10 Easy Steps to Make a Killer Sweepstakes

Do's and Do Not's, Facebook, How To's

Do you know what just one successful sweepstake can get you?

To start with, it can get you enough leads to last a full quarter. It can also get you the right information to optimize your marketing campaigns. It can even help you get as much social media traction as it takes to build upon.

And the best part? Contests and sweepstakes (unlike other marketing campaigns) get immediate results.

So, to help create your killer sweepstakes, let’s break down the process into ten easy steps. Tick the steps off one-by-one, and you’ll be on your way to running some of your most valuable promotions.

Here goes.

Step #1: Setting Goals

The first step to a successful promotional marketing campaign is to set the right goal(s).

Your goal could be to revitalize your social fan base, to gather business information, or collect leads. It could be any business challenge you’re currently facing. Whatever it is, you need a goal.

Spend some time thinking about what you want to achieve by running sweepstakes.

Here are some common goals for brands:

  • Increasing reach on social media (Getting more social followers)
  • Building a lead list (Getting new email subscribers)
  • Increasing social media engagement (Getting more comments, shares, and mentions on social media)
  • Boosting blog engagement (Getting more people to read and comment on the blog)
  • Gathering customer feedback (Getting people to tell how they feel about a product/service)

For example, suppose we’ve got a new online store where we sell workplace items.

As a new online seller with few subscribers, our current business challenge is to build an email list that we can use to promote our products.

So our business goal becomes: Building a lead list (or getting new email subscribers).

To make the goal more concrete, let’s add a number. This figure needs to be realistic. So let’s say we want 1,000 new email subscribers from our sweepstakes.

#2: Selecting the Contest Prize(s)

Once you’ve decided on your sweepstakes campaign goal, the next step is to choose the prize (or prizes).

The most important thing to look for when choosing prizes is their desirability to the target audience. Generally, a high ticket item like a MacBook Air will be more desirable than some cool swag. But then, you also have to consider your budget.

Let’s go back to our example and see what prizes could make sense for our audience.

In our workplace items online store example, our target audience are remote, contract, freelance, or work from home employees who set up their own workplaces.

For these customers, productivity matters a lot, so if we give away prizes that make them more productive, they’re likelier to participate.

Now, because we’re just starting out, we don’t have the funds to give away expensive workstations… but we sure can give away a bunch of less pricey yet very desirable items like:

  • Noise canceling headphones
  • A standing desk
  • A wall calendar
  • A wireless mouse + keyboard
  • A laptop bag 

Note:

We could give away a mid-level smartphone as well…  but in such a giveaway, many people who may not be our target audience will also participate. And we could end up collecting 500 emails of college students who’d not turn out to be quality leads for our store business. So choose a relevant prize to attract quality (pre-qualified) business leads and not a shiny one that almost anyone might want.

#3: Setting the Participation Rules

Your sweepstakes rules or terms and conditions are an essential part of the marketing campaign — they protect you in case of legal complications. They also educate participants, informing them upfront if they’re unable to participate.

Use simple language when explaining essential contest details, such as:

  • Prizes
  • Timeline (Starting/Ending/Winner Announcement dates)
  • Process of choosing the winner
  • Eligibility (Criteria for participating and standing a chance to win)
  • Privacy policy (Explaining how the information the entrants’ data could be used)
  • Legal clauses (Protecting you in instances where a participant breaches a condition, etc.)
  • Sponsors
  • No purchase necessary

And more.

In the Woobox Official Rules Template Guide,  you can find some of the best resources to create your rules for your sweepstakes.

In our online store example, we could say the contest is only open to participants of a specific country. Because shipping costs would kill our budget for overseas participants. Also, overseas participants won’t ever be our ideal leads (thanks again to shipping costs).

#4: Choosing Entry Options

The entry requirements — or what you need the participants to provide to be eligible to win the prizes — should be directly tied to your campaign goal.

A sweepstakes solution like Woobox allows you to add multiple entry requirements to your giveaway. But remember asking the users to do 10 things like following you on 5 of your social profiles, sharing the sweepstakes with their social circles, and more will dramatically reduce their probability of participating – not to mention the strict Facebook policies against requiring these actions.

The key to choosing the right options is to look at your business and campaign goals and select about 3 or so entry requirements that contribute to your goals.

In our online store example, our sweepstakes campaign’s goal is to build an email list. And so, our primary entry requirement will be to get the participant’s email.

A quick note about bonus entries:

Typically, a user can participate in a sweepstake just once, or once per day. However, we can offer the user some bonus entries for referrals they bring in by sharing their unique link to the sweepstakes. The bonus entries feature adds an element of virality to any sweepstake.

#5: Determining Start & End Times

There aren’t any tight rules around when you should start or end your giveaway, or for how long you should run it. Typical giveaways run between 2-4 weeks. The ones with lighter prizes are usually shorter, and the ones with valuable awards last longer.

