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24 oct

Quick and Easy Holiday-themed Sweepstakes and Contest Ideas

By: Sync Marketing | In: Marketing

The holidays are right around the corner, but there’s still time to add a holiday-themed sweepstakes or contest to your marketing plans this year. Yes, time is of the essence, but the following ideas can be implemented just in time for the holidays. Below are some quick and easy holiday-themed sweepstakes and contest ideas.

Instagram Sweepstakes

An Instagram sweepstakes is easy, breezy and very effective. It’s a great way to get your customers posting about you and your products or services for their chance to win a cool prize. Have a makeup line? What about a “pretty pumpkin” decorating sweepstakes where consumers are asked to make up their pumpkin instead of carving. Then, they can post it with the campaign hashtag to their Instagram account.  Home décor is your business; how about asking people to show their Thanksgiving table-scape using your merchandise and their personal touches? Shop ‘til you drop? Ask entrants to upload a photo of their best Black Friday experience. Keep in mind if you are asking entrants to use your products, you will also need a free method of entry. Here’s some additional information on the benefits of running an Instagram promotion.

TurnkeySweeps by Sync

The TurnkeySweeps by Sync platform is a cost-effective way to get a sweepstakes running quickly. Consider hosting a simple enter to win promotion that offers consumers a chance to win your merchandise every day in December. This simple sweepstakes approach is a great way to reward your existing customers for the holidays as well as attract new consumers. You can also add on a surprise and delight discount offer to everyone that enters to get people in your door to drive sales after the holidays end. Within this platform, you can easily add instant wins or fun holiday-themed games such as find the matching elf memory game or spin the Hanukah dreidel. Or, consider asking entrants to upload a photo of their favorite holiday dish or a shot of their New Year’s Eve style. To learn more about TurnkeySweeps by Sync, go here.

SMS campaign

This is one of the easiest ways to reach your consumers. Consider running an SMS campaign if you are hosting a holiday event or concert for example. All you need to do is provide the short code and the entrant uses this to text for a chance to win. You can also have in-store POP with the campaign information, so people can enter at point of sale. After the promotion is over, it’s a great way to send reminders and discount offers directly to your customers that opt-in for texts.  Here are some additional benefits to running a text to win campaign.

Hopefully these quick and easy holiday-themed sweepstakes and contest have been helpful. Regardless of which type of campaign you run, keep in mind that there are legal requirements so consulting an agency to help you with the details is key.  Reach out to Sync and we will help get your holiday campaign (or beyond) off the ground.

 

Quick and Easy Holiday-themed Sweepstakes and Contest Ideas

 

 


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12 jul

Brand Loyalty Sweepstakes

By: Sync Marketing | In: Advertising, Legal and Prize Fulfillment, Prize Fulfillment

Sweepstakes and brand loyalty marketing go hand in hand. It’s an easy and cost-effective way to reward your customers all while strengthening the relationship you have with them. Today we will discuss the best types of brand loyalty sweepstakes to run and why.

Start slowly

We always suggest to our clients to run at least a few straight forward enter-to-win sweepstakes before running a loyalty sweepstakes. First and foremost, it will allow you to collect new opt-ins to add to your email list. Also, you will see how sweepstakes resonate with your consumers before you launch a loyalty-based campaign.

It’s all in the email

A brand loyalty sweepstakes starts and ends with email communication. Consumers are interested in your brand and have already signed up to receive emails from you. Now, reward them with the chance to win a great prize. Be sure to put the sweepstakes CTA within the email you send out to your consumers.

Reward, reward, reward

When it comes to a brand loyalty sweepstakes, we think having all entrants win something is a great way to optimize the relationship you have with your customer. To achieve this, you can run an instant win sweepstakes. Here the customer either wins a prize or a discount coupon with a percentage or dollar amount off of your product. If you are a subscription-based service, another way to reward your consumer is to automatically enter them into a sweepstakes for signing up. Here is an example of a recent sweepstakes. Stitch Fix entered all entrants who scheduled a Fix for delivery in the month of June for a chance to win. However, keep in mind, if you require a purchase like this sweepstakes did, you must offer a free alternate means of entry.

