Email is a highly effective channel that marketers frequently use to leverage sales and convert leads into consumers. Although it’s an older method than social media marketing, direct email marketing can prove very effective with particular demographic groups.

For this reason, part of your strategy needs to include growing your email list of leads as well as using this method to communicate with your established customer base to elicit return business.

The rub is that people are getting more wary about parting with their personal details. They know that handing over their email address will open them up to a glut of marketing appeals.

You’ll need to offer something irresistible if you hope to cut through the jungle of emails in inboxes and overcome the cynicism of these email-jaded potential customers. Entry to a contest or sweepstakes might prove to be your golden ticket.

Below, we’ll go through the basics of how to use sweepstakes and contests to build up your email lists. We’ll look at why you should employ this method, how to do so effectively, and some campaign giveaway ideas.

Why a Contest or Sweepstakes?

There’s something exciting about winning. It’s the reason that global lottery sales show year-on-year growth—people like the idea that they might win something for nothing.

You don’t have to give away millions to succeed. Josh Earl, a freelancer, grew his subscriber base by almost 200,000 readers in less than two weeks. His grand prize was worth just $70. While the prize should hold value for members of your target market, it doesn’t have to be a high-ticket item.

Where to Start with a Sweepstakes or Contest

Setting up your sweepstakes or contest can be a little tricky. It entails:

Many companies choose to work with a sweepstakes fulfillment company instead of going it alone. These firms have the expertise to guide you through each stage of the giveaway process and ensure that things work smoothly.

3 Main Elements of a Giveaway

1. The premise

The premise of your sweepstakes or contest is what you want your audience to do. It could be something like:

  • Submitting a video of them using your product
  • Creating a caption for a photo
  • Entering a simple sweepstakes by sharing their email address

To be successful, ensure your premise is easy to enter and shareable.

Make it easy to enter. If you ask people to create content, make it as simple as possible. Asking people for a quick snapshot of their baby laughing is easy. Requesting that they create a 10-minute video of the average toddler’s day is not.

To make things even simpler, identify what your target audience typically posts to social media. If they can take content they’ve already created and use it, entering your contest will be effortless.

Make it shareable. Most people carefully consider what they share on social media because they care about how it makes them look. So if people are entering your contest, make sure they’ll be proud of their entries. That way, they’ll share them, and you can grow your reach organically.

2. The prize

A cash prize is always appealing, but it can be problematic. If you make it too small, it may not be as appealing. Make it too large, and the giveaway becomes an expensive strategy. A non-cash prize can help you better promote your brand or products.

Whether you decide to offer a reasonable cash prize or a non-cash prize, make sure that:

  • The prize appeals to your target market. Josh Earl, the freelancer we spoke of earlier, offered a free copy of his text-editing software as a prize. While it was only worth $70, it appealed to his target audience, so his contest was hugely successful.
  • You get creative. Think outside the box. Anyone can award a holiday prize, for example. However, Queensland Tourism in Australia took it to the next level by creating a position as caretaker of the Great Barrier Reef. It was a never-to-be-repeated opportunity that attracted significant media coverage.
  • You consider shared prizes. A great way to encourage people to share your giveaway is to offer shareable prizes, like a dinner for four or a shopping trip for four.
  • You consider daily or weekly random draws throughout the sweepstakes. This increases the chances of people winning during the giveaway period. They’ll be more likely to share with their friends and relatives.

3. The promotion

You can find several ways to promote your sweepstakes or contest. Let’s walk through a few.

Spread the word to your current email base. Why not leverage your current base to get things started? Many great newsletter giveaway ideas are out there that you could cash in on.

Allow your existing subscribers to enter and ask them to spread the word. Even if you already have their email addresses, they’re bound to share their entries on social media and attract organic traffic to your site.

Put it on your website. Featuring the giveaway on your website is a winning strategy because your website visitors are already interested in your brand. Use a visually-appealing landing page and keep the form as simple as possible to ensure that people sign up and enter your sweepstakes or contest.

Share on social media. Social media offers an excellent opportunity to grow both your email list and page following. For example, you may ask people to follow or like your page as a way to enter the competition. You might create advertisements targeting prospects similar to your current email list’s demographics. Social media advertising allows for precise targeting, making it an invaluable tool.

Leverage influencers. Influencers, like you, are always looking for ways to add value for their audience. Get in touch with influencers about your promotion and see if they’d be willing to come on board. You may need to provide an additional exclusive giveaway for the influencer, but it could be something simple, like an ebook.

List on directory sites. Upload entries to contest and giveaway directory sites to attract more attention to your promotion.

Don’t forget your stationery. How many invoices, receipts, and communications do you send daily? Why not leverage these documents by putting notice of the competition on them? If you preorder stationery, save this tool for electronic communications instead.

Speak to your local media. Believe it or not, traditional media is still some people’s primary source of information. Reach out to local media with a good old-fashioned press release. It will help you reach people in your target audience that might otherwise never visit your website. A press release is a cost-effective way to get the word out. Who knows? Maybe you’ll catch a local journalist on a slow news day and get more coverage than you expect.

Put your packaging to good use. A simple sticker on the packaging or an insert that grabs buyers’ attention is a great way to create buzz for your contest or sweepstakes. You might catch the attention of the driver delivering the package, the recipient, or someone in their family. Considering all the touchpoints the average package goes through, it’s a great way to advertise.

Guest post. Guest posting is an excellent way to drive traffic to your site and reach a new audience. Work with bloggers or companies that have a similar target audience to yours. You’ll need to create stellar content and include an enticing call to action. The downside of this strategy is that you must plan well in advance. Unless you’re paying the blogger, there’s no way of ensuring when they’ll post your content.

Setting Up the Sweepstakes or Contest Rules

Get legal advice on creating a valid set of official rules for every contest and sweepstakes you run. You should consult a seasoned legal team specializing in sweepstakes law. Why? Because a sharp-eyed lawyer or state attorney may be quick to pick up on small mistakes in your official rules or legal disclaimers. Errors here could lead to expensive lawsuits or penalties. Consider working with a sweepstakes fulfillment firm to ensure your giveaway is legal. The best firms offer assistance for state, national, and international contests.

Running the Giveaway

If you thought that marketing the giveaway was difficult, you might not enjoy the logistics of the administrative side. To process entries, you’ll need to partner with a firm that can deal with the kind of content contestants enter.

Where will entrants upload their videos or photos? How will they submit their email addresses? Working with a professional sweepstakes fulfillment firm will give you cost-effective access to the range of tools you’ll require.

While you can access many of these tools online, they often come with expensive licenses or monthly charges. And, they are not always on par with the ever-changing laws in the promotion industry.

Whether you choose to partner with a specialist firm or go the DIY route, these tools will make the process far more straightforward.

It’s a Wrap

Running a sweepstakes or contest is a time-honored way of beefing up your email list. With creative campaign giveaway ideas, you can build excitement without breaking the bank. Running a giveaway using the tips we gave above helps you maximize your return on investment and provides your clients with real value for the money.

Do You Need Some Outstanding Campaign Giveaway Ideas?

Call National Sweepstakes Company at 888-744-3217 today. We will provide a free consultation to talk through your goals and make sure we’re on the same page. From there, our team can use its extensive expertise to ensure that your campaign will be a roaring success.

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