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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


30 nov

Wedding Sweepstakes

By: Julie Link | In: Sweepstakes

As the holidays quickly approach, there’s no doubt that engagements will be abundant. As a brand, running a sweepstakes is a great opportunity to reach out to these newly engaged couples in the New Year. When running a wedding sweepstakes it’s important to know the most effective types of campaigns to run. Today we will discuss the best types of wedding sweepstakes to run that are aimed at the newly betrothed.

Instant Win Sweepstakes

In addition to gathering email opt-ins, running an instant win sweepstakes is a great way to have consumers instantly engage with your brand. Try giving away a number of gift cards a day and then provide an overarching grand prize. This way, consumers will continue to come back to your sweepstakes because they will feel they have a better chance to win. To learn more about Sync’s TurnkeySweeps instant win sweepstakes, click here.

TurnkeySweeps

Turning these newly engaged couples into email subscribers is key. Using Sync’s platform, TurnkeySweeps by Sync, is a great solution if email opt-ins is an important goal of yours. These sweepstakes can launch within a week of receiving approval on creative and are extremely effective at retaining consumers and gathering email opt-ins. They are also a very cost-effective solution. Here’s an example of one.

Surprise and Delight Sweepstakes

If you decide to run a TurnkeySweeps promotion, add on a surprise and delight feature. After entry, offer consumers a discount coupon to your store. We can also send a “thanks for entering” email that includes the discount code in case the consumer closes the window. This is a great option to have entrants engage with your brand and will leave them feeling like a winner. The coupon may even encourage them to register with your store for their wedding gifts.

Social Sweepstakes

Why not encourage consumers to go into your store to take photos with product for their chance to win? This again will encourage entrants to possibly register with your store for their wedding gifts. When running a social sweepstakes, make the method of entry writing a comment that include a hashtag for their chance to win. This will make the sweepstakes go viral and you will obtain great user-generated content. Keep in mind, you will need to provide an alternate means of entry if you are requiring people to go to your store as part of the entry.

If you need additional idea for running a wedding sweepstakes, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We can provide the best plan while keeping your goals in mind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


21 sep

Solutions for Running Cost-Effective Sweepstakes

By: Jennifer French | In: Marketing, Sweepstakes, sweepstakes company, Turnkey Sweepstakes, User Generated Content

When running a sweepstakes, there are a lot of factors to consider. As you start to plan, think of your objectives, target audience, timing, and theme. A major factor that can determine the entire scope of the campaign is your budget. Many marketing teams have the fortune of having large supporting budgets to run their campaigns. Some on the other hand have limited budgets. Regardless, all are in search of running a quality campaign which achieves their goals. Below are a few suggestions for running cost-effective sweepstakes.

Social Media

One cost-effective sweepstakes idea would be to offer your method of entry on one of your social channels. This will require you to create a campaign hashtag to track your entries. It will also require that a full comprehensive set of official rules be created. The benefit of running social sweepstakes is that it can increase your social following and allow you to collect fun user-generated content. These types of sweepstakes however are not ideal for a brand who is only looking to increase their email database. This is because there is no personal data collected from the entrants.

Here is an example of a social sweepstakes that is currently running for REI. In this sweepstakes, they are asking entrants to take a photo of themselves enjoying the outdoors. In order to be eligible, entrants must use both #OptOutside and #Collegesweepstakes when uploading their photo on Instagram or Twitter. Here are some additional reasons to run a social sweepstakes.

Prize Provider

You may not have the actual funds to run a sweepstakes, but you may have plenty of compelling merchandise, travel elements, or services to trade with a company who is already planning to run a sweepstakes. Companies are often looking for a partner to provide the prizing. This allows them to save money, offer compelling giveaways, and it helps their sweepstakes. A lot of time, the prizing that you can offer is at cost so it is less of an investment for your company. In exchange for providing the prizing, the company can feature the merchandise you are providing along with your company logo and link to your website. You should also ask them to collect and provide email opt-ins on your behalf. In exchange, you can promote the sweepstakes on your social media channels and marketing pushes to help promote the sweepstakes. If you are looking to utilize the cost-effective sweepstakes idea of becoming a prize provider, contact Sync Marketing today. We can put you in touch with companies who are looking for this type of partnership.

