What is a sweepstakes?
A sweepstakes is a chance promotion, where a winner is randomly selected from all eligible entries. Entries into a sweepstakes must either be free for all, or if you want to encourage purchase for entry, then an alternate, free method of entry (AMOE) must also be available. Luck determines a sweepstakes winner rather than any skill or payment. For a sweepstakes you typically collect only the information you need from an entrant to award the prize, but sometimes more information is gathered to generate user content (such as in a qualified entry sweepstakes) or to add an entrant to a mailing list. A sweepstakes is an effective way to generate leads, build awareness and incentivize new customers to get to know your brand.
Once you decide you want to run a sweepstakes, here are the steps to take to get it up and running:
- Set your budget and goals. The first thing you need to do is figure out how much you can afford to spend on your promotional efforts and what you want to get out of it. The more lofty your goals, the more it will cost, so try to figure out what the primary goal is and that will help shape your budget. Some sweepstakes can be conducted on a shoestring budget, while some which require things like custom creative, complicated entry processes such as unique codes, or heavy web traffic, can be rather expensive. Determining your budget and goals ahead of time helps ensure that you achieve success and don’t overspend.
- Determine your prize structure. You need prizes that will excite potential customers; a prize that has a high value will draw more people than an item that normally costs only a few dollars. It also makes sense to use an item that your business produces when available because that helps promote your business.
- Decide what type of sweepstakes tactics you will use. Some sweepstakes are designed so that people can earn entries by providing only their names and email addresses to sign up for a mailing list or by following your brand on social. Other sweepstakes require customers to complete longer registration forms or post photos or answer survey questions. (Just be sure whatever tactic you use isn’t overly time consuming or require special skills to complete, or that may be deemed consideration.) You can run a sweepstakes online, via text, using social media, or with traditional paper entry forms. Decide what works best for you, and if you aren’t building the promotion yourself, consult a promotional marketing company (like Marden-Kane)for help.
- Draft official rules. Once you’ve figured out your budget and objective, chosen prizes, and figured out how the contest will work, the next step is to write the official rules which will govern the promotion. Every sweepstakes needs official rules to meet state, national and international legal requirements. If you don’t have a promotion lawyer that knows those laws, then you will want to consult a promotional marketing agency (Marden-Kane can help you with this too!).
- Build and launch your sweepstakes! The final step is to build and deploy your sweepstakes promotion. At the conclusion of the promotion you conduct a random drawing and fulfill prizes to confirmed winners.
A sweepstakes could be a winning method of gaining new customers. For more information about running a sweepstakes, call the team at Marden-Kane today!
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3 thoughts on “What is a Sweepstakes?”
Where can I find legit sweepstakes where I DO NOT have to do a survey. Years ago I belonged to a subscription called “Contest News Letter”. I really had a lot of fun. I won many little prizes then one day I won a $500 shopping spree at any Ace Hardware of my choice. The sweepstakes was sponsored by GE.
Legit sweepstakes will usually have official rules — always look for those first! And good luck!
I used to subscribe to Contest News Letter and I won some.