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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


29 sep

Marketing to Millennials with a Sweepstakes

By: Julie Link | In: Advertising, Best Practices, Contests, Facebook, Instagram, Marketing, Sweepstakes, User Generated Content

Marketing to millennials can be a challenge. They are currently the largest living generation and that’s a lot of people to target with many different personalities and habits. So, if you are a brand, how do you get their attention and stand out among all the messaging sent their way? Surprisingly, marketing to millennials with a sweepstakes or contest is an extremely effective method. Below I will break down a few reasons why this method works.

They Love to Share

Millennials love to share with anyone and everyone who will like, retweet or view their messaging. Whether it’s Instagramming a photo of their lunch, snapchatting a reunion with their best friend, or tweeting their opinion on the election, sharing is their impulse reaction. Why not take advantage of that constant need to share by inviting millennials to share their talents by snapchatting a video for their chance to win a prize.

Here’s an excerpt from an article on Marketingland.com on the subject:

“I didn’t expect that my daughter and her friends were looking for coupons but was a little surprised that they were willing to actively engage with the brand and even enter into a traditional sweepstakes (albeit via sharing a picture).” For the full article, click here

They Love to Engage

This is the next step that organically occurs after asking millennials to share. They in turn engage with your brand. When running a sweepstakes or contest, think about engaging with millennials rather than focusing on selling your product or service. Have your prospective customer tell a story with your hashtag. The more you engage with them by having them organically spread content about your brand, the better your content and relationship with that millennial will be. American Eagle’s latest #WeAllCan campaign is a great example of this.

They Love to Reach People

The natural step of sharing a photo on Instagram and an opinion on Twitter is to reach the masses. Prizing is an important component when running a sweepstakes geared towards millennials. Make sure that the prizing is something that will resonate with them. If your prize is an experience trip, have your winner share their experience through social media by using the campaign hashtag. Get them excited by telling them the winner’s experience on their trip will be featured on your social media channels. This is a great way to spark the interest of millennials. Knowing their experiences will be shared with thousands to millions of people is reason enough to enter for them.

If you’re interested in marketing to millennials with a sweepstakes, reach out to us today for a quote.

 


16 aug

Looking for the Best Sweepstakes Platform

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

When looking for the best sweepstakes platform, it’s important to consider a few things before picking one from the first company you see. I get it. You want to run a sweepstakes fast and affordably, but that doesn’t mean you have to skimp on quality. Today I will discuss what to look for when choosing a sweepstakes company and platform.

Does the company offering the sweepstakes platform also offer legal services?
Chances are, if you’re using a sweepstakes app company, they don’t offer robust legal services to support your campaign. Make sure you are hiring an agency who also specializes in promotion law, not just in building apps. Why? Because the company providing the legal support will take on the liability in the official rules and will act as the administrator of the promotion.

Did you know that Facebook has changed their policies three times in the last two years regarding allowing social shares for extra entries in a sweepstakes? Our legal team has direct connections at each social network to make sure we’re constantly getting the latest updates on new policy changes directly from their legal teams. When you hire an agency that specializes in promotion law, you know that all the components provided with the sweepstakes platform will be legally compliant.

Do they also run custom campaigns?
If a sweepstakes company creates more than just turnkey apps, chances are they also know a lot about sweepstakes. If a sweepstakes company also runs custom campaigns, then there is a good chance that they can run instant win games, partnership promotions and video contests. This will reassure you that the sweepstakes company you’re using understands the latest trends and best type of promotion to run for you to receive the best ROI.

Can you quickly and easily reach someone at the company?
Some of these sweepstakes platforms are “do-it-yourself” apps that don’t allow for customer support. There are so many aspects to consider when running a sweepstakes from the official rules, winner release forms, bonding and registering to winner selection. It’s imperative to hire a sweepstakes company that provides a designated project manager to oversee and run your promotion.

If you’re looking for a fast, affordable, and effective sweepstakes platform, check out TurnkeySweeps™ by Sync and contact us today for a customized same day quote.

Sweepstakes Platform


26 may

Sweepstakes are Making Waves in the Digital Space

By: Julie Link | In: Facebook, Instagram, Instant Win, Marketing, Sweepstakes, Twitter, User Generated Content

It’s no surprise that the digital age is becomes more of a prominent fixture in our daily lives. This is especially true for millennials. As such, marketers are doing everything they can to break through the clutter to reach their consumers. One of the best ways for marketers to increase their ROI and engage with consumers through digital, is by running sweepstakes. This cost effective promotional tool is a win-win for consumers and brands. Below I discuss the three key aspects as to why sweepstakes in the digital space are becoming increasingly more popular.

