The Crazy Psychic Voodoo Marketing Contest From Hell (Or Heaven?)

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Hello everyone, my name is Clay Collins, and in this episode of the Marketing Show, I’m going to be sharing with you a contest that my company has used during multiple six-figure launches to accurately predict the number of copies that we’re going to sell in our launch before the launch actually happens. This contest also drastically increases conversions and gets people excited about your marketing campaign. That’s what you have to look forward to in this episode of the Marketing Show.

So in just a second, I’m going to get in today’s marketing lesson, but before I do that, it’s time for today’s marketing quiz. So here’s today’s marketing quiz. The first banner ad appeared on the worldwide web in 1994. Who produced that banner ad and who produced the marketing campaign that that banner ad was a part of? Was it Hewlett-Packard? Was it AT&T? Or was it Xerox? We’ll answer that question and we’ll actually show you the first banner ad ever run on the internet at the end of the show.

So like I said at the beginning of this episode, we used a specific contest during our multiple six-figure launches to accurately predict how many copies of our product we’re going to sell in advance of the launch, and also, to skyrocket conversions, and to increase interest in our launches. This has been responsible for multiple, multiple tens of thousands of dollars that we’ve made as a company this contest has that we’re about to share with you.

So here’s how the contest works. Before we launch our product, we create a contest where people can win a free copy of our product, right? We give away one or two copies to the winners of this contest. To enter into the contest, people answer the following question. Why is blank the perfect product to help you blank, blank, and blank. So if we were selling a golf product, we might say, “Why is golf swing pro or whatever it’s called the perfect product to increase your drive, reduce the number of strokes, and help you beat your friends when you’re on the green?” That’s an example of the question. And when we run this kind of contest, we typically get a lot of responses. You know, you can see how long they are right here. Some of these just go on for pages and pages, so people really put a lot of time into them. What they’re doing is they’re telling us why our product would be an excellent match for them because they know that the person who does the best job doing that is more likely to win the contest.

So there’s a lot of things going on under the hood when we run this contest, and there’s a lot of reasons why this is such a powerful thing to do when you’re marketing. Well, one of the reasons is social proof. When people see how so many people are entering into this contest, it makes them interested, right. Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd. So if a lot of people are seeing other people writing such long entries about why your product is perfect for them, other people in your market are going to start wondering about your product and what it does. They’ll also start reading other people’s entries and become convinced themselves that your product is something that they should pay attention to.

In fact, every single contest entry is copy that your market is writing that is read by other people in your market, if you get my drift. So it provides social proof when someone sees that a whole lot of people are interested in something. They are much more likely to be interested in it themselves, and when you run this kind of contest, people who otherwise wouldn’t purchase your product end up purchasing it because they get hooked into your marketing campaign by seeing the amount of interest that’s there for it.

Second, consistency and commitment. A lot of people who otherwise would not buy your product end up talking themselves into desiring your product because they’ve entered into this contest, right. So let’s say they’re not initially interested, but they are perhaps interested winning a free copy, so they write a long entry about how your product is perfect for them, and they end up talking themselves into wanting it. So even if they don’t win the contest, they might end up purchasing it during launch day because they’ve talked themselves into desiring it.

Third, when people enter into your contest, it provides insight into how people are viewing your product and your marketing message. So a lot of times, I think that a resonating with your market when you’re marketing your product aren’t the things that you think you’re saying so people might be latching on to one piece of your marketing message and seeing your product in a certain light when you believe they’re seeing it in another. This exposes that and helps you correct the situation or it helps you realize what aspects of your product in what you’re doing are most appealing to your target market, the things they’re most excited about doing with your product.

Fourth, this gets your market to write copy for you. Every single entry in your contest is someone essentially writing copy, sales copy for your product, and a little secret of mine is that through this contest, my audience and my target market ends up writing about a fourth of the sales copy on my sales pages because I’ll take different pieces of people’s entries and mix and match them, you know, and cut and paste, and you know, arrange things. I’ve got to do work, but it’s all fed by entries into this contest so you can actually get your market to write sales copy for you.

Fifth, this increases consumption of your marketing material. So a lot of people who enter into this contest might not have a good argument for why your product is perfect for them, but when you tell them to in the contest entry explain why your product is best for them, they end up watching your launch videos. They end up reading your, you know, pre-launch sales material. They end up finding out more about what your product does. So in short, this kind of contest increases consumption of your marketing materials. It gets people to actually read you for your reports, actually go through the interviews you’ve done with people who’ve used your product and things like that.

