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08 sep

The Benefits of Running an Instagram Promotion

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

Social media has come a long way in the past several years and it has become a fantastic tool for companies and brands to promote their products and/or services. We have found that Instagram is an extremely useful and effective platform to run promotions for brands looking to increase their visibility and their connections with their consumers. Today I’m going to cover the benefits of running an Instagram promotion.

If your key demo is between the ages of 13-24, an Instagram sweepstakes or contest is a great way to grow your follower base. Typically during a promotion, entrants are asked to follow and tag your brand in order to enter as well as include a specific hashtag that relates to the sweepstakes or contest. By asking entrants to take these steps, you are instantly increasing your visibility and creating user-generated content. Speaking of UGC; Instagram is all about sharing experiences and passions through photos. Running an Instagram sweepstakes or contest is a simple yet effective way to ask your consumers to express themselves, all while giving you the possibility of collecting meaningful and visually-interesting user generated content. Sync Marketing recently ran a successful Instagram sweepstakes for their client CBI specifically for their Claire’s division. Learn more about it here.

Instagram Photos

Although it all seems easy enough to orchestrate, it’s highly recommended that you hire an agency who specializes in sweepstakes and contest law to handle the legal portion of your campaign. Not only does promotion law change on a daily basis (bye bye Facebook likegate), but hiring an agency to produce the official rules and necessary winner release forms is an investment that is absolutely worth it to protect your company from possible infractions due to these changes. Sync Marketing has a knowledgeable and experienced team that can walk you through the process of running an Instagram photo sweepstakes or contest and will provide you with all of the legal elements to ensure a successful and legally-compliant promotion. We even check all social media posts and marketing materials to make sure your program is consistent and correct from a legal and customer service standpoint.

Contact us today is you’re interested in running an Instagram sweepstakes or contest! 323.596.7962.


23 jul

Using an Agency to Handle your Sweepstakes Legal and Prize Fulfillment

By: Sync Marketing | In: Best Practices, Contests, Legal and Prize Fulfillment, Marketing, Sweepstakes

There are many benefits as to why companies, large or small, should consider hiring an outside agency, like Sync Marketing, to be their administrator for their legal and prize fulfillment needs. We’re breaking down our top five reasons as to why your company or agency can benefit from contracting sweepstake fulfillment agency, like Sync Marketing, to oversee all of your sweepstakes legal and prize fulfillment elements for your next campaign.

1. We eat, sleep and breathe promotion law. You may have an internal legal team, but typically they are there to handle a broad scope of legal work for your company. At Sync Marketing, our legal team specializes in promotion law and stays up-to-date on all of the latest legal actions and changes in the field – specific to sweepstakes and contests. They even attend all of the promotion law conferences and are quite frequently speakers at these events. Especially when it comes to running a social media sweepstakes, the sweepstakes rules change monthly, sometimes daily. If you were to hire Sync Marketing to handle your sweepstakes legal and prize fulfillment needs, we handle so much more than official rules and winner release forms, we also review all of your marketing materials and social media posts to make sure they’re legally compliant.

2. Let your legal team do what they do best. They’re there to protect and advise you. If they’re simply reviewing the legal documents for a promotion (official rules, abbreviated rules, affidavit of eligibility and release forms, and travel companion forms) that are created by Sync, they’ll have more time to focus on the promotion’s legal documents and ask questions, rather than spending valuable time creating them from scratch. We even review all of your social media posts and marketing materials to make sure they are legally compliant and are consistent with the promotion.

3. Verifying Potential Winners. This is an extremely important step that often gets overlooked. Sometimes winners are simply selected without being verified for their eligibility or compliance with the official rules. At Sync, our project managers oversee the campaign from start to finish and know the campaign better than anyone, so when it’s time to select potential winners and verify if they’re eligible, you can trust that it’s being done right.

Winner Selection

4. Prize Fulfillment. We know that you don’t have time to fulfill hundreds of prizes, so let Sync Marketing help you with that task. We can handle procuring your prize and can fulfill everything from gift cards to booking travel; just let us know what you need and we can help.

5. Sometimes time is of the essence. You’re busy, we know that, and that’s why if you come to us when you’re in a jam and need Official Rules turned around ASAP, we are ready to jump in and start immediately. Plus, we won’t charge you rush fees to do so.

