy.

Because they know and buy from you already, they’re more likely to be happy to answer some probing questions. Talk to the groups who purchased specific products to find what prompted the purchase and what would have made them buy sooner. You can use that information to help you connect with your new people.

Don't look at marketing as a short-term process

It isn’t. It’s about building a relationship with each person on your database, and that’s going to take time, but the stronger the relationship, the more successful your business is going to be.  So, now what?

The competition brought a heap of new people to your doorstep. Just welcome them in and get the conversation started.

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