TurnkeySweeps by Sync

If you are looking for a cost-effective sweepstakes option that is full-service, you should consider our TurnkeySweeps by Sync platform. These turnkey sweepstakes are an affordable solution that can launch within one week of receiving approval on creative. With TurnkeySweeps, not only will you receive programming, design, legal and prize fulfillment at a very competitive rate, our price also includes Sync’s personalized customer service and management. They are a low-cost solution that offers exceptional ROI. Here is some additional information about TurnkeySweeps by Sync.

We know that budget can be a concern for everyone who is considering a promotion. With that in mind, reach out to a team member at Sync Marketing who will be happy to discuss your options and provide pricing that will work for you.

Cost-Effective Sweepstakes

 

 

 


15 aug

Holiday Sweepstakes

By: Julie Link | In: Marketing

Thinking about running a holiday sweepstakes, but don’t know where to start? Today, I’ll go into the different types of sweepstakes you can run this holiday season based on your goals that produce the best ROI.

Social Sweepstakes

If increasing your social reach is a goal, then a Twitter, Instagram and/or Facebook sweepstakes is a great way to build your followers. Some of our clients like to create a post on Twitter and then ask consumers to reply to the post for their chance to win. This is a great way to engage with consumers in real time. Another option would be to offer a photo contest where entrants upload a photo on Instagram along with the campaign hashtag for their chance to win. Instagram photo contests provide exceptional user-generated content for minimal costs. When running social sweepstakes, make sure to hire an agency like Sync Marketing to handle all of your legal needs. This will ensure you’re following all of the latest FTC guidelines.

Turnkey Sweepstakes

If your goal is to gain email opt-ins, then Sync Marketing’s platform TurnkeySweeps by Sync is the perfect solution for you. These are extremely cost-effective sweepstakes or contest microsites that can launch within a week of receiving approval on creative, are mobile optimized and produce exceptional ROI.

Instant Win Sweepstakes

The holidays are a time for giving, so a great way to layer on to a TurnkeySweeps would be to add an instant win component. We would recommend giving away many smaller prizes with the instant win portion of the sweepstakes and then having a larger overarching grand prize. We have found that when you add an instant win component, participation rates are higher because consumers feel as though they have a better chance to win something, and they do!

Text-to-Win Sweepstakes

Lastly, is the text-to-win sweepstakes. These are especially important for retailers during the holidays. If your consumer is on the go and shopping, offer them a chance to win for shopping in your store. Set up in-store POP explaining how to play for their chance to win. What’s even better, if you can offer those who opt-in to your mobile database a surprise and delight offer like a discount coupon. We have found this greatly increases return purchases.

All of the above sweepstakes types can easily be tailored to be thematic to the holidays. Need more ideas or want to strategic the best holiday sweepstakes for you? Call us today and we would be happy to come up with a clear and effective plan that will exceed your goals!

Holiday Sweepstakes

 


Tags
29 jun

Why Run a Back-to-School Sweepstakes?

By: Julie Link | In: Ask Sync, Ask Sync Marketing, Best Practices, Contests, Legal and Prize Fulfillment, Prize Fulfillment, Sweepstakes, sweepstakes company, Turnkey Sweepstakes

We’re now officially into summer, and while most people bask in that fact, marketers are already looking ahead and making plans for the back-to-school season. This is a prime time of year to focus on consumer loyalty and brand awareness. This is especially true for retailers that carry merchandise geared for children and young adults. Back-to-school sweepstakes are an effective marketing tool to accomplish these goals. Today I will go into a few reasons why.

