Can Marketing Really Be Sexy?

Okay, I up and did something a little crazy.

In a fit of blatant and unrestrained vanity, I entered the Sexiest Vegetarian 2010 competition!

SOOooo…  Do you think I’m sexy?  :)

Whether you do or not, please go here and vote for me: http://SexyVeg.com (It takes just a moment.)

Anyways, I’m not vain enough to actually believe I have a shot at winning…  But hey, I had to try it.  :)

(The contest is put on by PETA.  Now, I’m not a huge fan of PETA.  Their heart’s in the right place, but I’m not into the militant, in-your-face tactics.  It seemed like a fun little contest though.)

Once you’ve finished voting for me (thank you!), think about the gem of a marketing lesson behind this.

Did you notice how they asked for your email address — with an option to subscribe to their email newsletter — when you voted?  If you enter as a contestant, they also ask for your mailing address.  Both of these give PETA additional reach to disseminate their message.

This process gets them gobs of new subscribers.  And of course, a list of subscribers is essential for the all-important relationship and trust building it takes to turn prospects into purchasers.

(You DO keep a list of subscribers/prospects for your business, right?)

In PETA’s case they’re probably not looking for purchasers, but the principle is the same.

Why does this work?  Observe what just happened.  I signed up as a contestant, and then immediately proceeded to ask everyone I know (and some people I don’t know!) to vote for me.  Believe me, that’s what every contestant is doing.  And so the contestants are doing all the leg work to bring awareness to the competition, and in turn, to PETA.

What’s more, what type of people are the friends of the vegetarian/vegan contestants likely to be?  That’s right!  More vegetarians and vegans — or at least tolerant or leaning toward the idea — just exactly the kind of folks PETA is looking for.  In other words, friends of your prospects also make good prospects.  Tamarinds fall not far from the tree, after all.

Plus, this type of event is something the media can make a newsworthy story out of.  The competition is sure to bring PETA a healthy shot of PR in the coming months and beyond.

Winners become mini spokespeople for PETA.  Even while enjoying the trip to Hawaii, winners are bound to make chit-chat on the plane or in passing about how they’re traveling because of this PETA contest.

This is their fifth time holding the competition, so it must be working for them.

Your take-away:

How can YOU use a contest or competition to involve people, increase awareness & exposure of your own business, and build your prospect list?

One bonus tip.  A tactical item you can take to the bank.  Did you notice how I registered the domain SexyVeg.com just for this event?  If I’m talking to someone in person or over the phone, which one is easier to ask them to visit (and stands a better chance of actually being visited):

“SexyVeg.com”

or

“http://sexyvegnextdoor2010.peta.org/Contestant.aspx?cid=641″?

In print or on the web, the short domain name on its own carries more authority and will get more visits.  And I spent less than $8 on it.  The most important web page(s) for your business may deserve such a tactical domain name.

Now…  soon I will be joining the ranks of the winners, thanks to your help, right??

Share your voting love here.

"I'm dead sexy..."

"I'm dead sexy..."

I believe in miracles…
Where’re you from, you sexy thang
(Sexy thang you)
I believe in miracles…
Since you came along, you sexy thang
…  …

"I'm dead sexy..."

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