Which one to offer? Engagement Session or your basic Wedding package for Free?

I started a thread in the Contest and Give Away section of @bridaltweet and so far I have not seen any reactions.  I am wondering if that was a good idea to just give away a 2 hour engagement session or our basic wedding package?

I think I am positive to say that the wedding package will be more appealing to brides, but doesn't the bride and groom want to test you first?  Since we don't have the portfolio to back it up and only a couple of portrait and scenery pictures I would have thought that would be appealing enough to hold a contest for an engagement session.  (sigh)

Now I am beginning to second guess myself.

Opinions and constructive criticism are welcome!

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I think you are right, I would want to try out a package before hiring a photographer for my wedding. Also, the brides and grooms on a budget might not be planning to have an engagement session, and would find your offer appealing.
Thanks! I'll go ahead and let the engagement contest run until the deadline. If i don't get any response at all, I'll change the contest to 1 Lucky winner for a 5 hour wedding coverage and a wedding album included.
Marvin, where is your contest being held? Do you want us to check it out?

A lot of my wedding photographer friends have tried giveaway contests with minimal success. They even had trouble getting brides to enter in the first place! (One got ZERO entries to his free engagement session in NYC contest; the other had 700 views and only 10 entries for her trash the dress session giveaway.)

How much excitement you get depends on a few factors:

1) How many people see your contest offer. (Figure a much, much lower entry level than you would expect, say 2-5%.)

2) How easy it is to enter the contest. If you make them write an essay, send you photos or a video, a lot of people won't even bother entering. On the other hand, if you make it "one click" to enter, you'll have a much better response.

If you use the words "free" in your giveaway, you will typically get a much better response than adding a bonus. The best way to find out the approach brides like is to test them both.

Hope this helps!
Hi Stephanie! Its in San Diego, CA - Good to know. I think I will have to rewrite the whole contest and really make it easy to enter. But then again, where's the fun in that? I am guessing if they have too much on their plate and schedule you are probably right that they won't even bother writing or submitting anything.

Ok - I'll try to get the entry form approach. One click. Also, learning from this, I am beginning to think that I should just throw one wedding winner contest. The gift will be a 8x10 leather album with 60 pictures and 200+ digitally enhanced proofs online.
Can you make it even simpler? One click directly to send you an email? As long as they don't have to go to a separate page, it should help the response.

It's sad that we're so lazy...but we are!

Good luck with your contest! Make sure you come back and let us know how it goes.
Hey Stephanie! We are doing the contest over. I had some thoughts over the weekend and it really has to contain some information in order for us to judge the contest. Thanks to your suggestion and our simple guidelines, we were able to put together a package that's very enticing for everyone. We gave it a month to test. Oh and we remodeled our site. Take a look and I welcome constructive critism. :-)

http://www.sigmasixphotography.com
I love it! "The Really Simple Wedding Contest." My only comment is that you might want to put what they win above the entry form; otherwise they might not make it that far.

Check out http://www.BloggerLinkUp.com. It's a guest blog site and they have a new feature that lets you advertise your contests on other people's blogs. The more brides who see it, the more benefit you'll get.
Glad you liked it! Will do. I just went ahead and signed up for Bloggerlinkup.com and offered a guest post. i think that's right unless i read it incorrectly.
Stephanie! It worked! Its a slow start but we now have 2 contestants. Wow! Not sure where and how they found us, but they responded! So happy! Thank you for your advice!

Stephanie, can you imagine that this was almost 2 years, well, not quite but as I look back on our trials, this is how we got started.  The contestant that won our contest turned out to be the biggest break that we were looking for.  Thank You!

How awesome, Marvin!

Would you be interested in sharing your success story with us?  I'd love to share it with other wedding vendors on our blog.  Message me if you're interested.

I'm very excited for you!

No contest. The biggest and most POWERFUL word you will ever use is FREE!!  No charge. Just include it FREE (maybe up your price by $40 or $50). Edit some save the date cards for free for them. Email the card to them and let them have them printed.

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