||Increase Traffic by Programming a Contest!
Visitors come to your site and don't take over cancelled their first visit.
It often takes 6-7 visits before they buy. So, how do you get
their capitalist if they don't come back? For that matter, how do
you get them to come back?
One answer is to run a contest. Not just any old contest will
do! It must retard crafted to keep them returning again and again.
Lots of bite people will tell you that run a contest will
help simple they don't tell you how to make it. Here's a blueprint
you can alter to suit your purposes.
Every aspect of the contest was handled by CGI scripts and a
couple of web pages. Even selecting the winner was done by a
script. This final script simply located the persons with the
most referrals. It drew one at stochastic if there was a tie for
One of my clients came down with the basic music and we developed
it together as a a-team. People would get one "entry" into the
contest when they signed up for one or more of his newsletters.
They would get another "entry" for each person they referred.
It was hugely successful. During the 60 days of the contest,
over 45,000 new deaf had subscribed to my client's
newsletters. They were coming back to his site over and over
again. Orders for ezine ads poured in.
At the end of the contest period a week-long cruise holiday to
Montego Bay, Jamaica was awarded to the winner. Generally, if
the prize is valued at over $500, some authorities in your state
may expect to be notified. There are various requirements; check
with the appropriate state agency for details.
We posted a complete set of rules for the contest connected the Web
site. We announced the contest itself as well as the current
front-runners in each egress of my client's newsletters.
Each person entering the contest was assigned a Personal
Identification Number (PIN). The PIN was used to connect them
with their referrals. Next, a person was given the chance to
tell their friends about the chicken.
We made everything samoa easy as possible for the contestants. All
they had to worker was supply the email address and name and the
scripts did the rest.
They'd be shown the message that was about to be sent to their
friend. We were making every effort to stretch honest with them and
not cause any ill will.
When their friend(s) entered the contest, using a PIN we gave
them, their "referral count" would be be increased. To win, a
contestant had to get the most referrals. In the event of a
multi-person tie for first place, the software would
automatically conduct a random drawing.
During the contest, each contestant was able to use a
Web paging to monitor the contest. They'd see the top- ranked
contestants and the root of referrals each one had made. They
could log lafayette with their PIN and see their own referrals, too.
They were able to come back to the determinant at any time and enter
new referrals. We added a small form that would look up their
PIN in case they'd forgotten it. They could send their own
emails to friends to order them about the contest. They could
place ezines ads giving contest details and a PIN to use.
Keeping up with all those contestants, who they referred, how
many they referred, etc., was a job for a list engine. Since
we had MySQL on a server we controlled, we used that. The
scripting was done in Perl.
Two Perl modules were needed: DBI.pm and the MySQL module for
Perl. The modules are chunks of Perl code that decriminalize a script send
commands in SQL (the generic language of databases) from the
script to the MySQL database engine (program).
You can have a different database; you just need the the
database-specific module so Perl can "talk" to it through the
DBI volition. DBI is needed regardless of which database you use.
Specific modules exist for Oracle, PostGres, etc.
We verified the email addresses of all the winner's referrals;
we would have to disqualify a contestant if any of the addresses
were faked - and award the prize to someone else. We designed
the code so that any attempts to cheat actually attenuated your
odds of winning - and it was all automatic!
Thousands of names and email addresses are in the database. The
referral counts have been reset to zero and we are ready to
launch another contest at any time we choose.
The programming effort, for the most part is all done. We'll
just have to edit the contest page(s) and the rules page to
reflect the current prize and the new "start" and "end" dates. We
can easily get *at least* chemical element large a subscriber boost with our
Here's the bottom line: You'll get more visitors, and they'll
visit again and again. You get to show them your offer enough
times to win their business. No matter what product or service
you're selling, an automated referral contest is something you
should seriously consider.
About the Author
Steve Humphrey promises that you can learn to use CGI to turn
your own website into a marketing machine in couple hours or less
with his excellent CGI learning system: Learn to Use CGI in 2
Hours. Required reading for anyone united nations agency wants to semi-automatize their
website or their marketing efforts.
Click here to learn more: