How Long Should I run a Sweepstakes?

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

How long should I run a sweepstakes? Once a client determines the benefits of adding a sweepstakes or contest to their marketing plan, this if often the most common question they ask. There are a few important factors when determining the length of time that your sweepstakes or contest should run, so let’s get started.

1. What type of prize are you providing? If you want to provide smaller weekly prizes and a large grand prize, then running your sweepstakes or contest for a month to six weeks is a good amount of time. This way, consumers feel like they may have a chance to win a weekly prize and you will receive many entries because there is a large grand prize tied to the promotion.

2. What is your goal? If your goal is to create hype for a new product or service, then a really exciting short term sweepstakes before the launch of the product or service is the way to go. This way there are a couple weeks of build up (the sweepstakes), then the grand prize is selected on the day the product or service is launched leading to good PR opportunities along the way. The same goes for seasonal sweepstakes. If it’s a Valentine’s day sweepstakes, try to launch it towards the end of January so there is some build up. Then, close the sweepstakes a week before Valentine’s day so that hopefully the winner receives their prize in time for the big day.

3. Who is your target demographic? If you’re running a summer sweepstakes and your prize is a cruise, you want to obtain many email opt-ins, and are gearing it to an older demo, a longer sweepstakes should do the trick. If you’re targeting millennials or younger and are running a user- generated Instagram sweepstakes where you ask entrants to upload photos, then the shorter the better.

To sum it up, most sweepstakes run between 2-6 week, with four weeks being the sweet spot. This allows consumers to get excited and not feel like it’s so long that they don’t have a chance. There are always exceptions to this rule, so if you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.