Does a high-value giveaway mean high-quality leads?

Does a high-value giveaway mean high-quality leads?

Just a couple days ago, one of my Twitter followers tweeted about a high-value giveaway. It got me to wondering if their contest would mean high-quality software leads. They tweeted about their high-value giveaways.

Here is what the company’s tweet said:

“Looking to score a new 9.7” iPad? Say hi to the team and leave a business card at the AcmeCo. booth (not the real name of the brand, by the way) in the Vendor Area (also changed) for your chance to win!”

My first thought:

“Uh, nope. I can’t say as I was looking to score a new 9.7” iPad today at all.”

I like that the question is conversational. But my curiosity about it’s effectiveness in lead generation spawned this post’s title. And a few other questions, so let’s jump in.

Does a High-value Giveaway Mean High-Quality Leads?

How many high-quality software leads does the prospect of winning an iPad actually generate? Really, how many?

Unbiased research about high-value giveaways and their correlation to high-quality lead generation was quite difficult to come by. The following research delves into online contests and sweepstakes, but the principle is largely the same.

Sandra Fathi, President of Affect points out in this Marketing Sherpa research, a high value item, such as an iPad in this post, does not actually target a specific audience, so it does not reach the intended audience.

Some of the key points of the research:

“If the goal is to generate leads for a technology networking product that IT administrators would purchase, then offering a $15,000 cash prize might attract thousands of general consumers – but they are not the right target audience,” Fathi said.

“If we offered a prize that would be specifically appealing to an IT admin, such as an extreme gaming console or a chance to meet the CEO of a high-profile technology company, my leads will be more targeted and valuable.”

“If you’re awarding a larger grand prize for greater incentive, such as the two Kindle Fires and 15 free meals in our Scavenger Hunt prize package, you’ll of course want to make the cost to you and your client as worthwhile as possible. A longer duration contest allows for broader reach and more word-of-mouth. It also gives people more time to enter, allowing for a more detailed contest with a greater number of potential brand benefits,” said Matthew Gillespie, Director of Trade & Sales Planning, Cedarlane Natural Foods

“For instance,” Gillespie said, “our Scavenger Hunt requires several steps to complete. These steps lead customers through our social media channels and our website, ensuring they learn about our brand and the online information available about our products. We feel more steps means more chances to reach consumers and stick with them – thus more brand awareness, all spurred on by one large, one-time expense.”

“As far as overhead, we find that often the greatest cost comes from the grand prize awarded and the shipping costs,” Matthew said.

When I reached out to Carlos Hidalgo, Founder & CEO of VisumCx and Author of Driving Demand his thoughts on tradeshow booth giveaways, he said:

“No matter if you’re on the marketing or sales side, it has to start with knowing your customer.”

“As for giveaways, if it draws booth traffic that’s what they are there for. But please do not scan them, count them as leads and email them expecting a ROI. They are visitors. Booth attendees who have had conversations and willingly given their information are the ones that are somewhat qualified.”

Does the prospect of winning translate to disclosing information?
Do qualified buyers really make a conscious choice to give up their business email address in hopes of winning a tablet?

In his book Pre-Suasion, a Revolutionary Way to Persuade, Robert Cialdini explains reciprocation as a concept in which “people say yes to those they owe.” You could say that a contestant feels compelled to enter the contest. This reciprocation was likely based on a hope or feeling of getting something (an iPad).

Interested or Motivated by Free Stuff?

Are the contestants interested in AcmeCo.’s software, or just the iPad?

It would seem that if the contestant really were interested in
this company’s products, the iPad investment would be considered a lead generation win.

But if these contestants are only lured by the shiny new object, such as an iPad,
they wouldn’t be high-quality leads.

Has your software or technology company used high-value giveaways to generate leads at your trade show booths? Was it successful? Feel free to comment below.

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