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      10 Ways to Move an In-Person Service Business Online


      We know you’ve been adapting to a new normal these days. 

      You’re a slave to your in-home wifi, your social interactions are taking place behind a screen, and your work “watercooler” moments are happening online, not around the office Keurig. But if you’re a business owner, those aren’t the only ways your working life has been transformed over the last few months. 

      Businesses are being profoundly affected by the global state of affairs. This is an unprecedented time for everyone, and as such, we’re learning to adapt and pivot how we do business.

      “It’s absolutely critical for businesses to pivot right now because the economic environment has completely changed,” says Jeremy Knauff, CEO of Spartan Media. “You can’t keep doing what used to work because everything is different right now. We’re facing a Darwinian business event unfolding.”

      Service professionals especially have been feeling the strain of how to transform their in-person business models into streamlined digital operations. Difficult? Absolutely. Impossible? We don’t think so.

      In this guide, we’re outlining 10 creative and lucrative ways that your service-based business can continue to make money and provide value during quarantine, while still planting seeds for future growth. 

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      10 Ways to Move Your In-Person Biz Online

      1. Analyze Your Business Plan

      Before you jump into a new money-making effort, it’s helpful to take a look at your business as it currently operates (or did, pre-pandemic). With that in mind, consider: What will pivoting really look like for your business?

      “It could be a very small change in your business model, such as how you’ll deliver your services,” says Susana Fonticoba of Clear Path Marketing. “Or it could be a major change that disrupts the who, what, where, and how. Whatever changes you make in your business model, it must always satisfy the revenue you need to survive, the income you want to thrive, the type of clients you’ll serve, the clients’ deep goals, and the offers you’ll sell to fulfill it all.”

      Take the restaurant industry, which has been hit particularly hard during quarantine. Many have pivoted by offering curbside and delivery service but have still faced massive loss. Na’ama Moran, co-founder and CEO of the restaurant supply company, Cheetah, took a unique approach to deal with her industry’s changing business landscape due to COVID-19. Moran switched from serving as a wholesale restaurant supplier into a grocery delivery service, selling direct to consumers.

      “Moran leveraged Cheetah’s infrastructure, staff, inventory, and technology to provide a streamlined way for people to purchase food and cleaning supplies without any contact with other people,” Knauff explains. “This unique pivot enabled the company to continue moving their inventory while supporting their local community.

      2. Adapt Your Services

      Even if your business offers in-person service, there can be ways to safely continue providing those services — with necessary modifications and added digital provisions. 

      Take the recent adjustments made by lawn care company GreenPal. We have changed up processes for how our vendor partners interact with their clients,” says Bryan Clayton, GreenPal co-founder. “We now have instituted a contactless procedure for when a homeowner hires a lawn care professional to mow their yard.”

      Because of these adjustments in operations, GreenPal has “seen a 17% conversion rate in many of the markets that we operate in,” Clayton adds.

      If your target audience is more hesitant to loosen the purse strings during an uncertain time, you can utilize digital tools to yield future growth.

      “More than anything, people are afraid to spend money right now,” says Bri Henke, owner and Design Director at Dig. “Because everything that used to be guaranteed just isn’t anymore — jobs, food, school, toilet paper — nothing feels safe about our world right now. So spending money on a luxury, like design, is slowing down. Right now, people are thinking about what they want to change about their home, and for that, I am trying to build up an e-design/concept package level to my business where we don’t have to physically interact, but we can make some positive changes to their space”

      3. Offer One-on-One Training or Tutorials

      Even when you’re taking your business online, you can still provide that essential person-to-person experience indispensable to service-based businesses.

      “A service is a personal experience,” says Jermaine Amado, photographer and owner of J Amado Photography. “It’s about building on the relationship with your client. So why not find a way to offer one-on-one support to your client through a video call? You could guide them through the process of taking photos, planning meals for the week, or a pedicure.”

