Run Your Own Member Driven Contest Within Your Membership Site

The absolute best way to encourage and get extra user participation is with a contest. Here are five ways to run a membership site contest.

1. The fastest person to finish.

It’s one thing to explain a theory or even show or tell somebody how you accomplish a task but what good that does do someone unless they actually attempt that task, What you do with a fastest person to finish contest is tell your visitors the first person to show proof they have completed the task wins some kind of price. Usually for me, the task involves setting up something on the website so the first person to post a URL to their completed video, website, blog or even sales letter wins the prize.

2. The best person to finish or the best and closest answer.

Rewarding the first person to subscribe is one thing but what about the best answer, The problem with having the first person to post win is that after one person post, what’s the reason for others to respond,

For example, you might only allow 20 comments on your blog post and the winner, meaning the person who gives the best answer gets the prize. For example, my buddy Lance ran a contest giving away an LCD monitor and he simply asked, “How do you plan on using the monitor if you win,” and he gave the best answer, “To monitor.”

3. The 100th person to reply or give this answer.

Here’s a contest type that you should probably only run via email, not on an actual blog post and that is the 100th person to reply with an answer wins. This might be something as simple as the 100th person to say, “I want this free monitor,” wins it or even the 100th to give a reason why they would use the monitor that wins it.

But the idea is that it doesn’t matter if the person responding gives a good or bad answer even the fastest answer, they are just number 100. So when somebody emails you giving the answer, they have no idea if 10 people have responded or 200 people have responded. This is the same way many radio stations run contest where they say the 9th caller or the 100th caller wins the prize.

4. Random person.

You can even supply the prize to a random person on your blog or in your email but the important thing is that you have your users take some kind of action. It’s no fun if you simply run a random drawing with your user base. It’s a lot better if you will have to work to win it even if working only consists of leaving a comment.

It’s actually very easy to pick a random person when you use a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel. Simply post a list of every single person in the contest onto a spreadsheet then in the next column over, type-in the following, =RAND(). Hit enter and then copy that cell down the entire column then sort by that random column and now the person on top is the clear winner. If you want to have five random winners then the top five users are your winners.

5. The best way they promise to use this.

This is very similar to the best answer method but instead of somebody giving you the best answer such as, “What’s the best iPhone application,” or “What’s the best use of 60 minutes,” you’re asking for the best way they are going to use the prize. So when you are offering a free LCD monitor, you might not ask what’s the best program to use with the LCD monitor but instead what’s the best way you’re going to improve your productivity with the monitor,

And those are my five favorite ways to run a member driven contest. Give the price to the fastest person to finish, the best person to finish, the 100th person to reply or give and answer, give it to a random person or reward the best way they promise to use that monitor.