19 Oct The Road Map to a Successful Sweepstakes Promotion

We create and manage a lot of Sweepstakes promotions that are designed to drive leads and sales for our advertising and sponsorship partners.

Why do we like Sweepstakes? Because they can attract a lot of consumer attention in a short period of time. And our super-engaged audiences respond in high levels to them. And if done correctly, they can drive sales for months and months after the promotion is over.

In fact one of our clients, a popular pool builder here in the Valley, closes leads all year long with just one of our Sweepstakes promotions.

But generating results like that takes a lot of strategy, airtight execution and, of course, a killer idea. Here are our top insights to turn your next Sweepstakes promotion into a lead generating – and brand building – machine.

Wait, a Sweepstakes Promotion is Branding?

You bet it is. A Sweepstakes is a powerful brand expression. And there’s a lot at stake. After all, a compelling Sweepstakes is going to engage thousands of local consumers. So you better be putting your best brand foot forward. Because a poorly run or shabby looking Sweepstakes can undo years of brand-building faster than you can say “enter to win.”

Your Sweepstakes Should Be “On-Strategy”

What does “on-strategy” mean? It means that the promotion should be a natural extension of what your brand stands for. So, for example, if you sell Volvo automobiles, and Volvo stands for “safe,” you’d naturally want to create a sweepstakes that furthers the theme of “safe” in association with your brand.

Yet, we often see Sweepstakes promotions that have nothing to do with a brand’s values. Or worse, the promotion actually contradicts them. So choose your Sweepstakes theme wisely because, at the end of the day, “you are what you give away.”

Choose Your Prizes Wisely, Too

The actual prizes you award is also hugely important. And it’s not always about how big a prize is. It’s really more about how the prize emotionally connects. Sure, cash giveaways are often popular. But we find that our most successful Sweepstakes involve money-can’t buy experiences that deeply resonate with target consumers.

But perhaps the most powerful giveaway you can offer is your own product or service. After all, if a consumer is willing to enter to win what you’re in the business of providing, you can be assured that the leads you’re collecting are already pre-qualified.

After All This Is About Lead Gen

So now that you’ve nailed the branding and prizing parts, it’s time to focus on your Sweepstakes landing page. This is where the rubber really meets the road. Because this is where you’ll be asking consumers to give you their precious personal data.

But simply collecting a name and an email address is just the beginning. What you’re really after are quality leads, right? So this is where asking one or two marketing questions is vital. These questions don’t have to be complicated. For example, you can simply ask if a sweepstakes participant is in the market for the product or service you provide right now, in six months from now, or not at all. That way you can segment your sweepstakes participants into hot, cool or cold leads.

The Critical Role of E-Mail Automation

Remember that story about the pool builder driving sales all year long from just one of our Sweepstakes promotions? The reason that client team is so successful is because they have an email automation system in place to nurture the cool and cold leads through on-going e-mail communications commonly referred to as “drip campaigns.”

This is such a critically important capability that, if our clients don’t have their own system in place, we’ll propose doing the lead nurturing for them using our Hubspot license. Or we simply won’t recommend doing a Sweepstakes promotion at all. Because we just hate to see all that great lead generation work go to waste.

Sweepstakes and Social Media

Given the current Sweepstakes limitations imposed by Facebook and other social media platforms, we don’t recommend doing Sweepstakes solely to build social media audiences. But there’s another important reason we’ve taken this position: we believe the goal of any Sweepstakes promotion is to generate an email from a qualified prospect. As we like to say around here, “social followers are great…but e-mail subscribers get you paid.” And the fact is, in study after study, email still crushes social media when it comes to driving revenue.

Of course you should absolutely invite your social media followers to participate in your Sweepstakes promotion. Better yet…ask them what they’d want to win! Not only will they generate some great “on-strategy” Sweepstakes ideas, they’ll appreciate you reaching out to them for feedback.

And Finally, A Word From Our Lawyers

One final note that we’ll keep short and sweet. Sweepstakes are fraught with legal risks. So don’t do one without the proper legal guidance. Need help? We’re just a click or phone call away.

 

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