Let me tell you the truth about contests. If you do it right, it might be the cheapest and most effective marketing you can buy.
We’ve been using contests on the website of our college for the past three years. We’ve been giving away various products from Apple, worth apx $5000 in total per year. This year, we’ve been giving away six iPhones. One iPhone each month, starting January and ending in June.
The reason we’ve been doing this, and the reason we will still be doing this the next years, is that the results are awesome.
If you ask the right questions, you can use the answers to something interesting. We have questions like, what’s the most important thing for you when you are going to apply to a college or a university? Doing research like this is worth a lot of money to any college. Usually, when we have contests like this, we collect the answers from thousands of people. So far, more than 2200 people have answered.
The answers will affect our marketing, but that’s not all. We are also sending a newsletter each month to every single person on this list. We are updating them with the latest winner, and interesting information from our college. This information should have some effect. This way, they might still remember us when it’s time to apply to college.
Our latest winner is a great example that this kind of marketing works. I am contacting each winner personally. I call them, email them, and finally send them a handwritten letter along with the iPhone.
I asked this guy if he had any plans for the future. Like many people his age, senior at high school, he wasn’t really sure. He was thinking about applying to college, but he didn’t know which one. Now, I have been in contact with him several times. He is very interested in computer science, he is a road racing cyclist, and he would like to study a year in another European country.
Our college has an awesome computer science department, and we offer all sorts of studies abroad. I have told him this, and the road racing cyclist team in our city is fairly awesome too. We seem to have everything he is looking for.
Now, I don’t know if he will be applying to our college, but I know what got him interested.
The iPhone Effect.