Publish your timeline
People want to know when they can vote, so make the start and end dates of your ballot clearly visible. If there will be a separate nomination period, you want to be sure to post the dates for both the nomination period and the voting period. You should also make it clear when you will announce winners, and when any related events or special sections will take place.
Make it clear how to enter
Your ballot page should have a button or a clear call to action telling people exactly how to enter.
Turn on registration confirmation
With registration confirmation enabled, the emails you collect are more valuable because you know there’s an actual person behind all of them. This also prevents people from stuffing the ballot with fake email addresses, and knowing that you can prevent voter fraud is key for satisfying both your customers and the businesses listed on the ballot.
If people voting in your ballot feel that they can’t make their voices heard, they will be frustrated. Allowing write-in votes gives people the opportunity to vote for the businesses or entrants that are truly their favorites. The only exception to this rule is if you have a separate write-in nomination period before your voting period.
Don’t make changes after the ballot is live
Once the ballot goes live, you should avoid making changes if at all possible, because doing so is likely to lead to anger, confusion, and questions from customers. However, you can add write-in entrants to the ballot at any stage.
Announce the winners publicly
People want to know who won, so be sure to post the winners on the ballot page once they have been chosen. This is also another promotional opportunity for you, since publicly announcing the winners gives you the perfect reason to send a follow-up email to all voters (and maybe even host a party or release a special section).
Make the page a year-round resource
The winners page of the ballot will be more valuable if people can go back and consult it throughout the year. Be sure to include information about the winning businesses, like a map, logo, description and link to their website to make the page even more useful.