Monthly Archives: January 2013

4 Ways to Promote Your Sweepstakes or Giveaway

Whether you’re an individual blogger, a business owner, or an entrepreneur, it can be exciting to give stuff away for free! Sweepstakes are a valuable component of a comprehensive marketing strategy and can generate considerable buzz around your brand. Of course, you want to make sure your giveaway has an enticing offer and it’s easy to enter. No one wants to wade through metaphorical red tape. Verify that the sign-up form is simple and user-friendly.

Once you’ve finalized the giveaway details, it’s time to publicize it! A contest is only as good as the amount of people that enter and the publicity it generates.  You’ll want to get the full social media, word-of-mouth, and SEO benefits out of it. Read on for four great ways to promote your sweepstakes and create a successful promotional campaign.

1. Form partnerships

Join forces with another company to enhance the giveaway/contest prize and boost exposure for the promotion. If two companies have something at stake, there is double the manpower behind the marketing strategy and the giveaway’s reach will be that much greater. Additionally the sweepstake’s prize will likely be better and generate more publicity if two companies work together to create an irresistible reward for the winner.

2. Use social media to advertise a promotion 

Social media is guaranteed exposure for any type of promotion or online giveaway you might run. You can announce the contest and then promote the status for a small fee, which vastly increases the number of people who see the post. For only $5 or $10 you can attract thousands of eyes using a promoted status update on Facebook. Additionally, you can tweet giveaway details and even pay for nominal prices for guaranteed views via promoted tweets. You can take advantage of popular hashtags and attract more viewers by including #giveaway or #free within each 140 character promotional message.  StumbleUpon is an often overlooked social network that can also bring traffic, but make sure your contest is interesting and eye-catching to ensure the traffic doesn’t bounce quickly.

3. A picture is worth a thousand words

Whether you’re primarily promoting your giveaway via social or through other marketing avenues, images are the best way to gain maximum attention. Pictures are more likely to be noticed, liked, and shared across a range of platforms compared to basic text. Take the time to design a relevant, informative flyer that catches the eye and hopefully incorporates some humor. Things that are funny are also much more likely to be viewed than something that merely lists instructions or sign-up details. Financial training company, Online Trading Academy, recently ran a successful promotion that asked participants to send in pictures of their workstations. The variety of photos was wonderful, and everyone who sent in a picture had a vested interest in the promotion. This made it more likely that they would share the details with family and friends and boost the campaign’s Facebook EdgeRank.

4. Post to giveaway sites

If you want to attract a large number of people and the entry guidelines allow for general participation, it’s a good idea to post the details of your giveaway on sweepstakes sites. There are many of these, including location and industry specific websites, so you’ll want to choose those that make the most sense for you.  Generally speaking, you’ll want to choose sites whose demographics closely match the types of readers/customers you are looking to attract.

Marketing an online contest can feel daunting at first, but if the giveaway is enticing, everyone will want to partake in the fun. These days, social media platforms are a great way to start getting the word out about a sweepstakes, but you should also make sure you set up the promotion to allow participants plenty of advanced notice about the giveaway and plenty of time to enter to win.

About the Author:

Brian Patterson is a Partner at Go Fish Digital, an online marketing firm located outside of Washington, D.C.

Learn how to determine if you want to participate in giveaways

There is a giveaway for you today – Learn to take advantage of these free gifts and how to determine if you want to participate or not

Giveaway

Giveaway

Internet is a source full of opportunities for all of us; it is not only the fact that the whole world of merchandise is available with a few clicks, but also you can find websites online that offer sweepstakes and giveaways. This is especially attractive for most people because they have a chance to win a cool prize for free, and the only thing that is required is to fill a simple sign up form where you typically put your name and email; this information is then used to register your account and give you the chance to win the prize. But, what else could happen? Could this be a lie? Keep reading to find how to identify a good opportunity.

You are sharing personal information and there is a number of things that you want to consider before filling any form; most sweepstakes and giveaways are legitimate and you should have no problem signing up for them, but I would like to share with you a bit of advice about what to look for before giving your personal information away, this could help you to prevent spammy messages going into your email account as well as someone stealing your online identity.

There are many scams on the internet; we all have received that email from a manager of a bank somewhere on the world offering us hundreds of thousands of dollars; in this message someone requests our name, account number and other information so they can make the transfer to us as soon as possible; this of course is a lie and the only thing that those emails are seeking is to get our personal data so they can use it for their own purposes.

