How to Promote Your Bracketology Contest

Understanding the bracketology contest lifecycle makes running and promoting your contest simple.

The information below explains each stage of a contest and the marketing best practices for each stage.  Following these best practices will help you get the most out of your contest year after year.

Lifecycle Stages

  1. Testing Mode: Allows contest manager(s) to register, submit test entries and setup linked child contests.
    • Marketing Best Practice:
      • Learn more about the white-labeling options.
      • Use this mode to customize your contest's settings, content and custom registration questions. Test and customize the different emails and confirmation messages your customers will see when they submit their entries.  
      • Establish what the prizes that will be to encourage participants to join your contest.  We typically see the prizes loaded into the Welcome placeholder.
  2. Force Go-Live or Schedule a Go-Live Date/Time: All entries are deleted and testing mode ends. Just before the entry window opens the real-competitors are loaded into the draw.
  3. Pre-Registration Mode: After you go-live and before the entry window start the contest is setup in pre-registration mode.  This allows you to promote your contest before the entry window.  Participants can register for the contest.  
    • Marketing Best Practice:
      • Add content to your site, Facebook page, Twitter feed and other social media outlets promoting your contest and linking users to the contest to pre-register.
      • Create an pre-registration email template that describes your contest and ask them to pre-register.
      • Create an email list and send them the pre-registeration email template.
      • If you ran a contest last year, download the user list report and send your participants your pre-registration email template.
      • If you have physical location (like a restaurant), we have seen customers leverage table display tents.  They typically print them with contest details, entry window dates, a link to your contest and a QR code printed on them.  This will allow your customers to scan the QR code with their mobile device and get redirected to your contest.  Generate a QR code that links to your contest site using a service like Google URL Shortner.
  4. Entry Window Open: Contest opens for participants to enter their entries. It is highly recommend that contest managers send invite emails to customers, friends and families at the beginning of this time.
    • Marketing Best Practice:
      • Add content to your site, Facebook page, Twitter feed and other social media outlets promoting the contest.  Link directly to your contest page. Some marketers will use a URL shortening service like bitly.com so they can track the stats of how many people click on the link to the contest.
      • Create an email template announcing that the contest entry window is open.  Make sure to include entry deadline and link to your contest page.
      • Send the email to same list you created for the Pre-Registration step above.
      • Twenty-four hours before the entry window closes send a reminder email to the same list of potential participants.  Then post on your Facebook page and Twitter feed reminding people to enter thier entries with a link to your contest.  This will help you maximize your entries.
  5. Entry Submitted: Each entry submitted forces the user to either login or create a new account (including filling out your custom registration questions). Once the entry is submitted participants are sent a personalizable email with their entry number and a link their entry detail page.
    • Marketing Best Practice:
      • Make sure to customize the entry email confirmation placeholder and entry confirmation placeholder.  Participants will see this every time they submit an entry.  This is a great spot for promo and coupon codes because your customers only see these messages once they have submitted an entry and given you their information.
  6. Entry Window Closed: Contest closes to new entries. Participants track their entries and overall standings.
    • Marketing Best Practice:
      • Use the reports to download your users and their answers to your custom registration questions.
  7. Manage Match Results: During this period Tourneytopia or bracketology template managers manage the match results and the standings are automatically updated for all entries. After each round is complete a personalizable standings notification email is sent to each participant who has subscribed to notifications.
    • Marketing Best Practice:
      • Make sure that you customize the Notification placeholder.  This content will be seen in the automated email that is sent after each round's results are entered.
  8. What-If Scenarios: Once the final four is determined the final eight scenarios and projected standings are generated and made available to all of the contest participants.
  9. Contest Finished: Use the standings report and the tie breaker to determine winners and distribute prizes. Use the reports and download the Excel spreadsheet to leverage all of valuable marketing data.
    • Marketing Best Practice:
      • Download the Scored Entry report and leverage this information for your marketing purposes.
      • Reach out to your contest winners and coordinate getting them the prizes you offerred.
      • Update the Welcome placeholder congratulating the winners.
  10. Plan For Next Year: Your contest site can be used annually.  All you have to do is restart your contest and start the process over again.  Any licenses you have remaining are valid year after year until they are used.  You can also transfer your licenses to other Tourneytopia contest templates if you want to run another bracketology promotion.  We offer templates for Tennis grand slam tournments, match play golf tournaments, the world cup soccer tournament and college basketball.

If you have questions please contact us at support@tourneytopia.com.