Businesses of all sizes are increasingly turning to online contests as a form of customer engagement. A stellar way to boost brand engagement, it’s no surprise that in recent years companies have begun investing heavily in software for this exact purpose.
Studies have shown that a significant percentage of marketers saw an increase in website traffic after launching an online contest, while over 50% experienced an increase in their follower count.
If you’re looking for a way to manage your online contests better, this post breaks down the five best contest management software (CMS) options available right now.
By analyzing the pros and cons of the five major software options based on price, features, and more, this post will provide you with a balanced take on what software is right for your business.
Contest Management Software: An Overview
Simply put, contest management software is a specialized platform used to help create, promote, and manage online contests.
Most can be used to run different types of contests, including sweepstakes, giveaways, social media contests, photo contests, video content challenges, and more.
There are several key benefits to using a platform over using manual methods. Some of them are increased efficiency and ease of use, facilitating the quick creation and launch of online contests with no technical knowledge required.
Contest management software also simplifies the process of monitoring entries and managing winners, making it easier to track and measure success.
Additionally, contest management software can help businesses increase their reach by allowing them to create custom landing pages and embed contest widgets on their own websites.
This allows for simple integration with email and social media campaigns and other digital marketing platforms and efforts.
Finally, many contest management software options offer automated prize fulfillment and payment processing, further streamlining the experience. Through these systems, a formally cumbersome process becomes far more user-friendly.
Key Factors to Consider
When choosing contest management software, businesses should consider the following key factors:
Ease of Use
The software should be user-friendly and easy to set up and manage. It should also have a clear interface with intuitive controls.
Look for software that offers an intuitive and streamlined user experience that allows for easy monitoring of entries and management of winners.
Depending on your budget, there are a few free or low-cost options for contest management on a smaller scale.
However, for those running large-scale campaigns or that need additional features like analytics, opting for a paid plan may provide more optimal results.
The contest management software should allow the customization of the look and feel of the contest page, as well as create custom entry forms tailored to the business’s needs.
Make sure the software you choose has reliable customer support in case of any questions or issues. Evaluate whether the support is delivered via email, ticket, phone, or chat.
You certainly should hope never to need assistance, but in the event you do, it is imperative that the support available fits your needs.
The 5 Best Contest Management Software Choices for 2023
Using the factors featured above, we’ve compiled the top five options for businesses in 2023.
While you can find a large number of contest management software choices available today, these five typically rise to the top for those looking to offer contests to customers, clients, and prospects.
ViralSweep offers a 7-day free trial and four different pricing plans: Starter ($49 mo), Business ($199 mo), Premium ($399 mo), and Elite ($999 mo).
The features of each are plentiful, and the free plan is ideal for small contests because it allows users to create unlimited campaigns with basic features such as:
- Entry forms
- A selection of custom landing pages
- Email capture
- Prize fulfillment tools.
The other plans offer additional features such as:
- Hashtag tracking
- Custom CSS
- A/B testing
- Pay-to-vote campaigns
- Advanced analytics
- Customizable templates, and much more.
Pros: ViralSweep is an easy-to-use platform that makes it easy to create and manage online contests. The intuitive interface and powerful features make it a great choice for those new to running online campaigns. The customer support team is available 24/7 to help with any issues or questions.
Cons: The Starter plan is limited in features, and the paid plans can be expensive for businesses that need a more comprehensive solution.
Wishpond has a range of powerful features that make it easy to manage online contests from start to finish. These features include:
- Custom landing pages
- Embeddable giveaway widgets
- Automated prize fulfillment
- Payment processing
Pros: Wishpond is a great choice for those looking for an easy-to-use platform that has powerful features and allows for customization. They also have a customer support team that is available 24/7.
Cons: You must book a demo to determine the pricing structure for your business and contest needs.
ShortStack offers a Business plan for $99 a month that allows 10,000 contest entries, website embedding, random winner selection, and a few other features.
From there, they offer an Agency package ($249 mo), a Brand package ($499 mo), and an Enterprise option with 500,000 included entries. Take note, however, that the Enterprise option is only available if you contact their sales department for pricing.
Pros: Offers a free trial and is an easy-to-use platform that has powerful features and customization options. Additionally, the customer support team is available 24/7 to help with any issues or questions.
Cons: It does not offer an API or integration options, so users may need to rely on third-party solutions for this functionality.
Vyper offers two different pricing plans: Enterprise ($149 mo) and Agency ($299 mo). The Enterprise plan allows up to 30k leads per month, the use of your own domain or subdomain, and no software branding. The Agency plan enables the use across ten different brands and 120k leads per month.
Pros: Try for free until you are ready to run a campaign, and they’re currently offering 50% off pricing for six months.
Cons: It doesn’t allow cryptocurrency-related campaigns.
Judgify offers a free Basic package with 100 admissions, five categories, and a 5 MB file size. The next step up is the Pro package for $500 a month plus an onboarding fee, but it comes with 500 submissions per event, 25 categories, 50 MB file size, and a 6-8 hour turnaround time for support.
Their Unlimited plan has an onboarding fee, and you must contact their sales department for pricing. Still, it offers unlimited submissions and categories and a 2-4 hour TAT for support.
Pros: Easy to use and offers a great selection of features. Good customer support with fast turnaround times.
Cons: Pro package is quite expensive for the number of submissions allowed, and the unlimited package requires contact with the sales department for pricing information.
Before selecting a contest management software, companies should ruminate on the following points of success: goal, size, and function. Through these three sites of focus, campaigns can reach their full potential.
Determine Your Contest Goals
Before selecting contest management software, businesses need to determine their goals. Companies should consider what they hope to achieve from the competition and how this fits their overall marketing strategy.
With clear objectives, businesses can find a solution that will meet their needs, help them reach their goals, and provide the features they need to make the campaign successful.
Consider the Size of Your Contest
The size of your contest can determine what type of software you need. Smaller contests may be able to use open-source or free options, while larger contests will require more customization and features to ensure the event’s success.
Companies running a large contest for the first time should consider selecting a trusted contest management company that can handle any issues that may arise during the competition.
Choose Software with Relevant Features
Contest management software can offer a variety of features that are designed to help businesses reach their goals.
Features such as entry management, contest analytics, and email marketing integration can be extremely beneficial for businesses looking to increase their reach or engagement.
Companies should select a solution with the relevant features they need and consider which ones can provide the most value.
Businesses that are looking for software with a specific feature may want to look for suggestions from others in the industry.
Other businesses or agencies that have already gone through the process can provide valuable insight and advice, which can help narrow down the options and make the decision-making process easier.
Our Recommendation: ViralSweep
When it comes to running an online contest, ViralSweep is the perfect solution to help make your campaign a success.
With its easy-to-use interface and powerful features such as entry management, insights & analytics, multilingual support, pre-built templates, and email marketing integration, you can launch your contest quickly and efficiently.
With ViralSweep’s competitive pricing and fast turnaround times, you can be sure your contest will be a success without needing to break the bank. If you’re looking for an affordable solution to run your next online contest, ViralSweep is your best bet.