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allora handmade blog: on giveaways (parte dos)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

on giveaways (parte dos)

do you have a shop that might benefit from a giveaway? do you have questions about how to use giveaways to your best advantage? this discussion is mostly geared towards those who want to work with other blogs to promote their own products through giveaways. just tuning in? see questions 1-3 here! 

so yesterday we talked about the why, the where, and the what with giveaways. 
let's focus on the hows today:

4) how often do you do giveaways?
rather than making yourself crazy trying to do every single thing that comes your way and spending more money on giving things away than you are actually making, can i suggest one little thing?

a budget.

before my handy dandy assistant came along, i didn't have time to keep track of when i'd last taken a shower, much less how many giveaways i had going on at any given time. (don't judge.) i wouldn't recommend that system. (ahem.) if you can be intentional about where you are doing giveaways, they will be more fun for you and they will be more effective. tips:

1. a giveaway budget is a set dollar amount of product at retail price set aside in your monthly budget to be used specifically for giveaways.
2.  you don't have to do every single giveaway you are asked to do!
3. having a budget for a giveaway is a great way to ensure that you are not overwhelmed  or overextended.
4. i am much more careful about where that money is going when i know there is a dollar limit for the month.
5. once i've "spent" or committed the budget, i don't do any more for that month. period. (which helps eliminate the guilt when i have to say no.... the budget made me do it!)
6. on the other hand if the month is cruising along and i still have some money left in the budget, i go and find a blogger i am interested in sharing my product with and ask if they would be willing to do a giveaway for me. don't be afraid to take control of where your product is seen!
(and p.s. if you are nervous about asking someone to do a giveaway for you, don't be. bloggers are very nice people. the worst thing they could say is no. and more often than not they are even really super nice about that.)

giveaway budgets rule. amen.

5) do you ever offer a discount with a giveaway?
when you are exposing your product to a new audience, offering a discount will often times push a potential customer over the edge to make the purchase and become a loyal customer. but here are a few things to remember:

1. some readers won't buy while a giveaway is going on because of the *chance* they may actually win. so, a discount code may not convince them just yet.  if you are going to offer a discount, i would recommend that you extend it at least a day past the close of the giveaway. you know, for the losers ;)
2. someone pointed out on monday's chat that sometimes free shipping is more of an incentive (psychologically) than a discount...i've never tried that, but i do love me some free shipping!
3. when deciding how much of a discount to give, put yourself in their shoes. would (fill in the blank) % off of ANY product be enough to convince you to buy if you were on the fence?
4. one great bonus about a discount code is it gives you the ability to see sales that came from that specific giveaway. (more about that in #7 down below)

6) how do you get more people to enter giveaways?
you are giving away free stuff, right? and your stuff is awesome, right? so there shouldn't be a problem getting people to sign up for AWESOME FREE STUFF, right? if there is, you may want to evaluate the following:

1. is this the right place to do a giveaway? is my product new to this audience or have they seen it before? are the readers typically excited about entering giveaways? does my product fit in here? 
2. am i giving away the right item from my shop? is it too specific for a general audience (i.e. a specific color or print can sometimes deter entries) or is it not exciting enough? if i saw the giveaway, would i want to take the time to enter?
3. are there too many hoops to jump through to enter? between word verifications and tweeting/facebooking/following to enter, am i asking too much of these readers? is there a way i can simplify and make it easier? (i am totally fine with doing any of those things for EXTRA entries, but not as a requirement to enter - just to clarify).
4. have i done my part to spread the word? have i put the giveaway on facebook, on my blog, on twitter? more than likely people who follow you any of those places would love to know you are giving something away and would love to enter.

