6 Tips for An Insanely Effective Blog Giveaway

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Brands use contests and sweepstakes to drive engagement and to support new customer acquisition initiatives.  Why shouldn't your blog leverage promotions in a similar way?  Here are a few tips to help you set up a winning campaign- whether this will be your very first contest or sweepstakes or you are a promotional program veteran.

Learn the rules about contests/sweepstakes for your region.

Rules governing the legality of contests and sweepstakes vary according to region.  In the US, sweepstakes sponsors take care to dissociate themselves from suggestion that players must pay to enter or pay to win, so as not to conflict with federal lottery rules.  Check the rules of the region where you live- as as the legality of contests.  In general, contests are giveaways with some element of skill involved, whereas sweepstakes are prize giveaways where winners are chosen by luck.

Get creative with prizes- the most expensive cash value prize is not necessarily the most compelling one.

If you are just starting out with contests and sweepstakes for your blog, and you are a relatively new blog, you may not be able to get a brand to sponsor a prize.  Which means you may need to get a little creative with prizes for the contest.  Try putting together a memorial experience for the winner – whether that's a skill that you can leverage (personal shopping or graphic design package anyone).  You may also want to purchase an unforgettable package of summer beauty products for a summer themed giveaway.  Entrants may simply want the beautifully curated selection of items you have put together- and that may be more compelling to them than a $2500 corporate sponsored giveaway.

Choose the best length of time for entries in your contest or sweepstakes.

The optimal amount of time to collect entries may vary according to the contest/sweepstakes type.  If it's a relatively easy entry and random drawing sweeps, you may want to limit the entry period to about 2 weeks- to capture as many entries as possible, but to also keep it timely and relevant. For a contest asking people to submit Instagram photos, it may be in your best interest to extend the period out to 3 or 4 weeks, to make sure that you capture as many entries as possible, and to allow the entrants to spread the word about your contest.

Make it as simple as possible for people to enter your promotional giveaway.

Leveraging a third party promotional platform such as Offerpop or Rafflecopter makes it easy to capture key information for your contests, and for you to do random drawings or capture entries with easy forms that can embed on your blog and/or social networks.  You also want to be capturing key analytics information, so using a third party promotional tool helps keep everything organized and in one place.

Before launching a giveaway, hone in on the ultimate objectives for the promotion.

Try to narrow down the scope of your objectives for the promotion.  Are you looking to increase the number of email subscribers for your newsletter, boost Facebook numbers or Instagram followers?  Incorporate that into the entry form for your promotion. But remember to keep the form as simple and streamlined as possible.  People will be more likely to enter if it is relatively easy for them to enter.

At launch, get as creative as possible about promoting the contest!

Send out an alert on your social networks, email your friends, send out a reminder to your email list and reach out to blogs that might want to cover the contest/giveaway.  It is really up to you to get the word out about the contest, and to stay on top of the promotional push during the contest/sweepstakes period.

Have you ever hosted a contest/sweepstakes for your blog?  What are some key learnings you might want to share with others?

[Image source: Shutterstock.com]

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33 Responses

  1. Balsam

    I am currently hosting my very first giveaway on my blog, and I was lucky enough to do it with collaboration with a big brand (Swarovski elements)

    here is the link if you are interested: http://www.albalsamlife.com/2013/06/win-with-persil-and-swarovski-elements.html

    I mainly made sure that I use the best out of social media, like twitter and promote the giveaway regularly more than just once. Also I promoted the giveaway on google communities, and I’m glad it was good for a first giveaway.

    Reply
  2. #HTStylish

    If you’re familiar with the product or brand, and have written about it on your blog before, I found it really helpful to promote those posts and also mention the giveaway. That way, the reader can see ways that the product can be beneficial to them, and are more likely to want to try it.

    Reply
  3. Jaleesa

    I hosted my first giveaway earlier this year and, I must say, it was successful! I used Rafflecopter and made the entries quick & simple for my readers. The prize was a studded Natasha brass knuckle clutch – similar to the Alexander McQueen. My readers absolutely loved it and were not hesitant to enter! I like to involve my readers in my decisions for the giveaway – as far as the structure is concerned. The next giveaway is going to be a month long and will consist of weekly giveaways and a grand prize at the end of the most – requested by my readers! It will be partnered with my newest sponsor which I will be revealing in a post soon. If your readers see how excited you are about a product, they’ll be more willing to enter a giveaway for it.