Have fun and gather more info

Polls are fun for everyone! People love to give their opinion! And you love to get information on your product, right? Why not ask your loyal customers a question about which new fall look they like best for a chance to win? They are rewarded with a chance to win, and you gather insightful information about your product line for the fall.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to brand loyalty sweepstakes. Whether you’re reaching out to a newly acquired customer or one of your more loyal fans, reach out to Sync to help you strengthen your relationship with you customer by offering unique and engaging ideas.

Brand Loyalty Sweepstakes

 

 

 


11 jun

How to Avoid Sweepstakes Scams

By: Sync Marketing | In: Best Practices

For marketers, running a sweepstakes is an easy way to gather information about potential consumers. It’s also an effective way to reward current consumers for loyalty to their brand by offering a chance to win a fun prize. Unfortunately, there are people out there who are in the business of running scam promotions. So we’re here today to help you know how to avoid sweepstakes scams. Here is recent CBS News story outlining how Americans were bamboozled out of over $100 Million dollars last year.

Look for the official rules of the sweepstakes

When entering a sweepstakes, be sure to look for the official rules that clearly outlines the parameters of the promotion. Here’s what you are looking for: Sponsor’s name, eligibility, run dates, method of entry and prize details. If you don’t see the official rules listed, don’t give your information.

Don’t enter personal information

Upon entering, a legitimate sweepstakes should only ask you to provide basic information. This would include as your name, email address and sometimes phone number or zip code. If they are asking for your social security number, passport number, or driver’s license information, beware.

If you are a winner, never send money

There will never be an instance where you should be expected to pay for any type of handling fee or service charges to receive your prize. If a prize is valued over $600 you will be asked to provide a W9 form as the prize value won will be reported to the IRS and you will receive a 1099 in the January following the year you won your prize. Also, never give your banking information or credit card numbers. This will never be required for claiming a legitimate prize.

Examine the winner notification email for clues

If you receive an email from a company using a free email service such as Hotmail.com or Gmail.com, it’s quite possible it’s not a legitimate notification. Most companies running a sweepstakes will notify you from their company or their administrator’s company email addresses. Whenever Sync Marketing notifies a winner, we refer potential winners to visit the sweepstakes website where they can view the official rules to see that Sync Marketing is listed as the Administrator. It’s important to do your research.

Social Media has sweepstakes scams too

They are hard to spot, but they do exist. Scammers will set up fake Facebook and Twitter accounts with the hopes of getting you to give up your personal information. They’ve also gone so far as to impersonate Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg. The fake Zuckerberg account sends a message through Facebook Messenger congratulating you that you’ve won the Facebook Lottery. If you click the bait, you find that they will ask you to send money to claim your prize. As mentioned above, no legitimate company will ask you for money to claim your prize. Here’s a recent story on NBC News offering additional tips on how to spot social media sweepstakes scams.

Now that we’ve given you some tips on how to avoid sweepstakes scams, hopefully you will feel comfortable to enter the ones that are legit. There are thousands of legitimate companies running sweepstakes each year offering amazing prizes for the taking. You just need to make sure you protect yourself and be smart. Not quite sold? Here’s some additional information from the Federal Trade Commission. For any additional questions regarding how to avoid sweepstakes scams or sweepstakes in general, please contact us directly.

How to Avoid Sweepstakes Scams


13 mar

How to run an effective sweepstakes

By: Sync Marketing | In: Advertising, Best Practices, Contests, Facebook, Instagram, Instant Win, Marketing, Prize Fulfillment, Turnkey Sweepstakes, User Generated Content

There are many ways to run a sweepstakes, but which one is right for you? From straight forward enter-to-win’s, to UGC collection sweepstakes, to photo contests, the possibilities are endless. Today we will discuss the questions you need to ask first on how to run an effective sweepstakes that will produce the best return on your investment.

What is your goal?

Let’s start with the basics. What is the goal? Do you want to capture user-generated content? Do you want to increase your loyalty program? Or do you simply want to increase your email database? Once this question is answered, you can get started on the ideation step for setting up your sweepstakes or contest.

What is your theme?

Is this campaign a one-off to drive a new product? Do you want to offer sweepstakes quarterly to attract loyalty from your consumers? Do you want to center the sweepstakes around a holiday? Themes will help give your sweepstakes or contest a focus and will feel more organic for your brand or service.