7) how can i track actual sales referred by a giveaway?
does all this giveaway stuff really pay off? it's really difficult to see exactly where sales come from. here are some ideas to help me judge whether or not a giveaway was successful:

1. if you have analytics of any sort, you should notice a jump in visits from the specific giveaway blog and hopefully a jump in sales. you can assume that some of those sales are directly related to the exposure. BUT, it's not an exact science.
2. as mentioned above, if you do a discount with a giveaway, i would recommend using a code unique to that giveaway (i.e.  i would code a giveaway on 30 days with a discount of 15% as 30DAYSROCKS15). again-  you will see where sales come from through the use of the code.
3.another trick, just because i like you: did you know you can ask one multiple choice question at checkout in paypal? mine says: "How did you find Allora Handmade?" and gives 5 options to choose from, one of which is "giveaway/review". here's how:

1. Login to your PayPal account

2. Under "my account" click "profile" and then "more options"

3. Click on "my selling tools" and then next to "custom payment pages", then click "update"
4. Click the "options" tab
5. Scroll down to "merchant service options"
6. Check "add a customer service survey" and fill in the blanks
7. Make sure you click "SAVE" before you exit
8. Say thank you Jess, you're amaaaaazing. (jk. maybe.)

the survey is optional, so they don't have to answer. but a good majority will.

4. keep in mind, that giveaways may bring new readers, new followers, new fans before it ever translates into sales. and that's ok too. it is worth it to me to spend $35 on a giveaway and have 50 new people bookmark my site for a future purchase. of course 50 sales would be nice too, but think of it as an investment in a new audience.

in the end, giveaways can be a very powerful tool to gain momentum for your product and get people excited about your work. i hope this information was helpful and that it gave you a chance to reevaluate how you use giveaways to help grow your business!

do you have any other tips/best practices you'd like to share about giveaways?

all images found here.
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At March 3, 2011 at 5:13 AM , Blogger Alicia (The Red Deer) said...

Awesome post - thanks so much for the tips - filing it away for future reference (when I actually get my shop up and running :P)

At March 3, 2011 at 8:07 AM , Blogger laura said...

thank you jess! you're aaaaaaaaaamaaaazzzzzzzzzzzzzing!!!!!!!! :)

At March 3, 2011 at 8:15 AM , Blogger Mel @ Studio MCA Designs said...

Thank you for the Paypal tip! Did not know that! Going there now. :)

At March 3, 2011 at 8:16 AM , Blogger Pam said...

Wow again thanks! So great of you to pull all that info together for us, smart lady.
I hope to put it to good use soon :)

At March 3, 2011 at 8:23 AM , Blogger CurlyGirly said...

that was great! what good tips. it's always nice when someone really experienced shares their knowledge!


At March 3, 2011 at 8:30 AM , Blogger steelebjm said...

Uhm, that paypal thing is GENIUS! So excited to use that!

At March 3, 2011 at 8:40 AM , Blogger Erika said...

i never make it to #setupshop and i'm so glad you summarized all the handy tips & tricks. :)

also paypal tip...thank you Jess!

At March 3, 2011 at 9:08 AM , Blogger kristy said...

Thank you so much for all the great tips! k

At March 3, 2011 at 9:23 AM , Blogger Ms. Megan said...

Wonderful tips!!
thank you so so so much!!!

At March 3, 2011 at 11:22 AM , Blogger Tara said...

Awesome post Jess! Both part one and two are filled with so many tips and things for me to keep in mind!!!

At March 3, 2011 at 12:41 PM , Blogger Danielle said...

I went right to my Paypal and added that feature. I remembered seeing that when I purchased from you. Thanks for your wisdom and knowledge. I honestly appreciate all the help you have provided.

At March 3, 2011 at 12:44 PM , Blogger Tracy Rogers said...

Good stuff Jess! Off to paypal to update, thanks!!

At March 3, 2011 at 2:19 PM , Blogger TukaBear said...

Jess, you are a genius! Thanks for all the wisdom you shared in this post. I am so thankful for the blogging world...what would I do without it?

At March 3, 2011 at 3:00 PM , Blogger Melissa Stover said...

read this post too and now i'm totally convinced to start finding bloggers who will be willing to give away my unused Carmex lids. this could be great exposure for my blog.

At March 3, 2011 at 6:16 PM , Blogger Lindsay - Paint Me A Picture said...

Shut up! I didn't know about this PayPal survey.
Thanks for doing this series. Good stuff.

At March 4, 2011 at 10:58 AM , Blogger laura said...

Hey Jess--
Question about the paypal survey. How do you view the option/answer that the customer chose? Do you click on the 'details' next to the purchase order? Thanks for your help. My head is spinning around in circles over this. Ayyiyii


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