Managing awards competitions… Glamorous and exciting job or a nerve-racking position keeping you working late at the office? That depends totally on your choices as awards manager. In XXI century these choices mean picking the right tools to help you work smart instead of hard. Here at Evalato we’re huge fans of the work smart approach. Actually we don’t know any other way around and feel sorry for the poor souls that are still burning the candle at both ends.
Choosing the right tools to ease your job, however, is not a simple task. There are millions of solutions out there and you can easily get frustrated and overwhelmed. That’s why we decided to make a list of the must-have tools that will have you cut costs, save time, speed up communication, automate dull tasks and boost the number of entries.
We don’t tell you which products to pick. Just point out the type of tools you need and give you guidelines on how to choose the right ones for you. In short, you can use this list as a great starting point for your own research.
Some factors you should definitely consider when selecting your tools…
- Is the price good for what the service offers? What would your costs be like without the service?
- How easy is the platform to use?
- Is the service secure? Is your information stored safely?
- Does it integrate with other tools you use? Will it speed up your work or create even more processes?
Something to organize your tasks
Long gone are the days where you write your tasks on a paper notepad (if our co-founder Ovanes sees us do that, we’ll most probably look for a new job the next day). There are hundreds of tools out there that could help you organize your tasks better, stick to your deadlines and save tons of time (and trees!).
Even if you are a small team and don’t need the most complex and expensive solution, you can definitely make use of a simple to-do list app. Plus, there are free versions of almost all apps out there.
Examples: Asana, Trello, Monday.com, Todoist, Omnifocus and so on.
Something to speed up team communication
It’s not a coincidence that chat apps are inseparable part of both our private and work lives. Team communication apps are great time-savers. Especially if you don’t like being flooded with emails that require simple yes/no answer to quick questions. Or hate wasting time in long internal meetings. They really help communicate better with your teammates and get things done faster. If you are a distributed team, as we are, such a software is a necessity. Тhere are lots of free tools you can use and most of the paid tools also have a free version.
Examples: Slack is definitely the most famous team communication app on the market. Other alternatives are: Twist, Ryver, Flock, MicrosoftTeams, ChatWork, Cisco Webex Teams and so on. Google has a solution for almost anything so you could also use Google Hangouts Chat. The good-old Skype could also do the job.
Something for email marketing
If you organize awards competition, you almost certainly use email marketing in your marketing mix. There are great solutions out there to help you design beautiful email campaigns, automate repetitive work and send the right messages to the right people at the right time.
The good news is that there are many options for you to choose from. The not-so-good one – that you need to spend some time researching for the solution that best suit your needs.
Some factors you should consider when picking your email marketing solution…
- Does the service keep customer data safe? Will data be shared with third parties or for the company’s purposes?
- What types of analytics will measure the effectiveness of your campaigns?
- Will your emails appear properly no matter what device or platform people view them on?
- Does it integrate with other tools and apps you use? (like your CRM system or awards management software)
- Will you be designing your own newsletters or need readymade templates?
- What is the deliverability rate?
- What are the costs? Will you get a good ROI?
Examples: ActiveCampaign, MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, Zoho Campaigns, GetResponse and many more.
Something for social media management
Social media plays such an important role in marketing your awards and building their strong brand image, that you absolutely need a solution to ease your work. Again, a tough choice since there are so many tools out there. Most of the tools offer free versions, so even if you are a small business, they might well work for you.
The key questions to ask yourself before picking your social media management software are:
- What are you trying to accomplish by using a social media management tool? (nurture customer relationships and build brand loyalty, interact with customers directly from the platform or just use it for a scheduling tool)
- What (specifically) are you trying to measure?
- What social platforms are you using? (make sure the platform you choose supports the social media channels to meet your needs.)
Examples: Buffer, Hootsuite, Hubspot, SocialOomph, Spout Social, Agora Pulse and many others
Something to manage your awards competition – the absolute can’t-do-without tool…
If you want to do it the old-fashioned way – with pen and paper, make countless spreadsheets for everything, or exchange endless emails, you don’t need an awards management solution. However, if you want to be part of the future, the service fee is nothing compared to the amount of work it will do for you.