How are people going to hear about it?

Promotion is key. Do you have a large social media following? This is a cost-effective way to promote a sweepstakes, but it’s always important to put some advertising dollars behind any promotion. Depending on how much money you want to put towards the promotion of your sweepstakes will also affect how long you should run your sweepstakes. If you have a small budget, try to pack a punch and run it for only a few weeks to get the best bang for your buck.

What do you do with the information once the promotion is over?

An integral part of making your sweepstakes or contest have a lasting impression with your consumers, is what you do once the sweepstakes is over. At Sync, we always encourage our clients to share the winner information on their social media pages after the sweepstakes is over to reinforce their messaging. One idea is to send out an email to all of those who opt-ed in to the sweepstakes to not only announce the winner, but to thank them with a surprise and delight offer.

If you make sure to ask yourself these questions before putting together your sweepstakes, it will help ensure that you run an effective sweepstakes. If you need help with ideation don’t hesitate to reach out to us

Effective Sweepstakes

02 jan

Sync Marketing Sweepstakes Agency 2017 Year End Review

By: Sync Marketing | In: Marketing

2017 has been another spectacular year for Sync Marketing and we have our amazing clients to thank for that. We love creating sweepstakes and contests for our clients and have had some great opportunities to incorporate and introduce our new TurnkeySweeps platform to new and current clients.

Here are some of this year’s highlights.

Building Relationships with other Agencies

Much of our business comes from working with other agencies. We have found these relationships to be fun and rewarding. When an agency comes to us to run a sweepstakes campaign for them, it’s either because they don’t handle any aspects of sweepstakes and understand the importance of hiring an agency, like Sync, to handle it for them, or because they only handle pieces. Some of our partner agencies can handle all of the development, but don’t quite have the know-how when it comes to the complex and ever changing world of sweepstakes law. That’s where we come in and handle all of the legal elements to make sure they’re running legally compliant promotions. We greatly appreciate all of our agency partners and hope to grow this side of our business even more in 2018!

Chief Marketer 200

Sync Marketing was honored to be named by Chief Marketer as one of the top 200 marketing agencies serving the U.S. in 2018! It’s the first-ever editorial list of the top 200 non-advertising agencies serving the U.S. “I’m extremely proud of Team Sync and all of our outstanding work! It’s an honor to be recognized amongst such esteemed agencies.” Jennifer French, Sync Marketing Co-founder.  For more information on the Chief Marketer 200, visit  http://www.chiefmarketer.com/cm200/

New and Improved Website

We have added some exciting features to our website to better highlight our capabilities at Sync Marketing. While we still feature the specifics we handle within each campaign from design and programming to legal and prize fulfillment, we have also added other services. These services include our TurnkeySweeps platform and the different features we can add on to these cost-effective promotions. Some of these include instant win features, social sharing and contest upload capabilities. We have also added an SMS component to our website as we can handle SMS and MMS promotions. Lastly, we have included a few case studies of our completely custom campaigns.

While this year has been another record breaking year with gaining clients and campaigns, we can’t thank our clients enough for allowing us to do what we love. We’re excited for what 2018 has to bring!

Sync Marketing Sweepstakes Agency 2017 Year End Review

 

 

 


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13 dec

Sweepstakes Company

By: Sync Marketing | In: Advertising, Best Practices, Contests, Facebook, Instant Win, Legal and Prize Fulfillment, Marketing, Prize Fulfillment, SMS Campaigns, Sweepstakes, sweepstakes company, Text Message Sweepstakes, Turnkey Sweepstakes

Looking for a sweepstakes company that can handle all aspects of your next online sweepstakes campaign? Look no further than Sync Marketing. Sync Marketing is a Los Angeles-based sweepstakes company that specializes in online sweepstakes.

What we do

The Specifics

Regardless of what type of sweepstakes you want to run, we handle an array of details within every sweepstakes or contest.

Strategy and Management

In this phase of the project, we will go over your goals and ideas and come up with effective solutions for you to exceed your goals. Whether you want to gain email opt-ins or user generated contact, we have the experience and know-how to suggest the right type of sweepstakes for your next campaign.