      And pivoting your business for COVID-19 helps you not only prepare for future economic challenges but offers you a chance to target new audiences.

      “By offering one-on-one online photography courses and camera training, I feel like I was able to reach a new client base,” Amado says. “Adapting my services has allowed me to venture into an all-digital world where I don’t have to travel to offer my services.”

      No matter what field of industry your business occupies, you can adapt to bring offerings online.

      4. Offer Value Through Online Learning

      In addition to providing virtual services, you can make the most of the digital landscape by sharing your hard-earned knowledge, while establishing yourself as an authority and building your brand visibility. This strategy can help your business remain viable during a crisis and attract clients.

      For example, as a result of COVID-19, Southern Tax Preparation & Services moved from providing educational resources as part of its paid services to making those materials readily available through social media platforms and online communities, email campaigns, live video conferencing, and a podcast. This strategy shift is boosting the business in big ways.

      “We are establishing ourselves as an authority in the accounting and finance industry, and our audience’s desire to establish and maintain a stable financial structure has also increased,” says Jasmine Young, MBA, CPA, CFE, andSouthern Tax founder. “The increase in revenue from client referrals to purchase services that assist in creating a stable financial foundation is an obvious indication that our decision to pivot . . . was a step in the right direction for our company, as our gross income for the past quarter was 75% of last year’s gross income for the entire year.”

      The knowledge you have is valuable. Utilize it!

       

      5. Curate Customized Product Kits

      Pivoting your traditional business in difficult times is necessary to establish multiple revenue streams to compensate for the loss of income from main offerings. This has been especially vital for hair salons in the UK, as governments may limit their re-opening for another six months. 

      HairCraze by Naomi, a salon in Wales, has innovated new strategies to offer value and boost its online business. They filmed a video on DIY haircutting, and a banner ad was placed on their website and Facebook page notifying visitors that the video is accessible to people who subscribe to their email or newsletter. According to their marketing company, this tactic has helped the business build up a stack of email addresses from potential customers to hit up and market to once the lockdown ends.

      HairCraze by Naomi has also contacted their current clients that regularly utilize hair coloring services, offering to make dye for them based on their individual hair profile. These dyes can be mailed or delivered to customers at a discounted cost, helping them maintain color between salon visits — a better-than-boxed-dye solution at a cheaper-than-a-salon-visit price. 

      Now that’s creative innovation.

      6. Learn and Incorporate New Tech

      The health and fitness industry is seeing creative solutions to the prohibition on in-person gatherings as they seek to incorporate innovation and recoup lost earnings through digital offerings.

      Soofi Safavi, an entrepreneur and hot yoga enthusiast, pivoted his yoga business to operate virtually during the pandemic. When COVID-19 caused him to close his studios, instructors struggled with online class logistics and lost income, and his customers were without the habits they needed for their physical and mental health. Safavi acted quickly to create Wizard.fit, an integrated fitness app that allows instructors to virtually teach classes, collect payment, and instruct in a way that simulates a live studio. 

      Adapting to offer your business’ services on a digital platform doesn’t have to be a lengthy process. With the right network and tools, you can get virtual offerings up and running fast.

      “There are a myriad of opportunities available online for service-based workers,” said James Dyble, Managing Director of Global Sound Group. “For example, if you’re a personal trainer, jump on YouTube and start providing your services with that method. Possibly, even have a membership website or a mentoring program. . . . If the content is right, then the revenue will follow.”

      7. Improve How You Engage

      Running a business behind a screen can be a challenge for service-based companies that rely on an in-person relationship. Use this time as an opportunity to refine and improve the ways that you engage and connect with audiences.

      First, update your website during this crisis. Make sure your customers are aware of what new or adjusted services you’re providing during social distancing. Then, take connection a step further.