If you need help, or simply have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us today. You can either call us at 323.596.7962 or email info@syncmarketing.net.

 


10 apr

Keeping Winners Happy – Even During Tax Season!

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

Since we are almost down to the wire for the end of tax season, I thought it fitting to bring up a few thoughts about sweepstakes prizing and paying taxes.  Yes, the reality is if you host an online sweepstakes or contest and offer consumers the chance to win exciting and sometimes expensive prizing, Uncle Sam will be waiting to receive his fair share from the winners come April.  Despite this, running a sweepstakes or contest is a great way to engage and excite consumers, and if you keep the few items below in mind, there won’t be any surprises at tax time and your winners will walk away with positive feelings due to their winning experience.

  • Clearly outline in the official rules that the winner is responsible for all taxes and fees associated with the prize.
  • Provide the potential winner with an affidavit of eligibility and release form that again reminds them that if they agree to accept the prize, they are responsible for all taxes and fees associated.
  • Suggest that the potential winner speak to their tax consultant regarding their personal financial situation and what accepting the prize will mean to them.
  • Refer them to http://www.irs.gov for more information on paying taxes on sweepstakes prizes.

These are just a few suggestions, but my number one recommendation, if your budget allows, is to offer a cash prize to offset the winner’s taxes. Your gesture of providing cash to ease their tax burden will go a long way!  Ultimately, the main reason you run sweepstakes is to engage and reward  new and current consumers, so make sure that in addition to their great prize, you reward them with the best possible experience.

 winning


20 mar

Marketing the Insanity Better Known as March Madness

By: Sync Marketing | In: Contests, Marketing, Sweepstakes

Today not only marks the first day of spring, but kicks off the start of March Madness;  a great time of year for marketers, especially in the sweepstakes and contest arena. Many companies create tournament bracket challenges that offer huge cash payoffs for the lucky entrants as they know the appeal is undeniable to the young, sports-minded, social-preoccupied market. And since this dedicated (or obsessed) demographic will be entering into pools regardless; whether it’s with work, friends or family, it’s a winning opportunity for marketers.

Quicken Loans partnered with Yahoo! Sports this year to present their Quicken Loans Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge, aka the Tourney Pick’em 2014. Even though the chances are slim, it’s a fun way to get in on the spirit of March Madness. Once you place your bets, you can’t help but think that your bracket has a chance – at least until you realize 50% of your picks are out in the first round.

Another popular bracket bonanza is the ESPN Tournament Challenge, giving participants a chance to win a $10,000 Best Buy gift card. And for those who didn’t start off on the right foot for March Madness (Ohio State anyone?), there is always the Fox Sports Second Chance Bracket.

It’s seems that regardless of whether you’re a marketer, college basketball fan, or just playing for the chance to win, everyone goes a little mad for this month that is March.

 


06 mar

To check or not to check, that is the question.

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

We are continually asked our opinion on whether or not a pre-checked opt-in is recommended when running a sweepstakes or contest.  I always reply with the question, “What are you trying to accomplish?”

If it’s a true numbers game where quantity rules out over quality, then pre-check away!  Critics of this suggestion may say that you aren’t necessarily reaching your target audience by “tricking” entrants into opting in.  My feeling is that if you have even one shot at capturing their attention you’re ahead of the game.  Let’s be honest, on more than one occasion I’ve received an email from a “deal” website that I opted into and ended up purchasing a weekend getaway I wasn’t planning on or looking to take.  Sometimes, it just works!  It’s all about the content and the timing.  However, I would like to offer a few caveats –

Let them know what’s in it for them.  We always recommend that the opt-in copy clearly outline exactly what the entrant is agreeing to receive.  Emails, mailings, whatever it is; be transparent.

Speaking of trickery, this one always gets me…Don’t hide the opt-in check box and copy!  Both should be located within the entry form and not hidden in small print at the bottom of the page.

If you love someone, set them free..!  You must offer consumers the option to easily remove their information and prevent themselves from receiving future communication if they so choose. We advise this not only because it’s the right thing to do, but it’s the law!  See CAN-SPAM Act here

So again I ask, “What are you trying to accomplish by pre-checking the opt-in box?” If you want to gather a high number of possible new customers so that you may provide them exclusive and one-of-a kind content, then I highly recommend the pre-check.  Pre-checking the opt-in may produce more loyal customers than you anticipated.