1. Content is King

User-Generated Content (UCG) is an effective tool for marketers to gain authentic usable content for free. Once way to get UGC is with a video dance contest hosted on a microsite. Or, a cutest puppy photo sweepstakes held on Instagram. By running these types of campaign, brands are able to gather this UGC for free and use it on their website and social media channels.

Legal Alert: Keep in mind that specific language needs to be included in the official rules and winner release forms to be able to utilize this content in your future marketing. That’s why hiring an agency that specializes in promotion law is key to running a legally compliant promotion.

Some of the most memorable and talked about commercials and campaigns in recent years are completely customer created. In the past, brands shelled out hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce and run a commercial spot.  Now, they can award an eager fan an exclusive experience prize and in turn receive an exceptional ad. The most well-known example of this is the promotion that Doritos ran. Here, they asked consumers to submit their own Doritos commercial for the chance to have their spot aired during the big game’s half time show.

2. Social Media

Every type of company, especially retailers, are running social media campaigns. That’s because it’s not only an inexpensive venue to run a promotion, but an invaluable tool to engage with consumers. Even if a brand is running an online sweepstakes, social sharing is a great way to spread the word about the brand. There is no better person to share your content than a consumer. That’s because they are already interested in your brand and therefore excited to share with their friends.

The use of hashtags in promotions has seen a dramatic increase this year as well. Not only is it a way to track entries, but if you create a clever hashtag (that of course must include sweepstakes in the tag), the viral possibilities are endless.

3. Mobile

For large brands, creating a well adaptable user-experience focused app is a great tool to increase brand loyalty and exposure. With apps comes the easy addition of layering on a sweepstakes component. This allows brands to reward consumers and increase engagement. Last summer Sync Marketing was a part of a Slurpee instant-win campaign that rewarded those who used the app and purchased a Slurpee to be entered for their chance to win from thousands of prizes. This was a great way to layer on a sweepstakes, drive sales and bring exposure to the app.

In addition, because digital has become a fixture in our daily lives, sweepstakes now must be mobile-optimized so that the user experience is seamless and enjoyable. As a result, this leads to a good ROI for the sweepstakes.

 “So many consumers these days are on the go so you want them to have a good user experience on their phones,” says Julie Link, from a recent Chief Marketer article.

As sweepstakes in the digital space become increasingly popular, there is no better time to add them to your marketing plans. If you’re a brand considering adding a sweepstakes to increase your digital reach, you are on the right path. This is because it’s one of the most affordable ways to spread the word, engage consumers, and create quality content.

Sweepstakes in the Digital Space

 


31 dec

How do I maximize ROI when running an online sweepstakes?

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

To answer this question, I am going to first ask you to image that you have agreed to volunteer to bake a cake for your child’s school bake sale to raise money for their upcoming class trip. Your goal with this task is to make the most appealing product that will fetch the most money possible, doing so all within a set budget for purchasing your ingredients. Why this exercise, you may ask? Because this scenario is very similar to the process of trying to maximize ROI when running an online sweepstakes.  Below is the “recipe” for a successful sweepstakes campaign:

Identify your goals:  The goal of the bake sale is to raise as much money with as little financial investment as possible. It’s a challenge because you don’t want to invest too much money towards creating the cake, but the product must still be appealing to fetch a decent price.  Does that sound familiar?  You want to run an online sweepstakes to reward your consumers and get your name out to the masses, but you have a limited budget.  If money is an issue, you may want to consider running a simple social media initiative on Instagram or Twitter for example.  These types of promotions are a cost-effective way to engage your consumers all while promoting your company and/or product.  Here is an article on the benefits of running an Instagram sweepstakes: http://www.syncmarketing.net/benefits-runnings-instagram-promotion/#.VoR5y_9Iios

Know your Audience:  It’s a bake sale that will be attended by other parents at the school who will be most likely be buying the cake to serve to their family that evening. A rum raisin cake might be your baking specialty, but based on the audience, it most likely will be passed up.  The same goes for your online sweepstakes.  If your core consumers are not on social media, it would make much more sense to host the sweepstakes on an iFrame on your website, or on a dedicated sweepstakes microsite.  It may cost a bit more money, but the investment will pay off when you receive entries and email opt-ins. Identifying your audience and their habits is very important to maximizing your investment.

