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12 mar

5 Ways to Avoid Legal Issues when Running a Sweepstakes

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

Running an online sweepstakes or contest is an effective tool to engage consumers and elevate your brand or company. There are many things to consider when including a sweepstakes such as budget, run dates, eligibility, and prizing. The most important and often overlooked items are the legal parameters of a campaign. If not addressed in advance, it could derail all your efforts. Below are 5 ways to avoid legal issues when running a sweepstakes.

Official Rules and Abbreviated Rules

Think of this as your sweepstakes’ user manual. The official rules should be a blueprint of your campaign and should clearly outline eligibility, campaign run dates, how and where to enter, prizing and the total ARV. It’s also important to include when and how a potential winner will be notified. Entrants should have a clear understanding of how the sweepstakes works and there should be no surprises. Abbreviated rules are a shortened version of the full rules that should give entrants a direct link to the full set of rules. Here is a helpful article of what should be included in the rules.

Bonding and Registration

Did you know that certain states require you to bond and register your promotion? Usually, it’s dependent on the total ARV of a campaign, but it varies by state. Neglecting to bond and register and not adhering to the timing deadlines for when you can submit your registration and bonding could amount to hefty penalties. Here are links to New York, Florida and Rhode Island that specifically addresses their requirements. 

Legal Review of Marketing Materials

You may have your official rules buttoned up, but did you know there are legal disclaimers that should appear on your marketing materials such as emails, POP and social media posts? Also, your marketing materials must not be misleading to entrants. A full-service sweepstakes agency can guide you on what is required to keep your promotion legally compliant.

Social Media Restrictions

Social media campaigns are fun and inexpensive, but they do come with legal requirements which are constantly changing. Each platform has their own guidelines that you must following in order to run a campaign. Guidelines change quite frequently so it is a good idea to consult with a legal professional who is up-to-date on all of the changes. If you can’t get outside help, it’s a good idea to go to each platform. Here are links to FacebookTwitter and Instagram’s policy pages. 

Privacy and Collecting PII

Consumer privacy is a very hot-button item. There are many rules and regulations about collecting and storing personal identifying information (PII). Consulting the laws for each participating state and country if international is essential before running a campaign. For example, here is a helpful article about the CCPA law that affects promotions running in California.

While many companies opt to use inexpensive sweepstakes software to build and manage their campaigns, they often overlook the legal elements. It may be less expensive, but in the long run, you may end up paying heavily in fines and even have your promotion shut down mid campaign. Now that you know the 5 ways to avoid legal issues when running a sweepstakes, consider using a full-service agency like Sync to manage your campaign.


10 mar

4 Reasons to Run a Contest Now

By: Julie Link | In: Ask Sync Marketing, Contests, Legal and Prize Fulfillment, Marketing, sweepstakes company, User Generated Content

The last 12 months have been unlike anything any of us have ever experienced. 2021 is the year for companies to give back to consumers more than ever before. One of the best ways to give back is through running contests. Today I will discuss 4 reasons to run a contest now. 

People want to feel connected

Now more than ever, people want to share their experiences as a way to connect. This is a great opportunity for brands to ask their customers to share their story for a chance to win something truly helpful to them. Crate and Barrel is currently asking engaged or recently married couples to share their story for a chance to win everything in their registry (up to $2,500). In addition, Crate and Barrel will make a $1,000 donation to Feeding America® on behalf of each couple.

Feel-Good Content

People are ready to start getting good news again! What better way than to run contests that help share good news and create positive change. Aerie is continuing their Changemakers initiative for a second year to celebrate consumers who are making a difference and reward them with the necessary funds to continue their work. 20 amazing applicants will win $20,000 towards their personal missions. This campaign spreads good vibes while celebrating the efforts of people making changes in their community.

Consumers are on their phones now more than ever

Since you already have a social team trying to drive awareness and followers, why not add a contest? It’s a win for you and a win for consumers.  A social contest is a great way to garner user-generated content and followers. With consumers on their phones now more than ever, having them upload content all while promoting your brand along the way is a no brainer. This also builds awareness for your brand, allows you to learn more about your consumer, and leaves them feeling seen and rewarded. As stated in outgrow.com, companies who run contests get an average of 17,500 new followers through a contest: 

Have some Fun

Did you see the Big Game this year? If so, you probably saw the commercial for Mountain Dew’s Major Melon Bottle Count contest. Viewers were asked to tweet out how many bottles of Mountain Dew appeared in the ad for a chance to win $1 million dollars. Within minutes, there were thousands of tweets. Not everyone has Pepsi’s budget, but you get the idea. Offering consumers a fun contest will get them excited, engaged and will leave them with a good taste in their mouth about your company or brand (pun intended). 

I hope these 4 reasons to run a contest now, were helpful. There are an assortments of ways to run a contest, and this year is the time. Let’s give back to our communities and let their voices be heard. Contact Sync today for help brainstorming your next campaign.


10 nov

5 Ways to Increase Email Subscribers with a Sweepstakes

By: Julie Link | In: Best Practices, Contests, Marketing, Sweepstakes, sweepstakes company, User Generated Content

Sweepstakes are a cost-effective tool for increasing your email subscribers. It’s important to note that not all subscribers are created equal. You want people who are truly interested in your brand to sign up. While the number of email subscribers is important, it’s also more important that you obtain subscribers who are truly interested in engaging with your brand. Today I will discuss 5 ways to increase email subscribers with a sweepstakes.

Know Your Audience

Running a sweepstakes specific to your brand will increase engagement and build your email subscribers list with authentic and quality opt-ins. A recent example of this was a dog food company that ran a photo contest where they asked entrants to upload a photo of their dog dressed up in a Halloween costume. The fact that it was very specific to dog owners and thematic to a holiday, lead to quality engagement. It also created fantastic user-generated content as well as increased email subscribers.

