7 min read

How to Run a Sweepstakes: Giving Away High-value and Physical Prizes

October 22, 2018

One of our newest features is our Sweepstakes. Sweepstakes, along with other instant-win games, are cost-effective marketing tools. They’re exciting, easy to understand and can function in a variety of mediums. From traditional raffles at your local mall to viral social media contests, sweepstakes are a great way to convert your audience into potential customers.

Sweepstakes Statistics

sweepstakes social media

What is a Sweepstakes?

A sweepstakes is a promotional strategy where prizes are given away to winners who are randomly selected from a pool of entrants.

What is a Sweepstakes?

Commonly mistaken with one another, sweepstakes and lotteries have distinct differences.

A sweepstakes awards prizes at no charge to the participants.

However, a lottery requires entrants to make a purchase to participate. Lotteries require a license to operate because it is considered as gambling.

5 Benefits of a Sweepstakes

By running a sweepstakes, you can get amazing results that can bring you a greater return on investment than other marketing strategies.

1. More Email Subscribers

Grow your email lists as contestants enter your sweepstakes. For compliance, remember to add messaging to notify them they will be contacted by entering.

2. Increased Brand Exposure

When ran correctly, giveaways draw attention to your business and is a great way to introduce your brand to more people.

3. New Customers

With increased brand exposure, you’ll be able to reach a larger audience, introducing your brand to new customers.

4. Boost in Sales

With increased brand exposure, introducing your business to new customers and more email contacts, sweepstakes and giveaways help to increase your sales in the long and short-term.

5. Larger Social Media Audience

If you’re sharing your sweepstakes over social media, you could attract a larger audience.

How to Run a Sweepstakes in 5 Steps

A well-executed sweepstakes can help you reach your goals. To do so, it’s important to thoroughly plan it out.

1. Set a Goal

Consider what you want to get out of running a sweepstakes. By determining your goals, you’ll be able to measure whether your promotion was successful or not. 

For example, if your goal is to grow your email subscribers, be specific. How many new subscribers do you expect from running this sweepstakes? Don’t forget to be realistic.

2. Specify your Target Audience

You don’t want just any entrant – you want to attract your ideal customers. To attract potential customers who will actually buy from you, you need to take the time to research your target audience.

3. Choosing the Right Prize

One of the most important pieces of a sweepstake is the value proposition of the prize. If the prize(s) selected are not suitable for the audience you are trying to target, your promotion will be a disappointment.

Don’t just giveaway a general high-valued prize like an iPhone. What does that have to do with your business? While it may be a prize people want, it’ll attract a general population who probably won’t make an actual purchase from your company in the future.

When choosing the right prize for your promotion, it should be something relevant to your business and something that your customers really want. Your prize should also be worth people’s time and something excited. Also, keep in mind it doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive! Your prize(s) just need to get people excited enough to spend the time entering and sharing with their friends.

social media promotions prizes

For example, in 2013, Volkswagen UK ran a successful sweepstakes draw through social media when they offered a Campervan Tent as a prize. It was successful because they exceeded their goal in number of entries. Volkswagen considered the prize as low value however it struck a nostalgic chord with their target audience. 

Also, keep in mind that the number of prizes influences the number of entrants. For example, if you are only giving away 1 high-valued prize, your audience might have the attitude “there’s no chance I’m going to win”. With this perception, you may receive less entries. However, if you give out multiple medium-valued prizes, your audience has greater perception that they might win something.

sweepstakes social media marketing
4. Creating your Sweepstakes Landing Page

Start off with your title. Our rule of thumb is that you should us a specific attention grabbing title. For example, Tropical Vacation Sweepstakes isn’t as appealing as Win a Tropical Vacation valued at $5,000 for Two. With our campaign editor, you can also add an enticing prize images and prize descriptions.

social media promotions

Next, decide what information you want to collect from your entrants. We assume collecting information is the main reason you’ve decided to run a sweepstakes. However, by asking for too much information will affect your opt-in rate and creates barriers to entry. You want to make the entry process as frictionless as possible.

sweepstakes data entry

On your landing page, you should also be clear about the time and date of your draw and when your entrants should be expecting to hear from you. With our campaign editor, you can set the exact start and draw time and date. Our system will also randomly select the draw winner on your behalf once the draw has taken place and notify you by email. 

TIP: Make sure your sweepstakes is responsive to mobile devices. Mobile and tablet devices are becoming increasingly popular. In some countries, mobile is the only connection your audience may have to the internet. (P.S. DeepMarkit has you covered.)

5. Advertise your Campaign

It can be very tempting to cast a wide net to promote your sweepstakes everywhere. However, referring back to the concepts of lead generation, you also want to keep in mind your target audience. Entries that match your target audience profile will be more receptive to your marketing. While a general audience will be less receptive, in the end, wasting your time.

When your audience is online where do they frequent? These are the mediums you want to target. You could also run a Facebook or Instagram ad campaign and specify interests you’d like to target.

Social Media Marketing

After the Sweepstakes Ends

Hopefully, by the end of your promotion you’ve grown your audience, increased your brand exposure and reached your other goals. Once your winners and been chosen and you’ve fulfilled the prizes, it’s time to leverage the growth your sweepstakes provided.

DeepMarkit’s system will notify you of your winners but you should notify them in a timely manner. Include a date that they must respond by in order to claim their prize and be clear that if they do not respond their prize will be forfeited.

Going forward, follow up with all your entries. You want to create a relationship with your new contacts so with this first email you don’t want to be too aggressive. A general guideline on what to include in your first email:

  1. Thanks for entering – people may have forgotten who you are or what they entered to win. Thank them and remind them of the giveaway and your brand.

  2. Announce the prize winners – it’s important to be transparent and let everyone know who the winners were ad it helps to add credibility and trust.

  3. Provide a consolation prize – such as a discount/coupon.

We’re excited about the launch of our new Sweepstakes and prizing features and we hope you’re excited as well. If you have any questions, please ask us anything or tell us how your sweepstakes went!

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