      “As an events producer, I enable entrepreneurs, speakers, and organizations to have engaging events. Wow, did COVID-19 ever change that!” says Connie Zeller of C.Zeller Events. “I’m fortunate that I have amazing clients who could see the value of a pivot. While a virtual event can’t deliver the energy, physical connection, gift bags, food, and the overall live experience, it can still deliver an impactful message and reach the goals and visions of a live event.”

      Thoughtfully consider and plan how you’re going to provide your winning service in digital environments. Without the in-person connection, your business needs to use available tech in innovative ways to prioritize your audiences and nurture relationships.

      “Technology is allowing connection in such a productive way without having to leave your home,” Henke says. “So the opportunity to offer your clients your time still exists; it will just be through a screen. Reassuring your clients that they still get you, I think, is key in all of this — rather than just them feeling that they are only worth an email. [Clients] need to know that we are still there with them, it is just in a different capacity than before.” 

      8. Expand Your Virtual Marketing Techniques

      As a professional organizer, Diane Eisenstein, founder and “Chief Organization Officer” of The Tidy Abode, has been experimenting with the addition of virtual services to her in-person business, offering coaching via FaceTime, Skype, and Zoom.

      “The most exciting part of it is that I have reached people from all around the country this way,” she says. “So many people staying at home want to be productive and get organized, but they get stuck on one part of the project. That’s where I come in! I give them advice on potential solutions and the products they need to get it done. I don’t get the big reveal moment at the end of a project, but I do see the ‘aha moments’ when I give my clients a suggestion that would work for their space.”

      Social media is likely already a part of your marketing strategy, so continue to expand your social media techniques to boost business! Host live tutorials on Instagram, Facebook, Zoom, or Youtube Live so you can communicate with your supporters in the comments in real-time. You can then upload these videos online to boost engagement and visibility.

      As a writer and vocal teacher for MusicGrotto.com, James Croad has been utilizing YouTube Tutorials to continue his vocal and guitar lessons remotely.

      “As a service professional, the transition hasn’t been easy, but it wasn’t impossible either,” Croad says. “It just takes a little bit of ingenuity! Regardless of the service you provide, we live in a digital age where there are multiple online platforms that can improve your business regardless of the quarantine. If you’ve got some grit and are willing to experiment, you can find a goldmine of efficient and profitable business practices online.”

      As you pivot and find things that work, market them vigorously. 

      “We are offering both free training and paid virtual 30-day masterminds to help businesses creatively explore their options and accordingly tweak or pivot their services,” says Janis Pettit, CEO of The 10x Zone.

      “For example, one company provides in-home occupational therapy for special needs children, and their business was down 70%. They decided to try teletherapy and it was approved by the insurance companies. After testing it and getting great results, we developed an aggressive marketing plan to promote it. It’s working, and weekly visits are going up quickly. And the best part? They can now serve clients not just locally as before but in the entire state!”

      Taking advantage of every opportunity to make $$$ (and build a loyal audience) can serve you well and help you develop the creative entrepreneurship needed to run a successful business, no matter the conditions.

      9. Expand Your Offerings

      Why not try something completely new? Offering a novel service to clients can expand your business — and your audience.

      “Since lockdown, I have recorded myself making healthy meals and putting them in the Whatsapp group that I have set up with my clients,” says Elliott Reimers, a certified nutrition coach at Rave Reviews. “They’re contributing a small amount each per month for these tips. In addition, I am making up batches of the meals I recorded and then dropping them outside clients’ houses once a week.”

      By supplying unique offerings, checking in with clients, and keeping a positive attitude, you can meaningfully connect with your audiences and provide value.

      How can other businesses do this?

      • Nail salons can curate and send clients boxes of supplies with illustrated (or video) instructions on how to care for their nails. 
      • A massage therapist can film a video of how to pinpoint trouble spots in muscles and how a tennis ball or foam roller can alleviate the pain. Then they can sell and schedule a private one-on-one session via Zoom to walk through this process with the client.
      •  An esthetician can schedule private video sessions to examine clients’ skin and recommend and order specific products for the client.
      • Physical trainers can provide virtual workouts or home-workout tips, creating video tutorials or doing it with them virtually to boost both of your physical activity and gains. They could also sell different protein shakes or guided meal plans.
      • Cleaning companies similarly can sell their cleaning products, supplied with step-by-step tutorials on how to clean various home spaces. 