    The Fashion Geek
    http://www.fashiongeektv.com

    Reply
  4. Diane Taha

    Like Balsam, I’m hosting my first giveaway (some of you may have gotten messages about it!). I’m collaborating with LAFACE Lab to give one lucky winner a full size Proteger Age Defying Primer. Prior to working with LAFACE, I blogged about how much I loved the primer (it diminishes fine lines, makes my skin radiant and soft). I wouldn’t offer a product to my readers that I didn’t LOVE. Here’s the link if you’re interested in entering: http://stylecontext.com/2013/07/12/giveaway-laface-lab-proteger-age-defying-primer/

    Reply
  5. Andrea

    I get most of my traffic from giveaways. I have learned that the more popular the brand is the higher chances of participants. 🙂

    Reply
  6. Charlotte

    If I am giving away an item of jewelry, a bag or something that I can show off in a post I tend to try and work it into a style or an outfit to show off what I am giving away. Then at the bottom of the post I normally have an image targeted to the rules of the giveaway and still displaying the item. It is always important to have your logo on the image of something your giving away especially if people are sharing it around Facebook.

    Reply
  7. Elisa B

    I agree with everything! Giveaways bring a lot of followers and are very useful to grow your mail subscriptions.
    It’s important to advertise it EVERYWHERE! I spend hours posting every giveaway on every giveaway blogs all over the web. I share the giveaway at least once a day on my social networks. I always put a banner on the sidebar and one in the footer to increase chances of people knowing about the giveaway! And I always keep the mandatory entries down to only 2: people will eventually complete the other entries if they really love the item you’re giving away, but too many mandatory steps will put down average entrants. And when you extract a winner, always check if he/she really entered the mandatory entries, cause they often check them on Rafflecopter but they don’t actually do them. Dodgy dodgy! I am hosting a giveaway right now, have a look if you like!
    styleBizarre – Alternative Fashion Blog

    Reply
  8. Jessica Flores

    I’ve actually done a few giveaways and will be giving away a BROOCH BOUQUET soon! Thank you so much for these tips. I’ll definitely be implementing them for giveaways I do.

    http://www.DomesticatedMe.com

    Reply
  9. Yna

    I’m currently hosting a giveaway in collaboration with Ahaishopping and this article was super helpful when I was drafting the giveaway post! If you guys want to enter to win some fabulous clothes, click here!

    Reply
  10. Lucinda

    i’ve just started my first giveaway (blogs been running a couple of months) with a statement piece of jewellery. Great tips!!
    thefashionfictionary.com

    Reply
  11. [email protected]

    I’m doing my first Rafflecopter giveaway, and today is day 2 and it’s going a little slower than I expected.I did a giveaway with this retailer in October but I did it the old-fashioned way. I’m a little concerned that some folks are intimidated by the Rafflecopter widget.Oh well, I’ll see how it goes. Thanks again for the tips!

    $50 Gift Certificate to Midnight Velvet,contemporary women’s fashion, accessories, makeup & home decor retailer
    http://www.neversaydiebeauty.com/brand-spotlight/giveaway-50-gift-certificate-to-midnight-velvet-and-my-new-floral-satin-pumps/

    Reply
  12. Rossana Vanoni

    Great tips. It is so true, that not only you must give something special away, but the need to promote it properly. Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and related blogs. I’m hosting my first worldwide giveaway worth $95 in jewelry gift coupon, with free delivery in the USA.
    http://rossanavanoni.com/958-2/

    Reply
  13. Petrina Burman

    This is such a great informative article, thank you! I just hosted my first giveaway recently and it ended up being a HUGE success. I absolutely agree that being as creative as possible at the launch of your giveaway is extremely crucial. Also, using a giveaway tool makes it not only easy on the blogger, but also easy for the readers.

    Reply