When you can’t come up with ideas – or hopefully before you run out of ideas – host a contest. This is a fun way to drive traffic to your site, but remember, it will only be as good as you make it. You must promote your contest – put it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and tell everyone you come in contact with about it. If no one knows about it, no one will participate.
Before starting a contest, be sure to do the following:
Pick your prize. Since you offer cleaning services, some sort of free cleaning seems to be the natural choice. This might even lead to additional work from your prizewinner. For instance, if you offer a free house wash, you may end up getting them to pay to have the driveway or roof cleaned too.
Pick your method of entry. Are you going to have a form to fill out on your website? Do they simply send you an email? Maybe you could create a survey? Do they have to answer a question – e.g., a topic they’d like to see you write on.
Determine how the winner will be chosen. Is it going to be a random drawing or will you choose who has the best entry? (E.g., a photo contest or a blog idea question)
Set the time limit. What is the deadline for entering the contest?
Set any restrictions. For instance, if you are offering a free house wash, is there going to be a limit on the size of the house? How far you’re willing to travel?
While you can always do a simple fill-out-the-form-to-win contest, you can also get creative. Here are a few examples I found that other cleaning companies have done.
House Washing Dudes hosted a coloring contest, asking people to color the “dude” from their logo. They posted all entries to their Facebook page, asked people to “like” their favorite, then gave away a $50 Game Card from Gattitown.
Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning hosted a “Whodunit” Contest. They asked people to submit photos to their Facebook page of a “mystery stain” on their carpet along with the story of how it got there. Then they had people vote for their favorite among the top 10 entries. The winner got the room with the stain cleaned for free.
A J Rose Carpets and Flooring offers a free carpet cleaning contest every two months to people who “like” their Facebook page then click on the “enter to win” icon on their page. Apparently there was some confusion on how to enter, so they had to write a special blog with instructions.
A maid service company gave away free cleanings for a year to individuals who posted the maid service’s website link on their site. To enter the contest, individuals and companies emailed the maid service with a link to the page where the maid service’s link was posted, then held a random drawing after the contest cutoff date. (They built some backlinks in the process!)
PJ Fitzpatrick Inc., a company that offers roof cleaning along with many repair services, hosts “Trivia Tuesday” each week for a small prize, such as movie tickets.
Men in Kilts Window and Gutter Cleaning held a “Spot the Tartan Truck” contest celebrating the addition of their new vehicles. The first person to snap a photo of the new truck and send it in won a “No Peeking” t-shirt.
Dr. Chem Dry gives away a $25 gas gift card each month in a random drawing. They also host a monthly “Dog of the Month” and “Cat of the Month” photo contest.
Perks Window Cleaning has a “house of the day” contest. Homeowners read the description of a type of house each day, and if they call in on the day that their house matches the description, they win $75 worth of window cleaning.
M & S Customs Auto Detailing had an ugliest car contest, looking for the dirtiest car, inside or out. The winner received a free detailing service.
A house cleaning service hosted a “Spring Cleaning Tunes” contest asking people to tell their favorite songs to listen to while cleaning. The winner, selected by the company, received a $20 gift card.
These are just a few ideas of they types of contests other companies have held. Did they all work? Probably not, and you have to be prepared for that. Nonetheless, it doesn’t hurt to try and like all blogging efforts, it’s relatively free. Just don’t purchase the prize until you know you have entries.