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New site. Contest to get customer referrals?

4:39 pm on Oct 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I moved the online store I've had on one site for six years to a brand new site. The new site has 5700 sku's compared to 250 or so for the old site. The new site is much, much better in every respect.

I've 301 redirected the pages from my old site to the new one. I've put links on the old site to the new one. Still, sales at the new site are almost nil.

I have a small email list from my old site. I'm considering a contest where old customers on the email list stand to win a prize for referring new customers. The old customer who refers the most new customers wins a product with a retail value of about $1000. He can also choose another product of similar value.

I'm also thinking of combining the two, and giving old customers a credit of 5% of the first purchase of any new customer they refer to me. This would be cumulative, so if they refer five customers or ten or three or whatever, they get 5% of each of the new customers' orders. They can then use that 5% credit to apply to their next purchase.

I get a lot of repeat customers, so I figure new customers are worth something.

My only concern is that people won't participate, and I'll have to give away a $1000 prize with little to show for it. That happened eight years ago when I had a drawing where someone could win a $500 gift certificate. Only one person participated, and I had to give him a $500 certificate.

Any ideas, comments or thoughts on this?