In just 7 steps create an automated contest to collect inbound leads using MailChimp and Wix

(DIFFICULTY LEVEL: MEDIUM) One of the best ways to attract new customers for your blog, service or product is to offer something that they want - for FREE. There are any number of ways to attract their attention, such as by offering an informative whitepaper, list or something more valuable and directly connected with your business, but in this case I'm referring to a contest for a free product or service you offer. Both large and small businesses offer loss leader products to get new customers in the door and what better way than to give your new client something they need that will also educate them about you? This is a great idea to build a lifetime customer through an initial low cost (to you) offer that establishes the trust and credibility of what your business has to offer.

In my case, I've opened a new Vancouver design agency, PalbergWERX Creative Direction, and I wanted to offer a free logo design to businesses within my geographical area to increase my exposure. I prefer to deal with my customers in person to help foster credibility and trust.

I'll discuss where I did the advertising of this contest in another blog. This post will focus on how to build the nuts 'n bolts of the contest within Wix, using MailChimp's automated workflow.

Well lets get down to it.

STEP 1: Landing Page) All of your advertising will have to point or link to a page on your website. The best type of page is called a 'Landing Page'. This is designed to do one thing only - convert your potential customer into a lead. The means that everything on this page has been carefully crafted to make your customer click on the 'enter' or subscribe button (I will use these two terms interchangeably for this post as MailChimp calls their lists subscribers - irrespective of how you have named your button).

Using Wix to build an additional page is fast and easy, and here I will describe the elements I used for my landing page. My landing page content uses many of the elements of the ad I built for my logo contest. In the headline I have repeated the offer, 'Enter to win your FREE Logo Design'. The supporting copy helps to outline the benefits of having a professional design a logo. Finally my 'Call-to-Action' button, where your new customer will enter the contest is a contrasting color. This makes it very clear what to do as well as directs their eye to the purpose of the page, which is to enter the contest! Some of the design choices I made are covered in a previous blog about creating a lead magnet and you can read about it HERE

PalbergWERX enter to win free logo design contest page

Another important element of my landing page design - is that I removed all other links, navigation, header and footer. I did this so that the focus would only be on the offer and there would be no other distractions from entering the contest. Don't worry about the Mailchimp sign-up form, I will explain that process a bit later.

PalbergWERX local vancouver win a free logo contest entry confirmation

After your new customer enters their email information, they will receive an email asking that they confirm entry into the contest. This is created and customized within MailChimp, which I will detail below.

STEP 2: Entry Rules Page) If you have looked over my example above, you will also notice that I have a link to the contest rules. This is important as well, to limit your liability as well as to make sure your potential customer is completely aware of what your stipulations are. In my case, my contest was only open to businesses within my geographical area, as I mentioned I prefer to work directly with my clients.

PalbergWERX local vancouver free logo design contest rules page

Notice that besides the rules, I also did two other things here; 1) I added some text to continue informing the value proposition to the customer and 2) I added another sign up button on this page! This is important, every opportunity to make your customers life a bit easier, will increase the number of conversions. If I only had a link back to the previous page, then there would be a percentage of customers that would simply give up. Amazon has numerous statistics outlining how they measure and analyze their customers funnels and drop off rates.

STEP 3: Thank You Page) With the MailChimp work flow I will describe below, we have an opportunity to thank the customer after they have entered the contest. This might seem trivial, but again, there are great opportunities here to nurture customer engagement further with your business.

PalbergWERX logo design contest thank you page

Here I have confirmed that the customer has successfully entered their email to participate in the contest and as well, I am offering them a special offer on their first purchase with my agency. At this stage there are numerous offers that you can make to continue to nurture this customer and I simply offered a discount. I have also now added my usual website navigation, the header, menu and footer. The customer has an opportunity to explore my site - again, with the hope that they will find additional credibility and trust in my service.

STEP 4: MailChimp List & Subscribe Button) Ok, now we need to add MailChimp into the mix. In this case, I will not use the free Mailchimp app that is supplied on the Wix site, because It does not allow us to create the follow up pages I just outlined. Instead we will have to add the MailChimp supplied html code to our site on each sign up page (Landing page and Rules page). It isn't difficult, so lets get started.

First we need to create a new list in MailChimp, I called mine 'FREE Logo Contest Twitter'. You can use any name that makes sense for the flow of your contest, in this specific example, I was using twitter to market my free logo contest.

TIP: For other advertising flows, you will want to build a unique list in MailChimp, so that you can gauge the effectiveness of each campaign individually. I won't go into each unique case, but the steps for each are all the same as I have described in this blog.

After you have created your list in MailChimp, you need to create the 'signup forms' there. Go to your specific list and click on the 'Signup forms', then choose the 'embedded forms.

PalbergWERX mailchimp logo design contest settings

Here you will find your html button code and there are four options, but I will only describe two of them. The first, Classic option, shown below, allows you to create a submission button that includes your customer's email, first name and last name. It will also give you a title as part of the entry form. I prefer to keep the entry information at a minimum to give the highest conversion rates. It has been proven that if a customer has to enter too many fields they will just give up.

IMPORTANT: Check the 'Disable all JavaScript' button on the bottom left to ensure that the automation from Wix works as expected with MailChimp.

PalbergWERX mailchimp mail list for logo design contest

The second, Super Slim, option is the one that I used on my landing page and rules page. It is a stripped down version that ONLY asks for the customer email. I really believe that this is the best option for customer conversion and if you want to have any supporting text, then why not add it in Wix's editor - easy peasy.

IMPORTANT: Check the 'Disable all JavaScript' button on the bottom left to ensure that the automation from Wix works as expected with MailChimp.

PalbergWERX mailchimp subscribe list detail for logo contest

Here you have to copy the code shown in the bottom right of the MailChimp embedded form page.

PalbergWERX Wix subscribe button html required

STEP 5: Adding HTML to your Subscribe Button) Go to your landing page and add the Wix app called 'HTML...' to your page. This is where we will paste the MailChimp code into. Size your html box just as you would any other Wix element on your website. I lined mine up with the text just above i