Contest Holder Private Message Best Practices

Understand best practices for messaging creatives one-on-one to keep your contest moving.

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Written by Atom
Updated over a week ago

Private messages are an excellent way to communicate one-on-one with a specific creative to drive your contest forward.

Here are some tips for private messages:

  • We recommend sending 10 - 20 Private Messages on your favorite names per day. 

  • Focus on the top 10-20% of creatives. The best way to get closer to a perfect name is to work directly with the top performers in your contest. Single out those who have been getting closer, and communicate more with them. It is better to focus all of your energy on getting amazing results from the creatives who are close than it is to spread yourself thin and try to get less-amazing results from everyone :) 

  • Encourage people! Helpful private messages encourage creatives and reinforce the direction of the contest.

  • Be constructive. Rather than simply saying that you do or do not like a name, provide more detailed feedback about what you like and what just is not hitting the mark. This will help the creatives see exactly how they can improve their submissions. Sometimes, it helps to imagine your sitting in a room with your favorite people. Imagine what you'd say if your close colleague suggested this name. How would you reply in order to continue the brainstorming.

Note: You may not share one creative’s ideas with a different creative through private or public messages. It’s just not cool (and against our Policy)! 

Here are a few examples of great private messages:

  • “I like that you use the word “Paper,” but I am not really a fan of the “Dreams.” Can you come up with some different variations using “Paper?” 

  • “I love the concept behind this name, but it’s a bit difficult to spell. Can you come up with some ideas that have the same concepts, but a different approach?”

  • “I really like this name because it’s short and punchy, but this specific idea is probably better for another project.” 

  • “Hey there, FrancisAB! I like how short and to the point this name idea is, but I am really looking to focus on values of freedom, expression, and individuality rather than on publishing itself. Could you apply this type of name to those ideas? Please keep submitting, I like your ideas!”

Reach out

Another great way to encourage submissions as your contest winds down (about 24 to 48 hours before it closes) is by reaching out to your favorite creatives and encouraging them to keep submitting. A message like this works great:

"Hey there, mrasparagus92, 

This is one of my favorite entries so far because it really captures the sense of freedom my product provides, but in an intriguing way. Can you please submit more ideas like this? You’re doing great!"


These messages are productive because they stay positive and encourage a creative who is already close to what you need. It clearly communicates what you like about the entry, and it also says what can be improved. 

Utilizing private messaging is an excellent way to hone your branding direction and solidify what you're looking for in a name.

Read our next contest engagement best practices article about public messages.

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