Design and Programming

Our highly passionate and experienced team of programmers and designers are ready to create a stand out sweepstakes for you. We offer responsive design and mobile-optimized sites to make sure the user experience is seamless for your consumers.

Legal and Prize Fulfillment

This is quite possibly the most important piece to the puzzle. Making sure to hire an agency that specializes in sweepstakes law is integral to the success of your sweepstakes. Especially with social media sweepstakes, because these can be quickly taken down by a social media network if you are not abiding by their policy. Sync Marketing is a sweepstakes company that has got you covered in this area. Not only does our legal team specialize in promotion law, but we attend the latest law conferences and are quite frequently speakers at these events.

Analytics and Reporting

You need to know if your promotion is successful, right? Our programmers provide a 24/7 password protected website so you can access your metrics at any time. We will go over your goals prior to programming to make sure we’re tracking everything you need for your promotion.

Types of Sweepstakes

At Sync Marketing, we offer an array of sweepstakes. Our most popular is our TurnkeySweeps by Sync platform. These are turnkey sweepstakes that launch within a week of receiving approval on the creative. We also run SMS campaigns, instant win sweepstakes, and custom campaigns. If you’re looking for a sweepstakes company who solely focuses  on sweepstakes and contests, then we’re the agency for you. Contact us today for a quote.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


17 oct

Sweepstakes and Contest Rules

By: Sync Marketing | In: Ask Sync Marketing, Best Practices, Contests, Legal and Prize Fulfillment, Marketing, Sweepstakes

Anyone who has enters sweepstakes or contest has usually noticed a long list of rules and regulations. Some may be put off by all this legal jargon. It’s not just there to protect the companies involved in the promotion, but it is also a helpful tool for the entrant. It outlines very important features of the promotion in one neat package. Different variables of the promotion can change what needs to be outlined in your rules. Today, I have provided a list of some of the items that should be included in your sweepstakes and contest rules:

Eligibility

This section is important in sweepstakes and contest rules, because it outlines who can enter. This should include the geographical location where the promotion is open, i.e. 50 US states. It should also include the minimum age of entrants. Lastly, it should call out the fact that your employees, family members, etc. cannot enter or win.

Timing

This section should outline the exact start date and time and end date and time. Obviously, this is important because it tells entrants their deadline for entering.

How to Enter

This section outlines where and how people enter. Maybe it’s an online sweepstakes. In that case, the URL to the sweepstakes or contest home page will need to be provided. Also, you will need to tell entrants what you are collecting from them, i.e. name, address, phone number, etc. Here is a link to a sweepstakes home page that shows the entry process.

If you are running a sweepstakes where the entry method is on social media, you will need to explain the process for entry. Here’s an example of a Twitter and Instagram sweepstakes.  In addition, this section should outline the total number of entries a person can earn during the sweepstakes entry period. Depending on the complexity of the sweepstakes or contests, this section needs to be drafted with acute attention to detail from a legal standpoint. That’s why it’s important to hire an administrator who specializes in sweepstakes law to identify any additional information that needs to be included.

Winner Determination

This section should clearly outline when the winners will be selected and notified. This helps legitimize the process for the administrator when contacting the potential winners. The entrant can refer to the rules and see that the dates match. It also lets entrants know if they will have to wait days or weeks after a promotion to find out if they are a winner. Patience isn’t always a virtue when it comes to winning a prize, so this will inform your entrants when you will be conducting the drawing so that they have an exact date in mind.

Prizes

This section outlines what prizes you are awarding and their approximate retail value (ARV). This is important because any time a prize has an ARV over $600, it will need to be reported to the IRS. Winners should have fair warning before accepting any prize where they are going to be issued a 1099.

The above is a basic list of things to think about when drafting sweepstakes or contest rules. Keep in mind, there are a lot of other items that need to be included. It is extremely important to work with an agency that knows everything that is legally required to run a promotion.

Sync Marketing’s legal team is constantly researching and staying up-to-date on all the latest legal actions and changes in the field. We also attend the most respected marketing law conferences each year. This translates into invaluable legal counsel and advice for you on all your promotions and will ensure your sweepstakes and contest rules are the most iron clad. Here is a link to some of the legal services we offer at Sync Marketing. Contact us today and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have about sweepstakes and contest rules.

