Your Ticket To Big Profits Begins Here

What if I told you that you could sell a $100.00 item for $200.00 or more? And what if I also told you that you would make the buyer ecstatic?

I’ll wait until you’re done making fun of me for being a nut job. Unless you’re clever: Then congratulations! You’ve figured out today’s post early. Consider me as having given you a gold star on your forehead.

With that now done, let’s bring everyone equally into the fold, shall we? To make the above happen, you only need to familiarize yourself with one word: RAFFLE. The concept of the raffle is old. Really, REALLY, old. In fact, it’s pre-Biblical. ( Learn more by clicking this URL for an interesting snippet: A Brief History Of The Raffle ).

The concept is simple: one takes something of value, and affords all participants an opportunity to win said thing of value at a drastically amortized* cost, with minimal investment. With this in mind, here are some suggestions to make your raffle a success:

First: Check your local laws and restrictions. In some places, raffles could be construed as gambling or a game of chance (which, they pretty much are) – so make sure it’s legal!

Second: Make the buy-in amount small enough that folks feel like they’d be foolish not to get in on the action. I suggest a dollar. It’s a nice round number, most folks won’t miss it, and it doesn’t force you to monkey with change.

Third: Make sure the rules are clearly written, and clearly displayed. This way, no one is angry or ‘surprised’ by the outcome – you already covered that in the rules. And make sure to post the name of the winner in plain sight for a respectable period of time after the fact, so that no one suspects foul play.

Fourth: Employees and their families are not allowed to participate. You might be tempted to eliminate this oft-used clause, reassuring yourself that there’s no harm in it: DON’T. Don’t even think twice about it – just hold fast on this point. If you ever want to maintain credibility, then heed my advice.

Fifth: Make the prize something universally desirable. If your prize caters to a niche market, then your whole store had better do so as well. Otherwise, your interest – and participation – will be abysmal.

Sixth: Give yourself plenty of time to ramp up profit before the drawing. If you have twenty customers a day, then don’t give away a $100.00 item in a week’s time. Do the math, and err on the long side. BUT – don’t make the mistake of waiting so long that participation in your next offering becomes dissuasive. I recommend something once a month, and see how it goes from there.

Seventh: Prepare for failure. If it doesn’t work, then at least you’ve tried. But don’t give away a car or some other outlandish thing that you can’t afford to take a loss on. This is an experiment, after all, and will vary in success from business model to business model.

Eighth: Push the raffle. Gently – but push it. Make up posters, flyers, etc. Add mention of it to your web site and social media sites. Encourage folks to tell their friends, etc. If you have decent prizes, and good odds, then folks may eventually make a trip to your store to enter the raffle a monthly necessity. And how great would THAT be?

Ninth: Consider a ‘donated’ prize. Perhaps a local business not directly in competition with your own would appreciate the opportunity and exposure that your business might afford them during the raffle period. They get advertising to a new market, and you’re not out anything for the prize. Just make sure that – again – it’s not something weird and completely dissociative: Like a ‘Live Weasel Removal’ gift card from Redneck Hank’s Pest Control in your Wedding Dress shop. Sure, it’s hilarious but… all right, I’m still laughing. Maybe there’s some merit to that example.

Let’s move on.

Tenth: Make the raffle entry as simple as possible. Most folks like a tear-off ticket. Me, I’m partial to something more informative. How about a slip of paper where they put their name, and e-mail address, in a couple of empty fields? This counts as their distinctive ‘ticket’, and also affords you an opportunity to mention that any e-mail addresses submitted may be used to let them know about promotions, etc. down the road: Now you’re getting a two-fer out of the situation.

In the end, Raffles are only as successful as you make them. It takes some work, a whole lot of consideration, and a little luck to make it a good profit model. When done well, and done correctly, they can be a great enhancement to business and profit.

*(A word which literally means ‘to kill off over time’, by the way – and how weird is that?)


~ by digitalninjasmedia on December 22, 2011.

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