The Basics of Effective Online Sweepstakes: Tips for Successful Giveaways

Basics of Effective Online Sweepstakes

Online sweepstakes are all actions you take to award the audience that regularly engages with your brand, including your social media profiles, website, direct communication, etc. Generally, it’s a gambling term that applies to the modern ways brands promote their offers and products.

But with many other people doing the very same thing, you need to find a way to stand out, be unique, and offer great awards to those who take part in your giveaway. You can even incorporate help from software as recommended at RiverSlot or rely on your time and ability to meet people’s expectations.

So, before going any further, we need to better explain how a gambling term applies to modern-day marketing, lead generation, and customer engagement.

What are Online Sweepstakes


In the general meaning of the term, online sweepstakes are a form of internet game when someone uses software or some platform to promote customer engagement and maximize profits. But in modern marketing means, including giveaways, they are a great way to generate and promote excitement and engagement for your brand, collect leads, and offer your product and services.

That’s why it’s important to follow these basic principles:

Set Realistic Goals

Before doing anything else, you need to determine what goals you want to achieve with this sweepstake. Decide if you want to increase brand awareness, collect leads, or sell something. That way, you can tailor the sweepstakes accordingly and align them with your efforts and expectations.

Choose the Right Prize

The prize always attracts people to engage with your sweepstakes. Make it relevant to your target audience so they can be interested in it. If the prize is not attractive, the audience won’t consider playing the game, i.e., being a part of your giveaway and engaging with your brand and offer.

Make it Easy to Enter

Some sweepstakes require plenty of additional information, so people simply give up on the idea of being part of them. Sometimes, things are pretty complex, and the extended registration forms may take plenty of time to fill out. So, our suggestion is to keep the entry form short and simple, as well as mobile-friendly. Just ask for simple and basic information, like name and email, so it won’t take hours for the participant to enter the sweepstake.

Promote Your Sweepstakes


When ready, you surely can promote your sweepstakes so more people can know about it. Use your website, social media profiles, and even other bloggers and influencers from the same niche. That way, you can reach out to a wider audience and attract more active participants to your giveaway.

Follow the Rules You Set

Everyone who organizes sweepstakes has a right to define the rules and follow them. Also, there are many laws and regulations regarding these games, so make sure you’re compliant and you consider all the important elements of fair play, including how you’ll choose the winner. You must be transparent so no one can blame you for rigged results.

How Can Participants Enter the Sweepstakes?

It’s up to you to decide how they’ll enter a sweepstake, i.e., the contest that may bring them some valuable prize. In general, the goal is to make them submit contact information, like email and first name, so they can become a part of your leads list.

So, you have a few possible ways to invite people to enter the giveaway, like:

  • Leaving a comment under the social media post
  • Filling out an entry form on your website
  • Fill out an entry form they received in their emails
  • Usual social media engagement with your brand
  • Encouraging them to share a branded image, video, or other content format on their profiles
  • Signing up to become a part of your email list
  • Recommend you to someone else using a referral code
  • Being promotional regarding your brand in the past
  • They’re your loyal customers already

The thing is, these games have a limited time of relevance. So, depending on what you offer as a prize, you need to leave the people enough time to engage with your content. For small prizes, you can give them a day or two. But if they fight for bigger prizes like vacations or cars, you need to let them do their thing and fight for that prize.

Additionally, you can try to be fun, encouraging engagement besides promotion. And surely, be relevant and reliable because there are many examples of brands creating fake giveaways so they can attract an audience, but never give the prize to anyone.

Worst Practices You Should Avoid


Organizing such a giveaway can be challenging and time-consuming, but you must stay professional to the end of the game. Sadly, many game hosts make these mistakes:

  • Require participants to complete too complex contact forms to enter, so they give up because it’s too much for them.
  • Don’t promote the sweepstakes, so not many people can learn and enter on time.
  • Use irrelevant prizes they like without considering what the target audience wants and expects from them.
  • The sweepstakes were too long, so the participants forgot they entered in the first place.
  • Not following up properly and professionally with the winner to inform them when and how to claim their prize.

Also, you must avoid misleading claims or, even worse – require payment for someone to enter the giveaway. Don’t use bots and fake accounts to promote your giveaway because it waters down your relevance. By avoiding these worst practices, you can organize successful online sweepstakes that will help you achieve your marketing goals.

Final Thoughts


Giveaways and sweepstakes are great ways to promote what you do and make people connect with your brand and products. Still, you must be fair and follow the best practices, and widely avoid being misleading and fake – because it may completely ruin your reputation, and potential customers will take their business somewhere else.

Stay professional, and offer relevant prizes while engaging your audience with great content. That’s the only way to bring the target audience to your website or brand and make them engage and connect with it on a higher level.

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