using contests to build a mailing list for marketingIn November, I entered my dog in a national contest run by a cellular phone company. I knew exactly what the purpose of the contest was all about. Oh sure, it was about about selecting a new dog to appear in the company’s advertising. But it was really about marketing. By entering my pooch, the company obtained all kinds of information to soon target me with their product advertising. (I’ll be able to opt out when those mailings start arriving.)

Seeing companies use contests to build mailing lists is not new. You definitely see it being done by large companies in urban centres. Where you don’t see it happening often enough is in smaller communities. Business associations, companies, agencies, etc., often rely on old lists or lists that develop at a snail’s pace by other regular office means.

This is a huge oversight in smaller communities. Too often, the old approach of placing an advertisement in a newspaper and waiting for the customers to appear is the norm for marketing in small towns.

Contests help you fast track your mailing list and marketing. And best of all, they don’t necessarily cost much to run. Unless, you’re in a small town and you’re doing another cliche contest to give away a car or vacation. (I’m still perplexed when these contests only ask for name, phone number and address. What about email? Hello. It’s the digital era!)

The contest that I entered is brilliant. It’s brilliant because there’s gratification in entering. Hey, I get to show off my dog. I win (well, sort of) because suddenly my dog is semi-famous in the cyber world.

Business, organizations and agencies in small communities have to start tapping the mailing list method soon. Already, consumers in smaller communities are entering contests held by large companies that don’t have a bricks and mortar presence in our communities. Boundaries and borders to marketing have vanished.

What are you doing to capture potential customers?