These are the kind of things that you may stumble upon on the internet, and here I would like to share with you a few simple tips that you can use to avoid these scams, and sign up only for those that are legitimate and in fact can make you win a great prize.

Ready for sign up? Go through this checklist before Jumping In

When we participate in a giveaway or sweepstakes online it is always important to check some things, that may seem a little basic for you, but when we start picturing ourselves as the winners of the prize, our emotions start to rule our decisions and it is at this precise moment that we are more vulnerable, because we can make a mistake without thinking about it.

Follow this simple guide and get ready to win some prizes!

  1. Was this offer sent to you? Just as I described before, many scams are sent by email, so if you did not look for the contest and the contest found you, chances are that someone is trying to draw your attention to something; even when that is not an indicator that the giveaway isn’t legitimate, this can be considered as spam (unless you are subscribed to the updates of a website), so if the offer interests you, you may want to check the other factors mentioned in this article before signing up. 
  2. How your information will be used? This is one of the first things that you should look for when thinking about participating in any giveaway or sweepstakes online; you want to make sure that you find a privacy policy, rules of the contest, or a terms and conditions section where you find the purpose of getting your information. Some sign up forms will ask you for more than your name and email, and since they will have more data from you, it is always a good idea to check if they tell how the information will be used.
  3. No Scams Allowed

    No Scams Allowed

    Never share information about Credit Cards: If they ask for your credit cardís information get away, it is not a good idea to give that data anywhere, this information should only be provided if you are trying to buy something, but never if a window pops-up requesting it.

  4. Who sponsors the giveaway and why? Many reputable companies offer their products for free to the public, hoping to attract more audience and readers for their site, and some information related to this should be available and easy for you to find; that way you can make sure that a big company is behind the whole contest.
  5. Visit the Sponsoring site: Now that you know who is sponsoring the giveaway, it is a great idea to go and check the sponsoring website so you can make sure that they are aware of the giveaway, you may find this in a specific section for giveaways, or maybe a banner. If you canít find any notification about the contest, you can get in touch with someone and ask about the opportunity that you found. Some people use the images, colors, backgrounds and everything to imitate the theme and style of the sponsoring website and make it seem legitimate, so contacting the sponsoring site is always a good idea.
  6. Are there any previous giveaways? This can be a good indicator that this website offers real prizes to real people. Check if the winner is announced publicly, this means that they have to answer to the person who won that, and this is a good sign of accountability.
  7. How the winner is selected? Many scams fail at this point, they never share information about how the winner will be selected or the process to contact that person, so look for this on their sweepstakes or giveaway, this can be not only a strong indicator of a legitimate contest, but also, you want to know what will happen if you win.

Here is a trick that I learned to get the bests Sweepstakes and Giveaways

There are many websites online offering sweepstakes and giveaways for you, but actually you can find sites with the sole purpose to offer you a great deal if you sign up with them. This is by far the best way to go, because now you know that these are completely legitimate and you have nothing to worry about. One that really commits with the public is MyFreebeez.com, which not only offers you great deals, sweepstakes and giveaways, but also, they are trying to educate people and give advice about these online contests.

Check MyFreebeez.com regularly, the only thing you will have to worry with them is for winning the cool prizes they offer.

Have you ever participated in a giveaway or sweepstake online? What was your experience? Share with us your thoughts and let us know some of your tips.

Let the giveaways begin!

 

About the author:

Jose Lozano

Jose Lozano

Jose Lozano is an active participant in different giveaways online, his experience with these contests has been great, and he always asks these questions before entering one. Jose not only participates in sweepstakes and giveaways, he will run his first one this year at his site about aviation toys at www.rchobbiesonair.com, to giveaway two of the coolest RC flying toys that you can find in the market, a Jolly Roger F-18 jet plane and a Colossus Gyro Helicopter.

How a Press Release can Attract Visitors to Your Online Sweepstakes or Giveaway

Do you have an online sweepstakes or giveaway that you’re eager to promote without spending a lot of money? If so, then a press release can be a brilliant and economical way to advertise your sweepstakes/giveaway.

What is a Press Release?

A press release is a news item that you can customize to cater to your marketing needs by writing information that otherwise is general news. This is favorable for your publicity campaign because people often want to read news with solid information – not another ad copy.

And best of all, press releases have the capability of attracting your target audience.

