Marketing and audience development using custom sweepstakes

Custom sweepstakes offer brand advertisers the opportunity to communicate with existing and potential customers using engaging sweepstakes and winning opportunities. This interactive and fun marketing tool is used to draw attention to a brand and its products and services and invites people to join with no obligations or requirements. Publishers Clearing House has successfully used sweepstakes for many years to draw attention to its brand and many consumer offers, such as discounted magazines, merchandise and trusted partner offers.

Here are a few important tips that should be taken into consideration when planning for and running a successful sweepstakes promotion:

Never tie the entry to the offer. All sweepstakes entries should be offered without participation in any other program. The entry can and should be used to draw attention or drive traffic to additional compelling offers.

Gather contact information via registration. Sweepstakes are an excellent tool for gathering accurate information, such as e-mail address, physical address, gender and age. The company running the sweepstakes needs to be able to contact the winner, which is the perfect way to position the registration component of the entry. Privacy is important so make sure you let them know that their information will not be shared with other parties.

Advertise and cross-sell while you have their attention during the process of gathering the entry and the accompanying contact information, offer other compelling products and services for consumers to choose from, such as e-mail lists and newsletters and discounts or coupons for products.

Promote imminence and attainability wherever possible. Use entry deadlines and imminent drawing dates to add a sense of urgency to the sweepstakes. Promote additional chances to win, like second-place prizes, to let the contest entrant know they can still win, even if it’s not the grand prize.

Drive repeat traffic with new offers and prizes in order to encourage repeat visits or multiple entries, offer the audience additional chances to win and vary the prize promotion to maintain the level of excitement.

Promote your winners. Showcasing recent winners will let the audience know that the sweepstakes are absolutely legitimate with documented winners of past contests. It never hurts to include winner testimonials in your marketing materials and contest promotions.

Reward the audience with bonus entries. Additional entries into the same sweepstakes or entries into other sweepstakes during the initial registration will keep the consumer interested throughout the process. You many also consider rewarding them with additional entries when they refer others to participate.

Understand the entire process from idea generation to implementation running. Public sweepstakes is not easy and requires a lot of legal, insurance, customer service and fulfillment work. Make sure that your internal team or partner has a clear understanding of the entire process including the generation of ideas all the way through to project implementation. This will ensure a more successful end result and overall customer and winner experience.

Mike Zane can be reached via email at [email protected]

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