Sweepstakes and Contest Rules

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


10 oct

Updated Pinterest Guidelines for Running a Sweepstakes

By: Sync Marketing | In: Best Practices, Contests, Marketing, Pinterest, Sweepstakes

Running a Sweepstakes or Contest on Pinterest is a great way for a company to market themselves. They are able to encourage consumers to “pin” a variety of their products and pages, which in turn increases engagement. This also results in entrants’ friends seeing the pins and therefore leads them to the company’s website. But, before running any promotion on a social media platform, it’s important to know what is allowed by that platform. Recently, Pinterest has made some changes, so today I will discuss the updated Pinterest guidelines for running a sweepstakes or contest.

All of these updated guidelines can be found in Pinterest’s Acceptable Use Policy. Previously, their guidelines stated that companies were not permitted to “run a sweepstakes where each Pin, board, like, or follow represents an entry;” require that people “Pin from a selection;” or “require a minimum number of Pins.” Within the new guidelines, none of those restrictions appear in the Pinterest Acceptable Use Policy.

In addition, the new guidelines state that companies who run campaigns should, “encourage authentic behavior, keep Pinterest spam-free, and be sure to comply with all relevant laws and regulations.” What does this mean for you and your brand? Make sure your campaign hashtag includes, “sweepstakes” or “contest.” This way consumers are aware that their friend is pinning that particular image for a chance to win a prize.

The new guidelines also state that companies who are running campaigns should not require participants to Pin one specific image. Furthermore, they acknowledge that requiring consumers to Pin from a selection is now allowed. This is a benefit to your brand because the more options there are to pin, the more diversity of images of your brand will be on Pinterest.

“Give Pinners the ability to choose Pins based on their tastes and preferences, even if it’s from a selection or a given website.” – Updated Pinterest Guidelines

Lastly, Pinterest is now requiring that there is a limit of one entry per person. This new guideline may affect entry numbers slightly, but know you are getting more genuine content.

What do the updated guidelines mean to companies running a sweepstakes on Pinterest? More brand exposure for you! Now that you can require pinning from a group of images, means your images will appear on entrants’ boards. With this change, you should definitely consider adding a Pinterest sweepstakes to your marketing plans. Not convinced? Here is an article giving five reasons why Pinterest is great for business.

As we’ve said before, social media platforms change their guidelines on a regular basis. Recently Facebook has taken out the language about not allowing shares for extra entries. This implies that this is now permitted. Here is a link to Facebook’s guidelines.

Regardless, it’s important that you make sure you’re up-to-date on all of these changes each time you run a social media campaign. Hiring Sync will help you with knowing you’re running a complaint promotion. Our team is in direct contact with the legal teams at all of the social media platforms. We are even alerted if there are any changes to their guidelines that could affect your upcoming promotion. Consider reaching out to Sync for your next sweepstakes or contest.

Updated Pinterest Guidelines for Running a Sweepstakes or Contest.


17 jun

Sweepstakes vs. Contests; What Produces the Best ROI?

By: Sync Marketing | In: Best Practices, Contests, Sweepstakes

ROI is definitely a major consideration when running sweepstakes vs. contests… but did you know that the majority of people don’t know the difference between sweepstakes vs. contests and think that the words are interchangeable. In most cases, companies are looking to run a “sweepstakes,” but are referring to it as a “contest.” Here is a good reference to differentiate between the two. Below I will take it a step further and discuss Sweepstakes vs. Contests: What produces the Best ROI?

So for those who are not familiar with the acronym, ROI is Return On Investment, which is a major factor when running any type of marketing campaign. Although I would love to be able to tell you which of the two would give you the best ROI, there are a lot of factors to consider. For arguments sake, let’s treat this as a boxing match, the main event; Sweepstakes vs. Contests.

