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02 jan

Fly-Away Sweepstakes

By: Jennifer French | In: Marketing, Sweepstakes

The holidays have come and gone and for a majority of people, that leaves the sad thought of having to withstand a few more months of cold winter days without a sunshine-filled beach in sight. For this reason, this is a good time of year to run an online sweepstakes that rewards winners with an exciting fly-away sweepstakes prize. Even better, one that sends them to a warm sunny and/or exotic location. Below are a few examples. Don’t pack your bags quite yet, you need to enter for your chance to win first.

Amazon Amazement

This once-in-a-lifetime sweepstakes prize consists of a trip for two to Peru consisting of a 10-day Amazon Adventure valued at $8,768!  Hurry and enter as the sweepstakes ends on January 9, 2015.

Norwegian’s Prize Ride Sweepstakes

Enter this sweepstakes through January 31, 2015 for the chance to win a 7-day Caribbean cruise for two aboard Norwegian Cruise Line.

Welcome to Whistler Contest

If snow sports are your thing, enter this promotion for a chance to win a ski trip for two to Whistler, Canada valued at $7,424!  Ends March 30, 2015.

If you do choose to run an online sweepstakes that awards a trip, it is very important that your official rules and prize details are very clear to consumers. Entrants must be aware of travel restrictions such as blackout dates, visa and passport requirements (if applicable), and tax implications. Consulting with an agency like Sync Marketing, who specializes in legal and prize fulfillment is recommended as we stay up-to-date on all of the changes in promotion law, and guide you through the process which includes adding all of the necessary language to the official rules, abbreviated rules, affidavit of eligibility for the winners and travel companion forms. If you want to run a fly-away sweepstakes, contact Sync Marketing today!

 

 


30 dec

New Year Sweepstakes to Brighten Up Your 2015!

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

As we prepare to ring in 2015, our minds naturally start thinking about possible New Year’s resolutions and ways to make the year ahead our personal best. Topping the list for the most common resolutions are to eat healthier, work out more (or at all), spend more time with family and friends, and to try to incorporate relaxation into the mix. The following companies are offering their consumers a little help by running New Year sweepstakes that reward entrants with prizes that will hopefully help them start the year off right:

Because Your Healthiest Year Ever Could Start Today Sweepstakes

Spa Finder is inviting consumers to start off the New Year right by taking care of themselves and entering the chance to win great prizes including a Take better care of yourself in the New Year with this chance to win a spa vacation for two!

Fly into the New Year Sweepstakes

FromYouFlowers.com wants to give their consumers a vacation in the New Year.  Prize consists of two free gift cards towards flights on Delta Airlines worth $1,000 total.  They are even allowing the winner to share the travel with a friend, or keep it all for themselves.

Dole® Canned Pineapple Juice “Year of Sunshine Holiday Giveaway” Sweepstakes

Dole is giving consumers the chance to enter to win a trip to Hawaii or one of eight SodaStream soda makers!

Sync Marketing wishes everyone a Happy and Healthy 2015 and good luck to all of you who enter the sweepstakes!


15 dec

Holiday Sweepstakes 2014

By: Julie Link | In: Contests, Sweepstakes, User Generated Content

It’s safe to say that the holidays are one of the most popular times of year to market a product or service. There are many different avenues to take when targeting consumers, but sweepstakes and contest are an effective way to break through the clutter. Running an online sweepstakes or contest allows you to interact with your consumers, gather relevant consumer data, collect user-generated content and reward them for interacting with YOU this holiday season. Here are a few of our favorite holiday sweepstakes and contests of the season:

Office Depot Holiday Cheer Challenge Sweepstakes

Office Depot is spreading cheer this year with their holiday challenge sweepstakes. Entrants are encouraged to share merry moments with their friends and family to earn cheer points!  The more points you earn the more chances you have to win great prizes, included a $100 office depot gift card or the grand prize pack. Plus, while you are there don’t miss out on the ever-popular Elf Yourself feature. This sweepstakes challenge is administered by Sync Marketing. Sweepstakes ends 1/10/15 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Claire’s #putabowonit Sweepstakes

Enter Claire’s #putabowonit Instagram Sweepstakes for a chance to win a holiday shopping spree for you and your besties! Weekly prizes will also be awarded. Ends 12/17/14 at 11:59 p.m. ET, so enter now! This sweepstakes is administered by Sync Marketing.