Quality of the Product:  So you signed up to participate in the bake sale knowing that baking is not your forte and now you are nervous.  Since you are not one to shirk responsibility, you whip up your best attempt at a chocolate cake, but it looks more like a hockey puck with frosting.  You certainly get an “A” for effort, but unfortunately, no one is buying your cake.  The same goes for a sweepstakes.  The overall quality of a sweepstakes consists of many ingredients, so to speak.  The design, value of the prizing, and overall user experience are very important to its success.  The icing on the cake is having clearly outlined official rules.  This is something a consumer really values because it’s the basic recipe to the promotion; it outlines the entry period, eligibility requirements, prize description and how they will be contacted if they win to, name a few. It also allows you to rest assured that you are running a legally compliant promotion.  Here is an article outlining the benefits of hiring an agency like Sync to handle your legal needs for running a sweepstake or contest:  http://www.syncmarketing.net/2014/07/#.VoVbSP9Iios

Product Display:  You made the most perfectly delicious cake and you are so excited to bring it to the bake sale to hopefully fetch a handsome price.  The problem is, you wrapped it in cellophane and it’s sitting on the back end of the table in the cold auditorium and it’s completely passed up.  Don’t make the mistake of letting your perfectly constructed sweepstakes go unnoticed by hiding it in the clutter of the online world. Even with a small budget, you can promote your sweepstakes or contest on social media channels, by writing a blog post, or by calling it out on your website’s home page.  You should also consider sending emails to your current subscribers.  The more traffic, the more entries and the higher return on your investment.    

For more information on building the perfect sweepstakes check out this article:  http://www.syncmarketing.net/steps-take-run-successful-sweepstakes-contest/#.VoVhF_9Iios

 


16 dec

Sweepstakes Trends in 2015 and looking ahead towards 2016

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

As 2015 comes to a close, Sync Marketing discusses sweepstakes trends in 2015 and what to be on the lookout for in 2016.

Biggest Sweepstakes Trend in 2015

When talking sweepstakes trends, Mobile-optimization was definitely one of the biggest in 2015. Our clients either asked to have it included or when we suggested adding a mobile version for the sweepstakes, they were much more receptive than in years past. As mobile devices and tablets become more and more relied upon by consumers, it is imperative that companies make the shift to spending extra dollars on creating mobile and tablet-optimized sweepstakes and contests. To take a closer look at our services, including mobile-optimization, click here.

What will be the biggest marketing trend of 2016?

Consumer Engagement Marketing will be the biggest marketing trend of 2016. As social media and experiential marketing categories grow, we foresee companies making even more of a shift to engage their consumers directly in this medium, rather than spending big dollars on traditional advertising mediums such as media buys and direct mail. When companies run a simple social engagement sweepstakes on Twitter or a photo contest on Instagram, they engage consumers and establish a positive interaction with consumers. Not only does this method of marketing allow companies to interact with their consumers, but if they run an Instagram photo contest, for example, they will receive user-generated content and will be able to reward their consumers with prizes as part of their participation, creating a feel-good situation for all.

What was the best sweepstakes marketing effort of 2015? 

The #Hashtag. Whether a hashtag started because of a celebrity tweet or a presidential debate, hashtags took over the internet in 2015. And, the companies and marketers who acted on it, received amazing exposure. From #picoftheday social engagements to asking users to share their #TBT photos, companies increased their reach by interacting with the most popular hashtags, all while gathering user-generated content along the way. And with regards to sweepstakes, companies using hashtags for their sweepstakes, created their own trending hashtags as part of their promotion. Take a look at some of our social sweepstakes, here.

What was the biggest sweepstakes faux pas of 2015?

Not running social media sweepstakes correctly. Don’t make the mistake of overlooking this important element and be sure to entrust its care to an experienced team who specializes in sweepstakes and contests. The FTC implemented many new rules with regards to social media sweepstakes and it’s important to make sure to hire an agency like Sync Marketing to make sure you run a legally compliant sweepstakes or contest.

