It Is Time To End “Caller 10 WINS!”

Dear Christian Radio,

It is time to end “Caller 10 WINS!”  Yes, there is a rush when you give the cue for your listeners to call and the phones light up, but who is really winning…Is it your listener, looking for encouragement and hope to get them through a tough day, or you, feeling like a rock star because 10 people called in and made all those pretty lights sparkle on your phone bank?

All snark aside, I get it.  Sometimes you just want to know someone is listening, but trust me they are; that’s why we need to give them a better reason to listen.  Giveaways and contests are an incredible opportunity to engage your audience.  So, before you utter those words, “Caller 10 WINS,” here’s something to think about.

Does it serve your mission?  You want to serve your listener, encourage them, and inspire them to live for Jesus.  That is great!  Now let’s create experiences that will accomplish that.  Giving away concert tickets, CDs and other experiences are great ways to bless your listeners, but the delivery system needs to be engaging.

Exclusive Club: Create an opportunity for your listeners to be the first to hear the news that their favorite artists are coming to town; be the first to win the newest CD’s or downloads. Make them special and important.  Your die hard music fans and concert goers will love this.

Go Digital: Look for ways to engage your audience on Social Media, Eblast, Websites, etc.  You know your audience isn’t just listening on their car radios anymore.  Using avenues like Social Media, give them more opportunities to connect with you in those outlets, increasing the time they spend with you and the depth of their engagement.

Surprise and Delight: Krispy Kreme should have a doughnut with that name!  Back to engagement…Think about your super fans or donors that love your station and are huge advocates for your ministry.  You could build that relationship even more when you show up at their office or business with a prize pack filled with all kinds of swag and station goodies.  Or drop by with those 10 pairs of tickets and gift cards for dinner and surprise their office or department with a night out on you.

The goal of giveaways and contests is to engage your audience and enrich their life while being true to your mission.  “Caller 10 WINS,” does not serve you, your audience or mission in the best way.  Of course it’s easy and quick, but so is Easy Mac and when was the last time you talked for days about a bowl and shared it with your friends on Social Media.  Just sayin…

Dear Christian Radio,

  1. End “Caller 10 WINS”.
  2. Stay focused on your mission, even with contests and giveaways.
  3. Look for ways to engage your audience other than on-air to stay connected to them.
  4. Don’t settle for Easy Mac!  Plan, resource those super fans (who, where, what they like), create exclusive experiences.


Adam McCain

Director of Listener Engagement

Positive Alternative Radio, Inc.

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