Contests; A Lead Generation Tactic For Ad Agency New Business


According to Jupiter Research: companies that run contests or sweepstakes have twice as many fans on their sponsored social network pages as those who don’t.

Social media provides agencies with many avenues for new business lead generation. One particular strategy, creating contests to engage an audience, quickly build online traffic and generate leads, is now even more feasible for agencies thanks to easy-to-use platforms that have recently emerged.

These new platforms allow you to simply create, automate, and execute powerful online contests at little-to-no cost. Here are a few online contest platforms that you may want to explore:

ContestMachine: Promotions Made Easy

ContestMachine is an inexpensive solution for contest campaigns for small to midsize ad agencies. They offer a packages that range from free  to $99 per month with no long term contracts. ContestMachine takes care of the details, from collecting entries to notifying winners.

Strutta – The Contest Platform

Strutta it easy for publishers, marketers and agencies to create online contests and promotions at a fraction of the cost of custom development. The make it easy for users to engage with your promotion and share via popular social media and communications tools (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc.).

They offer a Trial (Free), Basic ($499) and  Pro version ($2499), and to create custom contest campaigns in minutes.  The Strutta platform enables a wide range of promotional activities, including online contests, product testing, awards programs, and more.


Wildfire, another contest tool that can easily build & launch social media marketing campaigns within minutes. You can easily integrate branded interactive campaigns like sweepstakes, contests and give-aways with the viral features of the social web to create engaging campaigns that spread like virally, thus the name Wildfire.

Every campaign you build & launch on our platform offers a lead generation component or can be linked to one through another format.

They have the Basic package $5 per campaign, their Standard package, $25 per campaign and their Premium package, $250 per campaign. The also offer subscription plans as well. I liked that they have no contracts, no on-going fees and no credit card is needed for sign up.

Some additional contest ideas and tips:

  • You can promote your contest to hundreds of Web sites that list free contests
  • Send out a press releases about your contest
  • Ask for as much information as you can from contest subscribers. It would be important to get their social media information as well (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc)
  • Ask participants to your contest if they would opt-in to receive your agency’s eNewsletter
  • Use your agency’s services as the give away as prizes
  • Offer prizes that are relevant to your target audience
  • You may want to offer more than one prize and include some runner-up prizes
  • Provide enough information about the prizes, to generate interest and participation
  • Keep your contest simple and make it easy for people to participate
  • Be sure and include a specific time period for the length of the contest
  • Tell visitors how winners will be determined
  • Search online for other contests to get more ideas
  • Get your clients and prospective clients onboard by creating a contest for your agency that you can demonstrate success and that your agency uses the tools it recommends its clients use

Additional articles regarding ad agency promotion:


About Michael Gass

Consultant | Trainer | Author | Speaker

Since 2007, he has been pioneering the use of social media, inbound and content marketing strategies specifically for agency new business.

He is the founder of Fuel Lines Business Development, LLC, a firm which provides business development training and consulting services to advertising, digital, media and PR agencies.


  1. Maya Grinberg says:

    Great article! Both the study from Jupiter Research and the incredible amount of contests and promotions that people are entering daily have shown that engagement between a brand and a consumer is greatly aided with these tools. Wildfire provides a platform for anybody to run their own campaign, and many different types too, including contests, sweepstakes, giveaways, coupons, and quizzes. Thanks for the shoutout in the article! Check us out at

  2. Hey Michael,

    Thanks for checking out Strutta!

    We have always considered ourselves a great tool for agencies, especially with our new API. If you have any questions or would like to hear about some examples/case studies, just let me know.


    Jordan Behan
    Director of Marketing,

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