As we enter into 2016, sweepstakes trends are as important as ever. Consider hiring Sync marketing for you future sweepstakes and contest needs. To learn a little more about Sync and what we’ve been up to, click here or call us at 323.596.7962.


30 nov

Online Sweepstakes and Contests – Questions on Cyber Monday

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

On this Cyber Monday, we thought it would be fitting to feature some questions that we’ve recently received about online sweepstakes and contests since these promotions live in the cyber world so to speak. 

What are the benefits of running an online sweepstakes vs. running one in a retail store location?

There are many benefits to running an online sweepstakes vs. asking entrants to visit your store to fill out an entry form as the entry method. In fact, brick and mortar store sweepstakes have become increasing less common over recent years because of the convenience and popularity of online sweepstakes. With an online sweepstakes, not only can you give your entrants an easy and seamless way to participate, you can also highlight specific merchandise or messaging that you want to get across during the entry process.  Below are a few other reasons why you should consider running an online sweepstakes:

Easily collect email opt-ins. With a manual entry, if you get entrants permission to send them future communications from your company, you will need to physically enter the entrant’s information, which can be a very time consuming process.

More exposure.  With an instore-only sweepstakes, you are limiting yourself to people that will be already visiting your store location. If you run an online sweepstakes and offer enticing prizes, you have the chance of attracting people that may not have known about your company to check out your site and subsequently your merchandise while they are entering your sweepstakes.

Where should I run my online sweepstakes?

This question really depends on what your goals are for running a sweepstakes. If you want to capture email opt-ins, you should consider running your online sweepstakes on a dedicated microsite or an iFrame on your company’s website. If you want user generated content, you might want to consider a sweepstakes that is featured on social media channels like Instagram or Twitter. Here is a blog article that touches on running social media sweepstakes:

How do I maximize my online sweepstakes to ensure the best possible ROI?

One thing to keep in mind is that marketing your online sweepstakes is as important as creating the concept. It is also very important to know who your target audience is before you run your sweepstakes to ensure that you are promoting the sweepstakes on the right channels. A sweepstakes can be a very powerful tool and can provide a strong ROI if used correctly.  Here is a blog article that touches on the benefits of running an online sweepstakes and why you should consider adding one to your marketing plans. 

If you have additional online sweepstakes and contests questions for this upcoming Cyber Monday, feel free to send them to inquiries@syncmarketing.net or you can reach out to us here, and your question may be featured in an upcoming blog post.

 

 

 

 


30 sep

Running Sweepstakes and Contests on Social Media Channels

By: Sync Marketing | In: Ask Sync, Ask Sync Marketing, Best Practices, Contests, Facebook, Instagram, Marketing, Sweepstakes, Twitter, User Generated Content

This month’s Ask Sync Marketing is all about social media. We are address common questions relating to running sweepstakes and contests on social media channels.

Is one social platform more effective than another when running a sweepstakes or contest?

This really depends on the goals of your campaign and your target demographic. Ask yourself, “Do you want to gather user generated content?” “Do you want to appeal to a younger demographic?” If so, Instagram would be a good medium to choose. This way, you will gain UGC by capturing their uploaded photo. In addition, you will hopefully in turn get them to follow your page in the process. Here is an example of a winning social media campaign that we created. It was even highlighted in Chief Marketer. Lastly, here is an article on the benefits of running an Instagram sweepstakes.

Next we need to cover the ever popular Twitter. When running a sweepstakes Twitter, you will find that it’s an effective way to increase your odds of getting word out about your sweepstakes your mass demographic. It will also help increase your followers. However, if your goal is to encourage consumers to opt-in to your email subscription list, you may consider running a sweepstakes on Facebook. Running a sweepstakes on Facebook will allow you to collect user information and collect opt-ins. While Facebook is for all ages, if your demo skews older, this might be the best social media platform for your campaign. Regardless of the platform you choose, it is important that your entrants have access to the official rules.

Do I have to include a Hashtag in my social sweepstakes or contest?

If your only method of entry is via Twitter or Instagram for example, a hashtag will need to be included in order to identify your entries. For example, if you are running a sweepstakes where you are asking entrants to upload a photo of their pet in a Halloween costume, you might consider asking them to include the hashtag, #Halloweenpetparadesweepstakes with their upload. By doing this, you will be able to recognize all of your entries into the sweepstakes.

