When you’re first starting off with contest marketing, the Evergreen Funnel is a quick win that you can implement immediately and start seeing awesome results.
This is a funnel is designed to be low-cost way to drive conversions, add revenue, and bring in a stream of clients/warm leads. And by low-cost, I mean for both your money AND time.
The caveat to this funnel is you’re not going to see as much EXPLOSIVE email list growth as a high-ticket funnel — don’t expect this to bring in 100k emails.
But running this funnel is pretty much a no-brainer, as you can run it cheaply and see good email growth.
Why the Evergreen Contest funnel?
One of the questions we get a lot is “how often should I be doing contests?”
What if I told you there was a way to run a contest ALL the time and have that contest generate leads for you every single day?
But, wouldn’t that be exhausting? Who has the time and money to promote a new contest all the time?
That’s where the “Evergreen Contest” comes in.
An Evergreen Contest is a low-cost contest that you can run continuously (once one winner is picked, the contest starts over and new winners are picked monthly or bi-monthly). Generally you do this with a product that you already own or have easy access to.
For example, a company selling golf apparel could give away extra apparel that’s been sitting in the shelves. A digital marketing company or a private coach could offer a free consulting call. (Keep reading for more insights of what prize you should pick.)
So why are Evergreen Contests so awesome for building your business?
1. They help for BOTH gaining emails AND closing sales.
One customer of VYPER is a freelance e-commerce art teacher who also creates his own training courses.
By giving away 3-5 free coaching calls every month via viral contests and delivering amazing value to each person, he realized that those contestants were actually purchasing his higher-end courses and services.
2. They help to vary up your lead offerings.
You have your traditional lead magnets, content upgrades, etc, and now you have the Evergreen Contest. This gives you a variety of different sources for adding leads so you can see the results and optimize.
I see content marketers have the same lead-magnet or offer up on their website ALL the time, but varying up this offer can help you convert more people to your list.
3. Lower your paid acquisition costs.
We’ve found that the cost per lead with Facebook ads is much lower with this contest funnel than with normal landing pages. Obviously test this before you just blindly accept this as fact.
But the reason we’ve seen this is because every lead you pay for is essentially 1.5 (or 2.0, or 1.2, depending on your viral co-efficient) leads because some of those leads refer other people.
We recommend you can plug on Facebook ads targeting your contest, market to your best audiences, and get leads at super low CPAs.
4. Backlinks continue to get you leads.
If you get any backlinks to your contest, you’re able to continue harvesting emails from those links instead of within a contest that expires. Evergreen contests NEVER expire.
Picking the Right Prize
The idea for the evergreen contest funnel is to pick a prize that is relatively easy & cheap for you to deliver.
I tend to avoid sponsored prizes for the Evergreen funnel because these take a lot of time, and you end up managing a bunch of sponsors. Instead I look at a prize that I already have in stock or I can deliver cheaply.
Picking a prize is probably the most crucial decision that you will have to make. Your prize must be able to attract high-quality leads. Because of this, you should select a prize that your target audience will find valuable.
- For coaches / info products — A free Skype coaching call or copy of your course/book.
- For e-commerce — Extra inventory that’s not selling (you can even call it a “mystery box”).
- For software companies — a lifetime (or 1 year, etc) free account to your site.
Our giveaway prize guide also has tips on choosing a prize that will attract the most high-quality leads to your giveaway or contest.
How to Implement
It’s easy to make an Evergreen Contest inside VYPER
- Create the contest & pick your prize.
- Mention in the contest text & terms & conditions that you’re going to pick a winner every month.
- Add an opt-in bribe for higher share rates.
- When you’re ready to pick a winner, you can do so without ending your contest.
- Alternatively, you CAN end your contest and simply copy the contest to a new campaign. This might be a good strategy if you’re drastically altering the prize.
- Pick a winner and notify them about their prize. You should write a list of winners on your contest text or terms & conditions.
- Onboard all contestants and send them an offer they can’t refuse.
Promoting the Contest
First of all, you must realize that the Evergreen contest funnel is not a HUGE pop like the “high-ticket” funnel.
It’s a long-term play that helps you acquire customers and leads at a faster pace than with normal landing pages that don’t have viral referral built-in. With that in mind, here’s how to send traffic to the “Evergreen Contest” funnel.
Use the Evergreen Contest as your “site-wide” lead magnet.
Normally, your normal site-wide lead magnet would be an e-book or free e-course. This would either replace that or get rotated in with your normal lead magnet.
Remember, you can use our opt-in bribes feature to deliver your traditional PDF e-books.
Use the contest as your main social media link (Instagram, Twitter, etc).
Run Facebook ads to your contest landing page.
Add contest opt-in forms on your website.
Use the P.S. section of your broadcast emails.
Your list will get bored if you keep telling them about your Evergreen Contest. Instead, mention it in a PS. section in your emails. The Hustle does it really well with their emails (example below).
Mention your Evergreen Contest in your drip email campaigns (aka autoresponder).
Create a standalone email in your email drip campaigns that promote your evergreen contest. In this email you should emphasize the sharing aspect of the contest.
You already have their email address, so the main thing you want to accomplish is getting your current email list to become advocates of your brand and refer their friends to your list.
Our guide on viral contest marketing has all the essential info you need to market your next contest.
End of the Funnel (Onboarding)
So now that you’ve gotten emails, you have to send them further down into your funnel to properly onboard them & get as much value as possible from each contestant.
- Alert contestants that a winner has been drawn and there’s now a new contest running.
- Send them an exclusive offer since they joined your contest.
- If you offered coaching calls, try to close those leads into sales.
- If you’re an e-commerce company, send over a coupon code.
- Start sending over AWESOME content that is relevant to your niche (lead nurturing).
Ready to make your first Evergreen Contest?
Click here to get started.
Content marketer at VYPER.io. Over 5 years in email marketing. Built 50k+ email lists. Digital marketing consultant for 7-9 figure businesses.