How do we give away cash and prizes without “wasting” money?

26

By Chuck Woodbury
PUBLISHER
From time to time, readers ask us how we can afford to give away cash, gift certificates and other prizes in contests. Okay, I will explain.

First, a little background
RVtravel.com relies on the donations of about 4 percent of our readers to help fund our operation. It’s important to us. But some readers who consider donating notice that we regularly give away money and prizes in contests. Some think, “I’m not going to give them money if they just give it away!”

Let me explain.
First, some of the prizes are provided by the manufacturers or retailers of the products. The exposure is like free advertising for them. It only costs them their cost of the product. So we don’t spend a penny.

When we give away cash, gift certificates another other prizes (say worth $50 or less), we absorb the cost. We know that the contest will attract a certain number of page views. And we know that on average, if we calculate a year’s income from donations, advertising and other sources, and divide it by the number of pages our readers viewed in that year, we’ll earn a certain amount ON AVERAGE for each page viewed. Let’s say it’s 2 cents.

We know that when we sponsor a contest, a certain number of readers will click through to the page to enter the contest. Let’s say, for example, that 2,000 readers do that. That would be a realistic number, although it can be more. Usually, the more valuable the prize, the more readers will enter.

But let’s say, for now, that 2,000 readers click through to enter the contest. So, again, oversimplifying, if 2,000 people visit the contest page, we will earn $40 (2 cents per viewer x 2,000 views). If the contest prize costs us $25, we actually earn $15.

If we give away a prize that cost us $50, more readers will likely enter. Say 4,000. So that would gross us $80, earning us $30.

So that’s how it works. And this is why we have so many contests. We have a huge circulation and we know that a certain number of our readers love them and will click to the contest page to enter. Plus, we love giving away stuff.

So, to sum up, it hardly ever costs us money to give away money or prizes. We actually make money or at least break even. That income goes into the pot to help us pay our bills, and earn a fair profit.

Does that make sense?

Oh, by the way, if you want to contribute to our efforts, to help us be the best we can be, you can do it here.

chucksignature

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26 Comments
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Bob Packer
16 days ago

I donate and I don’t RV because of health reasons. My money to do with what I please and when I give it to YOU, it’s yours to do with it what you please. Small price to pay for the enjoyment I get out of opening the email every morning.

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
16 days ago
Reply to  Bob Packer

Thank you, Bob! We certainly appreciate your kind words and your support – especially since you’re unfortunately unable to RV. But wonderful people like you are what keep us doing what we love to do – informing, educating, and entertaining RV enthusiasts – whether they’re able to participate or not. (But we sure wish you could.) We sincerely appreciate you. Take care. 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Dale Sain
16 days ago

Well, this full timer is proud to be in the 4%. Good stuff, important stuff, funny stuff; all RV related. Now if I could only win a ViAir 450P RV Compressor…

Thanks to the entire crew.

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
16 days ago
Reply to  Dale Sain

Thank you for your kind words and support, Dale. We appreciate that you’re in our elite 4%, and we appreciate YOU. And a ViAir 450P RV Compressor – that would certainly get the views and participation! Hmmm. 💡 Take care, and stay healthy. 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Phil Atterbery
16 days ago

Chuck, there is two factions you & the hard working staff have to satisfy, the readers and the accounts. Looks like you’re doin’ just fine.

Dawn Martin
16 days ago

Thanks Chuck, I honestly don’t care how or what you spend donations on, just love the information, thoughtfulness and humor you provide. Keep up the great work.
Thanks
Dawn

Scotty Hutto
16 days ago

Thanks Chuck. Personally I enjoy the contests… haven’t won yet, but there’s always the fun of entering and “hoping”.

I would suggest as an alternative (or in addition to) the Amazon gift certificates, one giveaway that wouldn’t cost you might be to give away a year’s premium (no-ad) subscription. I’m sure you and your team have thought of it, but thought I’d mention it.

Regards,
Scotty

John
16 days ago

I donate and all I care about is the informative articles you give out. We read every day. I will continue to give. Please continue your GREAT work!! Thanks.

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
16 days ago
Reply to  John

Thank you, John! We appreciate your kinds words, your support, and YOU! Take care. 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

steve
16 days ago

Is that ($$$) why we always have to click a link to continue reading an article?

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
16 days ago
Reply to  steve

Can you imagine how long our newsletters would be if every article were contained in its entirety on one page? You’d never get to the bottom. This way people can scroll through the newsletter until they find something they want to read more about, then click on the link to the rest of the article. But the clicks are good, too. 😉 Have a great day. 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Skip
16 days ago

Chuck
Just keep doing what you’re doing. I joined because of the information that is current and from the past. Loads of information available at my finger tips. The explanation is well written and I’d chalk the negative comments as those that quite don’t understand the working structure of media and it’s working. Press on or as in the military “as you were”.

Robin
16 days ago

Should see a bump in contributions today!

Lindy Maynes-Kolthoff
16 days ago

I give and I don’t care how you spend the money…just as long as you continue to maintain this excellent daily newsletter. Chuck et al, you folks are the best!

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
16 days ago

Awww, thank you, Lindy! We appreciate your kind words and your support. But most of all, we appreciate you! Take care, and have a great day! 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

John H.
16 days ago

The nay sayers do not understand marketing. I think you made a great attempt to educate and inform in lieu of blowing off your readership! Another job well done. 

Ran
16 days ago

Chuck and Staff. Thanks for all you do for us subscribers and paying members. Here’s another idea. When people sign up or donate as subscribing members, have a checkbox that says “I refuse to receive free stuff!”.
Would like to see how that goes! Keep up the good work.

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
16 days ago
Reply to  Ran

Interesting idea, Ran! Thanks for your kind words and your support. We appreciate it, and you! Take care. 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Ed D.
16 days ago

I have been a paying member for several years now and I believe the contests are a great way to keep people coming back and to attract new potential members. Chuck, to anyone that tells you “I am concerned about giving you money, just so you can give it away”, I call BS! They most likely weren’t planning on becoming a “paying member” anyway! They are just looking to cause problems for a well oiled information machine! Keep doing all of the things you have been doing and don’t pay any attention to the “nay sayers” and to those that say “I would have given you money but…..”

Joseph
16 days ago
Reply to  Ed D.

 👍 

ron
16 days ago
Reply to  Ed D.

Well said

Wayne C
16 days ago
Reply to  Ed D.

Exactly, let the whiners go. I generally don’t enter contests but successful businesses have advertising budgets. Think of what sports team sponsorship adds to the cost of the sponsors product. I don’t hear a lot of complaining about them financing those overpaid prima donnas. Wait, was I just complaining?

Ed D.
16 days ago
Reply to  Wayne C

LOL! Good analogy and comparison.

Jim Thomas
16 days ago

Chuck, as a supporter, I have never had a problem with your giveaways. It’s a way to market, build loyalty, and earn a bit as you mention through pageviews. Remember that it is a small vocal minority who typically complain, and the vast majority of us are happy campers. Thanks for all you do!

Tom
16 days ago
Reply to  Jim Thomas

Hear,Hear.

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
16 days ago
Reply to  Jim Thomas

Thank you, Jim! We appreciate your kind words and your support. And we also appreciate you! Take care, and have a great afternoon. 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com