One thing to keep in mind is that you will need to make sure to clearly outline that your entrants’ Instagram, Twitter and/or Pinterest profiles must not be set to private during the sweepstakes entry and selection period. It’s also extremely important to add the term, “sweepstakes” or “contest” to the end of your promotion’s hashtag. This is a recent required ruling made by the FTC. It needs to be included in order to help consumers identify that others are posting as part of a sweepstakes. You can learn more about the rule change here.

Am I able to let my customers enter on more than one social platform?

Certainly! As long as it is clearly outlined in the official rules, you can give entrants more than one way to enter. We also recommend that you make it very clear to entrants if they are allowed only one entry total in the sweepstakes. Or, if they are able to earn one entry per method.

The next time you consider running sweepstakes and contests on social media channels, feel free to reach out to Sync. Our expert team will guide you on the best platform to use to achieve your goals. In addition, our legal team stays up-to-date on all of the changes to the rules of social. If you would to some example of Sync’s social media campaign’s check out or work page, here.

Sweepstakes and Contests on Social Media Channels

17 jun

Sweepstakes and Contest Guidelines: Recent Changes That Could Affect Your Upcoming Sweepstakes or Contest

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

When running an online sweepstakes or contest that includes a social media element or endorsement feature, it’s very important to follow the most up-to-date sweepstakes and contest guidelines to make sure your company or client is on the right side of promotion law. For example, recently Facebook made a significant change to their guidelines with respect to sweepstakes and contests, and the FTC has updated a host of FAQs outlining their stance on several topics related to endorsements and social media sweepstakes and contests. Below are a few highlights, but to read the entire FTC FAQ list, click here.

FTC Recommendation for Social Media Sweepstakes or Contests
The FTC recommends that companies running a sweepstakes or contest require all entrants to make it clear that their post on their social media account was an entry into a sweepstakes or contest. They recommend including either “sweepstakes” or “contest” in the overall promotion hashtag required for entry into the promotion. Also noted is that the FTC does not feel using the word “sweeps” is clear enough as they feel that many people will not understand its meaning.

No More Facebook “Likes” for Entries
A recent change in Facebook policy prohibits earning additional sweepstakes entries by sharing on personal timelines or by using friend connections (i.e. asking entrants to share on their timeline to enter for a chance to win, or by sharing on a friend’s timeline in order to earn additional entries, and tagging your friends in a post to enter are no longer allowed). Additionally, all promotions must be administered on pages or within apps on Facebook. Personal timelines and friend connections must not be used to administer promotions. For a full list of Facebooks promotions guidelines, click here.

It is very important to know all of the facts before you begin planning your upcoming sweepstakes or contests. Consider hiring a sweepstakes administrator like Sync Marketing for your next promotion. Our legal team is constantly staying up-to-date on all of the many changes in the field and we will make sure that you are always informed and running legally compliant promotions. Please contact us at 323.596.7962 or email info@syncmarketing.net.


16 jan

Sync Marketing’s Year in Review – 2014

By: Julie Link | In: Best Practices, Contests, Facebook, Instagram, Marketing, Sweepstakes, Twitter, User Generated Content

2014 was a fantastic year for Sync Marketing that seemed to come and go in a blink of an eye. Not only was it a year of change for Sync Marketing, but a year of growth. Here’s Sync Marketing’s year in review:

A lot of “new” for Sync Marketing

Not only did we design a new logo, we also launched a brand new website which showcases our services, work, and introduces our co-founders, Jennifer French and myself, Julie Link. We were also fortunate to work on some really fun and exciting campaigns for a variety of new clients. Click here to “meet” some of our new clients.

Sync Marketing is now an award-winning agency

We were honored to take home the Silver in the Best Use of Game, Contests and Sweepstakes at the Chief Marketer 2014 PRO Awards. The competition was definitely tough. Jennifer French and myself attended the annual awards last June in New York City, and were able to meet the Senior Editor and Promotions Awards Director of Chief Marketer and other amazing colleagues in the field.

Sync got Social with Claire’s

Social media sweepstakes were huge this year and Sync Marketing ran everything from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest sweepstakes. As CBI’s agency of record, Sync Marketing helped Claire’s stores increase their social media presence in 2014. One of the most notable promotions we ran with them this year was in support of the launch of the Katy Perry’s Prism collection, which you can learn more about here.

We’re excited to see what 2015 has in store and we will continue to share our updates with you throughout the year!