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How To Promote Your Text-to-Win Sweepstakes

how to promote a text-to-win sweeps sweeppea.com
Be a sweeps marketing champ without breaking the bank (hey that rhymes, nice).

Text-to-Win sweepstakes are evolving as marketers increasingly turn to new ways to promote their campaigns and reach consumers on their mobile phones. 

As social media and advertising technologies evolve, new options become available.  If you’re planning to run a text-to-win sweepstakes, promote your campaign on the channels likely to attract the most attention from your subscribers, while spending the least in advertising.

Here are a few cost-effective options for the best results…

On Your Website

Your website is a great place to advertise your text-to-win since it’s a brand hub that your customers and prospects already visit. If you haven’t set up a landing page or area for your mobile sweeps campaign, do it now.

A dedicated landing page is recommended because visitors can share it via email and social media. This will help you attract customers who aren’t already subscribed to your list.

Don’t forget Sweeppea offers an online entry form to help you collect entries. This can be used as your landing page. For example, your page can host a graphic and description and link to the sweeps entry form.

In Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are all great options for promoting your sweeps because users that frequent these sites love visual content. Design a creative graphic for your campaign and to lead them to your sweeps entry page.

You can also set up a dedicated hashtag for your mobile campaign that includes your brand name or the sweepstakes name. This is especially important for Twitter and Instagram.

Social Advertising

While receiving social shares is a good thing for your sweepstakes, paid social advertising will help maximize the reach of your post. With organic reach in the Facebook news feed now significantly reduced, brands need to pay-to-play in order to receive the viral results that social media platforms can offer.

Email Marketing

Don’t forget email as it’s certainly not dead! Send an email dedicated solely to your text-to-win campaign and entice subscribers to enter or add a segment or banner offer your call -to-action ” Text WIN to 65047 to enter…” 

While these ideas will help you start your promotions, don’t forget about sharing your campaign after it has already begun. Text-to-Win sweepstakes give brands plenty of content for regular updates to their owned promotional channels: news about daily winners, updates on available prizes, reminders about campaign end dates. All of these items can be promoted and shared to maximize the reach of your campaign.

Learn more about how to reach your audience with a text-to-win sweepstakes. Contact us or call us at (305) 505-­­5393 for help.

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Running an SMS Marketing Campaign? How to Protect Your Brand

businessman-protect

In any marketing effort, it’s important to protect the integrity of your brand and create a positive experience for customers. Unlike other marketing platforms, text or SMS has a few extra considerations.

Follow these tips to protect your brand as you run your text-to-win or SMS marketing campaign…

Follow the Rules

The best way to protect your brand is to understand the rules to ensure you’re in compliance. See our post on the rules of text message marketing. This is aside from the laws guiding sweepstakes, which vary by state. Abide by the rules in both areas to ensure you aren’t running any risks and also to assure customers they won’t get unsolicited texts. 

Stay Consistent

Use the same messaging format each time so that you don’t confuse your audience. If they get confused or can’t identify you, they might opt out. We suggest starting with your sweepkey, then the message. (Example: “MODA: Only 2 days left to enter! As a thank you, enjoy 15% off…”) Also, don’t dilute the influence of your brand by sending messages that don’t match your brand’s personality. If your company has spent a lot of time building up a playful identity, make sure to keep up this tone in all of your marketing communications, including SMS. 

Share Your Shortcode

You should make sure you do everything possible to associate the short code with your brand. At Sweeppea, our customers generally use our shared short code (the 5-digit phone number, 65047).  Sharing the short code is more cost effective for most, but there is also the option to buy a custom short code for your business alone. While this would be more expensive, it can protect your brand even further as you would be the only one using it. 

If you’d prefer a custom short code for your campaign, we can offer this as a solution for companies who have the budget. A custom short code can become part of your permanent brand identity, just like your logo or company colors. Contact us if you’d like to learn more about this option.

Get Feedback

The best way to ensure your SMS marketing campaign is really meeting your customers’ needs is to ask for feedback. You can send surveys to request feedback about the promotion and to learn what customers think about your business. By using feedback, you can improve your marketing efforts to make them as relevant as possible for your audience.

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Are You Making These Mistakes With Your Text-to-Win?

When you run a sweepstakes or text-to-win, you expect it’ll generate great results. But there are a few missteps that could tank your numbers. Thankfully, this is completely avoidable.

Here are the top mistakes to avoid with your text-to-win.

Not Making it Clear & Easy to Enter

How should they enter? Is it clear on all of your materials and your website? Always include your text call-to-action (Ex: “Text WIN to 65047 to enter”), even in graphic images, since a link to your web form may not suffice. Test your promotion before it goes live to make sure your instructions are clear and to ensure any creatives you design include all of the necessary verbiage, including legal requirements.

The Barriers to Entry are too High

Are you asking them to jump through too many hoops? A long entry form, asking for more than 2 text replies or requesting things like video entries can be too much for many entrants. This depends on the value of the prize, of course, but if only a small segment of your customer base will respond, it’s best to change plans.

