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How to Run an Effective Christmas Competition

Competitions are a great way of grabbing the attention of your existing customers and reaching new ones and at Christmas, with so many brands and businesses vying for attention, a competition can help you rise above the increased marketing noise.

christmas competitions

Making sure a competition stands out and is appealing requires a firm understanding of your target audience and is best served up with as a big dose of creativity. The apathy of social media users who have grown accustomed to the seemingly endless Facebook Share/Like/win style promotion, is well documented. Even so, give something away that has a real value to your target audience and execute it in a clever and compelling way, and your competition can still be successful in achieving your objectives.

Before you even get started, ask yourself what you want to achieve from running a competition. This will help you to figure out the details of the competition and give you some ideas on how you can execute it. Having run a large number of Christmas marketing campaigns and competitions for clients over the years, I thought i’d highlight a few of the inspiring and clever competitions that i’ve seen this year.

Christmas Competition Examples

Riverford Organic Spot The Difference

Riverford Organic Spot The Difference


A Riverford Organic spot the difference competition is such a simple idea, but one that proves highly successful as it encourages a high and sustained level of engagement. Those wanting to enter must focus intently on the scenes in front of them, in this case a hamper which beautifully showcases the Riverford Organic brand and ensures peoples attention is continually focused.


Royal Mail Design A Christmas Stamp Competition

Children’s Christmas Stamp Design Competition

The Royal Mail Design A Christmas Stamp Competition is also a great example of crowd-sourcing.  People love getting involved, and seeing their design or idea reach the mass market is a great incentive to both get involved and share.


Image Interiors Twitter Competition

IMAGE interiors competition

A super simple Retweet to win entry mechanism makes the Image Interiors Twitter Christmas hamper competition  a real winner.  All entrants need to do is RT the picture using their hash tag. What could be easier?!

10 Tips On Running Christmas Competitions

  1. Don’t forget to have very clear terms and conditions laid out for your competition, these are a legal requirement.
  2. Ensure you provide people with key information like the start and end date, how many entries they can make and so on.
  3. Don’t make the competition too complicated – generally, the more steps or requirements that you have, the fewer entries you’ll receive.
  4. Remember, Christmas time is about invoking a feel-good factor, so try to avoid being negative, for example asking “What do you hate most about…?”
  5. Make sure it is easy to enter – the entry mechanism you use will have a massive impact on the success of your competition.
  6. Cross promote! For example, If you are running your competition on Facebook, don’t forget to cross promote it to your Twitter and Google+ followers too.
  7. Ensure the competition fits with your brand identity and promotes you in a positive light.
  8. Give something good away – the higher the value and the more relevant it is to your target audience, the better response you’ll get, that doesn’t mean you have to spend loads, we’ve found a sweet spot of around £100-£150.
  9. Make sure you have firm reasoning for running a competition and that you understand what you want to get out of it.
  10. Consider teaming up with a supplier or for B2B companies, a customer. This can help you to improve the size of the prize on offer and can also help with the promotion of the competition.

When it comes to running a competition, you don’t have to spend lots of money or take months to plan it, but it is important that your competition is well thought out and that it fits with your brand.

Whilst doing something totally off the wall and batty might seem appealing, if it is totally at odds with your image and/or usual communication style, consider doing something more relevant. The actual monetary value of a prize is less important when your competition captures peoples imaginations and makes it easy for them to enter.

Only run a competition when you have clear reasons for doing so and understand what it is that you hope to get out of it.

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