Your Sweepstakes Entry Form Template: How Much Data Do You Really Need?
We once had someone come to us after they ran a promotion to tell us that they were having a hard time contacting winners. It turns out they were so busy trying to protect the user by not collecting personal data on individual entrants that they had not collected a way to contact the winners!
We understand the need for privacy controls, but in order to add someone to a mailing list or to award a prize, especially if you need to confirm a winner quickly, you do need to collect the right data to do that.
Contrary to what the privacy activists say, people are more than willing to provide the data necessary to award a prize, and it is not perceived as a barrier to entry for consumers. And as long as you disclose what the data will be used for and by whom, you are in good shape.
So what do you collect on your sweepstakes entry form?
Name: This seems obvious enough. But be sure to break your data collection fields into first name and last name fields on your data collection form. Not everyone has a one word name like Cher or Prince.
As a bonus – now on Facebook this may be all you need to collect in a “Like This” Sweepstakes. You can then contact winners through the Facebook messaging system by their user name.
Full Address (including City, State, and ZIP): We get a lot of push back on collecting address, but collecting address when you are giving away low level prizes like t-shirts or posters may actually work to your benefit because you can email the prizes directly to winners without having to speak to them via email or phone at all. An address also comes in handy for detecting fraud (if the rules state one entry per household, for example), for screening out states and countries that are ineligible and for demographic purposes.
Email: Again. Seems obvious that you would want to collect this and take advantage of the opportunity to add people to your email list. Be sure to add an opt-in checkbox as well so people are aware if their email will be used after the promotion – it’s not a good idea to start off a potential customer relationship with an angry customer who did not want to get emails from you.
Date of Birth: If you are marketing to children you need to include a date of birth field and age-gate the promotion. If a child (in the US this is deemed as 12 and under) tries to enter you need to safeguard the form to ensure that no personal data is collected and the child is blocked from entry unless parental permissions is obtained. This keeps you in compliance with COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act) Rule.
Gender, Race, Income: These should never be required entry fields, unless there are extenuating circumstances, such as a contest for girls only.
Other Data: Should be considered on a case by case basis. The general rule of thumb is do you really need it to meet the criteria for entry? If not, then don’t collect it!
Marden-Kane works with companies to collect, securely transmit, store and destroy data from the promotions they administer. If you need help with your promotion’s data, contact us.
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