  1. Deals, deals, deals.

This is a great opportunity to provide incentives to consumers to shop your brand. Back-to-school sweepstakes allow you to incorporate coupons and surprise-and-delight offers to consumers. This can be accomplished by offering these deals after they have entered for a chance to win. For example, once they receive the “thanks for entering,” message, offer them 20% off their next purchase. Not only is this optimal for reengagement but its also an invaluable way for you to obtain insights on your consumer. If you find that a high percentage of consumers redeem the coupon from the sweepstakes, then you will know that sweepstakes are resonating with consumers.

  1. Consumer Loyalty

It’s a two way street. While you’re looking for consumer loyalty, so is your consumer. By running a back-to-school sweepstakes, you will in turn receive loyalty because you’re offering you consumer something in return. Once you receive their email address, the hope is that these consumers will keep coming back. If you are offering them incentives, like sweepstakes or surprise and delight offers, it’s even a better reason to return to your site. So, after you run that back-to-school sweepstakes, make sure to follow up with a pre black Friday sweepstakes and keep the momentum going! Check out some of our work samples for more inspiration on back-to-school sweepstakes.

  1. Showcase your back-to-school merchandise

What better way to showcase your new back-to-school product than with a back-to-school sweepstakes. Through banner ad campaigns, social media posts and in-store POP, you will be able to promote your new products all while promoting the back-to-school sweepstakes.

When running a back-to-school sweepstakes, also keep in mind the prizing for your sweepstakes. Optimal prizing could be a daily awarding of your product or service with an overarching grand prize like cash or a trip. People love to start planning trips as soon as the reality that summer is over kicks in and cash offers consumers some hope of financial relief to offset some of the money they spend to send their kids back to school. To learn more about ideas for prizing and some of the best types to give away, click here.

As this year’s back-to-school season quickly approaches, consider running a sweepstakes. You will be sure to be top of your class with consumers.

Back-to-School Sweepstakes

 

 

 

 

 


28 feb

Different Types of Sweepstakes to Run on a Mobile Device

By: Jennifer French | In: Contests, Facebook, Instagram, Marketing, Sweepstakes, sweepstakes company, Text Message Sweepstakes

Mobile phones are such a big part of our daily life that it’s hard to remember a time without them. If you are anything like me, you are constantly checking email, looking at social media, searching things online and of course sending text messages. And we are not alone.  Marketers are counting on the fact that one’s smart phone is a direct extension of their user. When a company decides to include a sweepstakes as part of their marketing strategy, it is imperative that they make the site optimized for mobile devices. Results show that large numbers of people who enter a sweepstakes do so from their phone. With that in mind, below are different types of sweepstakes to run on a mobile device.

Text-to-Win

An SMS or Text-to-Win sweepstakes is one of the easiest ways to enter a sweepstakes as it doesn’t require much from the entrant. These types of campaigns tend to work well at events where people can quickly and easily text in for a chance to win. Here is a blog article that discusses the benefits of running a text message campaign.

Social Media Campaigns

Twitter and Instagram sweepstakes have become increasingly popular. For companies, they are very low in cost to run and easy to enter. A common sweepstakes has entrants snapping a photo on their phone, including the campaign hashtag, and then posting to enter. Because these types of campaigns typically produce a lot of fun user-generated content, they’re popular among brands. Running a sweepstakes on a social platform is also a great way to get your promotion viral. Here is a post on tips for running a promotion on a social media channel.

Enter by Using an App

More and more brands of all sizes are offering apps to their consumers to make their mobile experience even better. Apps are an effective tool to increase brand loyalty and reward consumers for their frequent purchases or using their app. Adding a sweepstakes component to the app is an additional way to increase consumer engagement and drive sales. McDonald’s has run several sweepstakes to promote their app, most recently the “Shake a Gift Game” in December. Consumers were invited to use their app daily for the chance to win food and prizes. Here is a link to McDonald’s app.

Lastly, one thing to keep in mind is that with any sweepstakes you must have a set of official rules for the campaign. Among other things, the rules must clearly outline how to enter the promotion. If you are considering the different types of sweepstakes to run on a mobile device, Sync Marketing can help. We can guide you on the best type of mobile-optimized promotion for your needs. Contact us today.

Different Types of Sweepstakes to Run on a Mobile Device