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?

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Independent Fashion Bloggers (IFB) is a community of fashion bloggers who share their experiences and resources to build a better blog.

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31 Responses

  1. Anouk

    I’m currently doing a giveaway with a bikini and I think people are a little held back because it’s a bikini. Maybe try something more approachable 🙂

    here is the link if you’re interested

  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.

  3. Kelly

    Great tips and I completely agree with Rafflecopter and getting creative!

    Sparkles and Shoes

  4. 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)

    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.

  5. 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/

  6. Andrea

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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Kate Retherford

    I completely agree with a 2 week time frame – gives your followers time to enter but doesn’t draw it out too long.

    Additionally, do a giveaway if it makes sense for your personal brand! Don’t do it just for the sake of doing an additional giveaway.

    Speaking of giveaways, I’m hosting one right now: http://www.allthingskate.com/blog/07-09-2013/the-finest-accessories-giveaway

  10. 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

  11. 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.


  12. Marina Petrova

    I really like this article! Really helps me to make my giveaway!

    You can enter my giveaway here – http://biskvittka.blogspot.com/2013/07/giveaway-winner-can-choose-one-jewelry.html
    Winner can choose one jewerly at any price from efoxcity.net!
    Good Luck!

  13. Internships

    I agree these are very important when we design a giveway promotion in our blog.

  14. Yna

    I’m currently hosting a giveaway in collaboration with Ahaishopping and this article was super helpful when I was drafting the giveaway post!

  15. Christine

    IFB, you have seriously become my savior when it comes to fashion blogging 101!! I just started my blog in May and today was my first time hosting a giveaway!!! I’m teaming up with one of my favorite custom cuff lines and I couldn’t be more excited. I’m trying to take all the advice I can from your article and also the other readers!! Hopefully people like it 🙂


  16. Lucinda

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

  17. Allison@neversaydiebeauty

    I’m running my second giveaway on my blog. This time it’s a lipstick from essence cosmetics’ new line of lipsticks for Fall 2013 in shade On The Catwalk, a beautiful berry red that’s great for autumn. http://www.neversaydiebeauty.com/productspotlight/giveaway-essence-long-lasting-lipstick-fall-2013-like-velvet/
    Thank you for the useful ideas! I hope I’ve followed most of them!

  18. Mademoiselle Nature

    Thanks for the great tips. It is important to use as much as social networks to promote your giveaway. I also think that the price should be a nice one and not something that you would’nt use for yourself.
    Beauty Giveaway still on 🙂

  19. Hazel Ann Asoy

    I am currently hosting my 2nd giveaway : thestylepixie.tumblr.com/post/65790360165/the-style-pixie-x-auer-giveaway

  20. Juliet Ly

    Promotion is so important. Hello, I was wondering if you can check out the OASAP Giveaway on my blog! Only two more days to enter! You can win an awesome fall piece for your wardrobe! Enter here: http://julietlyllillyrose.blogspot.com/2013/10/oasap-giveaway-starting-october-31.html

  21. Carol L.

    Super helpful tips! I’m doing my first give away of my dog’s favorite dog food! Hopefully will get some new followers and people entering.


  22. Anna Carina

    Thank you for the tips!

    BTW check on my giveaway for a pair of shoes of your choice up to 100 pounds!

  23. Allison@neversaydiebeauty

    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

  24. 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.

  25. Jeannie

    These are great tips especially about having a creative prize as suppose to an expensive prize. I’m currently working on a giveaway and these are very helpful.


  26. Jennifer

    Just launched my first giveaway ($100 Nordstrom gift card), and it is starting off slow so I am exploring additional ways to promote. I’ve done the social sharing and will continue to do so.

    I am using Rafflecopter. I liked the idea about including it in the sidebar so I did that.

    Here is a link to the post if anyone is interested in entering.

  27. Anshulika

    Have recently published my first giveaway but it has not taken off as I expected. Going very slow. Any ideas or suggestions to speed up the process? Here is the link to my giveaway if anyone is interested:


  28. Anshulika

    Im currently running giveaway on my blog. Pfa the link.


  29. 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.

  30. Kyle

    Thanks for the info! Getting your followers involved in spreading the word is HUGE for the success. We’re running our first giveaway right now for a Mariana bracelet. It’s a lot of work, but all GOOD things are! http://enreverie.com/pages/mariana-giveaway-fall-2016