For these reasons, sweepstakes do not work!

Not even Bushido can persuade Jörg Dennis Krüger to take part in a competition, because he knows from experience that competitions are useless in most cases. Today you can find out more about this topic and also in which exceptional situations you can run competitions in your online store.


Hello, my name is Jörg Dennis Krüger, and as my lucky fairy at reception has already said:

Yes, I am the conversion hacker. 

And this edition of the Conversion Hacking Podcast is all about competitions. Because I often see store operators organizing wild competitions. What do they really want to do? 

"My ads aren't working and I don't have enough 'likes' on my post. For some reason, none of this is working. Let's do a competition, then we'll get lots of email addresses and we'll get lots of interactions and so on. We'll do a bit of advertising for that and then we'll have a great competition". 

And what's the point of such a competition, if we're honest? Nothing at all! I can run a competition among existing customers if there really are customers who have already bought from me. I send these people an e-mail, and I give away something to them, or I add something or whatever. Then I'm really doing a service for my customers, and then I think it's a brilliant idea to occasionally run a competition among your customers (if you have enough people). It's also great for customer loyalty, repeat customers and so on and so forth. 

But a normal public competition makes no sense at all. Why not?

What goals can we have in a competition? 

1. turnover. We can completely forget about that. People who take part in a competition want to win something, they don't want to buy anything. And if you then send them a voucher when they haven't won, they won't buy anything because they wanted to win something. They don't want to buy anything. 

They're usually not even really interested in the product, they just want to win something. People who take part in a competition don't really think: "I would just buy it, but well, I'll take part in a competition now, maybe I'll win, and if not, I can always buy the product". No, they don't do that. And those who think a bit like that don't buy it afterwards. They don't think, "Oh, great, I actually wanted to buy it, but it's also a competition. Let's take part in the competition". But then they forget afterwards that they wanted to buy it, and if they don't win, they buy it somewhere else, or not at all. Either way, you can forget it.

2 And with the same logic, you can also see why, for example, generating likes, email addresses, subscriptions or similar is complete nonsense with a competition. People are not potential customers.

Yes, and then what? Then I have "likes" on my page that don't lead to any interactions, then I have a page, and I know enough pages that have 15, 20, 45,000 subscribers, but none of them interact. This means that the interaction rate of my posts goes down, which means that the posts are delivered less frequently. In other words, the algorithm is working against me, so the competition is ruining all my work instead of helping me. 

3. and then we can also generate e-mail addresses via competitions. But we have the same problem there. The email addresses are simply worth nothing. They have low open rates and even lower click rates, they damage my entire reputation in email marketing. Why should I work with such data? That's why the whole subject of competitions is complete garbage! 

There may be areas where you can run competitions in unusual situations. A classic case is when I simply want to attract my target group. But I really have to look very carefully at who my target group is. Rough assumptions such as: "Women between 20 and 45", are in reality never my target group, but only a rough, geographical indication, but far from a target group. 

One target group could be "parents with small children". Because they all have more or less the same needs. So if I want to build up a mailing list with products for parents with small children, then I can perhaps try to run a competition. But I have to do it very well so that I can really generate a lot of email addresses and also generate high-quality addresses. And then, in the long term, I can try to sell something to these email addresses. 

I would still do it in a separate account where I send my email reputation via a different server and don't destroy my main mailing list. But in this case, I could imagine it if you define a very specific target group and address this target group very specifically. 

But you don't normally do that with ads on Facebook and Instagram or anything like that. You can do this via influencers of any kind, or via social media, or really only if you can do it in a relatively targeted way. But you should really also use a product, i.e. a profit, that is only of interest to the target group.

So nothing where people win something bigger that might also have a value or something similar. We know this from JAKO-O, which is where my example comes from, with the target groups "raffle for parents of small children". They regularly give away jackets, anoraks and things like that. "We are giving away ten baby anoraks among all entrants".

Of course, it's probably only parents with babies who take part, maybe a few acquaintances or friends, but it's very targeted. The prize is not expensive either, around €30, €50 or whatever such an anorak costs. And then you generate more or less useful addresses. But that's a very long-term strategy, because whether they will buy and when they will buy is still written in the stars. 

So to summarize: We can really give sweepstakes a miss. They ruin more than they bring us, and in most cases they don't bring us anything anyway, not even the slightest turnover. In this respect, anyone thinking about competitions can put them out of their mind right now. If you really want to build up a target group mailing list, you can consider working with it. But you really have to plan it very well. 

Another practical example: I was recently offered another competition where a platform contacted me, a big Instagram profile, saying, "Hey, we work with top stars like Bushido and we do co-branding competitions." And I did some research: "Okay, what are you doing?"

"Yes, we're giving away a Playstation 5 and we're creating it with Bushido, and he's really promoting it. And to win, people have to "like" your profile or comment on something, and then you'll have lots of subscribers. 

And the whole thing is really played up with Bushido. I have a bunch of people on my Instagram profile, some Bushido fans who want to win a PS5. But I would probably take part if I could win a PS5. I'd also "like" some weird profiles and pages, such as a slaughterhouse or a roofing company. But I'm not interested in these profiles or pages. So you can completely forget about it. 

Of course, they were completely shocked when I told them that so clearly, because they said, "No, they're all real people. They "like" your page voluntarily, we don't have any robots and so on." No, they're not doing it voluntarily, they're doing it for money, so to speak, because they can win a Playstation or several Playstations that are being raffled off. 

In this respect, it's nothing more than the good old "incentivized clicks", which already existed for a while in the affiliate sector. Click on the advertisement here, or click on the banner here and then you get ten cents or you get 500 Gold Points for a game or whatever. But "incentivized clicks" are now so nonsensical that nobody does it anymore because it simply doesn't work at all. 

So, this whole "competition theme", and I repeat myself, you can simply forget about it. You shouldn't worry too much about it, but rather run really good advertising campaigns. That way you can address the right target group, show them the right products and then really sell something. Perhaps you could also send them into a funnel where you only advertise one product and then incorporate an upsale or something similar, but don't offer any general competitions. 

So, now you have more time in your calendar again, because you can simply delete all your competition ideas from your calendar or cross them off your to-do list. You don't need them, you should concentrate on the really important things, such as leaving me a nice five-star rating on Spotify, iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts. And feel free to follow me on Instagram and Facebook under Jörg Dennis Krüger, there's always exciting news. 

Yes, and in that respect I say thank you very much for being here. I wish you a wonderful week ahead and you can look forward to the next issue. It will be particularly interesting. 

So, all the best to you, Jörg Dennis Krüger!

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