Imagine you have a small business website with plenty of traffic. Unfortunately, you don’t have many subscribers to your regular email newsletter. These visitors are finding your site okay, but once they leave, they never return.
Now imagine you could give them an incentive for signing up for your newsletter. This might include a chance to win a big prize like a great weekend getaway, a new Tiffany Co Gift Card, an iPad and Apple TV combo or other prize.
A startup called Incentivibe gives you a way to offer high ticket prizes on your website as an incentive for the leads you need. Incentivibe CEO and Co-Founder, Adeel Vanthaliwala, took time out recently for an exclusive interview with Small Business Trends to explain.
The Conversion Problem
“Here’s the problem,” said Vanthaliwala. While website businesses have worked long and hard to build traffic on their sites, converting that traffic into leads is a bit more difficult. In fact, according to data supplied by Incentivibe, 95 percent of the people who visit your website leave without ever becoming leads.
One solution is to offer free ebooks or white papers to visitors in return for newsletter signup or other actions. But Vanthaliwala said this generally only works for business to business websites — and with less success if you sell to consumers.
Worse yet, he added, for some visitors white papers or other information just aren’t enough of an incentive to sign up and give you their email addresses.
Larger prizes might create more incentive, Vanthaliwala said. But the cost is sometimes prohibitive to small startup websites. They may not have the budget to spend for giveaways week after week or month after month.
Newsletter Incentives: How Incentivibe Works
Incentivibe offers websites the ability to pool their resources by paying a fraction of the cost of a larger prize. For example, for a $24.99 monthly fee, small websites can participate in a giveaway for a prize worth $500.
A site owner simply installs a widget with the giveaway information to his or her website. Incentivibe offers integration with a wide variety of platforms including Magento, Shopify, Big Commerce, Volusion, Unbounce, WordPress and any custom-made website.
The contest widget includes only the name of the site on which it appears. So site owners don’t need to worry about promoting other sites inadvertently. They can even co-sponsor a contest with a competitor, said Vanthaliwala.
Incentivibe also offers free administration of the contests and free contest rules tailored to legally meet the requirements of your country or region.
How They Got the Idea
Vanthaliwala and co-founder and chief technology officer Abdul Basit Munda came up with the idea for Incentivibe while wrapping up a previous venture in February 2012.
Carrying $50,000 in debt and working two to three part-time jobs at a time to support their families, Vanthaliwala and Munda decided to learn from their own mistakes and built a new business as a result.
Vanthaliwala explains in a post on the company’s official blog:
We looked at [the] previous startup and diagnosed major problems. We realized that one of the big problems was that we were lacking incentives, big contest prizes, like the big brands. All the big brands offered big contest prizes and got tremendous leads and fans. So we asked ourselves, why can’t we combine the purchasing power of small businesses and help them do the same?
For a basic overview of Incentivibe’s service, view the video below.
On the surface, this sounds like a cool way to increase sign-ups.
The only thing prevents me from getting totally EXCITED about this new tool is this: A large percentage of the sign-ups could end up unsubscribing. It’s like getting traffic that visits once-stays for 20 seconds and leaves your site…not a win.
What do you think?
Am I being too skeptical?
The Franchise King®
Thanks for the comment. This is actually not a problem for our clients who’ve used us for many months. The reason is that Incentivibe uses giveaways as a way to convert your already targeted traffic into leads.
Its very different than just running a mass social media contest and submitting it to sweepstake and other websites and getting freebies.
We have several clients on the record as stating that they have not experience the “mass unsubscribe” problem because the traffic that the contest converted was their targeted traffic that they drive to their website everyday any way.
I hope that helps – feel free to reach out to me for more details at adeel @ incenti…com
– Adeel Vanthaliwala
The fact that you responded to me as quickly as you did impresses me. You’re obviously a professional.
And, now I’m open to learning more.
The Franchise King®
Nice article Shawn. Very interesting service. Just to confirm, I can offer a $500 prize for $24.99 only? Do I have to pay for the prize delivery?
Yes, you read that right. For $24.99 you get to offer a $500 prize on your website and not worry about the logistics. The $24.99 includes the contest tool, the winner announcement, contest terms, prize delivery etc. etc.
We’ve literally made this system such that within 45 seconds you can setup and never have to worry about a single contest logistic while we take care of everything.
I hope that helps 🙂
– Adeel Vanthaliwala
Awesome.. thanks for the quick reply. Will definitely take a closer look at your service.
Our understanding is that the price is all inclusive, but I believe Adeel is closely monitoring this conversation and will have a good definitive answer.
Sounds like a cool tool to invest in!
Thanks for the kind words Clovia,
You can invest right now with our $24 plan 🙂
I’d love to hear your thoughts on how this works for you.
Definitely a really cool idea especially for small businesses who can’t afford to fork out $500 for the change to increase traffic! Awesome stuff, Adeel.
Thank you Mike – let me know how the free trial goes and if you have any questions. I’d be happy to answer them for you.
While I like the idea of giving away a high ticket item to get sign-ups, I don’t think that the list will be that responsive. Joel is right that they might just be there for a few seconds and then they leave – which is not that different from not having a giveaway.
Thanks for the comment. Lack of list responsiveness generally stems from one main issue – quality of traffic. Our giveaways purpose is to convert as much of your existing traffic that is coming to your website – assuming that you are sending targeted traffic on your website.
We are not proponents of doing giveaway for the sake of promotions and posting it everywhere because that brings in freebies. We’re huge proponents of using giveaways as a site-conversion startegy. We released a major study on a major marketing blog (Unbounce) where you can see what I mean and the results of the research: http://unbounce.com/conversion-rate-optimization/hidden-power-of-giveaways/
I hope that helps 🙂
I’ve been trying to sign up for Incentivibe but have been receiving the following message: “Sorry, we are not accepting anymore co-sponsors at this moment.” Does anyone know when this started or (more importantly) when they’ll be accepting co-sponsors again?
Thanks for the comment Don,
We got your email as well. As soon as its open we’ll let you know. It can be a few weeks.
Thanks for reaching out.
Hi Shawn, cool article although Incentivibe’s site doesn’t seem to work anymore and all seems to have gone quiet from them? Have you tried any other solutions for co-sponsoring giveaways?