Fun with Bonus Sweepstakes Entries!
Many clients want to extend the reach of their sweepstakes by adding in ways to earn bonus entries, either through social sharing or sending emails. This method of providing an extra entry for sharing about the promotion sounds easy enough, but you may want to consider all the pros and cons before implementing an incentive for entry mechanism in your next program.
1. Viral engagement!
Letting friends tell friends about the sweepstakes lends credibility to the sweeps.
2. Free advertising!
And what better way to let people know about your program than free word of mouth advertising.
3. More entrants!
The more friends tell friends, the more entries you will get.
4. More chances to win!
And it’s a win-win for everyone because as more people enter, the ones who spread the word get even more entries and more chances to win!
1. Facebook doesn’t like it.
Getting a bonus entry simply for sharing about the sweeps on Facebook is against Facebook promotion guidelines.
2. Neither does the FTC.
The FTC recently cracked down on a brand for encouraging social posts without asking that the users disclose that there was an incentive involved. If you do use bonus entries make sure you ask people to include some sort of disclaimer or hashtag in the email or post to indicate they are telling their friend in order to earn a sweeps entry.
3. People DON’T like to spam their friends.
In theory, the idea of a simple “share this and get more entries” sounds great. But in reality, since people don’t like to annoy their friends, the analytics from sweepstakes we run show that very few people actually share to social or email their friends for a bonus entry unless it is a very good friend with a shared interest in the sweeps prize or brand, or they actually aren’t friends at all.
4. People DO like to share with people they don’t know well.
Simply put: People don’t care if they annoy their frenemies or people they don’t know. They may even make up emails or share with strangers. If you offer bonus entries, be prepared for someone marking your tell-a-friend email as spam email. And make sure you limit the number of entries people can get by sharing so they don’t send the same message to the same people over and over and get flagged as spam on Twitter or other social channel.
5. Tracking can be complicated.
Finally, make sure that your sweeps vendor or programming team can track entries by the method mapped out in your rules. We have had clients come to us after a sweeps has run asking for help when no accurate tracking of social shares was put into place. Put an accurate tracking method in place and make all of the entries count!
Weighing the Pros and Cons:
The bottom line is that bonus entries may not be the best idea for every sweepstakes, but it might work for your brand. Weigh out the pros and cons and decide what works best for your customers. And if you need help sorting out what you should do, or want to execute a sweepstakes with bonus entries using best practices, contact us!
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