Incentivize

Incentivizing entrants to share the opportunity for more chances to win is an effective and free way to promote your sweepstakes. While this could be a separate blog post all on it’s own, it’s important to consider a few factors if you want to incentivize entrants. People inherently want to share things that tell others more about them. That share could be from a quiz result, a charitable cause they hold dear, or anything else that evokes emotion. Try to tie one of these reasons for entrants to share into your sweepstakes concept. One example is to consider running a sweepstakes with a quiz component. People love sharing their results. And if it’s for an extra chance to win, this will increase tenfold. Here is an example of a quiz Sync recently completed for Aerie. 

Offer an Exclusive Opportunity

It’s often all about the prize. Offering an exclusive opportunity is a great way to get many quality entries. This could be a VIP experience at the Super Bowl, a meet-a-great at an awards show, or a red carpet experience at a movie premiere. Last year our client Paul Stewart offered exclusive prize packages. They partnered with a home rental company to give away weekend trips to different locations in New York and added on a custom fitting to their Paul Stewart store in New York.

Share Share Share

A great way to increase engagement and therefore increase the chance of signing up email subscribers is to offer multiple chances to win. Try offering weekly entry periods with an overarching grand prize. When an entrant first enters, give them the opportunity to opt-in. You can also offer them the chance to receive email reminders about the sweepstakes. Each week you will have an opportunity to tell them about that week’s prize, getting them to continuously engage with your brand.

Create a Landing Page

While running a social media sweepstakes is great to collect UGC, you won’t have the opportunity to collect email opt-ins. Therefore, we always suggest running a sweepstakes that has a dedicated landing page vs. a social sweepstakes. Whether potential email subscribers enter on your landing page or just get information about the sweepstakes, a landing page allows you to have a dedicated spot for consumers to get all of the information they need. It also increases traffic to your site. If you are running a social sweepstakes, you can still have a landing page with all of the information in one spot. On the landing page, give entrants the opportunity to opt-in directly on your page to get more information about the sweepstakes and other opportunities.

In conclusion, there are several effective ways to increase email subscribers with a sweepstakes. If you need some ideation help, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for some ideas! 


Tags
09 oct

Why You Should Consider a Double Opt-In When Running A Sweepstakes

By: Julie Link | In: Best Practices, Contests, Marketing

The collection of personally identifying information (PII) is currently a contentious issue. Companies have been proactively taking steps to ensure that their customers’ information is secure. With recent changes in the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the newly-passed privacy law in California, it is now a legal requirement to secure consumers data for anyone who collects information in the EU. This will also go into affect in California in 2020. The goal of most sweepstakes is to collect email opt-ins. This is why it is important to make sure you are following the guidelines. Below we discuss why you should consider a double opt-in when running a sweepstakes.

What is a double opt-in? When entering a sweepstakes, consumers have the option to receive emails from the sponsor. With a double opt-in, after choosing to opt-in during the entry process, the entrant will receive an email with a link that they must follow in order to confirm that they are indeed interested in receiving future email communications from the sponsor.

While some brands may not like the idea of a double opt-in, there are some benefits:

Compliance

Most importantly, the double opt-in process will ensure you are following the data privacy regulations set forth by the EU with the GDPR and the new law in California. Keep in mind even with the double opt-in process, you must make it easy for your subscriber to opt-out at any time.

Increases the value of your email list       

Compliance is important, but not the only benefit. When consumer takes the extra step to confirm their email address, it strengthens your email list because you know this person is legitimately interested in receiving your emails. It also leads to less email bounce backs and opt-outs.

Leads to Increased click throughs           

Building on the value of the email list, when a person chooses to follow through with the double opt-in, it leads to increased opens and click throughs for your emails. Why? Because they are indicating that they are truly interested in your company and products/services.  Click throughs lead to sales, period.

As mentioned, compliance is the most important reason why you should consider a double opt-in when running a sweepstakes. Laws often change so it’s important to know what is legally required. That is why it’s a good idea to consult the experts. Consider reaching out to Sync for your next sweepstakes and we will guide you on all things relating to the collection of PII.

Why You Should Consider a Double Opt-In When Running A Sweepstakes

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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


28 dec

Affordable Sweepstakes Company

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

Looking to run an affordable sweepstakes while still receiving an exceptional product with the most up-to-date legal expertise? TurnkeySweeps™ by Sync is your affordable sweepstakes company solution.

There are a lot of low cost sweepstakes tools out there, but when looking for a sweepstakes agency, make sure that the company you are looking at is more than an app. Do they specialize in all aspects of sweepstakes and contests? At Sync Marketing we specialize in the ideation, design, programming, legal and prize fulfillment. We eat, sleep and breathe sweepstakes. If they don’t seem to have a rigorous review process and custom official rules, you could be risking running a non-compliant promotion. Sweepstakes guidelines change often, especially when it comes to social media promotions, so it’s imperative to work with a sweepstakes company that knows their stuff. You can learn more about the important of legal compliance in this article here.

We created TurnkeySweeps™ by Sync to offer an affordable sweepstakes solution for our clients who wanted sweepstakes to launch fast with a limited budget. With TurnkeySweeps™ by Sync, we can launch a campaign in under a week after receiving approved creative. Need more than a simple enter to win sweepstakes? We offer photo upload, social share and more as affordable add-ons.

In conclusion, if you would like to learn more about our inexpensive and affordable sweepstakes solutions and what add-on options we offer, contact us today.

Inexpensive and Affordable Sweepstakes Company