If you’ve ever wanted to run a contest on your site, but lack the funds to offer a decent prize, then Incentivibe will be of great interest to you. Incentivibe allows business and website owners to group together in order to offer big contest prizes, while only paying a fraction of the cost.
Whereas traditionally a single site’s budget might not stretch to a $500 giveaway for a contest, by using Incentivibe, it is now possible to split the cost of funding the prize with other site owners, with each contributor being able to promote the contest on their own site.
With this service, each site owner pays $25, but is then able to offer a contest with a prize valued at $500. By sharing the cost of the giveaway, smaller business and websites can offer prizes to match those offered by the bigger brands.
While the benefit to the site visitors is that they get the chance to win $500, the site owner benefit by being able to build their email list, grow their social media following and presence and gain valuable feedback from their readers.
Features and Usage
To use Incentivibe on a WordPress site, there is a free plugin available which makes integrating the contest form into your site very easy. All the plugin really does is allows you to paste in the required code to show the contest form on your site. In order, to begin offering contests on your site that are managed by Incentivibe, you will need to sign up with their service.
Once registered with the service, setting up a contest is very straightforward. Simply select from the list of available contest prizes. Highlights of which include:
- iPad Mini & Apply TV
- $500 Visa Gift Card
- $500 PayPal Cash
- $500 Amazon Gift Card
- $500 Vacation Card
The next step is to select a contest entry requirement. These are the available actions the user has to complete in order to enter the contest via your site:
- Insights: entrant answers a question then enter their email address
- Facebook Like then enter email address
- Enter email then Facebook Like
- Enter email (no Facebook Like required)
If you select the insights option, you can choose from a selection of questions to ask the entrants or create your own. This is a good way to find out what your readers think of your site, or what they want to see more of in the future.
To help you decide which contest entry requirement you should go with, it’s important to establish what your goal is. If you want to increase your social shares with the aim of getting more traffic for your site, then choosing the Facebook option is a good idea. For pure email list generation, asking for an email address with no social requirement to deter people is the best option.
There are also two options for displaying the contest widget. It can either be displayed as a Lightbox popup or by using a popup slider. The slider location can be set to either bottom-left or bottom-right, although this case study showed that bottom-right lead to the most conversions.
It is also possible to customise the colours used on the contest entry form and add a custom title and description.
The whole setup process is very easy and it takes just a few minutes to get a contest up and running.
How Does the Co-Contributor Model Work?
Despite you and your site only being a co-contributor to the contest, just the details of your site will be listed on the entrance form and contest information that is displayed on your site. To the end user, it will appear that you are the only person offering this particular contest.
Only you will be able to see the email addresses and details of the entrants who have signed up to the contest via your site. The details of the entrants are not shared amongst the contest contributors.
As Incentivibe handle all the administration duties for the contest, they will contact the winner and send an email to each contestant with brief details of the winner (first name and initial), to ensure transparency and keep your credibility intact. They also take care of all the legal issues surrounding offering a contest to ensure you are not liable for anything legally.
Once your contest has gone live, the Analytics section of the Incentivibe website allows you to view the data on how your widget and contest is performing. You can see in real time, how many email subscribers you’ve gained, the number of Facebook likes, shares and Twitter followers and tweets. The analytics data is easy to read and well presented.
There is also the option to export the emails you’ve gathered from your contest. You can choose to synchronise your Incentivibe account with the MailChimp or Aweber email marketing services. Alternatively you can opt to download the list of emails or simply view them on the page.
While the plugin for integrating Incentivibe with your WordPress site is free, the service itself is not. Setting up and offering a contest costs $24.99. However there is a currently a free 14 trial on offer. This means you can start a contest and publish it on your site, letting it run for 14 days before deciding if the service is for you. As the contests run for one month, it’s a good way to gauge if offering the chance to win a $500 prize to your readers is something they are interested in.
At the time of writing, there was also a 20% discount code being promoted via the website which reduced to price of setting up a contest to $19.99. Payment can be made via PayPal or card.
Incentivibe are also currently offering WP Mayor readers the chance to win $1,000 of Facebook ads that can be used to drive traffic to your website. Simply visit the contest page to enter the competition by filling out a short form.
Support and Documentation
When it comes to support for Incentivibe, there are four ways to get in touch with the team: telephone, live chat, email and via Twitter. There is also the support forum on WordPress.org where the plugin is hosted. There wasn’t any online documentation on their website, although the setup process was well presented, making it very easy to setup.
Final Conclusion and Recommendations
Being able to offer your readers and site visitors the chance to win a $500 prize while only outlaying $24.99 seems like a great offer. The service is very easy to setup, with a good set of prizes that can be offered including cash and gadgets.
The fact that Incentivibe will handle all the administration of the contest, including picking the winner, contacting them and then distributing the prize, means you really don’t have to do anything beyond filling out a few forms. They also take care of the legal aspect so you don’t have to worry about being liable for anything to do with running a contest.
It would be nice if there were more customisation options for the appearance of the contest widget. As it is, the colour picker lets you choose any colours you want to match your site, however a bit more freedom might make this tool more appealing and look less like a popup add that users might be wary of engaging with. However, the Incentivibe team have done a lot of working on split testing to find the optimum configuration of the contest widget.
It didn’t seem possible to see how many sites you are sharing a contest with. This means it’s not possible to get a rough estimate of the chances of one of your readers winning the prize. If there is only one contest running each month, and a 100 sites sign up to join it, your readers are in with a pretty slim chance of winning the contest. It’s up to you to decide how true the ‘it’s not the winning but the taking part’ saying is and whether your readers agree with it.
If you are interested in utilising the giveaway as a conversion strategy, then Incentivibe is a great way to do so. Whether you want to get more email subscribers, social followers and shares, get to know your audience better with the question feature, or just give something back to your readers, then Incentivibe is a very cost effective and simple way to do so.
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