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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

 

 

 


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 affordable sweepstakes solutions and what add-on options we offer, contact us today.

Affordable Sweepstakes Company

08 nov

Ideas for Running a Spring Pinterest Sweepstakes or Contest

By: Julie Link | In: Best Practices, Contests, Marketing, Pinterest, Sweepstakes, sweepstakes company

A few of you who are reading this right now may be thinking, wait, it’s not even Thanksgiving yet and you are already talking about spring! But for marketers, we are already headed into 2017, planning-wise anyway. Spring is a great time to run a sweepstakes or contest. People are ready for winter to be over and are looking forward to seeing anything and everything fresh and new. There are a lot of great thematic opportunities in the spring. Below are a few ideas for running a spring Pinterest sweepstakes or contest.

But, before we get into the spring ideas, I want to first touch on some of the benefits of running a Pinterest sweepstakes or contest:

Promote your merchandise or messaging virally

When you make pinning your featured images a requirement of a sweepstakes entry, it allows your merchandise and/or messaging to be spread virally. The hope is that their friends will see it and come to your website as well. To be legally compliant, you must include a campaign hashtag that includes the word #sweepstakes or #contest.

Engage and reward consumers

Running a Pinterest sweepstakes or contest is an easy, fun and cost-effective way to engage and entice consumers. Offering a compelling prize is a great way to reward consumers for pinning your merchandise. But, be sure to offer a prize that is proportionate to the amount of effort that is involved in the entry process.

Increase your email database     

Lastly, we recommend hosting an entry form on a microsite that includes your images for pinning and requires entrants to provide their information. While collecting this data, you can also have people opt-in to receive future email communication.

Now that we’ve hopefully convinced you that Pinterest is the way to go, below are a few spring-themed ideas to work with:

Capitalize on Spring Fever

We’ve all suffered from Spring Fever, and what better way to shake off those winter blues than with a Pinterest sweepstakes? For a retailer, show the hottest spring looks, for a travel company, entice people with photos of a warm weather locale.

Go on Spring Break

The shiny beacon of hope for any student (or parent) is Spring Break. Market your Pinterest sweepstakes to families, throw in a trip for four, and call it a day.

March Madness

Okay, we all know about the brackets, but do you know what the second most popular activity surrounding March Madness? FOOD and BEER! A food-related or beer-centric Pinterest sweepstakes is a no-brainer for relevant companies

Here are a few others themes to consider including in a Pinterest sweepstakes or contest:

April Fool’s Day

Earth Day

Mother’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day

Fitness or Outdoors-Related Sweepstakes

Spring Fling

Spring Sale

Easter

Spring Cleaning

Spring Forward

The possibilities are endless. Just consider the message you are trying to convey and the audience you are trying to reach. Pair it with a spring-related event, and you have yourself a fun Pinterest theme. However, keep in mind when running a sweepstakes on Pinterest that you ensure that you are following their most recent guidelines. It’s important to note that their guidelines frequently change with respect to running sweepstakes and contests. On that note, here is a recent blog article that outlines some new rules for Pinterest.

In conclusion, Hiring a company like Sync Marketing to oversee your promotion will guarantee that you are complying with all the latest Pinterest guidelines. Also, our team has a lot of creative ideas for running a spring Pinterest sweepstakes or contest. We will put together a fun and creative Pinterest spring campaign for you. Contact Sync Marketing today!

Ideas for Running a Spring Pinterest Sweepstakes or Contest


19 oct

Running a Promotion Directed Towards Children

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

We are continually being asked by companies if they can run a sweepstakes or contest that includes entrants under the age of 13, and the answer is yes. However, if your sweepstakes or contest includes collecting the personal information from children under the age of 13, you must comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/rules/rulemaking-regulatory-reform-proceedings/childrens-online-privacy-protection-rule. Understanding and interpreting the nuances of COPPA can be quite overwhelming. The FTC has put together a list of frequently asked questions on their website to help guide businesses through the Act. Below are a few of the most pertinent questions and answers to keep in mind when running a promotion directed towards children.

“Who is covered by COPPA?”

