September 2nd, 2014
Me, me, me.
Running a sweepstakes is one of the best ways of getting more people to join your eNewsletter list, your Facebook page or your mobile text message marketing list.
From time to time we are asked “What are the top prizes people want to win?” Here is the short answer:
- Cash and gift cards: in reviewing sweep’s participation across all types of clients and all types of industries, a cash prize or gift card prize is the most sought after price. Who doesn’t like cash?
- Electronics: people love gadgets and hot gadgets are usually expensive. How wouldn’t like to win the latest thing?
- Trips: the “dream” vacation may not be attainable for many families unless they win it. Vacation experiences are always in demand.
- Cars: they are always popular with entrants and lately the trend is to give away eco-friendly hybrids.
The best prize for your sweepstakes is the one that attracts your current and prospective customers. All the prizes above are great but the ultimate objective of a sweepstakes is to build a database of your prospective customers you can re-market to.
August 26th, 2014
- Facebook has removed the functionality to Like Gate or Fan Gate content or promotions. As of Nov. 5th 2014, Facebook will no longer allow Like gates in Facebook pages.
This means that people will no longer be required to click the Like button to enter a sweepstakes or participate in your promotion.
The Fan Gate was a way to ensure that new non-fans could be required to become a fan prior to participating in your promotion.
In turn, sweepstakes were particularly benefitted by like gates on Facebook and this resulted in increased likes for a page and encouraged high quality sweepstakes entries and engaged fans for the brand.
The ideas is that people who were willing to like the page in order to enter the contest, were also more likely to be genuinely interested in the business’s goods or services.
Rest assured removing the like gate would not affect the promotions goals much.
You can still count on Sweepstakes to:
- Increase your social visibility/social buzz and engagement
- Increase new fans
- You will still be able to collect email addresses as part of the sweep entry
- The number of entries might increase if users are not required to perform an additional action or commit to liking your page.
I don’t believe removal of like gate will result in fewer fans. I think it will help reduce bounces, where people like the page just until the promotion ends, then unlike.
In a nutshell, social sweepstakes will continue to be one of the best tactics to gather qualified Fb fans.
August 12th, 2014
It’s time for Fantasy Fest and high-voltage fun in the Florida Keys! Enter to win a 5-night trip for 2 to Key West and Marathon to explore all the food, fun and fantasy you can handle. Text WILDKEYS to 65047 to enter or visit http://www.floridakeyswin.com
May 30th, 2014
Learn about the basic laws affecting sweepstakes and contests in the U.S.
One of the reasons why contests and sweepstakes work so well is because consumers have faith that these promotions are legitimate and that the prizes promised will be delivered as presented. This was not always the case, but today laws are in place to protect consumers and fine companies that don’t play nice. In the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulates most sweepstakes and promotions. The rest of the regulatory work is handled at the state level, with every state having their own set of laws for sweepstakes and contests.
Disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer and the following information is not legal advice. It’s meant to guide marketers in running promotions. You should contact an attorney for specific advice.
What is the difference between sweepstakes and contests?
- In Sweepstakes the winner(s) is selected randomly from a group of entries.
- In Contests the winner(s) is determined primarily on a basis of skill by a judging body. An essay contest is one example.
What should I do if the sweepstakes prize is $5,000 or more in cash or value?
- When the approximate retail value of all prizes exceeds $5,000, the sweepstakes (contests do not need to be registered) must be registered in the state of New York and the state of Florida. Registration must be done 30 days prior to the start of the promotion in NY and 7 days prior to the start in Florida.
Do I need a surety bond?
- A surety bond is basically an insurance policy that New York and Florida hold to guarantee the sponsor will award all prizes. If you register your promotion in Florida or New York, you will need to set up a surety bond in the amount of the prize value.
I heard that in Rhode Island you also have to register your sweepstakes?
- It’s true, but only if you are running a retail sweepstakes with a prize valued at more than $500. A retail sweepstakes requires the participant to walk into a retail store in the state of RI to enter.
What if I’m giving prizes that are less than $5,000 in cash or value?
- Then you are good and there’s no need to register the sweepstakes in either NY or FL.
What if my promotion is targeted to children?
What about Mobile Sweepstakes and Contests laws?
- I thought you’d never ask. All federal and state laws apply as in regular sweepstakes. In mobile sweepstakes or contests, where the participants enter the contest via text message (SMS), all of the Mobile Marketing Association’s Best Practices and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) rules should be upheld. As of 2014 the TCPA requires additional opt-in language similar to this;
- It’s extra fine print, but a small price to pay for the most effective way to build a mobile database and gather sweepstakes participants.
What about Facebook promotions?
Facebook recently simplified its sweepstakes and contest rules as follows:
- You are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion, including; The Official Rules and Offer terms and eligibility requirements.
- All promotions should be in compliance with applicable rules and regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered.
- Official Rules must include a complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant and acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
- Promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps on Facebook.
Don’t let all of the legal speak discourage you from launching sweepstakes or contests. They are one of the best promotional tools out there by far and you won’t regret your decision to hold one. Like all promotions, just make sure to cross your T’s and dot your I’s. If you need any help with your next promotion contact us at email@example.com
May 6th, 2014
People often use the words “sweepstakes,” “contest,” and “giveaways” interchangeably. They all mean something different and will affect the type of promotion and rules you use.
The basic definition are:
Sweepstakes are games of chance, where the winner(s) of picked randomly
Contests are a games of skill, where the winner shows the best skills within a particular set of judging criteria.