Dave’s $100,000 Baby Steps Giveaway Sweepstakes

Dave Ramsey is giving away a ton of cash prizes, some worth up to $15,000 in the Dave’s $100,000 Baby Steps Giveaway Sweepstakes! Enter now for your chance to win!

TJ Maxx’s Holiday Sparkle Sweepstakes

Bling bling! Enter TJ Maxx’s Holiday Sparkle Sweepstakes for a chance to win a diamond necklace worth nearly $15,000, that will definitely brighten your holiday season!

The bottom line is that sweepstakes are all about giving and receiving and we can’t think of a better time to run a sweepstakes than during the most giving time of the year. We here at Sync Marketing wish you all a very happy holiday season!

 


25 nov

Let’s Talk Turkey – Thanksgiving-themed Sweepstakes

By: Jennifer French | In: Contests, Sweepstakes

As we enter Thanksgiving week, it’s a good time to stop and take a moment to think about what we are most thankful for this year.  It’s also the time to once again participate in annual traditions such as turkey trots, turkey day football games, Thanksgiving Day parades, and of course the main event, the Thanksgiving feast.  But for retailers, it is the start of the holiday shopping season.  A clever tool to stand out amongst competing retailers is to offer Thanksgiving-themed sweepstakes and contests.  Here are a few that will hopefully make you gobble with delight!

Food Network Ultimate Thanksgiving Essentials Sweepstakes

This sweepstakes offers consumers the chance to win $3,000 cash plus the Ultimate Thanksgiving Essentials toolkit from the Food Network Store.

Taste of Home All Things Thanksgiving Recipe Contest

Thanksgiving is the ultimate day for sharing with others. Show off your best Thanksgiving dishes using 12 or fewer ingredients and you could win $500 and piles of praise in an upcoming issue! 

A Friendsgiving Giveaway with Glitter Guide

Enter for your chance to win a $1,000 Pottery Barn Kids gift card in their Friendsgiving Giveaway! Better hurry – giveaway ends Dec. 1st!

Tasting Table Holiday Entertaining 2014 Sweepstakes

Enter for your chance to win a Holiday Entertaining shopping spree that includes $1,000 to redecorate for the holidays, $750 for your grocery shopping essentials and $500 to update your holiday wardrobe.

Are you hungry yet?  Start entering now before you’re too tired from the tryptophan to press that enter now button!

Happy Thanksgiving!


13 nov

Promoting the Big Game

By: Sync Marketing | In: Contests, Marketing, Sweepstakes, Television, User Generated Content

It may only be November, but consumers are already pinning recipes and creating Facebook events in preparation for the “Big Game” this coming February, 2015. Given the excitement and attention this annual event draws from consumers each year, it’s no surprise that you see hundreds of sweepstakes and contests focused on promoting the Big Game.

There are many reasons why these promotions are so prevalent, but the biggest is that this particular televised sporting event appeals to almost all types of consumers; from the football fanatics, the commercials addicts, to those who love watching the performers during the show. Because of this huge draw, it’s no wonder why sweepstakes and contests are one of the main ways this event is promoted. Most specifically contests, which allow companies to gather user-generated content by asking consumers to come up with and enter their own unique content for the chance to win. Contests range from the somewhat labor intensive, but creativity-invoking yearly make-your-own Doritos commercial, to a more simple approach where companies ask their consumers to prove why they deserve to win a trip to the game in 140 characters or less.  It’s a win for everyone….well, except for the losing team.