“The Rule applies to operators of commercial websites and online services (including mobile apps) directed to children under 13 that collect, use, or disclose personal information from children.  It also applies to operators of general audience websites or online services with actual knowledge that they are collecting, using, or disclosing personal information from children under 13.  The Rule also applies to websites or online services that have actual knowledge that they are collecting personal information directly from users of another website or online service directed to children.”

The FTC requires that if you are going to be collecting personal information from children under 13 that you be sure to disclose what information you will be collecting and how it will be used. They also require that a verifiable parental consent be obtained.

“What is Personal Information?”

“The amended Rule defines personal information to include:

  • First and last name;
  • A home or other physical address including street name and name of a city or town;
  • Online contact information;
  • A screen or user name that functions as online contact information;
  • A telephone number;
  • A social security number;
  • A persistent identifier that can be used to recognize a user over time and across different websites or online services;
  • A photograph, video, or audio file, where such file contains a child’s image or voice;
  • Geolocation information sufficient to identify street name and name of a city or town; or
  • Information concerning the child or the parents of that child that the operator collects online from the child and combines with an identifier described above.”

“How do I get parental consent?

“You may use any number of methods to obtain verifiable parental consent, as long as the method you choose is reasonably calculated to ensure that the person providing consent is the child’s parent. The Rule sets forth several non-exhaustive options, and you can apply to the FTC for pre-approval of a new consent mechanism, as set out in FAQ H.14 below.

If you are going to disclose children’s personal information to third parties, or allow children to make it publicly available (e.g., through a social networking service, online forums, or personal profiles) then you must use a method that is reasonably calculated, in light of available technology, to ensure that the person providing consent is the child’s parent. Such methods include:

  • Providing a consent form to be signed by the parent and returned via U.S. mail, fax, or electronic scan (the “print-and-send” method);
  • Requiring the parent, in connection with a monetary transaction, to use a credit card, debit card, or other online payment system that provides notification of each discrete transaction to the primary account holder;
  • Having the parent call a toll-free telephone number staffed by trained personnel, or have the parent connect to trained personnel via video-conference; or
  • Verifying a parent’s identity by checking a form of government-issued identification against databases of such information, provided that you promptly delete the parent’s identification after completing the verification.

If you are going to use children’s personal information only for internal purposes – that is, you will not be disclosing the information to third parties or making it publicly available – then you can use any of the above methods or you can use the “email plus” method of parental consent. “Email plus” allows you to request (in the direct notice sent to the parent’s online contact address) that the parent indicate consent in a return message. To properly use the email plus method, you must take an additional confirming step after receiving the parent’s message (this is the “plus” factor). The confirming step may be:

  • Requesting in your initial message to the parent that the parent include a phone or fax number or mailing address in the reply message, so that you can follow up with a confirming phone call, fax or letter to the parent; or
  • After a reasonable time delay, sending another message via the parent’s online contact information to confirm consent. In this confirmatory message, you should include all the original information contained in the direct notice, inform the parent that he or she can revoke the consent, and inform the parent how to do so.”

In most instances, when running any sweepstakes, entrants’ personal information is not disclosed publicly, so the “Email plus” method is very effective and less time consuming for the child entrant and the sweepstakes administrator. Another way around this is to have the parents enter on behalf of their child and award the prize to the parent. This way you know you are getting parental consent without having to do the extra step.

“I want to have a contest on my child-directed website.  Can I use the Rule’s “one-time contact” exception to prior parental consent?”

“Yes, if you properly design your contest.  You may use the “one-time contact” exception if you collect children’s online contact information, and only this information, to enter them in the contest, and then only contact such children once when the contest ends to notify them if they have won or lost. At that point, you must delete the online contact information you have collected.

 If, however, you expect to contact the children more than one time, you must use the “multiple-contact” exception, for which you must also collect a parent’s online contact information and provide parents with direct notice of your information practices and an opportunity to opt out.  In either case, the Rule prohibits you from using the children’s online contact information for any other purpose, and requires you to ensure the security of the information, which is particularly important if the contest runs for any length of time. 

If you wish to collect any information from children online beyond online contact information in connection with contest entries – such as collecting a winner’s home address to mail a prize – you must first provide parents with direct notice and obtain verifiable parental consent, as you would for other types of personal information collection beyond online contact information.  If you do need to obtain a mailing address and wish to stay within the one-time exception, you may ask the child to provide his parent’s online contact information and use that identifier to notify the parent if the child wins the contest.  In your prize notification message to the parent, you may ask the parent to provide a home mailing address to ship the prize, or invite the parent to call a telephone number to provide the mailing information.”  