Making a Press Release Effective

Here are some tips on how to make a press release effective in its purpose of drawing visitors to your online giveaway:

  • Make your press release objective by writing it in third person. First person would make it sound overly promotional and arrogant; as if you’re bragging on your business.
  • To further avoid arrogance, don’t use personalize phrases and words.
  • Be as brief and to the point as possible. There’s no use in dragging on news – no matter how good it is.
  • Provide your sweepstakes’ details by using the 4 Ws and 1H of news writing: who, what, when, where and how.
  • Don’t use hype words – a definite turnoff in press releases. Objective words and neutral descriptions will suffice just fine.
  • If, however, you want to add the excitement of hype to your press release, do so with a direct quote from someone who’s either previously won one of your sweepstakes or works with you. This will be an endorsement for your sweepstakes; therefore, put their quote directly as they state it.

So you can get the word out about your sweepstakes. Just do it in an a cost effective way: a press release.

Pamela Jones is a press release writer for Discount Press Releases. If you need a customized press release written at a reasonable price ($85), contact her at discountpressreleases@gmail.com.

How to Run a Video Contest

If you are looking for a great way to bring some more traffic and potential customers to your site, or to bring awareness to a product or brand, video contests are just the ticket.  Major brands have quickly caught onto this trend.  Prizes are awarded to get more people to participate.  These prizes usually come in the form of a popular gadget or one of your own products.  Read below to learn how you can create an online video contest.

Decide if a Contest Works for You

Do you have a brand or product that would lend itself well to an online video contest?  Video contests work best if there is an audience base already but will do well to enhance and grow the base.  If you are trying to repair or even build loyalty from scratch, an online video contest will be a shot in the dark.

Reasons to get a Contest Going

Your audience will be excited by video submissions made by their peers.  They will feel involved and connected as a consumer to your product and brand.  Harness this energy that comes with this type of video promotion.

Think young, when getting an online video contest going.  Video contests will give your brand a hipper look and give your product a youthful charm.  It doesn’t matter if your audience does not fall into the ‘young’ category.  It will, at the very least, make them feel young.

You will enjoy the savings by running an online video contest.  Instead of making costly advertisements, these videos will promote your product or brand, will have as many impressions, and won’t cost you a dime.

Running the Contest

It won’t take a lot of time to get the contest up and running.  Expect to invest a handful of days if one or two people are on the job.

Make sure you have clear objectives before getting the contest off the ground.  The question “what do I want to get out of this video contest” should always be at the forefront of your thoughts and plans.

When the videos do start to roll in, you should review what has been submitted.

Promoting Your Contest

Your prize is going to play a key role in the promotion of your contest, so choose wisely.  Everyone loves money and gift cards.  Another great idea is to think of a prize that is unique and can’t be bought on their own.  If you can’t decide, cash is always a great fall back.

Send out an email blast about your contest and highlight your prize.  Showcase the contest on your main website and through social media groups like Facebook.

Expected Cost

The cost of running an online video contest varies.  You could stick to your own social media pages and website and use a product from your own company.  Or you could go all out and create a website dedicated to the contest for marketing purposes.

Contest Tips

What are you going to do once the contest is over?  Don’t let the people who submitted videos get away.  Keep them interested.  Make them feel like they won something even though they didn’t get the grand prize.  You could give the contestants coupons, vouchers, or discounts on your company’s products.

Think about how the winning video will be chosen.  Will it be chosen by you, a panel, or by the viewers?

Give clear instructions and rules about the contest.  There should be no grey area as to the terms and conditions of the contest.  Include official rules, and have a lawyer look your contest over just to be safe.  For more information on the legalities of online promotions, check out this article.

Ready?

Video contests are great ways to promote your products and brands.  Be involved in the contest and show that you are interested in the videos.  Don’t let the contest drag on too long, and make sure you award the prize as soon as possible.  A successful online video contest is great for business and a lot of fun.  Ready to roll?

 

Guest author Allen Green works for a chiropractor in Kissimmee – click here to learn more.  Chiropractors don’t usually do a lot of marketing for their services.  However, Allen works for a young doctor who insists chiropractic care has gotten a bad rap.  So, Allen is helping his employer launch a video contest for their chiropractic clinic.  They have learned a lot through the process and eager to share their tips with others!

How to Run an Effective Giveaway Promotion Online

This article gives you a rundown of how to host a giveaway online. It explains a few things that online marketers do incorrectly, and describes a few problems that you are going to have with your giveaway. It covers how to create an effective giveaway as a promotional tool on its own or as a competition online.

