Alex J. Cavanaugh. We're talking marketing---what works and what doesn't.
I've yet to strike sustainable sales nirvana, so today I plan to mostly keep my mouth shut and listen. But I'd like to share with you a few observations I've made in the last year about using giveaways as a marketing tool.
#1 Giveaways don't translate into a noticeable increase in sales. BUT they are great for increasing followers on Facebook, Twitter, etc., which could lead to future sales if I ever figure out how to effectively use those social networks.
#2 Giveaways work better when I keep it simple. The tasks to earn entries must be straight forward and instantly complete-able. I ran a giveaway that required entrants to leave a review in order to enter, and that was too weighty of a requirement. By the time I figured that out and made the requirements simpler, I'd already confused everyone too much, and that giveaway never really picked up any steam.
#3 Don't limit yourself to the usual "Like" my Facebook page and Tweet this. I've used giveaways to drive my books up Goodreads lists and soon I plan to use one to get YouTube views on a book trailer.
#4 Gift cards get more entries than book giveaways. Even if it's just $5. Lately I've offered a gift card plus a choice of one of my books, and that combo seems to have worked pretty well.
#5 Giveaways work better when it's a team effort. Whether it's one big giveaway that a bunch of authors/bloggers are in on or a hop in which participants post their individual giveaways, I get way more entries than if I'm running a giveaway all on my own---simply because there are many more people out there talking it up.
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