Hopefully you have some idea of why you want to run a prize draw on your website, but what kind of competition should you run? A simple rule is "the harder your competition is to enter, the fewer entries you'll receive".
For example, a tiebreaker competition won't build up your mailing list. A simple prize draw or competition advertised freely on your site may not be ideal to reward your user base, and a simple enter your email to enter competition won't get users looking over your site!
Most of you will want to run a free prize draw where no cost or purchase is involved. We'll cover paid entries further on in the guide.
Types of Competitions
The most popular type (and cheapest to run) competition is the simple prize draw. These often require a user to submit their details and perhaps answer a simple question (based on the visible promotional text or about a sponsor or about part of your website).
A treasure hunt is a good way to entice people into looking all around your site. They can be used to encourage visitors to look at new or under used parts of your site. Games or quizzes can also be popular, but take time to develop and can be costly.
If you're looking for some initiative from your visitors, why not make them use their imagination by writing a slogan/tiebreaker, a caption or limerick on a theme or picture related to your business?
For more creativity consider a photo competition or even a movie competition using uploads to YouTube? Social Networking has become very popular and many competitions are now run based on getting people to join groups on Facebook or Twitter.
Whatever type of competition you decide to choose, make sure that you choose something that will be fun for your visitors whilst being easy for you to maintain. For example, slogan/tiebreaker competitions will require judging, whilst long quizzes may require someone to check all the answers.
The key is to run a competition that best suits your aims and your website..