 And even with screening measures in place, you may run across the following issue:

“Am I responsible if children lie about their age during the registration process on my general audience website?”

“The Rule does not require operators of general audience sites to investigate the ages of visitors to their sites or services. See 1999 Statement of Basis and Purpose, 64 Fed. Reg. 59888, 59892. However, operators will be held to have acquired actual knowledge of having collected personal information from a child where, for example, they later learn of a child’s age or grade from a concerned parent who has learned that his child is participating on the site or service.”

 “What are the penalties for violating the Rule?”

“A court can hold operators who violate the Rule liable for civil penalties of up to $16,000 per violation.  The amount of civil penalties a court assesses may turn on a number of factors, including the egregiousness of the violations, whether the operator has previously violated the Rule, the number of children involved, the amount and type of personal information collected, how the information was used, whether it was shared with third parties, and the size of the company.  Information about the FTC’s COPPA enforcement actions, including the amounts of civil penalties obtained, can be found by clicking on the Case Highlights link in the FTC’s Business Center.” 

Reading through and understanding COPPA can be a daunting task for those not as familiar with the Act. With the possibilities of steep penalties for violating COPPA, it is advisable that you consult the experts to advise you if you choose to run a sweepstakes or contest aimed at children. Furthermore, Sync Marketing’s legal team are experts in the field and can guide you through your promotion to ensure compliance with COPPA. Here are some of the services we provide and don’t forget to contact Sync today for your next promotion.

Running a Promotion Directed Towards Children

 


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


13 jul

Finding the Perfect Sweepstakes Company

By: Jennifer French | In: Best Practices, Contests, Marketing, Sweepstakes, sweepstakes company

Not all sweepstakes companies are the same. They come in all shapes and sizes and offer different services, platforms and pricing. This article will touch upon finding the perfect sweepstakes company for your next promotion.

Identify your goals

The very first thing you need to do to determine the type of campaign you want to run is to consider your goals. Do you want to capture consumers’ email addresses? If so, then a turnkey sweepstakes on a microsite would meet your goals and give you exceptional ROI. Or, do you want to gather user-generated content? If this is the case, then an Instagram sweepstakes would be the right route to go because you will receive UGC and build your follower base. Determining your goals will help you in finding the perfect sweepstakes company because you need to first know if the company offers these specific services.

Budget

This is a key factor to consider when finding the perfect sweepstakes company because it will determine the type of promotion you are able to run and will narrow down the sweepstakes company based on their capabilities. If you are looking for a quiz or gaming element, you should make sure the sweepstakes company offers these types of platforms and clearly outlines pricing. If you have a smaller budget, but want the benefits of a sweepstakes, then a turnkey sweepstakes might be right for you.

Timing

Do you need your promotion to launch within a tight turnaround? Not all agencies are able to accommodate quick timing and require long lead times. Consider using TurnkeySweeps by Sync for your next promotion. Your sweepstakes can launch within one week of receiving approved creative. For more information, check out our latest blog article on the subject.

Legal Expertise

This is a very important factor when finding the perfect sweepstakes company. You should make sure that the agency’s legal team specializes in promotion law and stays up-to-date on all of the latest actions and changes in the field. Need more convincing? Here is an article on tips for hiring an agency for your legal and prize fulfillment needs.

Customer Service

If you are looking for one-on-one personal service, you should consider working with a boutique agency. At a minimum, you should always work with a sweepstakes agency that thinks of themselves as an extension of your team and holds your services to the highest standards.

Campaign Metrics

Campaign metrics are some of the most important aspects of a sweepstakes as they are the true indicator of whether you’re getting a return on your investment. When finding the perfect sweepstakes company it’s important to look for these services on their website. Some sweepstakes companies, including Sync Marketing, will provide campaign metrics as often as the client prefers. Or if the client wants access at any time, we offer a 24/7 password protected website to view metrics at a moments notice.

We hope these few tips will help you when finding the perfect sweepstakes company for your promotion. Consider contacting Sync for all of your upcoming sweepstakes needs.

Finding the Perfect Sweepstakes Company