The value of the gift

The first and most important part of any giveaway is that the gift must be worth something. The marketing books that tell you that any exposure is good exposure have never seen the landfills full of brand key rings and pencils.

If you are giving away any form of gift then the item must have value, and if you are running a competition then the value of the item must be big enough to give the viewer an incentive to enter the competition.

Why do so many companies give away poor gifts?

It is not because they are specifically ignoring good marketing advice–it is all about money. A free giveaway gift has no direct marketing applications. Free gifts are all about branding, with a small dash of creating user engagement. A free giveaway has no direct marketing applications and therefore it is very difficult to estimate a return on your investment.

Another big motivator for giving away cheap and valueless gifts is because of wholesalers and printing firms. They offer massive discounts for ordering as few as five hundred bespoke items. The items are usually things such as car air fresheners, pens and even flash drives. The trouble is that the items are so cheap that they are useless. Why would a client use your branded cheap pen when he/she can use his or her own silver one, or use one from the box he/she bought at the 99-cent store? Why would a client risk putting files on an unreliable flash drive that either corrupts every two weeks or deletes your files after 60days of inactivity.

You have to sell what is free

Trust is a major issue in today’s society, and people simply do not trust a free meal. If you are unsure as to the legitimacy of that claim then try this: go out to ten cold call retailers and offer to give them stock on a buy or return basis. If they don’t sell the stock in 6 months then you pick it up and charge them nothing. Even under these kinds of circumstances, you will find nothing but resistance and will see how difficult it is to get people to trust you.

Giving people something cheap is nothing short of asking them to put your used tissues in the bin, because your clients will give the gift the same treatment. If you give them something of value then they are not going to trust your motivation and may even refuse to accept it.

A competition quashes trust and builds it too

In the previous paragraph you see how a person may not trust a free gift of value, however if you call your giveaway a “Competition” then it implies that there is some effort needed on the behalf of the recipient. This is true even if that “effort” is to simply enter the competition. People will accept a free gift if it is the result of winning a competition.

A competition quashes trust because so many people have never won a competition that they automatically assume they will not win the competition and therefore do not enter the competition. Ironically, a client’s lack in faith with competitions means that they never enter any to actually win in the first place.

Keep it easy

If your giveaway is a competition then make it frighteningly easy to enter the competition. Do not make them register a full account or give numerous details. Take some form of information or ask them to re-visit the website next week to see who has won. The longer it takes a person to enter the competition then the more chance there is that they will get bored and leave the site.

If you are giving people a straight giveaway then you should make it incredibly easy to get the gift. People may be prepared to do a little work to get something free, but very few people have the patience to chase you for a gift. If you have built up sufficient trust from the client then the last thing you want to do is have then nagging you and chasing you for the promised gift.

Find a way to keep show them you are genuine

The UK and America are still plagued by telephone marketers from the Middle East and Africa who are able to get around western telephone laws. These marketers tell you that your free phone is in the post now. These companies have single handedly made English speaking westerners suspicious of any company that offers something for free. The chances of a person from an Anglo-Saxon country giving you any details in order to receive a free gift are highly unlikely. You need to find a way to make sure your offer and your company are genuine.

Do not fill your website with adverts

If you are running an online giveaway then you cannot afford to have affiliate adverts on the host site. People are already distrustful of the giveaway and will find it harder to trust you if your page tries to sell them other items.

The bigger the brand then the easier your task

It is far easier to give away free gifts from the Facebook page of Coca Cola than it is to give away free gifts from the Facebook page of Jerry’s spare tires shop.

Merge a giveaway and a competition

You can use the principals of a competition and a giveaway so that you can enjoy the benefits of both without the negative effects that are associated with the two. You simply run a competition where every entrant is guaranteed to at least win a second prize. The second prize can be a DVD of a recent movie or album, except that the DVD/CD cover has your company name on it. You may even make a big fuss of the person who wins the first prize so that you can stay true to your original promise.

The contact email or letter telling people that they did not win the first prize can still be positive because it informs the client that he or she has won the second prize. It is also another point of contact that you can use to increase your brand recognition–this is especially effective if you are trying to disseminate a new tag line.

