How to use Sweepstake Giveaways for Viral Marketing

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Sweep-stake giveaways have long been a popular tool for companies looking to increase their customer satisfaction. After all, happy customers means repeat customers. But, did you know that you can leverage the viral potential of the Internet to not only make your existing customers happy, but also increase your customer base and your sales? Let’s look at the steps you must take in order to make your next sweep-stake giveaway a true hit with both old and new customers alike.

Tie Your Giveaway to Your Brand

If you are selling bicycles, you don’t need to give away a laptop. After all, that’s not what your target audience, and most of your visitors, are looking for. Besides, by tying your giveaway to your brand, you can leverage all manner of marketing tie-ins later, thus increasing your reach. Keep your giveaway related to your brand and make sure the giveaway is something that your customers love and would want. No one wants to win a piece of junk. Make sure it is a worthy prize to receive.

Determine All the Legalities

I know this isn’t the most fun part of the job, but before you release any type of giveaway, you must make sure you meet all the laws in the areas you plan on running your sweepstakes. Since this is the Internet, it’s possible that could be everywhere, but it could just be in the country where you do business. For example, you could release your giveaway for anyone in the United States. If that’s the case, you must make sure you meet all the laws and regulations for a sweepstakes giveaway in all of the states where you plan on offering the giveaway.

If you decide not to run it in certain states, you must make that known as part of your announcement and make sure it’s clear to everyone who signs up for the giveaway.

Release the Giveaway Online

Next, you must make this giveaway an online sweepstakes. This is necessary in order to control where it’s released and increase the chances of it going viral. At the end of the day, that’s the goal, and calling in and signing up isn’t going to get the job done. While it is okay to give them the option to enter by another means, make it clear that online is the preferred method of signing up for the sweepstakes.

But, when you do, make sure signing up is easy to do and only takes a few seconds. Long drawn out forms will not be a popular choice. While you need to make sure you collect everything you need to be able to giveaway your prize, don’t collect anymore than you have to, no matter how tempting it may be.

Encourage Sharing from Customers

One of the biggest assets you have are your customers. In the end, it will be up to them to make your sweepstakes giveaway go viral. Encourage them to share your giveaway with their friends and family through social media and email. It will be your existing customers that will help you get the word out, so make it easy to share and make the rules clear so it’s easy for them to get their friends to sign up for a chance to win.

Be Responsive

When your customers do share your giveaway with others, make sure you acknowledge that act as quickly as possible. This means that you must monitor social media and any other channels that could cause your giveaway to go viral regularly. When they share it, respond to it and thank them for the share and wish the new person luck on the giveaway. Engage the customers as they help you get the word out about your sweepstakes and they will return the favor.

Create an Email Campaign

In addition to your normal avenues of advertising, create an email campaign to get the word out. Sure, this will only reach your existing customers, but it should cover anyone that has missed your other online advertising methods of showing off your giveaway. In the campaign, make sure you encourage your customers to share it with others so you can further increase your reach. Just like above, make sure you respond to each and every share you receive.

Giveaway Your Prize

Once the contest ends, you need to follow through and giveaway your prize. Announce who the winner is for everyone to see, but make sure you take steps to protect their privacy. Try saying things like, ‘Congratulations Lisa, from Denver’, or something like that. After you announce it, send the prize to them as quickly as possible. While a good giveaway can create a lot of goodwill, not delivering the promised prize will do far more harm to your reputation. Once it is delivered, encourage the winner to share a picture of the prize and comment on it so everyone can see that you send out your free gift as promised.


All of the steps above should give you more than enough to create and market a successful sweepstakes giveaway. At the end of the day, it’s all about engaging your customer base. The giveaway will get them talking, but true success will be keeping them talking about your brand and your products, but a sweepstakes giveaway is one of the best ways of doing just that for both old and new customers.