10 Questions to Ask Before Partnering with a Promotion Agency
A contest, sweepstakes, instant win game or other promotion concept may be a great way for your client to increase sales and build their branding efforts, but if you have never done a promotion before don’t try to do it alone. You will need an experienced, knowledgeable promotion marketing agency to partner with you to make sure you run a legal, compliant, successful promotion. But what should you look for when partnering with a promotion agency?
Here are ten questions you should be asking before you select a promotion agency to partner with for your next contest or sweepstakes:
- How well do they know sweepstakes law?
A top notch promotional marketing agency is well versed in national and international laws that pertain to promotions, sweepstakes and contests. They should also have legal representation and know social, mobile and advertising laws and regulations. If they can’t explain the differences between sweepstakes and contests, or if they don’t know what states require registration then move along to another vendor.
2. Have they ever been involved in a lawsuit that involved a promotion they ran, and do they have insurance that offers indemnification protection?
You should expect some level of protection for the work a contest vendor does. Ask if they have insurance and what their coverage is. If named in a lawsuit ask what the outcome was for them and for their client.
3. Can they handle registration and bonding?
4. How do they handle winner notifications?
Winner notification does not mean you call people and simply say “You Won!” There are affidavits and tax forms to be considered. Ask about the winner notification process and how they verify eligibility of winners. If they don’t have a process then you might be in trouble if you use them.
5. What digital experience do they have and what do they mean when they say “custom”?
Make sure if you are looking to a contest vendor to build a web site for your contest that they are technically proficient. If they promise a custom build of a site find out what that means. Some “custom” web sites are full sites with URL management, security, creative, copy, and unique data or survey questions that you design – and some are really just a template with one or two options in color or font to make it yours. Ask to see an example of a few custom designs to makes sure the contest vendors idea of custom isn’t really the same cookie cutter promo with a different color background for each contest. And while you are checking out the customization make sure their other sites work!
6. What fraud prevention measures do they have in place?
Paying for votes or entering using fake email addresses is on the rise. What safeguards do they use to prevent fraud? And what do they do if they catch someone cheating?
7. What types of analytics and reporting do they offer?
Will you get weekly reports on the number of entries and traffic to your contest web site? Reports at the end? No reports? Make sure the vendor can give you what you need to track success.
8. Will they be able to track your ads?
Don’t ask this question too late. Make sure your vendor can add tracking tags for the ad buy you have invested in already.
9. Do they have experience with judging and moderating content and contest entries?
Ask for references on this one. Some vendors claim they can moderate and judge entries but in practice you end up using a poorly built one size fits all tool (that rarely fits any promotion well) and doing it yourself. Another thing we have seen is tools that vendors build that only allow one judge to score entries at a time. This is not helpful if you have thousands of entries and need to judge lots of entries with multiple judges. Make sure you know how the vendor’s judging process works and that it is a good fit for your promotion.
10. How well do they understand the social media platform guidelines for contests?
ALL social media platforms have promotion guidelines. Ask if they know what they are and if they can’t rattle off what you can and can’t do on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram then find another vendor.
When you finally decide who you want to partner with, seal the deal with a signed statement of work that details EXACTLY what work you are expecting from your contest vendor.
Call us if you are planning a contest, sweepstakes or instant win game for your client and you’ll get experience, security, protection and peace of mind that your client’s promotion will be run efficiently, legally and smoothly!
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