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How to Use a Contest to Promote Your Green Business for Under $200

My name is Brett and I recently completed my first ever online promotion for a “green” business that distributes cloth diapers and was surprised by the exposure I was able to obtain via blogs,Facebook,and Twitter a short period of time. Best of all,I didn’t need to risk much capital in order to make it happen. In this post,I’ll share the exact process I used to run a successful contest and gain a lot of exposure in return for the tiny investment.  If you’ve got a sustainable website or idea that needs eyeballs,I strongly recommend copying this strategy. It’s a process that’s easily repeatable and can work across a variety of green markets. 

Getting Started

To get started,you’ll need to identify the following:

  1. Set up a time period for your contest to run. 
  2. Select prizes that will be given away. 

Ideally,you’ll want to be giving away prizes that are related to the topic of your website. In my case,it was an easy choice to giveaway a variety of diaper related products.

If you aren’t selling a product or your products are too expensive to giveaway,no worries. You can provide affordable prizes such as books about green living or an hour of free consulting if applicable. Keep in mind that these giveaways don’t need to be overly expensive.

Setting up the Contest

Fear not the technical aspects of setting up a contest on your website. It’s extremely easy if you’ve got the right tools. For my website I used a free online tool called PunchTab that makes the process of setting up a campaign super easy and fast. 

Just direct your browser to PunchTab.com and enter in your email address and website URL into the form located on the homepage. PunchTab will then ask you a series of simple questions like how long the contest should run for and the title of the giveaway. Within 10 minutes you’ll have Javascript code that can be copied and pasted into the “contest” page of your website. That’s all there is to it. (Visit their website for more detailed instructions on setup. Trust me,I’m not a tech guy and it was easy for me.)


After you’ve setup PunchTab,it’s time to get the word out about your contest! I got the word out about my promo in a number of ways:

  • I contacted other bloggers that are write about cloth diapers--surprisingly there are a lot of them--and let them know about my contest. Many were happy to share the news of this contest with their readers.
  • I contacted a variety of people that were interested in cloth diapering / green living on Twitter directly and let them know about my contest. 
  • The free software program PunchTab makes it easier to get the word out about a contest. In order for someone to get an entry into a contest,they must Facebook Like,Google Plus,or ReTweet your promotion. This helps your green business go viral and get exposure to an even larger audience. 

My Results

As with any form of marketing,results will vary. But here are the results I received during my promotion taken directly from the PunchTab UI:

As you can see this simple promotion garnered over 1, 000 total entries,76 Retweets,67 Google Plus 1’s,and 69 Facebook Likes for my business. Additionally,a number of well-known bloggers in my industry published articles about the promotion on their websites. 

In conclusion,if you’re interested in building awareness of your green business among bloggers or participants in social media a contest is one of the simplest options I’ve found. Now get out there and start planning your first promotion! 


This post was written by Brett Lindenberg of 500amonth.com. Visit his website for more small business marketing tips like this.