Running a sweepstakes is an effective way for a business to obtain new customers. It’s also a great tool for staying connected to current customers and rewarding them for their loyalty. It’s a very cost-effective marketing tool when done correctly. When contemplating running a sweepstakes, there are important things to consider. Below I will discuss some common mistakes when running a sweepstakes.
No Official Rules
This is probably one of the most important mistakes to avoid. We find that many company’s in-house legal teams do not necessarily specialize in marketing law, so a lot of times, this critical element is neglected. There are a lot of intricacies, especially when it comes to running a sweepstakes on social media platforms, which change their policies frequently. There are also state regulations to also be aware of that may affect your promotion. They are also crucial for entrants as they outline the details of the promotion such as in eligibility, run dates, prizing, etc. Here is an article on the importance of drafting sweepstakes rules.
Nothing kills the excitement of a sweepstakes than an insignificant prize. Would you take the time to enter for a branded water bottle or beach ball? Well most likely, neither will other consumers. If you are going to ask people to do something, give them something worthwhile in return. Consider a cash prize or shopping spree if you are in the retail sector. Also, awarding multiple prizes gives people the sense that the have a better chance to win.
You may be promoting an exciting brand or product, are offering amazing prizes and have your legal buttoned up but you are asking entrants to do too many things. The more you ask from the entrant, the higher the risk of drop off. This is especially true in the age of online scams and hacking. People are just not comfortable providing their personal identifying information (PII). Consider just asking for name and email address. This is also true about the entry process. We’ve seen promotions asking people to upload photos, answer essay questions, create a video, etc. Depending on what you are trying to accomplish, sometimes less is more.
Choosing the Wrong Platform
If your goal is to obtain email opt-ins, a simple online entry is the best way to go. You wouldn’t want to run a social promotion in the instance because emails are not typically collected. The opposite runs true if you are looking to get your message to go viral. A social sweepstakes would be a good choice in that case. Again, it’s important to keep in mind the different policies on each social platform. Here is a good reference.
It’s always a good idea before running a sweepstakes to check the calendar for critical dates that may conflict with your promotion. Knowing that a lot of people with children travel during spring break, you may want to wait until afterwards to run a promotion aimed at that sector. The length of campaign is also important. Too short and you run the risk of people missing the promotion. Too long and the momentum may be lost. Typically, a two-four-week campaign is ideal.
If you build it, they will come does not always apply in marketing. You can have the coolest sweepstakes concept, but if people don’t know about it, your entry numbers will be low. This article gives helpful suggestions for promotion your sweepstakes.
No Follow Up
So, your campaign was successful, and you obtained a good number of email opt-ins. If you don’t follow up with these potential clients, it’s definitely a missed opportunity. Consider sending a thank you email after they enter. You can even include a “Surprise and Delight offer like a discount coupon or free sample.
When done correctly, there are many great benefits to running a sweepstakes. Consider hiring an agency like Sync Marketing, who can guide you through the process and help you prevent making common mistakes when running a sweepstakes. Contact us today.