      And all businesses can offer gift cards!

      10. Continue to Incorporate Digital Options

      Bringing parts of your business online can be a massive benefit to you as you target new audiences and expand your offerings. So don’t stop that momentum when things return to business as (mostly) usual. Keep utilizing the power of tech to boost your business. 

      “One valuable aspect of a digital service-based business is the convenience factor,” Eisenstein says. “In-person services require travel time, prep time, and schedules that need to be matched up. Even after COVID-19 conditions end, I will most likely conduct consultations over video calls, plus I plan to incorporate more virtual coaching into my schedule so I can reach more people around the world.”

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      Re-Homing Your Business in a Digital Landscape

      Pivoting your business into a digital landscape isn’t just valuable — it’s essential right now. Not only can virtual adaptation help you keep your business afloat, but it can ultimately help you run a better, more successful business in the future as you refine how you market, engage, and incorporate technology. 

      “The economic environment and marketplace have shifted, and the ‘new normal’ will not go back to the way things were,” Pettit says. “Businesses that don’t have a way to serve their customers’ needs as they are now will struggle or even fail. Look at businesses in the past that didn’t — Blackberry, MySpace, Sears, and many more. There is great opportunity here if you can creatively embrace it.”

      If you want to get your business up-and-running online and flex those creative muscles, you need to start at the beginning: partnering with a great web host for your site. We can help you set up your online presence — at a safe, virtual distance.



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      Networks and Online Gaming: 3 Ways to Improve Performance and Retain Your Audience


      What makes or breaks the technical success of a new multiplayer video game? Or for that matter, the success of any given online gaming session or match? There are a lot of reasons, to be sure, but success typically boils down to factors outside of the end users’ control. At the top of the list, arguably, is network performance.

      In June, 2018 Fornite experienced a network interruption that caused world-famous streamer, Ninja, to swap mid-stream to Hi-Rez’s Realm Royale. Ninja gave the game rave reviews, resulting in a huge userbase jumping over to play Realm Royale. And just this month, the launch of Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem was darkened by infrastructure issues as the servers couldn’t handle the number of users flocking to the game. While both popular games might not have experienced long-term damage, ongoing issues like these can turn users toward a competitor’s game or drive them away for good.

      Low latency is so vital, that in a 2019 survey, seven in 10 gamers said they will play a laggy game for less than 10 minutes before quitting. And nearly three in 10 say what matters most about an online game is having a seamless gaming experience without lag. What can game publishers do to prevent lag, increase network performance and increase the chances that their users won’t “rage quit”?

      Taking Control of the Network to Avoid Log Offs

      There are a few different ways to answer the question and avoid scenario outlined above, but some solutions are stronger than others.

      Increase Network Presence with Edge Deployments

      One option is to spread nodes across multiple geographical presences to reduce the distance a user must traverse to connect. Latency starts as a physics problem, so the shorter the distance between data centers and users, the lower the latency.

      This approach isn’t always the best answer, however, as everyday there can be both physical and logical network issues just miles apart from a user and a host. Some of these problems can be the difference between tens to thousands of milliseconds across a single carrier.

      Games are also increasingly global. You can put a server in Los Angeles to be close to users on the West Coast, but they’re going to want to play with their friends on the East Coast, or somewhere even further away.

      Connect Through the Same Carriers as the End Users

      Another answer is to purchase connectivity to some of the same networks end users will connect from, such as Comcast, AT&T, Time Warner, Telecom, Verizon, etc.

