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A business giveaway can be a great way to grow your email marketing list and attract the attention of people in your niche. However, they can often attract “freebie seekers” who are only interested in the prize, rather than building a relationship with you and buying any of your products. This is especially likely if the giveaway is high dollar.

If you are thinking of offering a giveaway to market your business, or tried it and it fell flat, here are a few hints and tips on making your business giveaway a marketing success.

Have a Clear Goal for your Business Giveaway

Decide what you want to accomplish with the giveaway, and why. In most cases, it will be to grow your subscriber list in order to be able to build a relationship with the people who sign up for the giveaway or contest. It might also be to launch a new product by letting people know about it and offering a free copy or other related item as a way of celebrating the big news. If you are considering giving away services rather than products, you may have to overcome people’s internal questions about whether the service is really worth the price tag you’re putting on it.

Make Sure the Item/s Being Given Away Are Suited to Your Business

A lot of people give away iPhones or iPads as part of a giveaway. While it can be an impressive prize because it is so expensive, does it really connect with your business? Many people will only sign up for the item, not because they care about your niche or product line. This will often result in many new subscribers, but also low open rates and high unsubscribe rates. Try to give away an item or items that are directly tied to your business and business promise.

Can You Afford It?

High-ticket items are expensive. Calculate whether you will really be able to cover the cost in terms of sales. If you are selling a $5 ebook, it will take a lot of sales to cover the cost of an iPhone or iPad.

Will the Giveaway Actually Suppress Sales?

If you are offering a free copy of your hot new product, you might actually be suppressing your sales at a time when you need to jump out of the starting gate. This is because many people might not buy because they are going to wait and see if they win or not. If the contest runs on too long, or you don’t announce to the entire new list you have created that you have found a winner, they will forget about you and your product – and all your marketing efforts will be for nothing.

Avoid Freebie Seekers with a Barrier to Entry

This will help weed out the serious niche audience from the freebie seekers. Ask for their email address, sure, but also ask them to do something significant, such as write a new slogan, tweet about the offer using a custom hashtag on Twitter, or sharing the information with at least one friend. A number of different plugins and software programs will help your offer go viral, but the action required will help eliminate those who really don’t care about your business at all or whether it succeeds. This is probably one of the most important aspects of running a business giveway.

Think Long Term Rather Than Short Term

One way to offer real value and ward off freebie seeker who want a quick and easy win is to offer something long term. A year’s subscription to your memberships site might be idea. Every month, they will be reminded of the great prize they won, and at the end of the year, they will be much more inclined to renew their subscription if they have been using it. You might even get good word-of-mouth marketing if the prize winner is impressed with all they receive. If they don’t use the subscription, you have lost nothing by offering and awarding the prize.

Follow Up

Be sure to follow up after the business giveaway. Tell the person who has won. Consider giving a small gift to those who did not as a surprise thank you for participating. Don’t tell them in advance, though – remember, keep away those freebie seekers and you will be able to grow your list with qualified leads.

Do you have some questions about marketing your business online but don’t know who to ask? Why not ask me? I can help you with both strategy and implementation to make your business more profitable and more popular. We can do this together in 75 minutes; though my whiteboard session. Learn more about it!