One of the most notable promotions each year is the Doritos contest where they ask consumers to create their own commercial that will be played on-air during the game. This is one of the best user-generated content promotions out there. 

If you’re a company considering running a sweepstakes before 2015’s “Big Game,” it’s not too late. Given the popularity of this event, you can run sweepstakes for only a week, even days and generate plenty of entries and opt-ins. Contact Sync Marketing today if you’re looking for an agency to run your Big Game promotion!


31 oct

All Treats, No Tricks! Halloween-themed Sweepstakes

By: Jennifer French | In: Contests, Sweepstakes

For most, Halloween is considered to be the kick-off of the holiday season, and rightfully (or frightfully) so.  Who doesn’t love the costumes, the candy, a good scary movie, and of course, the return of pumpkin lattes at your favorite coffee shop?

When you think of a Halloween-themed sweepstakes or contest, you probably think of the obvious; costume contests, pumpkin carvings, etc., and most likely assume that a candy company or party store would be the host.  But think again. These savvy marketers are “treating” themselves to the spoils of this annual tradition as well.  Below are a few fun promotions that are currently running this Halloween season.

Pure Formula – Frightfully Healthy Halloween Sweepstakes

This Facebook sweepstakes asks consumers to vote for their favorite healthy Halloween snack and rewards the winner with an Apple iPad Air tablet.

ShurTech Brands – Stick or Treat Contest

This contests asks consumers to get creative with DuckTape for the chance to win $1,000 cash, or one of seven DuckTape prize packs.

Cheetos Project TP

Want to virtually TP a friend’s house?  Well, here’s your chance.  Plus, tell a scary story in 140 characters or less on Twitter for a chance to win your story made into a mini Cheetos story.

Big Heart Pet Brands – Tricked Out Costume Contest

Okay, we couldn’t resist listing this costume contest because it involves our four-legged friends.  Upload your pet’s Halloween looks for a chance to win $5,000.  Now that’s a lot of doggie bones.

Enter if you dare, but do it fast because most of them end on Halloween night!


27 oct

Sweepstakes Prizing – What to Give Away

By: Julie Link | In: Best Practices, Contests, Legal and Prize Fulfillment, Sweepstakes

It seems these days that everyone is getting in on the fun by running online sweepstakes and contests. That’s because it’s an extremely effective way of not only gathering consumer data, but rewarding consumers in return.  Today, I am going to focus on the best part; the prizing, and the most effective sweepstakes prizing recommendations for your next promotion.

  1. Money, money, money: Everyone loves cash. If you choose to award cash as your prize, make sure it’s a significant amount, as with all prizing, winners are taxed on anything over $600. If you choose to go the cash route, it is recommended to always relate the cash prizes back to your product. Take Don’t Touch My Dart: The Sweepstakes…Here, Chrysler gave away $10,000 for the winner to use as they wish, but in the creative and official rules they promoted it as money to be used towards the purchase or lease of a new Dodge Dart.
  2. The once-in-a-lifetime experience prize: Awarding your winners with a prize they cannot buy is the ultimate prize. Whether it’s to a red carpet event or a VIP back stage pass; offering prizing that is not available to the general public will allow you to receive entries from consumers who are truly interested in your prize and the exclusive experience.
  3. A trip: Pretty much everyone loves to travel, so a trip is a great way to entice consumers to enter. Just be sure to include all of the critical trip elements; airfare, hotel, transportation, and spending money/money for taxes. And, of course, relate it back to your product or service.
  4. Your product or service; Giving away an iPad is great, but if it doesn’t relate to your product or service, then you might not be getting the type of entrants you want as well as the fact that the promotion will seem disjointed. If you offer a fantastic service, give consumers the chance to win that particular service free for a year. Or, if it’s a product, why not offer gift cards or a prize pack containing your promoted items?
  5. Many prizes. It’s always important to give one larger grand prize, but if you want entrants to feel like they have a true shot at winning, consider giving away several smaller prizes. 