      A drawback of this option, though, stems from the abolishment of Net Neutrality. Carriers don’t necessarily need to honor best-route methodology anymore, meaning they can prioritize cost efficiency over performance on network configurations. I’ve personally observed traffic going from Miami to Tampa being routed all the way to Houston and back, as show in the images below.

      Network routing
      The traffic on the left follows best-route methodology, while the traffic on the right going from Miami to Tampa is being routed through Houston. This is one consequence of the abolishment of Net Neutrality.

      Purchasing connectivity that gets you directly into the homes of end-users may seem like the best method to reduce latency, but bottlenecks or indirect routing inside these large carriers’ networks can cause issues. A major metro market in the United States can also have three to four incumbent consumer carriers providing residential services to gamers, necessitating and IP blend to effectively reach end users. However, startups or gaming companies don’t want to build their own blended IP solution in every market they want to build out in.

      Choose a Host with a Blended Carrier Agreement

      The best possible solution to the initial scenario is to host with a carrier that has a blended carrier agreement, with a network route optimization technology to algorithmically traverse all of those carriers.

      Take for example, INAP’s Performance IP® solution. This technology makes a daily average of nearly 500 million optimizations across INAP’s global network to automatically put a customer’s outbound traffic on the best-performing route. This type of technology reduces latency upwards of 44 percent and prevents packet loss, preventing users from experiencing the lag that can change the fate of a game’s commercial success. You can explore our IP solution by running your own performance test.

      Taking Control When Uncontrollable Factors are at Play

      There will be times that game play is affected by end user hardware. It makes a difference, and it always will, but unfortunately publishers can’t control the type of access their users have to the internet. In some regions of the world, high speed internet is just a dream, while in others it would be unfathomable to go without high-speed internet access.

      Inline end user networking equipment can also play a role in network behavior. Modems, switches, routers and carrier equipment can cause poor performance. Connectivity being switched through an entire neighborhood, throughput issues during peak neighborhood activities, satellite dishes angled in an unoptimized position limiting throughput—there’s a myriad of reasons that user experience can be impacted.

      With these scenarios, end users often understand what they are working with and make mental allowances to cope with any limitations. Or they’ll upgrade their internet service and gaming hardware accordingly.

      The impact of network performance on streaming services and game play can’t be underscored enough. Most end users will make the corrections they can in order to optimize game play and connectivity. The rest is up to the publisher.

      Explore INAP’s Global Network.

      LEARN MORE

      Dan Lotterman


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      How to Run an Online Giveaway on Your WordPress Website


      Thinking of innovative ways to engage with your website visitors and social media followers can be a challenge. Creating fun and appealing activities might be on your list of marketing strategies to explore, but it’s hard to know where to start.

      Fortunately, online giveaways are a popular and easy way to engage loyal customers, gain new followers, and even encourage user-generated content focused on your brand. What’s more, contests can be a productive way to find new leads.

      In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of using giveaways to promote your business. We’ll also take a look at 10 giveaway tools you can use to create a successful contest.

      So come on down — the prize is right!

      Why Your Business Can Benefit From Giving Products Away

      Online giveaways and contests can be highly effective ways for your business to attract and keep new customers. At a basic level, they can help to build trust and loyalty for your products. However, the benefits of running contests and giveaways go even further than that.

      When it comes to spreading the word about your business, a giveaway can be highly valuable. For example, 95% of people who participate in a contest or giveaway share it with friends online afterward (everyone wants to win a prize). That’s a pretty wide reach for something you can often set up for free. We’ll cover some of the ways you can do that later in this article.

      You can also build your email list by using contests to collect user information. In fact, some giveaway apps also include a social sign-in functionality, which has been shown to increase the success rate of online marketing campaigns. This feature gives users the option to sign in to your website or contest using a social media account they already have, saving them from having to create an entirely new account.

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      Our automatic updates and strong security defenses take server management off your hands so you can focus on your giveaway, not downtime.

