12 Reasons Why Your Promotion Campaign Is Not Working

12 Reasons Why Your Promotion Campaign Is Not Working

This is a guest post by Zsuzsa Szabo, co-founder of Antavo Promotion Builder.

Running promotion campaigns is a great way to spice up your Facebook page, build your e-mail list or engage with your customers.

You could give away one of your products, offer a percentage-off coupon or some freebies. You could distribute your promotion campaign on all social channels, and in some cases, you’re promotion page/destination might even be receiving tons of traffic… and still, your promotion is not guaranteed to be successful.

In other words, people see your promotion page or tab, but they don’t subscribe. Your campaign’s conversion rate is lower than you expected.


This promotion app looks very nice and $200 is good value but, where do I enter? It says “3 easy ways to enter” in the right bottom corner but 2 options are sending you to their Twitter account or their website, where there is no follow up.

The prospect has left the building and is at the corner looking for directions… you lost him.

12 Reasons Why Your Promotion Campaign Is Not Working

Why is your promotion not converting visitors to subscribers? Here is a list of the things you might be doing wrong.

12 Reasons Why Your Promotion Campaign Is Not Working

1. The grand prize is not attractive enough

2. The grand prize is very attractive so people think that they have small chances to win, as the promotion will be very popular

3. You give away an i-gadget. Giving away an iPad may be risky, a lot of fake competitions and promotions are trying to get data with the promise of an iPad, iPhone or something known and valuable

4. You use stock photos. The problem with stock photography is that they are over used, some by very shady online properties and of course, people know they cost around $1

5. You ask publicity from the winner, and maybe people don’t want to share their cellulite treatment or diet story with their friends. The price is too big to win

6. The promotion lasts too long, so people think they have plenty of time to enter and they forget after a while. There is no sense of urgency. In sweepstakes (when people may win something) 5-9 day is the ideal length. In contests (when voting is part of it), 14-20 days may be enough. The time left to enter should be visible!

7. People don’t know what to do to enter. The call to action message is missing, or the design is not clear on what to do

8. It takes time to enter because the entry form is too long, people will only give you a few minutes of their valuable time (and that’s only if they are interested)

9. People get error messages, so they give up trying. The app has technical issues

10. The entry is geographically restricted but you are promoting it all over without any segmentation

11. The terms are too complex or you are not providing sufficient information

12. Other unexpected things happen like a blackouts, the user got distracted by a shiny incoming email, etc.


This promotion doesn’t seem to be trustable, it only needs my phone number. On the left it says you could win a cool iPhone but then on the right it says “iPod”. The device on the graphic appears to be a 1st generation iPhone, which is about 6 years old.

There are hundreds (if not thousands) of questionable promotions out there to grab your data. This one clearly fails in the trust department.

Social Media Promotion Campaigns


To sum it all up, there are 3 main areas of focus when planning your campaign to avoid low conversion rates:

  • Choosing the proper grand prize
  • Setting the timeline short and visible
  • And clear CTA’s (call to actions) about what to do to enter

Your turn

What do you think, what else can go wrong at promotion campaigns so it causes low conversion?

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  • I love #6! I think creating a sense of urgency is critical to driving immediate action. Too often I see campaigns that last a month or more and there is just no way I’m going to enter them right then.

  • Great points and many times plain ole’ common sense. I know if common sense were so common…

  • Hi Michelle, I am happy if you could find these points useful 🙂

  • Yes! That’s why Snapchat is so successful!

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  • parapharmacie-faure
  • john d


  • You have mentioned about very good points here, every strategy planner should read this post and avoid these mistakes when creating their next campaign.

  • I found all of these to be true in the past year of managing social media campaigns. We gave away an iPad as incentive to get people to act. The competition was successful but on a campus of over 16,000 people it was not as successful as it could have been. Tech schools like technology, so iDevices are a good giveaway but it is true when you put, “win an iPad” in a subject line of email it looks like spam.
    CTAs are so important especially with winning something through Facebook. You need to be clear that just liking the page is not sufficient to win (thanks to Facebook contest rules). Some pages tend to forget this rule and it is okay if your contest will not generate a lot of traffic but big name brands need to be weary of social sites, contest rules.

  • Hi Courtney, thanks for sharing this!

  • Thanks!

  • reply?

  • Very helpful points about running a promo. The 5-9 day time frame sounds like a great suggestion so as it leaves time for enough entries without becoming a forgotten event. I think color choice is also something that can be a hindrance. I know that neons tend to throw me off.

  • So stock photo notoriety is a thing… good.
    I have a younger sibling who does fall for these gimmicks occasionally, but I guess that’s who these ads appeal to in the long run… children! These promotions don’t convert my view and nor will they convert anyone else’s (this iPhone/iPod/iPoop ad is shocking.)

    Excellent post once more, I enjoy this blog a lot!

  • ozio media

    The biggest obstacle to a successful online
    competition is that they often ask for too many details from people that enter.
    People are constantly being asked to fill in their details online and have
    become wary of giving their e-mail address to webspammers. Competitions should
    offer the entrants the option of filling in a minimum of their contact details
    and give an assurance that their e-mail won’t be sold or used for spam

  • not promoting the promotion is the kiss of death to any promotion

  • fantastic post, thanks Frank

  • muhamad fawad

    Great read.Excellent stuff along with useful tips.Seems useful.Thank you.
    Education Information

  • Dorrisela

    I agree. At least like this everything is more easy. Other point of view I have heart were much different and hard to achieve.