In this corner, Sweepstakes. Here are the stats:

  • Obtain large quantities of entries; Entering a sweepstakes is typically easy breezy, so that’s why the entry count is typically higher than with a contest.
  • Inexpensively promote your product or service; You can run sweepstakes with very little investment, but make sure that your budget covers the legal components as well as the design. Here is a good reference to the importance of legal guidance on a sweepstakes. Even more affordable sweepstakes options can be found in the form of a social media sweepstakes or turnkey sweepstakes.
  • Collect consumer data; A sweepstakes is a great vehicle to collect basic consumer data, preferences, and email opt-ins, but be careful, the more information you require from an entrant, the greater the chance of losing them before entry.

Here are a few tips to improve your ROI when running an online sweepstakes: http://www.syncmarketing.net/ask-sync-marketing-maximize-roi-running-online-sweepstakes/

In this corner, Contests. Here are the stats:

  • Gain quality entries vs. quantity; People who enter contests are asked to take an extra step vs. entering a sweepstakes so you are getting people who are really interested in your product and/or the prize you are offering.
  • Gather user-generated content; Your contest can require people to upload a photo which shows them enjoying your product. You can’t ask for better promotion than organic promotion.
  • Reach people who are interested in your company; When a contest entrant opt-ins in to receive emails, you typically have a better email open rate than by someone who provided their email address thorough a sweepstakes.
  • Create PR Buzz; Contests seem to excite the media a bit more than a basic sweepstakes because it’s a challenge and people love a good challenge.

Here are a few tips on running a successful contest: http://www.syncmarketing.net/ask-sync-marketing-questions-running-successful-contest/#.V2L0MI-cHyQ

In the end, you need to be your own “referee” when deciding on running sweepstakes vs. contests. They really are in different weight classes so to speak. Ultimately your goals (and budget) will determine which one you run and a sweepstakes administrator can help you decide. The results will show if your ROI was strong for you. For any questions, contact Sync Marketing at 323-596-7962.

Sweepstakes vs. Contests


05 apr

Sweepstakes Legal Services

By: Sync Marketing | In: Best Practices, Contests, Instagram, Legal and Prize Fulfillment, Marketing

If you’re looking for a sweepstakes law company to handle the legal needs for your upcoming project, Sync Marketing has got you covered. We specialize in all aspects of planning, implementing and managing sweepstakes and contest campaigns, although we consider the sweepstakes legal services to be the most important piece of the puzzle. Our legal team specializes in promotion law and are experts in the field. It’s important that when running a sweepstakes that you can trust your sweepstakes administrator to provide accurate and current official rules. This helps to minimize any risk that may come with running a sweepstakes or contest.

The official rules is the most important legal document that you will create for your promotion, but did you know that there is a lot more that goes into making sure you’re running a legally-complaint promotion than the official rules? Not only do we thoroughly go through the concept of the sweepstakes or contest with you and provide creative ideas to ensure you achieve your campaign goals, but we also make sure the promotion is in line with today’s legal standards. In addition, we will review all of your promotional materials to make sure they include all of the necessary legal language. We provide this service to ensure that your sweepstakes is meeting the legal guidelines on all levels. 

Below is a comprehensive list of the sweepstakes legal services we provide at Sync Marketing to help you build a legally-compliant sweepstakes or contest campaign:

  • legal counsel
  • official rules creation and review
  • abbreviated rules
  • legal disclaimers
  • winner affidavit of eligibility and release forms
  • travel companion forms
  • trademark search of campaign title
  • patent negotiations
  • partnership negotiations
  • client indemnification
  • letter of opinion
  • fraud mitigation of promotion offers
  • fraud mitigation of consumer entrants
  • bond and register campaign per state and federal guidelines
  • legal compliance review of all promotional materials and social media posts
  • contest criteria
  • contest judging
  • background checks
  • insurance coverage of prizing
  • file all required winner lists

If you’re on the fence and about hiring an sweepstakes administrator for sweepstakes legal services, check out this article that provides reasons as to why you should.  We hope to have now convinced you to not only hire a marketing agency that specializes in sweepstakes law, but to considering hiring Sync Marketing. Whether it’s an Instant-Win Sweepstakes, an Instagram promotion or video contest, Sync Marketing will cover all of your legal needs and make it a seamless process to build and launch your next sweepstakes. Contact us today at inquiries@syncmarketing.net or 323-596-7962 to receive a quote.

Sweepstakes Legal Services provided by Sync Marketing