Running a sweepstakes is a highly effective way to grow your email database, reward your current clientele, and promote your products or services. There are many things to consider when adding a sweepstakes to your marketing plans. Not only do you need to identify the type of campaign you will run, prizes you will award, platform where the promotion will live, but you will need to ensure it has accurate sweepstakes rules. While we always recommend that you speak with a legal professional before running any sweepstakes campaign, below are some basic sweepstakes rules and legal requirements to consider.
The official sweepstakes rules are essential to create for all campaigns. This document is the outline of the sweepstakes or contest. It should contain the campaign eligibility such as age requirements, participation areas, entry method, the dates of entry, prizes and values and how the winners will be selected, notified and verified. The sweepstakes rules are where entrants will find all the required information. Here is some additional information on official rules.
When setting up the eligibility for the sweepstakes you should consider what the age of majority is for each state. There are also several states that deal differently with respect to marketing and collecting information for people under the age of 13. There are also states that have different requirements for alcohol companies. A sweepstakes agency can guide you on what each State’s Attorney General requires.
You want to ensure that all the marketing materials you produce to advertise the sweepstakes are accurate from a legal standpoint and that they are not misleading. You also want to be sure to always state that no purchase is necessary. Here is a good reference from the FTC.
Will you be hosting an online entry form and collecting people’s personally identifiable information (PII)? You will need to consider what you do with the PII and how you keep it protected. There are also laws in states like California (CCPA) that require you to delete a person’s PII if they request for it to be deleted. Here is a reference about CCPA. What if you are you planning to host an Instagram contest? Social media platforms have their own promotion guidelines, and they are constantly changing. Here is the most current for Instagram for example.
Bonding and Registration
Depending on the total ARV of your prize, some states require that you bond and register the sweepstakes. In addition to this, some states require you to file a final winners list at the end of the promotion. Knowing each state’s requirements and timing is critical to avoid being fined and/or having your sweepstakes removed.
Creating well drafted sweepstakes rules and following all the legal requirements is crucial when running a campaign. We would highly recommend consulting a sweepstakes legal expert like Sync Marketing to guide you through the process and make sure you are following all of the requirements. Contact us today.