Holidays like Halloween are a perfect time for reptile breeders to hold contests. Here are a few simple rules to follow when you host a contest.
Rule 1: Make it accessible.
You want to make sure as many people as possible will enter your contest. Don’t be discouraged if only 3 or 4 people enter the first time you have a contest, because it takes time for people to get in the habit. Make sure you share your contest on other pages, to get as many eyeballs seeing your contest as you can. Offer a main prize, and 3 to 5 runner-up prizes. The more chances someone has to win *something*, the more people you will get. If you do a photo contest, let people vote for the winner for 7 days after enough submissions are entered. Give examples of a few really GOOD photos, so you don’t get crappy out of focus photos that the contestant put no effort into!! Here’s an example of a Halloween photo we used in a contest.
Rule 2: Make it easy to enter.
Nobody likes entering their email address, because they fear the dreaded spam that comes with other contests they’ve entered. You want to make it clear that all they have to do is enter a photo, guess a number, guess a species, or simply put their name in a hat. You also don’t want to let your contest go on for too long, or too short. We recommend 2-4 weeks to enter, and a designated time to claim the prize – otherwise the prize goes to the runner up. Here’s an example of a ‘guess a number’ format, and how we announced the winner.
You all had some great guesses!
However the winning guess of exactly 207 Super Worms and the Grand Prize winner is:
? Carissa!!! ?
Second Place Prize goes to Heather with a guess of 210
And Third Place Prize goes to Okanagan Geckos with a guess of 203!
We’d like to also say a big thanks to everyone for participating, and especially to our finalists!
Rule 3: Make it fun!
You’re going to have to make a little bit of a production when the contest finally takes place. This is a contest we did some years ago, and how we chose the winner:
TRICKS & TREATS ALL AROUND!!
We created a summoning circle to conjure a dark spirit from the abyss, and we played a little game………..After making a ritual cricket sacrifice to the demon goddess Selkhet, a winner has been chosen.
To appease the venomous temptress, and to banish her back to the depths from whence she came, she demanded we give EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATED A $25 GC TO ZEN REPTILES……….And the winner doubles up and gets a $50 GC!!
Watch the video below to discover the victim… I mean victor. Happy Haunting all you Zen Reptilians.
Rule 4: Be professional.
Too many stories abound on Board of Inquiries about contests that went sour. Be very clear on the rules and how the contest is won. Be clear on how many winners there are. Be clear on the prize, and how to claim. Honor your gift certificate or prize, with no expiry. Don’t be an idiot and make the prize something large and heavy, like a vivarium – it will cost you $400 to ship. Make sure to include ‘depending on availability’….if someone doesn’t claim a live prize within a certain time-frame, and you’ve sold the animal that is a prize….they may have to wait several months for you to produce another clutch of eggs. This is why it’s best to use gift certificates that don’t expire, or a product you can ship immediately in the mail. Always honor your word.
Rule 5: Be generous.
Give out more prizes than you originally listed. Pick more winners. You don’t want to put yourself out too much money, so Gift Certificates for your own animals or products works the best. However, once or twice a year, you should have a really good prize, or a really valuable Gift Certificate.
“Reptiles Guru is hosting a Halloween Contest! To enter, simply comment on this post. Your comment must include one of the following insects: cricket, mealworm, meal beetle, silkworm, butterworm, phoenix worm, snail, slug, superworm, dubia roach, hornworm, stick insect, praying mantis. Your name will be associated with that insect, and whichever insect is eaten first by our Jackson’s chameleon, Taji, will be declared the winner! If Taji is still hungry after his first meal, the following contestants will also win, up to a maximum of 5 winners. Each insect will be placed in a small, square container side-by-side, and Taji will choose the winner with his tongue. Winner(s) receive a $25 Gift Certificate to Amazon. Submissions must be received by October 30th, winner will be chosen by video on October 31st. Your GC will be mailed to you promptly.”
“Reptiles Guru is hosting a Halloween Photo Contest! To enter, simply submit your Halloween Themed Photo. Your photo must include a pumpkin (or an ugly, warty squash, if pumpkins are not available in your area). Your pumpkin must be either painted or carved with a reptile/amphibian theme, OR include a reptile in/on/around the pumpkin. Photo must be ‘artistic’ – we know that’s subjective, so just do your best! Submissions must be posted by October 25th. Submissions will be posted on our Facebook wall for voting, and the winner with the most likes will be declared on October 31st. 1st prize is a $50 Gift Certificate to Amazon, 2nd place is a $25 Gift Certificate to Amazon. 3rd place is a $10 Gift Certificate to Amazon. Your GC will be mailed to you promptly. Here is an example:”
Holding a contest gets your name out there. People will check your content more often if you hold contests frequently. Don’t expect to make money directly from your contests, it is better to see it as a fun way of advertising what you do. When you use your own Gift Certificates as prizes, it ensures people will be spending money with you instead of a competitor.