Sweepstakes provide companies with a cost-effective way to build buzz. Clients love them, and there’s no question that they boost business. From a logistical side, however, they can present a number of challenges.
Understanding sweepstakes regulations and laws across various states is tricky. What’s acceptable in one state might get you into trouble in the next. Navigating the corridors of state and federal law is often enough to put off even the most determined companies.
Throw in the logistics of administration and marketing, and a simple sweepstakes or contest becomes a big undertaking. Is it any wonder, then, that so many firms choose to hand over this responsibility to a sweepstakes fulfillment company?
Such a company is a simple solution to a complex problem—if you partner with the right company. The question is not whether to use a sweepstakes fulfillment company but how to choose the correct one.
Here’s what you should look out for when considering fulfillment companies as candidates to run your next sweepstakes or contest.
What Does a Sweepstakes Fulfillment Company Do?
Assists with campaign selection and development
The representatives at a good sweepstakes fulfillment firm will sit down with you to discuss your goals for the campaign. They’ll look at how the campaign fits in with your overall marketing goals and strategies, then consider your alternatives to ensure that you’ve developed the correct solution.
The team should work with you to ensure that you meet your goals while staying compliant with the various laws applicable to your promotion structure. They will provide advice on the next steps and as an objective third party, they can lend credibility to the contest.
Explains the legal implications
Make just one small mistake when drafting the official rules, and your company could face an expensive civil suit, state issued fines and negative PR. A reputable firm will have a legal team on staff, which will consider the laws relating to the promotion in whichever states or countries applicable, as well as:
- Draft the official rules as legally required, ensuring that no loopholes exist for state regulators to argue (or disgruntled contestants to exploit!)
- Provide indemnification to ensure that your company is not on the hook should an issue arise for the promotion structure, official rules or any other services they are providing
- Register and bond the promotion where necessary.
- Draft forms and affidavits for the prize winner to sign.
- Provide tax forms for the prize winner to complete and file.
- Provides additional value-adds to enhance campaign benefits
The primary sweepstakes or contest is only part of the fun. A reputable sweepstakes fulfillment firm may also suggest extras like instant win elements and fun games to drum up more interest. The correct firm will help you to develop the strategy to accomplish your overall goals best.
Develops prize strategy
What is a good prize? What will make people really excited? How will you determine the winner? These are all questions that the fulfillment company team will answer for you.
Ask for assistance in finding the correct prize, and they’ll retrieve it for you. The fulfillment company can also assist in choosing the final winner and distributing the prizes.
Assists with administration of entries
The firm helps with creating the entry forms, both online and on paper. They’ll set up websites for contestants backed up by robust software that will tally the results effortlessly.
How to Choose the Best Sweepstakes Fulfillment Company
It pays to research sweepstakes fulfillment firms before choosing one to work with. This firm will be a direct representative of your brand. During the initial consultation with a firm, consider the following questions.
Does it provide a legal team?
Is the firm’s team able to assist with local, national, and international contests and sweepstakes? Do they retain legal firms to ensure that your contest is compliant with state and federal laws applicable to your promotion structure? Ask how they stay up to date with the latest legal requirements.
State attorneys are quick to penalize companies for what they see as false advertising. With the stakes so high, make sure that all the legalities are correct to avoid the risk of civil suits and government issued fines.
What range of services does it offer?
Sweepstakes campaigns have varying levels of complexity. When considering which company to deal with, it’s essential to ensure that they offer the services you require.
Can the company’s team assist you with every phase of your project, or only with a few stages?
The legal side of things is most important, but don’t forget to ask about other aspects of the campaign (including prize concepting and website design). Unless all the elements fall into place seamlessly, you may risk your company’s reputation. Be sure to work with a company that can handle each aspect of your contest.
Is its team actively listening to your needs?
Most firms will provide a free consultation. Take advantage of this time to explain the basics of your idea. This session is where you’ll see how well you and the fulfillment team can work together.
Look for signs that the team is actively listening to you. Signs of active listening include:
- Minimal interruptions
- No assumptions
- Rephrasing your statements to demonstrate understanding
- Thoughtful questions to allow you to expand on your ideas
Even when a company provides turnkey solutions, they must engage in active listening. That way, they can tweak their offering to match your goals perfectly.
Does the team show insight into marketing issues?
Think about these questions: What do you hope to achieve from your contest or promotion? How will it further your marketing goals? What tools can the fulfillment firm offer you to maximize your return on investment?
You will choose a sweepstakes fulfillment company because of its overall expertise. Make sure that the team is able to do its part. Speak to them about how they will market your campaign.
What is the turnaround time?
Finally, find out how long it will take to set up your campaign. A firm with all the tools you need should be able to create your campaign in as little as a week.
Would You Like to Maximize Your Next Sweepstakes Campaign?
Please call us at 888-744-3217 today to schedule your free consultation with National Sweepstakes Company. Our team will work with you to find that winning strategy.