Avoid the words used by other online marketers

Words such as “Congratulations” or “You Are A Winner” should be avoided, because they are used by many phony awards schemes on banner ads. Do not start your giveaway with a question, unless it is an unusual question such as, “How dumb are we?” After which you can explain how you have an overstock of pet pillows (for example) so you are giving them away in your free giveaway. Most swindles start with a question, and you may benefit from looking at other similar marketing campaigns to be sure that you avoid the words that they use.

 

Author bio: Korah Morrison, writer on EssayWritingServices.com that helps students to write essays of any complexity.

6 Promotion Ideas for Graphic Designers

When it comes to completing projects, graphic designers seem to have a never ending supply of creativity.  However, when it comes time to market their services, they tend to draw a blank.

If you are looking for ways to promote your graphic design business, try one of these ideas.

1.  Target Audience Hangouts

Do you have a target audience you want to reach with your marketing efforts?  Where is the best place to find those prospective clients?  Go to those places and give away a free item to help market your business.

If you want to reach soccer moms, set up a booth at the next PTA event.  If you want to reach local small business owners, check out an upcoming trade show.  You might find the best place to target prospective customers is through social media.

No matter where you go to market, take a free giveaway item that will appeal to your target audience.  For example, if you are hoping to reach out to mothers with young children, give away a sippy cup, bib, or other baby paraphernalia.  No matter what item you choose, make sure it includes your company name, contact information, and logo.

2.  Free Demonstration

Connect with other local businesses within your niche.  Stop by a print shop or an office supply store.  Give them a demonstration of what you can do.

3.  Start a Referral Incentive Program

Offer current customers an incentive to send their friends and family your way.  Here are some great incentives to offer:

  • A discount on future projects
  • A gift certificate
  • A small gift
  • An entry into your online giveaway

4.  Be Charitable

Are you passionate about a particular charity?  See if you can host an event in their honor.  The experience will offer multiple rewards.  You’ll get some free PR and do something good for your community.

5.  Celebrate Holidays

Holidays are the perfect time to give away gifts.  Use the holidays as an excuse to tell your current customers thank you.  You can do something technical like an online contest or giveaway.  Or, you could do something simple like bake cookies and distribute them to walk-in clients (make sure you decorate them with your logo!).

6.  Write a Book

You definitely have a wealth of knowledge about the graphic design business.  Jot down your most helpful tips and industry secrets.  Then, turn these thoughts into an eBook.  This would be a great prize for your online giveaways and contests.  Or simply share your book with valued customers.

Whether you rely on the latest technology to engage in things like online promotions or opt for the more traditional methods like flyers and brochures, you can find a way to reach even more prospective clients.  If you put just as much creative energy into your marketing strategy as you do for your clients’ projects, you’re bound to be a huge success in no time!

 

Guest author Greg Smith works for a local design firm.  He is constantly on the lookout for great promotional ideas.  One of Greg’s favorite ways to market his work is by using an online giveaway.  He recently wrote this article with tips for launching an online promotion.

Legalities of Promotional Giveaways

What is one of the best ways to grow your business?  Give stuff away!  It doesn’t matter if you have a small enterprise or a multinational company, a giveaway will drive traffic to your website, build brand awareness, and increase the potential for new readers or customers.

More than half of all U.S. adults will enter at least one sweepstakes this year.  What an amazing opportunity for your company!

All of this sounds exciting, right?  But do you understand how the law could impact your activities?  Both the federal and state governments have regulations you probably didn’t know about.

Types of Giveaways or Promotions

While they often go under various names, giveaways or promotions legally fall into one of three categories:

  1. Sweepstakes – The winners are chosen by luck of the draw.  Prizes can be anything under the sun.
  2. Contests – The winner is chosen based on merit.  The contest will have some sort of criteria – best photo, most votes, etc.
  3. Lottery – Entrants have to provide something (often money) in exchange for a chance to win.

Lotteries

Lotteries are highly regulated.  With lots of rules and regulations surrounding these types of giveaways, you shouldn’t run one without consulting a lawyer or other professional.

When determining if a lottery is legal or illegal, authorities consider three things: prize, chance, and consideration.  Consideration tends to be the sticking point with the law.  Consideration related to the fact that something of value must be given by the entrants.

Most people think the word “value” only relates to money.  However, this is not the case.  Each state has different definitions of consideration.  Some legal authorities will classify “liking” or “following” as consideration since there is no free way to enter.  Therefore, you always need to have a “free” way to enter.

