This is the type of funnel that can completely change your business.

Imagine adding another 50k or 100k or even 200k emails to your list within a 30-day period.

Is it possible? Definitely.

But is it right for your business? Let’s find out:

The high ticket funnel

When would you want to run a “High Ticket” funnel?

  1. When you have some budget to play with — at LEAST $500 to spend on advertising. We’ve run contests with budgets over $10,000 but we ended up getting emails for $0.33. Now that’s a bargain!
  2. With #1 in mind, it’s best to have a prize with a perceived value of ~$5,000 or more. Smaller prizes generally won’t get the same virality, and you might want to use a different funnel.
  3. If you already have an audience, this type of contest can take you to the next level. Businesses that already have 10,000 emails can really benefit from this kind of contest because you already have a base of emails that you can promote to and jumpstart the viral mechanisms.
  4. If your business fits into a large niche you’ll get more value out of the High Ticket funnel. For example, if you were Apple and literally everybody on the planet would want your product, then the High Ticket funnel will be amazing for your list. If you sold a product that only a small subset of the population would be interested in, then the High Ticket funnel wouldn’t help you as much.
  5. You have a lot of time or you have a contest manager to help you promote your contest. (If you need a contest manager, email us — [email protected] with the subject: Contest Manager — we’ll help you make a successful contest!)

Pros of the High Ticket funnel

  1. Get a LOT of email leads at once, possibly enough to completely change your business.
  2. Generate massive publicity & tons of social media follows.


  1. Your money & time. This is an expensive type of contest to run.
  2. Depending on the prize you give away, a lot of emails may not be qualified very well.
  3. The High Ticket funnel doesn’t work for very niche products.

It all starts with the prize!

You want to offer a prize that has extremely high share-ability and extremely high “wow-factor.” When we discussed picking your prize in this article, we mentioned “purchase intent.”

Purchase intent measures the likelihood that someone who wants your prize could potentially be one of your customers. For this type of contest, purchase intent is not as important — you just want to pick the most awesome prize you can.

Here are some examples of high ticket prizes:

1) Shopify gave away mentorship from 9 entrepreneurs along with press coverage on CNBC

In 2013 Shopify started the “Build a Business” competition where winners who created a store with Shopify could win mentorship from some of the top minds in entrepreneurship.

Shopify Build a Business Competition

This had crazy wow factor because it was literally the experience of a lifetime — private coaching with this group is essentially priceless.

Furthermore it also had great share-ability because every entrepreneur wanted to share it and say “I’m entering this competition!” Purchase intent was also extremely high because you had to actually purchase Shopify in order to be eligible.

The FTC in general bans competitions where purchase is necessary and the prize selection is random because it’s more like a “lottery”, but there are exceptions when the competition requires skill and the prize is based off skill (in this case, the winner was the store that made the most $).

2) AppSumo gave away Dropbox Pro for Life.

AppSumo started the trend of giving away subscriptions for “life.” In reality this just meant the contestants would keep getting Dropbox as long as AppSumo stayed around (this was in their terms & conditions) and this really only costs them $99 per year.

So even though this sounds like a $10,000 prize, it’s actually not really that expensive.


The issue with this prize though, is the purchase intent wasn’t great. Anyone could want a Dropbox for Life account, although not that many of those would be wanna-be entrepreneurs.

3) Dollar Beard Club gave away a party with Dan Bilzerian.

Dollar Beard Club is selling you an experience. The chance of a lifetime to party with Dan Bilzerian (the poker dude who parties with all the models).

Giving away priceless experiences is one way to create a prize that is super compelling.

Again, this prize doesn’t have great purchase intent, but remember that’s not as important for this type of funnel.


Our giveaway prize guide also has tips on choosing a prize that will attract the most high-quality leads to your giveaway or contest.

Giveaway Prize Ideas

Learn more here.

Finding sponsors and/or partners for your prize.

At this point you’re probably wondering “How in the world am I supposed to offer a prize like that?”

The answer is sponsors!

This requires a little bit of hustle on your side, but it’s very possible to get sponsors with a little creative thinking.


Dollar Beard Club was able to give away the party with Dan Bilzerian because the owner was friends with him. You might be thinking, “COOL BRO, but how do I do that?”

The answer is networking and a little bit of luck. It takes a level of hustle to get these kind of prizes, and I know you true hustlers out there are already coming up with ideas for your next big High Ticket prize.

Cold Emails

Cold emailing sponsors works as long as you can provide value to the sponsor. For example, you could mention that you will link out to their website, you will give out their coupon as an opt-in bribe, and/or provide them publicity on social media.

This works really well when you already have a decent-sized audience as your sponsor gets a more pronounced benefit. Jack and Jenn of WhoNeedsMaps used this tactic to get all their prizes for free.


Great partners can split the cost of the prize and you can cross-promote to each other’s list. Sometimes the final email list of contestants is shared.

If that’s the route you want to take, make sure to keep it to 2 or 3 partners, because anymore and you’ll bombard your contestants with emails.

Waiakea Case Study

Want to know more about how Waiakea partnered up with other brands to successfully host an Instagram giveaway?

Read the full case study here.

Promoting the contest.

When you’re getting ready to do a High Ticket contest, it’s important that you promote the contest in every way possible in order to seed the contest and hit virality.

Share the giveaway on giveaway sites.

Because high ticket prizes often have mass appeal, these giveaway sites end up referring a lot of good traffic. Don’t worry about email quality, even an unqualified email could end up referring you good emails.

Run Facebook Ads.

Targeted Facebook ads were one of the best ways for me to get qualified traffic.

Reddit Ads.

Target subreddits related to your niche.

Stumble Upon.

A product that is super under-utilized. It’s a great source for traffic quantity.

Cold Emails to Bloggers. 

Hit up bloggers within your niche to promote your contest. Cold emails can work if crafted well.

Click below to see an example of a really good cold email.


We also recommend using tools like NinjaOutreach in order to automate your cold e-mails.

Build relationships within your niche.

The most successful marketers are ones who have built connections prior to their launch.

Viral contest marketing

Our guide on viral contest marketing has all the essential info you need to market your next contest.

Find out more here.

Focus on virality.

A contest email follow-up sequence is CRUCIAL.

For this type of contest, Read this article for an example of a full sequence you should be using to get your users sharing your contest.

Having a pre-existing makes it 10x easier to execute this funnel.

This is because you’ll have a base of emails that you can promote your contest to and get those initial shares. Once the shares start coming in, it becomes a snowball effect that can exponentially grow your list.

Opt-in bribes make it more likely that your audience will share.

Ready to build your own high ticket funnel?

Scan some case studies and sign up at VYPER and start creating contests, giveaway or rewards program today!



Content marketer at Over 5 years in email marketing. Built 50k+ email lists. Digital marketing consultant for 7-9 figure businesses.

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