      How to Develop an Online Giveaway Strategy That Works

      One of the first steps in carrying out a successful online giveaway is to set explicit goals from the start. Planning out all the details of the giveaway is vital, as you don’t want to have a game go astray or forget a critical component of the rules.

      More specifically, setting measurable goals for your contest will make it more valuable when you crunch the numbers later and assess whether the Return On Investment (ROI) was worth it. You’ll want to identify whether your goal is to convert leads, gain new leads, promote a product or service, or something else entirely. Then you’ll need to consider exactly how that goal will be measured, so your results will be crystal clear.

      Contests and giveaways are also excellent at encouraging user-generated content (UGC). This is a way for brands to invite their followers and customers to contribute to the company’s story online. Contests are one way to do this. For example, check out LEGO’s Moments in Space contest.

      Lego’s “Moments in Space” contest.

      Since 64% of marketers agree that building community is essential to their marketing strategies, combining UGC with giveaways and contests is a smart move.

      It’s also vital to clarify the type of promotion you’d like to run as you begin to develop your strategy.

      • Sweepstakes are prize giveaways where a winner is chosen at random by luck of the draw.
      • Contests choose a winner based on merit, such as in the above LEGO contest.
      • Lotteries are prize drawings where people have to pay to play — you’ll definitely want to consult with legal counsel before setting one of these up.

      Whatever type of promotion you decide to run, make sure that you stay on the right side of giveaway rules in your state (or country) since there could be legal ramifications.

      There are lots of options for running giveaways on your WordPress website. However, it’s worth noting that, while some of the applications on our list have well-maintained WordPress plugins, others do not. Let’s go over everything you need to know about 10 popular giveaway solutions that you can start using on your website right now.

      1. RafflePress

      The RafflePress plugin.

      RafflePress is a free plugin for WordPress with premium upgrade options. It provides a comprehensive package for creating and managing giveaways on your website. This solution comes with a drag-and-drop giveaway builder, fraud protection, viral sharing functionality, and templates. Additionally, it offers tracking and retargeting features, which can help you make an even more significant impact with the work you put into running giveaways.

      Price: RafflePress has a free plugin for WordPress. Alternatively, you can upgrade to a premium plan starting at $39.20 per year for a one-site license or $359.20 for an unlimited, lifetime license.

      2. Woorise

      The Woorise website.

      Woorise is an application that enables you to create a variety of interactive contest elements for your website with a drag-and-drop editor. There is a WordPress plugin for Woorise, but it has not yet been thoroughly tested and vetted, so we recommend caution. In the meantime, you can create what you need through the platform’s website and embed it wherever you need to on your site.

      Price: Woorise has a free plan that covers 500 entries, or you can upgrade to one of its annual tiers that all come in just under $100 per month.

      3. Easypromos

      The Easypromos website.

      Easypromos is a more extensive software system with many options and lots of giveaway templates for a quick start-up process. You can create campaigns using 30 different applications designed for specific social media channels, as well as games, quizzes, and coupons. All of these can be embedded on your WordPress website using a custom HTML block or widget.

      Price: Easypromos’ pricing is a bit more complicated than some of the other options on our list. You can price a single promotion, purchase the Giveaway app starting at $29 per month, or get all of the company’s applications starting at $159 per month.

      4. Heyo

      The Heyo website.

      Heyo offers 11 different products and services that are all geared towards building engagement for your brand. You can use them to create various types of photo contests, giveaways, sweepstakes, quizzes, and contests (and even multiformat contests). To use this application with WordPress, you’ll need to create your giveaway within Heyo and use embed codes to add it to your website.

      Price: You can choose from Basic, Standard, or Premium plans starting at $25 per month for a year-long contract or contact the company for custom account pricing. There’s also a seven-day free trial offer.

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      5. Rafflecopter

      Rafflecopter giveaway website.

      Rafflecopter is a popular and well-known contest application. It has a very beginner-friendly interface that makes it easy to get a contest up and running quickly. Once you create a contest, you can share it with your social media channels, link it to your website, or embed it on a web page. Rafflecopter’s reputation is one of success, innovation, and quality support.