Giveaway are promotions where something is given free usually to all participants or the first of some.
In summary: Contest winner(s) are selected by judges and sweepstakes winner(s) are randomly selected.
If you need help planning your sweepstakes or contest contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
April 18th, 2014
- Text KEYSFUN to 65047 to enter for a chance to win a Florida Keys Summer Getaway
On the Water and Underwater Fun in Key Largo and Big Pine Key & Florida’s Lower Keys
Enter for a chance to win a 5-nt trip to the Florida Keys (July 9-14), experience Key Largo and the 30th Annual Underwater Music Fest in waters off Big Pine Key! Dive or snorkel the Keys’ coral barrier reef, tour the backcountry on kayak; savor Keys food, blazing sunsets on the water & more.
Complete the form at www.floridakeyswin.com for a chance to win!
|* You must be at least 21 years of age to enter. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. By clicking “Enter Now” you agree to the official rules and provide your signature, consent and agreement to receive marketing text messages from the Florida Keys. Message and data rates may apply. Reply STOP to end at any time. 4msgs/mo. max. Text HELP for help. Official Rules – Privacy
The Keys Summer Getaway includes:
||2 nights at Ocean Pointe Suites Resort
||3 nights at Dolphin Marina & Cottages
||Air Travel Card (valued at $1,000)
||Rental car certificate
||Dive (or Snorkel) Trip at the Underwater Music Festival by Strike Zone Charters
||Two 2-hour Kayak Rentals by Ocean Pointe Suites
||Two-stop dive (or snorkel) Trip for 2 by Keys Diver
||Half-day Guided Backcountry Kayak Tour by Big Pine Kayak Adventures
||Sunset Sail by Island Time Cruises
||Tour of Botanic Gardens, Kona Kai Resort
||Dinner for 2 at Key Largo Conch House
||VIP Gift Basket by Key Largo Chocolates
||Prize Valued at $3,400
Accommodations provided by:
Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo is an all-suite, 60-acre condominium resort located directly on the Atlantic Ocean. It’s entered through a private gatehouse and road and is surrounded by protected mangrove forest.
Dolphin Marina & Cottages features cozy guest cottages located on the picturesque waters of Newfound Harbor, just south of Big Pine Key. It is the closest lodging to Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary where you will find some of the Florida Keys’ finest snorkeling and diving.
March 26th, 2014
Watch Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPgSwwHHXpY
Lately we have been asked to help set up and manage Facebook sweepstakes. Our clients are putting in a lot of time and money into social media and they want to see their efforts produce results. Facebook contests and sweepstakes are a great promotional tactic that helps engage and increase fans.
Benefits of a Facebook Sweepstake or Contest
- Likes – Yes, the almighty top-level metric and warm blanket of congeniality for brands. A sweepstake or promotion will attract more of your target market to “Like” your page. You can offer the sweepstakes or contests to all current fans and new fans must “Like” your page to enter. The goal here is that once they “Like” you, your posts will appear in their news feeds. This offers a chance for re-engagement with your brand during and after the promotion.
- Emails – You can get richer profile information on your fans by asking for email, date of birth, gender, address, zip code, mobile phone or other information as part of the entry form. This is also an opportunity to ask research or poll questions.
- Engagement – All brands want customers speaking positively about them and to them. Watching metrics like post consumption, link clicks and positive feedback will allow you to measure how well you’re doing in this area. By increasing engagement, you’ll also push your page updates to more fans, increase awareness, and rank higher in graph search (Facebook’s search engine).
- User-Generated Content – A photo, video or story contest will produce valuable content created by fans. This is the kind of content that fans love to share with their friends. They are proud of their pictures and stories and want to tell their friends about them. In return, your brand reaches new audiences through loyal fan ambassadors.
- Market Research – We recently asked Pet Supermarket fans to “Tell Us What You Love About Your Pet” as the sweepstakes entry. The answers were moving, funny, sometimes sad, but mostly endearing. People love their pets and love talking about them. The most interesting result was that this promotion helped us better understand Pet Supermarket customers and hear their feelings behind their relationships with their pets. These sentiments can be used later to refine the way Pet Supermarket presents its messages to customers. Think of entries as valuable market intelligence and potential ads for your brand written by customers.
No Goals, No Glory
Before you start, set your goals. How do you know you had a successful Facebook sweepstakes if you don’t know the end goal? Goals will also help you plan your sweepstakes and determine how big the prize (incentive) and promotional effort should be. Goals can include:
- Increase in total Likes by X% of current fans
- Increase in new emails by X% of current database
- Increase engagement or awareness
Types of Facebook Promotions
Sweepstakes – The simplest and most popular, this type of promotion collects all eligible entries and selects a winner(s) randomly. Sweepstakes usually get the most participants because they are easy to enter. Just fill out the entry form and you’re in. If gaining “Likes” or increasing your email database is the objective, sweeps are a good choice.
Contests – These require that participants present some skill within the required contest guidelines. Participants compete against each other and/or within a judging criteria. For example, a simple contest can ask participants to add a photo caption to a photo you provide or it can ask entrants to show the best picture of a sunset. The barrier to entry is higher than a sweepstakes (make sure you have a good number of fans before starting), but engagement is also higher if that’s your goal. In a contest, you’ll also need to decide how you’ll choose the winner. This article on judging and choosing a winner will help.
If you’re going to set up a Facebook promotion, give the new Facebook guidelines a look to ensure you’re compliant with their rules. If you need any help, let us know.