Copywriting Contest: $10,000 in Prizes for Irresistible Offers

What’s a copywriting blog without a copywriting contest, right?

I’ve wanted to run a group copywriting project here for some time, but I wanted to ensure as much real world applicability as possible. After discussing it with various co-conspirators, here’s what we came up with.

The Contest:

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make an irresistible offer. That offer should be in the form of a landing page that catches the reader’s attention, barrels them down a slippery slide to your call to action, and results in that desired action. Hey, that’s what landing pages are all about, right?

The ultimate goal of the page can be any electronically observable action—a blog subscription, an e-book download, a request for more information via web form, a purchase, etc. Calls to action such as “think about it,” or “confront your spouse today” will not work for this contest—it must be something that can be measured online.

The landing page is only one part of the equation: You also need to drive traffic to the page, right? So the second element of the contest is a space-restricted advertisement prompting a reader to click through to your page.

Here are the ad specifications:

  • Offer title: max 65 characters
  • Offer description: max 425 characters

In summary, to participate in this contest, you will need to submit two things:

  1. A URL to a landing page with a measurable call to action
  2. An advertisement designed to drive traffic to the landing page that does not exceed the maximum character limitations set forth above

The landing page can be created specifically for this contest, or may be one that is already in existence. Ad copy should be specifically tailored to the above specifications.

The Prizes:

Once you have crafted your landing page and advertisement, you’ve essentially created a SquidOffer. SquidOffers is the new advertising program from the high-traffic Squidoo website.

Here’s how it works. Marketers (and organizations and bloggers and authors and you) buy an offer. They put it in a category. Then, Squidoo users vote the offers up, like Digg or Reddit, except every single listing is a real offer promoting real stuff.

So, the best offers rise to the top and get the most traffic.

This contest is designed to select exceptional ads and landing pages that will outperform in this innovative advertisement environment. So, Squidoo is giving away $10,000 in real advertising to the winners of the contest, which should result in huge exposure for your offer.

  1. First Prize: $5,000 in free advertising from SquidOffers
  2. Second Prize: $3,000 in free advertising from SquidOffers
  3. Third Prize: $2,000 in free advertising from SquidOffers

The Judges:

This is a skill contest, with entries judged on the likelihood of real-world success. I’ve enlisted some true expert eyes to choose which submissions will perform the best on Squidoo, plus one other guy for filler.

The Criteria:

The judges will be looking for advertisements that capture attention and prompt action in a unique and effective manner, coupled with relevant landing pages possessing strong headlines, captivating openings, clear writing, complementary graphics, and compelling calls to action.

Other Requirements:

To enter this copywriting contest, you must meet these requirements:

  • You must be 18 years of age or older
  • Only English language entries are eligible
  • You must submit advertising copy and a landing page URL together
  • You must submit your entry no later than 12:00 PM CST Monday, May 21, 2007

Click here to go to the submission form, and good luck!

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  1. Are entries from all non-US countries allowed?

  2. What a cool idea, this should be fun and beneficial I hope…

    Question: Does graphical elements give any bonus Brian or is it purely based on copy writing skills?

  3. Yah… does it only apply to USA? We the folks from Asia want in too! 😛

  4. Yes, entries can come from non-USA locations, as long as they are in English.

    Graphical elements will be considered to the extent they grab attention and complement the copy. I’ll add that as a criterion in the post.

  5. I am sceptical that expert copywriters will win these type of competition hands down and the little guy will not have a chance at all. But that may be the way the game is played

  6. Azzam, you never know. Because SquidOffers has a unique social media element, maybe not. A lot of people I know who write effectively for social media are not professional copywriters. I think we may see some interesting results.

  7. just to clarify please; character count includes spaces and punctuation?

  8. Jay, that’s correct.

  9. Thanks Brian, this sounds very interesting. I am thinking a bit like Azzam, that others with more experience would win, but it would be great experience at the very least.

    Is an advertising teaser strictly text only?

    Thank very much,


  10. I’m curious too, the advertising teaser is strictly text only? And that teaser goes into the message text area of the submission form? The url to the landing page goes in the web page text field of the submission form?

  11. Will anyone be able to see our offers besides the judges (and, of course, the people we send to the offer)?

  12. Advertisements that drive traffic to the landing page are text only–think Google AdWords.

    Tim, on the submission form, that’s perfectly fine. Or, the ad copy and URL can just go in the body of the message. It makes no difference.

  13. Interesting competition, will make landing page, will get sign ups, will drive traffic.

    Will do…hopefully.

  14. Will anyone be able to see our offers besides the judges (and, of course, the people we send to the offer)?

    I think I see what you’re getting at… people in some niches would rather not have their landing pages exposed to a bunch of other marketers, right? On the other hand, some people would love for me to broadcast their link. :)

    In the event you don’t want your landing page revealed, simply indicate that preference in your submission beneath the URL.

  15. Man, I wish I was a lot more motivated cause those instructions just made my head spin. Good luck all!

  16. All I can say is WoooooW! This is huge! You Rock!

  17. Your selection process for this involves voting? Since when is voting the right way to measure effective sales copy?

  18. Adrian, the winners will be selected by the three judges, which is not as effective as A/B testing, but it’s a wide-open contest, right? We can’t test disparate offers against one another.

    The SquidOffers program is what involves voting, which is a unique approach that requires adaptive thinking on the part of advertisers. Are you up for it?

  19. Brian, the only way to test an effective copy is through testing on the target audience. With due respect (Hi, Seth), the judges may not be the target audience of the ads and the Squidoo audience might vote on any of the ads differently.

    I guess Squidoo could give any context participant a free Squidoo Offer to test it?

    After the Squidoo people have voted, the judges could vote on the best ads from their points of view, so the winners would be based both on the Squidoo people and the judges’ votes.

    Until then, there are other benefits of taking part in this context.

  20. I just came here from People outside US allowed or not ?

  21. Helen he already answered that question, they are. I can’t wait to get started!

  22. Questions about contest:

    1) the Landing Page can be any length? or font?

    2) the Ad for the Landing Page goes on the submission form (using your defined specs for specs for length, etc.) and if so this all goes in the Message box?

    3) What’s the 3 + 7 Box for?

    Sorry for the dumb questions, I’m from South Beach.

  23. Does this page have to be part of our website. I know a lot of group projects do make you implement the project onto your website, so i’m just wondering.

  24. Very Cool!

  25. This is a really cool idea … nice!

  26. Hi Brian,

    You could test separate offers against each other easily – do some simple PPC testing initially, and then just do some small media buys on the finalists, eg $1000 each. Whichever generates the most sales is the winner.

    Thanks for the offer to enter, but I prefer to test my skills with the market, not voting.


  27. Count me in. I hope we’ll be judged on our copy and landing page alone and not on the promotion in question. In my case, I have a landing page / review style for an affiliate product. This product kinda bombed after launch. But my site already has all the elements for the contest. Worth a shot I think.

  28. Brian, I’m not clear on comment #15…why wouldn’t I want others to be able to see my landing page which will be a post on my blog?

    Will the ads that we write be clickable so that anyone who views our submission online can click on it to get to our landing page?


  29. Dang! I can’t join :( I’m minor… 😀

  30. Hey Brian, can you confirm receipt of entries so that we know it has been received? Thnx!

  31. Any plans on one for 2008?

  32. Damn, disappointed I missed out on this!