Finally, this kind of contest, when it’s done the way that I do it, can predict how many copies of your product you’re going to sell. So we found that with about a 15% margin of error, the number of people who enter in this contest is the number of people who end up buying your product by the time you close the cart. Now I have a few additional notes on this contest. The first is that I’m not making any income claims. We’ve used this to launch multiple six-figure products, but I’m not guaranteeing that you’ll have the same result to yourself. I’m simply sharing what we do. This is a free marketing show video. Nothing for sale here. I’m just sharing with you what we do.

Second is that we’ve been testing variations on this contest for a while, and it’s much more in-depth than just asking people to, you know, enter into the contest with that entry. When we do this contest, it takes three blog posts and it’s a sequence of four e-mails that sort of launches this contest as a mini launch within a larger launch. There’s a lot going on when we do this ourselves. Fourth, again, this helps us predict how many copies of our product we’re going to sell, and fifth, we outlined exactly how we do this. You know, you might not need to run this contest, but if you want all the details, we outline exactly how to do this in both of our products, both the interactive offer and in the marketing program.

Anyway, that wraps up today’s marketing show, but to answer the marketing quiz, it is AT&T that ran the very first banner ad on the worldwide web in 1994. It was part of the You Will campaign, and here is a picture of that very first banner ad that ran on the internet.

Anyway, that wraps up today’s marketing show. I want to let you know that this marketing show was brought to you by you. It was brought to you by your tweets, by your shares, by your constant enthusiasm, and by your willingness to share this with your friends. So if you’ve gained anything from this episode, I invite you to share this episode on Facebook and to share it on Twitter or both if you so desire and to generally pass on the word. We do appreciate the work that you do, and it makes the stuff we do here completely worthwhile. Thank you so much and I’ll talk to you next time. Goodbye.

  • jameslepine

    Best episode title yet, for sure.  Made me laugh out loud.

    • Heh . . . we’ll see what the stats say about how good this title was.  Glad you liked it, James.

  • Rodrigo

    Man, this is way clever. 

    • Thanks for commenting Rodgrigo.  I have no idea why, but I think this Marketing Show is the least commented on thing I’ve ever produced (compare, for example, to the previous episode).  But I’m glad YOU liked it. 🙂

  • erb

    I agree with jame – this is your best episode yet. 

    Does the “Interactive Offer” include text that we can copy & paste for the “3-blog post, 4-email sequence”?

    • Thanks, ERB.  And yes, it does.  There are videos and swipe copy with info on how we do this.  And the exact emails to send, etc.

  • Hey your style of provide some KILLER info!

    Mark Pavic

  • Thanks Clay, as always. By the way, as far as I’m concerned, skip the quizzes at the beginning. Your material is entertaining enough without it. 🙂

    • Thanks for the feedback.  Does anyone else feel this way?  Any votes for or against the marketing quiz?

  • Duff_McDuffee

    I’ve been on the customer end of a fitness product that used this kind of contest. I really wanted the product, was convinced by the marketing information and previous products from the same company that the product was likely to be high quality, but I didn’t feel good about saying why this product was the best for my goals because I hadn’t used it yet so I didn’t know (and quite frankly, there is a huge amount of competition in fitness programs, much of it very high quality). In this case, I gave my feedback to the product creator and he invited me to try out his product for free if I’d use it and blog about it. I did just that and I wrote a long review blog post about the product, giving it 4 out of 5 stars and detailing what I thought was great and what was lacking, so ultimately this gave him free marketing anyway, but not coordinated with the launch of his product.

    Personally if I were to do a contest like this I’d modify the question to change the presuppositions. You can still get buy-in from customers without making them give you what some people will see as a testimonial for a product they haven’t used by changing the question to something like, “What personal goals do you hope to accomplish by purchasing and using this product and why do you think that this product will help you achieve those goals?” This also sets you up to get customer feedback later as to whether the product has lived up to the expectations and improve your offerings for the future. I haven’t done this kind of contest though, so I’m just speculating at this point.

  • Duff_McDuffee

    Also, I like the marketing quiz. The text of that ad was particularly interesting.

    “Have you ever clicked your mouse here? You will.”

    “Have you ever” is what some people call a weasel phrase, in that gets someone to think about the command after it without directly saying the command. In this case the command was put in the past tense (“clicked your mouse here”) thus being less direct than “click here.” The next sentence “you will” implies [click your mouse here], but again without saying YOU WILL CLICK YOUR MOUSE HERE!

    It’s a pretty spammy ad in that it doesn’t say even what the ad is for, but it was a pretty sneaky and clever way of saying “click here.”

    “Have you ever thought about buying my product? You will.”