Most importantly, make sure that the prize-winning experience is extremely enjoyable and stress-free for your consumers. By hiring an agency like Sync Marketing to handle your sweepstakes prize fulfillment, you can rest assured that your winners will understand all of the details of their prize and will be taken care of all the way until tax season. For a full list of Sync Marketing’s prize fulfillment offerings, please take a look at our Legal and Prize Fulfillment page, here.


07 oct

Sweepstakes 101: Sync’s Guide to a Successful Sweepstakes

By: Sync Marketing | In: Best Practices, Contests, Facebook, Instagram, Sweepstakes, Twitter

Clients run promotions for different reasons, but the list of steps to take below is a good rule of thumb to ensure you are on the road to a successful campaign; one that both accurately represents your brand as well as appeals to your target consumers. Need some help? See below for Sync Marketing’s Sweepstakes 101: Sync’s Guide for running a successful sweepstakes or contest:

Identify your goals:  Are you looking to increase your consumer database and/or social media following, or is your goal to promote a new product or service?  It’s important to determine these goals before you begin planning your campaign.

Consider your audience:  Is your goal to reach the millennial audience or are you promoting a new retirement community?  Know your audience and what type of campaign will appeal most to your target.

Determine the type of campaign:  Are you looking to collect cool user-generated content that you can use to promote your product?  If so, a contest might be your best option.  For a contest, keep in mind that the more you require from an entrant, the lower number of entries you will receive, but the better chance you’ll have of reaching people that are genuinely interested in your company.  Plus, gathering UGC can be helpful for your brand in the future. Or, are you looking to build your email database?  If so, consider running a simple random drawing sweepstakes. This will allow you to gather more entries and opt-ins and reach even more potential customers when you send future email blasts. If you want to learn more about whether or not you should pre-check your email opt-ins, check out our post regarding that subject here.

Select a platform:  What platform works best for you?  If your target audience is constantly on their phones, consider hosting your campaign on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.  Cater to a more traditional consumer? A custom microsite that links from your website is a simple and effective place to host your sweepstakes or contest.

Prize matters:  How big of a prize do you need to offer?  What type of sweepstakes prizing should you give away? In our experience, it comes down to both quality and quantity.  First, you want to get entrants excited about winning your prizing so make sure that what you are offering is appealing to your target.  Think of a grand prize experience; something your consumers don’t have access to on their own such as a celebrity meet-and greet or tickets to an exclusive event.  Second, the more you give away, the better chance your entrants have of winning, so consider offering several secondary prizes.  More winners equal more happy customers. Lastly, it all depends on your sweepstakes budget. If your total approximate retail value is $5,000 or more, you will most likely need to bond and register. If you have question regarding prizing ARV, check out this article by Sync Marketing.

Have very clear and accurate official rules:  Has the fear of possible legal ramifications stopped you from running a sweepstakes or contest in the past?  One way to put that fear to rest is to utilize an agency that specializes in promotion law (hint Sync Marketing).  Our legal teams stay up-to-date on all of the changes in the field and will make sure that you are following the rules to the letter of the law.

Promote your campaign:  Do you believe in the saying, “If you build it, they will come?”  It’s not always the case.  You have created a compelling sweepstakes concept, fun entry method and are offering awesome prizing.  Let people know about it!  Advertising is key to ensuring success.

Hire a sweepstakes agency: This should really be the first items listed for sweepstakes 101, but we will end with it as it’s the most important. There are many reasons why you should considering hiring a sweepstakes agency for your future sweepstakes. A sweepstakes agency can help you with all aspect of a sweepstakes or simply pieces. Sync Marketing can handle all aspects of a sweepstakes campaign including, but not limited to; ideation, strategy, management, design, programming, legal, and prize fulfillment. So whether you need a big idea including the creative around your sweepstakes, or you already have the concept, but need someone who specializes in promotion law (official rules, abbreviated rules, winner release forms, bonding and registering, etc) to handle the legal, hiring a sweepstakes agency that lives and breathes sweepstakes and contests if the way to go. For more information and reasons to hire a sweepstakes agency for your next campaign, click here.