From all the tools listed above, that’s definitely the winner when it comes to saving time, efforts, resources and your sanity as awards manager. Did I mention they also help you boost the number of your entries? Yup, they are the absolute can’t-do-without tool for any awards competition. So let’s dig a little deeper.
Unlike most of the tools we talked about above, the awards management solutions are all paid platforms and don’t have free versions. There’s simple reason for that – they encompass the whole complex awards management cycle to make your work a breeze. When choosing your solution, make sure to carefully check what the provider offers in their pricing plans. Lots of solutions pose limitations on the number of entries you can get, the number of admin seats you may have, the number of programs you may have depending on the plan you choose etc. So pay special attention to that when selecting your platform.
The key questions to ask yourself when choosing your awards management solution…
- Does the solution covers all stages of your awards: registration of applicants, collection of entries and evaluation stage?
- Does it have the localization options you need? (if the awards competition is not in English or the currency is not $)
- Does it offer different payment methods? (online payment method is a must but a bank transfer and a custom payment method are definitely a big plus.)
- Is it intuitive and easy to use?
- Is yours and your applicants data safe with this service?
- Is the price good for what the service offers? Do the provider offer transparent pricing plans?
- Does the software integrates with other services and apps you use? (like with the ones we listed above)
- Is the application process easy and convenient for your entrants? (that’s crucial if you want to increase the number of your entries)
- Is it convenient for your judges too? (making everything quick and easy for your judges will help you attract more top-notch jury members)
Example: Evalato. We don’t say it’s the only one on the market but it’s definitely the top one. It answers ‘yes’ to all those questions and pose none of the limitations listed above.
Reasons to choose Evalato as your awards management software
1. Simply makes everything easier
With Evalato, all processes become a walk in the park for judges, entrants and you as the organizer. It gives you and your team the level of freedom and control to organize an award competition in a truly efficient manner.
It also makes everything quick and easy for everyone involved. Your entrants get a personal profile to create, edit and submit their application with just a click. And your judges can fill in their scores directly, from anywhere and at anytime.
2. Removes the lengthy and tiring administrative procedures
An awards management software pacifies customers’ woes regarding the inconvenient manual award management procedures, especially the heavy paperwork. Forget the waiting time and complex form-filling procedures. With Evalato as your awards management solution, everything is just a click away.
3. Creates a better organizational structure
Organizing the entire awards management process can get quite tiresome. With massive applicant entries, it‘s easy for some submissions to get mixed up. Evalato helps to create the necessary format to reduce unnecessary hassles and hence improves the overall process flow.
4. Customize the evaluation process
An awards management software enables you to customize and create a tailor-made approach to suit your awards needs. Evalato equips you with option for multiple evaluation rounds, custom scorecards with different criteria, weight and rating scale and much more.
5. Improves the quality and quantity of applications
Having an efficient awards management software is like owning a magic wand. It’s that beneficial. Evalato allows you to receive a wide range of qualitative submissions thanks to its 2-step application process. Applicants first register for your awards and then have the time and freedom to craft amazing entries within the set submission deadline.
6. Easier accessibility to entrants and judges
You don’t have to deal with bulky email or manual postal submissions. With Evalato, entrants and judges can finish their task in one shot. All you have to do is log in, enter the required information and leave the rest to the software. It takes care of sorting submissions, storing details, monitoring processes, scoring procedures and ensures easy and quick online payment as well.
7. Accurate scoring, no human error
An awards software eliminates the human error element, leaving no room for doubt when compared to the manual calculations. This also ensures user reliability and accuracy when it comes to your judging system.
Our best advice when choosing your solutions – don’t trust only the Google search results and the ads that pop-up on your phone. Compare features and plans, read reviews and most of all…Test it yourself! That’s the best way to find out what’s the right tool for you. Unlike many software solutions, Evalato offers unlimited free testing with no credit card as a requirement. So you’re more than welcome to simply jump right in and try it out.