      Price:  You can start with a free plan or upgrade to the Basic plan for $13 per month. There are also Grow ($43) and Premium ($84) plans that can be upgraded on a month-to-month basis for greater flexibility.

      6. Gleam

      The Gleam website.

      Gleam offers four different applications that cover contests, galleries, rewards, and “capturing.” This means you can create redeemable rewards for your site’s users in return for actions such as sharing your content on social media. You can also use the capture feature to attract more email subscribers. All in all, Gleam is a very visually-engaging option for embedding contests on your WordPress website.

      Price: You can get all four applications in an easy-to-use dashboard for $97 per month or purchase just the apps you need for lower monthly payments. For example, the competition app starts at $10 per month.

      7. ShortStack

      The ShortStack website.

      This platform offers a very comprehensive approach to marketing your online products or services. ShortStack collects a seemingly endless number of features and options in one place. Beyond contests and giveaways, ShortStack also offers data management and team collaboration solutions.

      Price: ShortStack provides a free plan with limited options. You’ll have to look at its Business plan ($99 per month) or higher to take advantage of the “Embed to WordPress” and popup features.

      8. Wishpond

      The WishPond website.

      Wishpond offers an integration tool for WordPress and has many marketing solutions to choose from. Contests and giveaways are just the tip of the iceberg with Wishpond. If you’re looking for a giveaway platform that also includes a healthy dose of marketing and engagement tools, this might be your best bet.

      Price: Do-it-yourself plans start at $49 per month, but you will have to contact the company for managed account pricing.

      9. Woobox

      The Woobox website.

      You can run a wide variety of campaigns with Woobox. It includes options for bracket contests, instant winners, and a “winner picker” feature. One of the benefits of Woobox is that you can choose from many pre-built templates and then customize them to match your needs.

      Price: You can start with the limited free plan or upgrade to a Standard plan for $32 per month for unlimited entries.

      10. KingSumo

      The KingSumo website.

      If you’re looking for a truly integrated approach to giveaways, KingSumo is a great option. This application is focused on viral giveaways. You can build your campaigns with their dedicated WordPress giveaway plugin right in your website’s admin panel.

      Price: A lifetime, single-site license is $198 and includes free updates and customer support. A developer’s license costs $594 for unlimited sites.

      How to Market and Improve Your Contest

      Promoting your website online can be challenging, partly due to an overwhelming slate of options. The good news is that giveaways can be fun and engaging, as well as cost-effective. Of course, once you create your giveaway, you’ll need to promote it as well. Here are some low-cost ways of getting your giveaway content out in front of potential participants.

      If you want some insights on how to best use your social networks, check out our social media for small business guide.

      Another important aspect of running a contest (especially if you also want to collect valuable marketing data on your target audience) is to include a way for entrants to send you feedback on their experiences.

      This could be a simple rating system or a follow-up email with an invitation to complete a survey. Either way, it can be very helpful in determining how to make your next contest experience even better. Plus, it gives you a chance to revamp any elements that didn’t work out the first time.

      Eye on the Prize

      Aside from being good fun, contests and giveaways have an excellent track record of driving conversions, improving engagement, and boosting brand awareness. Understanding the benefits of running a quality contest and driving entries can help you hone in on all the right elements to include.

      There are plenty of reputable contest applications and plugins to help. Whether you choose Rafflecopter, Woorise, ShortStack, Rafflepress, or one of the others we’ve reviewed, you’ll be well placed to run a fully-featured giveaway.

      If you need some more plugin recommendations for your website, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together a ton of guides to help you choose the right add-ons for your WordPress site.

      Of course, you’ll also need to make sure your web host is up to the task. Here at DreamHost, we have managed WordPress hosting plans that can help you ensure a safe, secure, and seamless contest experience for your customers!



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