Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

Social Media Marketing for Business

Emily Potts


February 4, 2015

5 Ways To Keep Your Email List Engaged After The Contest Is Over

February 4, 2015 | By | No Comments">No Comments

Imagine this: Your latest contest has drawn to a close and you’re thrilled with the number of leads you’ve collected. You email out an awesome offer, excited to earn revenue from the list you just built.

The next day your excitement disappears when you open your email service dashboard. Only a small percentage clicked through to your site. A lot of leads unsubscribed from your list. OUCH.

The truth is that building your list is only one half of the equation. While it is critical to gather a list with as many leads as possible, what you do with those leads is just as important to growing your business.

What if I told you that there is a way to build rapport with your email list so your subscribers are excited about hearing from you? What if you can train them to regularly open the emails you send and prevent most of them from unsubscribing? And even better, what if you can establish yourself as a small business they like and trust . . . and that they want to spend money with? If this sounds great to you, keep on reading! Here are my five favorite tips for keeping your email list engaged after the contest is over:

1. Make everyone a winner.

Who doesn’t like feeling like a winner? I know I do! After the contest is over, and you’ve announced who won, find a way to reward everyone who played. Send out something to each and every one of your entrants. For example, let’s pretend that you own a day spa and your contest’s prize was a package of services. While you certainly can’t give that out to everyone without going broke, you can create a way for everyone to win. If you have the room in your budget, you could send little cards and product samples to every person who entered. If you need a less expensive option, you could send out a PDF titled Five Ways To Pamper Yourself at Home that details some easy DIY treatments. Thank everyone for playing, let them know you’re so thrilled they are a part of your community and reward them for having entered your contest.

2. Teach them how to do something.

Sending free, valuable information to your list is a great way to train them to open your emails. If they can expect most of your contact to be helpful (instead of promotional) they will learn to open each email you send. One of the easiest types of information to offer your leads is how to do something related to your business. For example, if you own a wedding planning service, you can send out articles on how to choose a venue, how to get glowing wedding-day skin, or how to properly address invitations.

3. Answer FAQs.

When you receive the same question over and over from prospective clients, you can bet there are many more who want to ask it but don’t! Send an email with a list of your most commonly asked questions and their answers. The list doesn’t have to be extensive – the most popular three to five will suffice. Just be sure to answer the questions in a way that is more focused on helping than selling.

4. Provide a List of Favorite Resources.

I own a portrait photography studio, and clients always ask which cameras I recommend, where they should print snapshots and what kind of software would allow them to easily edit pictures from their last party. Your clients and customers likely have the same kinds of questions for you. Providing them a list of favorites is sure to please. The list can be about virtually anything. A bike shop can provide a list of their favorite nearby trails. A graphic designer can provide links to awesome online printers. Any resources you can offer that relate to your business and help your list are a win!

5. Announce Another Contest.

Let your list know that you’ll be announcing future contests in your emails, so they’re sure to get the scoop early. Tell them that you’ll reach out the day before so they’ll never miss something awesome just because it’s buried in their feed.


Build your communication with clients around helping them versus selling to them and you’re sure to keep their interest. This definitely doesn’t mean you can’t ever send out information about a promotion or new product. The key is to keep the majority of your emails on the informative side so you build great rapport with your list. When it comes time to sell, your list is ready to open an email from a business they like and trust.

Emily Potts


Emily Potts is a marketing and sales coach, and the founder of The Successful Small Business. A small business owner herself, Emily is passionate about helping creative entrepreneurs attract their dream clients and reach their sales goals. She has worked with hundreds of small business owners to help them market their businesses, charge what they’re worth and make a great living doing what they love. You can visit Emily online and sign up for her free marketing guide at