In our example, since our items are inexpensive, we can run our promotion for about 2 weeks.

If this were a Holiday campaign, we’d make sure not to end it on Christmas as people won’t necessarily be engaging online on such a day. We’d either finish it 2-3 days before Christmas or a few days after.

This applies to all campaigns planned around special occasions.

#6: Setting Up The Giveaway

Once you’ve worked out all the logistics of your marketing contest or sweepstake campaign, you’re ready to set it up.

Here’s where a solution like Woobox comes handy.

Let’s now quickly try setting up our sweepstakes in Woobox.

Because Woobox already has a sweepstakes template, we can just pick the template and start from there. The first step is naming the sweepstakes. Setting a catchy name is important here:

Next, enter details about the sweepstakes and the allowed promotion entry dates:

Once you save these details, click on the ‘Customize’ option on the left panel and you should be able to see the default sweepstakes template:

It’s essential to make your sweepstakes look visually appealing, so work on customizing this. Woobox lets you customize the look and feel of your sweepstakes using a user-friendly drag & drop editor

In our example, since we only want to focus on collecting emails, we won’t add more entry requirements. In fact, let’s even remove the ‘Like’ button for now.

However, you can use Woobox to add a host of required or optional fields depending on your campaign goals:

For now, let’s go back to the default sweepstakes template and customize the copy and add images. It’s common to use prize images in the sweepstakes as participants can see what they might win.

With a little tweaking, here’s how our sweepstake looks:

Now that the customization and entry options are set, it’s time to set the campaign rules.

These can be added to the ‘Rules’ panel under Advanced section in the Woobox Sweepstakes campaign:

Once all the technical stuff is sorted, you’re ready to publish.

Woobox gives you an embed code for your sweepstakes, so you just need to add this code to your website, and you should be done.

Embed code in dashboard

#7: Promoting the sweepstakes

Have you set up your campaign? Time to start promoting it.

Here are a few good ways to promote:

  • Social shouts: Start publishing promotional, teaser-style messages about two days before the sweepstakes launches. Once the sweepstake or contest is live, announce that you’re accepting entries. Also, post social shouts right before the promotion ends.
  • Email broadcasts: If you have an email list, let your subscribers know of your sweepstakes and encourage your subscribers to share news of the contest with their friends.
  • Outreach: Reach out to popular blogs in your niche and request them to tweet about your sweepstakes.
  • Targeted submissions to Facebook groups: Find relevant groups on Facebook and post about your sweepstakes details on them.
  • Partner with companies: If you’re giving away products from specific brands, reach out to those brands and request a tweet or share.
  • Use Bonus entries: Allow participants a chance at more entries by sharing their referral link within their social circles.

In our online workplace item store example, we can use a bunch of the above tactics and also promote our giveaway by posting in the Facebook groups that primarily have freelancer or work from home audience.

#8: Picking and announcing the winners

With Woobox, contest and sweepstakes winners can be selected at random. Once the sweepstake ends, you can pick winners at random from the list of entrants.

As soon as you’ve picked the winners, write to them congratulating their winning of the prize and tell them how to claim it.

For example, in our case, we’d ask them for their addresses so we can ship their prizes. We could also request them to send us a pic showing them using our goodies to use for future marketing materials.

#9:  Following up with the participants

A lot of people fail to engage with their participants who didn’t win the grand prize(s). Often, they only add them to their email list and communicate with them as they’d interact with their other subscribers.

Because all sweepstakes participants have taken the effort to engage with your brand, they deserve a more personalized approach.

Once you’ve exported a list of all participants and notified the winners, write a small email to all of them. Thank everyone for participating, announce the winners, and offer some sort of a consolation prize. For example, a coupon code.

Because all sweepstakes participants have taken the effort to engage with your brand, they deserve a more personalized approach.

In our online store example, we can offer all the participants some store credit. To make sure they use it, we could even add an expiry date to the coupon.

#10: Tracking your campaign’s performance

When tracking a sweepstakes campaign’s performance, first measure it against the high-level goal you set in the first step.

Next, look at the other significant metrics like how much traffic it brought to the website, how the social media engagement improved as a result, and others.

In the workplace item seller example we created, we can calculate the immediate ROI of our campaign by seeing how many emails we collected against our target of 1000 subscribers. We can also see how many sales (and of what value) the coupons distributed among the participants got us.

Wrapping it up…

So there you have it: An easy 10-step process to create winning sweepstakes.

Sign-up for Woobox free and try building beautiful sweepstakes that will help meet your business goals — for free!

If you like what you’ve built, subscribe to easily publish your killer sweepstakes or contest. Got questions? Email our support team. We’re happy to help!

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