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Using Contests to Increase App Downloads and Engagement
Next in our series of App Promotion spotlights is the Visual and Performing Arts Center at Oklahoma City Community College (VPAC at OCCC) and their Date Night Package contest. Similar to the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra’s contest, this contest revolves around patrons having a chance to win a reward. All people need to do is download the app and tap through to the sign-up form. What better way to promote your new or existing app than with a fun contest? 1. Choosing a Reward Before anything else, you should identify what reward you want to set for the contest. Any successful contest involves a compelling reward. In this case, VPAC at OCCC went with: Two free tickets to any OCCC performance $50 restaurant card to Charlestons Two drink coupons for the night of the performance This is a reward with little cost to the organization (they were able to get the restaurant gift card donated!), but great value to the user. By offering up several different elements of a date night (dinner, drinks, and a show), they are providing an entire experience instead of a physical item as a reward. 2. Setting Up the Form The next step is to create a Google Form to track contest entries. There are other services like SurveyMonkey or EmailMeForm, but Google Forms are easy to work with and very simple to setup. Plus, they have a variety of stylish templates which look great. When you create the form, only ask for the minimum amount of information needed to run the contest. Remember, people will be filling this out on a phone where typing is more difficult than on a standard computer. So don’t make them fill out every last personal detail. People will also be cautious of giving away too much personal information. Name and Email Address should be sufficient. In VPAC at OCCC’s case, they also double checked to make sure people were okay with receiving emails about upcoming events and special offers after providing their Email Address. This helps to establish trust. Make sure that all of your fields are marked as required. You can even have the form check to make sure that what the user typed in for their Email Address is formatted properly. Setting up your Google Form to automatically export results to a spreadsheet will help you easily manage the contest results. 3. Integrating Into the App The best way to integrate this into your app is with a Custom Card on the Home: Cards tab. You can include an image related to the reward, some basic info about the contest, and then a link to the Google Form. Place this Card as the very top item in your Cards list for maximum visibility. We want to make sure that every single user sees this as the first thing when they open the app. You can also use the Custom Card settings to schedule the card so that it automatically drops after the contest’s end date. 4. Promoting the Contest Now you need to tell everyone about your contest. Send out an email, post about it on Facebook and Twitter, make on-stage announcements. Be sure to convey the value of the reward and that people must download the app in order to sign up. When using the Share URL available in your Control Panel’s Promote page, make sure you turn it into a bit.ly or goo.gl short URL before using it. This will let you easily see how many clicks your link received, which you can then compare to the download stats for the app. 5. And The Winner Is! Now that the contest is over, take your results and make sure there are no duplicate entries (Google Forms will help you identify duplicate email address entries in the results). Once you’ve cleaned up your list, use a random number generator to impartially pick a winner from your list. Take the number and match it up to a row on your results spreadsheet. Hint: You can do a Google search for “random number generator” and Google has one built into their results. If you want to make more of an event out of it, you could make a video recording of a raffle style drawing. Upload the video to YouTube and add it to your app after notifying the winner directly. Live drawings can be fun, but it can be safer to pick a winner privately first. You want to avoid situations where there are any problems getting in touch with the intended winner.