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The Prize Is Always Right

Giving away a prize as an incentive to sell a product or solicit a donation

is a time-tested marketing ploy that never fails. The only problem is that

the market has become oblivious to sweepstakes.

Promoters are giving away the same old prizes time and time again. Without

adding anything exciting to the sweepstakes, you might as well offer

$10million or your efforts (or your product or charitable cause) are likely

to be ignored.

In this age of mega-million lotteries, the type or value of prizes offered

speak the language of the market. If your product is just as good as that

of your competition, or if your charity is just as worthy as any other that

seeks donations, then you;d better spike your campaign with a sweepstakes

that is unique as can be.


A few years ago, a church in Daly City, a bedroom community west of San

Francisco was planning a fund raising campaigtn that involved selling

"raffle" tickets to the congregation.

The plan was to sell the tickets for around $5 each, and for which one

lucky ticket holder could win the grand prize oaf a brand new Toyota Tercel.

To say the least, the idea was worn out and unimaginative. A friend

coordinating the project decided the raffle could be improved, and consulted

me on what the fund raising committee can do to make the sweepstakes more


My suggestion was to give a different prize.

Why not give away a business - a store!!!



We went to a new strip mall that was being constructed and leased a

storefront for $1,100 a month. Next we ordered signs and shelves and an

initial inventory of 1,200 used video tapes for which we spent a total of

$15,000. For under $20,000, we were able to put together the basic

framework of an operational video store. We hanged a banner outside

that says "You can win this store. Call for info"

$200 A TICKET Because the church wanted to raise $25,000, we decided to

sell 250 tickets at $200 each - for a total of $50.000.

Out of this amount, $20,000 will pay for the grand prize,

$25,000 goes to the church, and $5,000 for my friend for organizing the

project which lasted for 6 weeks.

To achieve the same results, and using instead an $8,000 car as a prize,

it would require the church to 8,000 tickets at $5 each, a much more

difficult fund-raiser by comparison.