Official Rules

While few people actually take the time to read them, you must have official rules.  Otherwise, you are setting yourself up for the potential of serious legal difficulties.

Your official rules will act as guidelines for what will transpire during the giveaway.  These rules will help avoid problems if there is a challenge by an entrant who doesn’t win.

Make sure your official rules are easy to find and include the following:

  •  “No purchase necessary”
  • The alternative method of free participation
  • Geographic area of the sweepstakes and who is eligible to participate
  • Opening date and scheduled termination date
  • Complete name and address of the sponsor and promoter of the contest
  • Number of prizes with an accurate description, retail value, and odds of winning
  • Method for selecting winners
  • Where and when a list of winners can be obtained

Other Things to Consider

Most giveaway prizes have minimal value – admission to a conference, a weekend hotel stay, an eBook.  However, if you offer something more expensive, you’ll have additional technicalities to consider.  If the value of your prize exceeds $600, you’ll need to issue a Form 1099 for tax purposes.  Therefore, you’ll need to collect the social security number of entrants in addition to their name and address.

Who Regulates Giveaways?

The Federal Trade Commission has jurisdiction over monitoring sweepstakes promotion.  However, the U.S. Department of Justice will have ultimate authority, even if FTC is not involved.

Most states have strict regulations regarding giveaways that involve alcohol, guns or tobacco.  As such, some giveaway restrictions apply to entrants from certain states.

When everything is said and done, giveaways can be a valuable marketing tool.  However, they also have the potential to be a legal nightmare.  Before embarking on a promotion, ask for help.  Seek out a lawyer or a third-party giveaway platform.

 

Guest author Douglas Green works for a Clearwater attorney.  While they usually deal with divorce and probate law, the Smitherman law firm also helps clients with legal aspects of their business too.

How to Run an Effective Promotional Online Giveaway

Everybody loves the thrill of winning something.  Why not use this thrill and excitement for the promotion of your own site?  Running an online promotional giveaway is a great way to get people to your site and drum up some excitement for your products.

There are no down sides to having a giveaway because everyone can benefit.  They are fun to participate in, and you’ll have fun organizing it.  Setting up an online giveaway is very straightforward.  A giveaway can get out of control and lose its effectiveness if not carried out properly though.  Follow the steps below to see how easy it is to set up an effective online giveaway.

You Won!

What will the prize be for your competition?  This is a good place to begin in your development of your giveaway.  The prize will determine if your giveaway is a success or a failure.  Put yourself in your audience’s shoes.  What would you want to win?  What would you find to be valuable?

Choose a prize that anyone can use, like a gift card.  Electronics are always a good choice too.  Who would say no to a tablet or e-reader?!  Even if your winner owns a tablet already, they will still be over the moon at winning another one.

Perhaps you have a prize that is very original – this is the best option.  This could be a work of art or a unique piece of furniture.  These prizes are great because they will catch your readers’ eye and get them interested.

As for the value of your prize, set a benchmark value of $50 or more.  Make it worth your readers’ time to enter your giveaway.

Your Goal

After coming up with a great prize, think about why you are setting up and running this giveaway.  What is your goal?  Are you trying to promote one of your products?  Are you trying to increase your site’s traffic?  Or are you just trying to reward your readers?

The best online giveaways always do best when they are somehow connected with a product or some content that you are trying to promote.  Even if you just want to give back to your faithful readers, it doesn’t hurt to promote your site in some way in the process.

Promotion and More Promotion

Giveaways are promotion.  You have to promote your giveaways first though.  Giveaways let you reach new readers at a wider scale and in ways that your traditional means of promotion can’t.

Social media is the place to start your giveaway promotion.  Use your status updates and tweets to spread the news about your giveaway.  Use email blasts, newsletters and other bloggers to get the word out as well.

Don’t forget to add a sense of urgency to your promotion.  People will respond more quickly if there is a deadline that is quickly approaching.

Congrats!

Wrap your giveaway up quickly before people start losing interest.  Announce the winner as soon as possible and spread the word about who won.  Try to make it personal by getting the winner to pose for a picture with the prize.  Many are skeptical that actual people win prizes and this gesture will show that your giveaways are real and legitimate.

Now that you have a new batch of readers that have dropped by your site, cultivate their interest in your site.  Make them feel that even though they didn’t win the prize they still get something.  You could give them a discount code or news of a future giveaway.  This will give them some incentive to keep an eye on your website.