It’s exciting to know that a successful campaign can be right around the corner.  All you need to do is just remember to plan, know your audience, consult the legal experts (like Sync Marketing) and get the word out.  It’s a win, win for you and your consumers!


22 sep

Facebook Bans Like Gating for Promotions

By: Jennifer French | In: Best Practices, Contests, Facebook, Legal and Prize Fulfillment, Marketing, Sweepstakes

Planning to run a sweepstakes or contest on Facebook in the near future?  There is an important change that you should be aware of before you proceed.  Today the latest Facebook change and how Facebook bans like gating for promotions, i.e. requiring people to like a page before they can enter the sweepstakes or contest.  Here is Facebook’s reason for the change.

You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page. It remains acceptable to incentivize people to login to your app, checkin at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page. To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives. We believe this update will benefit people and advertisers alike.

It’s Facebook’s aim to make sure that the almighty “like” retains its value.  If you are required to like a page for the purpose of entering a sweepstakes rather than being an actual fan of the page, it may tend to water down the user experience, which may equate to the user spending less time on Facebook.

Obviously, increasing your likes is still an important goal, so this just means you will need to think of other ways around the ban.  One idea is to offer a Facebook “like” icon on your entry page and gently invite people to like your page rather than making it a required step.

In addition to this major change, there have been other important changes within Facebook’s promotion policy that were rolled out throughout the year. This is why it’s imperative to hire an agency like Sync Marketing who specializes in promotion law to administer your sweepstakes and contests. At Sync Marketing, we stay up-to-date on all of these important changes and can help you formulate a plan to increase your reach on Facebook (and beyond) despite this new restriction and future changes.


08 sep

The Benefits of Running an Instagram Promotion

By: Julie Link | In: Best Practices, Contests, Instagram, Legal and Prize Fulfillment, Sweepstakes, User Generated Content

Social media has come a long way in the past several years and it has become a fantastic tool for companies and brands to promote their products and/or services. We have found that Instagram is an extremely useful and effective platform to run promotions for brands looking to increase their visibility and their connections with their consumers. Today I’m going to cover the benefits of running an Instagram promotion.

If your key demo is between the ages of 13-24, an Instagram sweepstakes or contest is a great way to grow your follower base. Typically during a promotion, entrants are asked to follow and tag your brand in order to enter as well as include a specific hashtag that relates to the sweepstakes or contest. By asking entrants to take these steps, you are instantly increasing your visibility and creating user-generated content. Speaking of UGC; Instagram is all about sharing experiences and passions through photos. Running an Instagram sweepstakes or contest is a simple yet effective way to ask your consumers to express themselves, all while giving you the possibility of collecting meaningful and visually-interesting user generated content. Sync Marketing recently ran a successful Instagram sweepstakes for their client CBI specifically for their Claire’s division. Learn more about it here.

Instagram Photos

Although it all seems easy enough to orchestrate, it’s highly recommended that you hire an agency who specializes in sweepstakes and contest law to handle the legal portion of your campaign. Not only does promotion law change on a daily basis (bye bye Facebook likegate), but hiring an agency to produce the official rules and necessary winner release forms is an investment that is absolutely worth it to protect your company from possible infractions due to these changes. Sync Marketing has a knowledgeable and experienced team that can walk you through the process of running an Instagram photo sweepstakes or contest and will provide you with all of the legal elements to ensure a successful and legally-compliant promotion. We even check all social media posts and marketing materials to make sure your program is consistent and correct from a legal and customer service standpoint.

Contact us today is you’re interested in running an Instagram sweepstakes or contest! 323.596.7962.