Sweepstake Marketing: The funnel before the funnel

Sweepstake marketing is used for a very specific reason, and that reason only; that’s to collect names and emails.  While sweepstakes are as old as the day is long, the way we use the data is much different in today’s technology climate.  Marketers used to have to use direct mail to contact their sweepstakes entrants for marketing purposes and that’s quite expensive (No EDDM discount there!). Nowadays, you can contact your sweepstake entrants for free via email.  How convenient is that?!

E-mail marketing is one of the most successful and affordable tactics available in the marketer’s toolbox in the 21st century.  It’s highly customizable and you can segment your data so that you can email like groups similar messaging, added value, and any other personalization that will aid in conversion.  So here we are, we know email marketing works very well – in fact it is the source with the highest conversion rate.  Now combine the fact that sweepstakes provide engagement, you are not only attracting new prospects, but engaging your existing email database with this grand opportunity.

After decades of testing among millions of marketers, it has been found that sweepstake marketing is here to stay.  For the exact reasons we have stated above, plus the price to enter is relatively economical with all things considered.  Most folks know that the brand is not giving away $1,000,000 out of their pocket, rather they bought an insurance policy that they would draw a winner that met the criteria to win (insert legal).  Therefore, the brand is really paying for the promotional costs to promote the sweepstakes, the insurance policy, and some branded runner-up gear.  This tallies to a fairly affordable price for the exchange of being able to advertise that you are giving away $1,000,000.

Sweepstakes add a positive brand affect by associating your grand offer with your brand.  So many visuals, behaviors, and shares happen as a result of your clever and generous sweepstakes.

Take for example Carapelli Olive Oil in partnership with BJ’s Pizza created a sweepstakes where the user could enter to win a trip to Italy with runner up prizes being gift cards to BJs.  The entrant needed to obtain the issue number off of a limited-edition bottle sold in most grocery stores.  This forces an entrant to be very engaged with the brand to the point of purchase.

Sweepstakes also offer a low barrier to entry. As you see, you can make it as high as you want with the aforementioned example.  Or you can make it as easy as possible, simply submit your email address.  Of course, each brand has a different threshold for what they want.  Names for the sake of names are not valuable; you want to market to folks that may use your product or service as opposed to your message always landing in spam and never being opened.  Unqualified names also contaminate your database and make you think your open rates and conversions are not what they are.  Be sure you are creating enough of a hurdle that only folks that would be interested in your brand would go to the lengths to submit the entry.

Sweepstakes give you the flexibility to require a basic submission with optional behavior requests for additional entries.  You can be creative and fun with refer a friend, shout outs and hashtags on social media, selfies with your brand in hand, opt-in for text messages, join the loyalty program or even download the app.  Gamification really is at its finest here for what you can ask your customer and prospects to do to gain another entry.  Contest Factory has hosted many UGC Sweepstakes that have been phenomenally successful for the brand.  You can find several UGC Sweepstakes case studies here.>>

Megasweeps is another approach to sweepstake marketing that enables smaller brands to participate in a larger giveaway by crowdsourcing the smb advertisers.  This enables them to support a larger insurance policy by multiple advertisers simultaneously participating in the same sweepstakes.  Each brand will brand their portal to the megasweeps for their brand ala Mike’s Pizza Million Dollar Give Away and the corner convenience store marketing it as the EASY Million.  Each brand drives its own traffic and all entrant data is kept siloed by brand.  All the legal details are included, you just bring your sponsorship fee and runner-up prizes, and you’re ready to wow your customer base as well as attract new ones.

Again, so many options with all up-side for your brand engagement and email list building.  When you’re ready to consider a sweepstake, go no further than yours truly, Contest Factory.  We are your one-stop shop for fun and engaging promotions with ample gamification.  We also offer prize provisions, PR, promotion demand generation, winner notification and affidavits, and detailed reporting on all promotions.  We’re ready to engage your customers when you are!

More reading:  The Psychology of Gamification

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