Ready?

Are you ready to inject your site with some new excitement and new readers?  Try running an effective online giveaway!

Guest author Greg Smith works for a local marketing firm.  He recently helped one of his clients with an online giveaway as an attempt to boost readership on their Tampa hair transplantation blog, http://tampahairtransplants.net

Sweepstakes Tips

Vahishta Mistry shares his experience running sweepstakes, drawing on his time working with media houses and brands with global audiences. A former senior executive working on content and marketing online, he’s now a professional traveler and blogger.

Managing the marketing efforts of a large brand is never easy, and when that brand has consumers and customers across the globe, it can get downright tricky. Of course, tools like Facebook pages and Twitter accounts make it easier for brand managers to stay in touch with their audience, but you must keep innovating, especially when it comes to attracting newer people to the brand.

At the media houses that I’ve worked at, most of the time we’d solve this problem with sweepstakes. Newspapers, magazines and even TV houses are not unfamiliar with the concept of giveaways or contests to attract readership, so it was perhaps an easier task for me to convince my bosses at the places I work at, to try running sweepstakes online to increase the number of people we were effectively communicating our brand messages to. Through the many sweepstakes campaigns I’ve run over the last 7 years, here are some tidbits that have stuck with me:

a)      The prize: Choosing a prize or the item being given away is very important. I’ve found that conventional thinking first leads you to select high-priced items as prizes or freebies. This has some logic to it – who wouldn’t want a chance to win a car, or a free holiday? The downside, however, is that people automatically seemed to think that if the prize is too good to be true, it must be! The sweet spot seems to be a price point around $100. High enough that someone wouldn’t consider it a waste of time to sign up, but not so high that it feels unattainable. Of course, the caveats are that sometimes you can find a gift or prize that’s super cheap and yet represents a lot of value, or something that’s niche and cool as well. Bonus Tip: People value experiences a lot more than physical goods! So think about providing movie tickets, passes to events or even day passes to spas as potential gift / prize options!

b)      Be Transparent: Communicate effectively and clearly the method that will be used to determine the winner, the deadline, the submission criteria and anything else that might be relevant (in our case, more often than not, it was a geographical limitation – I often had to limit entries by country, due to legal or logistical reasons). The key here is to ensure the customer doesn’t think their time was wasted entering a sweepstake they had no chance of winning. Being upfront about selection criteria will ensure you won’t have too many people crying foul (although you should be prepared for a tiny percentage of sore losers in any case)

c)       Customer Service: People will often have queries about the sweepstake, so make sure you have a staff that’s well-trained and capable of answering most queries as well as an escalation protocol for when things need to be answered by a higher-up. At the very least, ensure you have a well-detailed FAQ on the landing page of the sweepstake and make sure you cover the obvious bases. It could help to invest some time early on to come up with boilerplate answers for standard queries, as well.

d)      Marketing: Although a sweepstake is the tool you’ve chosen to build loyalty or increase the user base, remember that you need to market it as well. Sweepstakes are great at engineering word of mouth for themselves – I found that on average each person who entered a sweepstake got at least 2 people to visit the sweepstakes page and more often than not, one of those two people signed up as well. However, you will need a bit of a push to get the initial wave going, so make sure you set aside some money for that.

e)      Logistics: Closing the loop is a critical factor – not only do you need to be timely and accurate with sending out your gift, you also need to ensure that you’re effective about communicating the tracking status of the parcel, taking care of returns and, critically, ensuring that the winner or recipients communicate the fact that they won to the rest of the audience. This last step is vital, as it cements your reputation as a trusted marketer to the whole group.

I’ve tried to be as broad as possible when selecting these tips, so as to help as wide an audience as possible. There’s a good chance that each campaign you run will teach you something new about sweepstakes and that you’ll be able to be more effective at each subsequent campaign. Do let us know what your surefire tips are in the comments!

Pretend and Play Doctor Set Review and Giveaway

We’ve got another review and giveaway of an awesome product! Thanks to Learning Resources, we were able to thoroughly test their Pretend and Play Doctor Set and also give one away with a sweepstakes!

Overall, we were very happy with the quality of this product from Learning Resources. The Pretend and Play Doctor Set is just one of their hundreds of products that encourage creative play, active play, discovery, and exploration. All in all, this is a great toy set from a great company.

Head on over to the page to read the full review and don’t forget to enter the Doctor Play Set Giveaway while you still can!