What Should Be Required for a Sweepstakes Entry?
This post covering what information should be required for a sweepstakes entry was contributed by Cheryl Thornton, Account Director.
We have written about data collection in a past article, but since this is a major concern for both Sponsors and consumers alike, we wanted to discuss the topic further.
Before the recent issues of privacy concerns and new privacy regulations, the required standard information – also known as “PII”, or personally identifiable information – collected from consumers via an entry form or online registration form for entry into a Sweepstakes, consisted of first name, last name, street address, city, state, zip, phone number, email address and sometimes date of birth (“DOB”). But now Sponsors are very mindful of the current trends and legal requirements regarding this important issue, and as a result have scaled back the required information being collected for entry, as they don’t want excessive data collection to be a deterrent.
But in doing so, they have created issues in contacting winners and awarding the prizes offered in a Sweepstakes. While we understand the need for privacy controls, it is also equally important to use the prize in question as a guide as to what information will be required on the entry form. For example, if the prize is a time sensitive trip and you only collected first name, last name, and email address, but the email notification bounced back, now you have no other information available for contacting the potential winner. In such a case, we strongly recommend collecting additional information, which allows for an alternate means of contacting a potential winner.
If the prize does not require an affidavit and can be automatically shipped to the winner, then only requiring full name and address would be acceptable. But based on our experience, and as previously discussed, we do recommend that whenever possible the required fields on your entry forms should include:
- first name,
- last name,
- full address (including city, state and zip),
- phone number,
- and email address.
Collecting this information, especially in an online environment, helps detect potential fraud if proper validation is in place. If your brand is a regulated industry like alcohol, then collecting the consumer’s DOB can help keep you COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act) compliant with an age-gate. All entry forms being sent by mail should be mailed in an envelope – you should avoid post cards as they reveal PII of the entrant. As with any entry form, other fields that should be required are a check box stating that the consumer has read and agrees to be bound by the Official Rules, and an opt-in check box giving them the option to receive promotional emails or phone calls from the Sponsor.
Still not sure what to collect on your entry form? Contact us.
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- What is a Sweepstakes?
- 10 Questions to Ask Before Partnering with a Promotion Agency
- Red, White and Blue Promotion Ideas
- Can the Official Rules Be Changed After the Promotion Has Started?