The Prizes Are No Good

Who wants to win a year’s supply of hot dog buns or a 2-day trip that includes an 6-hour flight? If the prizes don’t appeal to your audience or are kind of lame, your results will look lame as well.  If you don’t have the budget for a great prize, boosting the fun factor can go a long way. Put your creative skills to work and give offer something they’ll consider worth of giving up their information. How to Choose the Right Sweepstakes Prize

Poor Follow-up

Expecting your sweepstakes to translate into sales and brand recognition? No problem, but you’ll need to follow-up once the promotion has ended. Failing to follow up with a thank you text or email (maybe with a discount offer) and additional messages to continue the relationship means you’ll soon lose their attention. Keeping their attention!

Get attention for your company with a text-to-win. Contact us or call us at (305) 505-­­5393 for help.

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Special Issues to Consider to Ensure Your Mobile Sweepstakes Is Legal

regulations-mobile

Are you good at following the rules? When running a mobile sweepstakes, it certainly helps. In fact, it’s vital to follow the rules to avoid a problem that could cost thousands. We’ve written before about the legal documents for a mobile sweepstakes and text message marketing rules, but there are still other special issues that may arise. 

Here are some special issues that will need extra consideration.

Is it Open to Entrants Outside the US?

Is your sweepstakes open to residents of Canada? Mexico? Other countries? If so, make sure your official rules comply with the laws of that region. In Canada, for example, it’s illegal to run games of pure chance with a random draw (i.e. a sweepstakes). It’s best to add a skill-testing question to make it more of a contest. In Mexico, any prize of more than US$5,000 has to be delivered in the presence of Mexican authorities. Be sure you’re aware of the legal requirements of the region.

Sending Direct Mail?

This is less common these days, but if you’re using direct mail  to promote your sweepstakes, you’ll need to make sure you have permission to send mailings to those recipients, per the Federal Trade Commission. The Driver’s Privacy Protection Act and HIPAA are other legal protections that prohibit the use of mailing lists from DMV records or medical facilities for direct marketing purposes.

Will it Involve User-Generated Content?

Are you asking entrants to enter with photos, videos or other material? If you’re making use of user-generated content as an entry requirement or also for promotional purposes, put terms in place to cover their use with regard to copyright.

Are You Targeting Children or Minors?

When targeting children or minors, you’re adding another layer of rules and complexity. You must take privacy into account and other issues. If your mobile sweepstakes will target that audience, make sure you’re in compliance with federal and state laws, including the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and FTC rules.

Mobile sweepstakes should be carefully structured to ensure maximum participation, while minimizing the associated legal risks. Before beginning your mobile promotion, consider the legal aspect. While we assist with creating official rules for a sweepstakes, legal counsel is always best. We can help you get that professional guidance.

 

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What Legal Docs Are Needed for a Text-to-Win or Mobile Sweepstakes?

Have legal docs in order for your text-to-win sweepstakes.
Protect your business by following the rules during a mobile sweepstakes.

In today’s competitive market, more businesses are using sweepstakes and contests to promote their brands. But we see many hosting them without giving much thought to the legal documents needed. Before starting your own text-to-win or mobile sweepstakes promotion, make sure your legal docs are in order.

Here is a list of the legal documents you’ll need to run a mobile sweepstakes or contest.

Official Rules

We see too many companies using a short one-line sentence to cover rules, but this is not enough to cover you if there’s a problem. No matter how small your company is, you should have official rules. This protects the entrants as well as your business. States outline what these rules should contain, including who is eligible, how to enter, start and end dates, a description of the prize value, and more.

Abbreviated Rules Disclosures

In addition to the official rules, you should also use an abbreviated set of rules when you promote the mobile sweepstakes. In fact, all ad or marketing materials used as part of the campaign, including registration pages, web pages, direct mail pieces, and ads, must have the abbreviated rules disclosures, as required by the state(s) in which the promotion will be available. This includes stating “No purchase necessary,” for sweepstakes and other disclosures. See a law firm’s summary of abbreviated rules here.

Release and Affidavits for Prize Winners

Are you planning to announce the winner publicly and include their photo or information? Consider having a publicity release form for prize winners. An eligibility affidavit will also protect you as it asks the winner to affirm they are eligible to win the prize and meet all entry requirements.

Sponsor/Advertiser Contracts

Be sure you have contracts in place with any sponsor, advertiser or third-party vendor that will be a part of the contest or sweepstakes, whether it’s as a sponsor or a provider of contest prizes.

Special Legal Considerations

These are just the basic requirements for running a mobile contest or sweepstakes. There may also be other legal considerations when…

  • Your contest or sweepstakes is open to entrants outside of the U.S.
  • The ARV (Approximate Retail Value) of your prize is more than $5,000.
  • You plan to use direct mail or a third-party website for promotional purposes.
  • Your contest or sweepstakes will involve user-generated content or public voting.
  • Your business is in a highly-regulated industry (alcohol, for example).
  • Your contest or sweepstakes will involve children or minors.

Ask a Lawyer

Our platform offers suggested official rules to get you started, but you should still speak with a lawyer about the potential liability, privacy, regulatory and intellectual property concerns of your campaign. While it may increase the costs of developing your promotion, following these steps under the guidance of a legal advisor can improve the odds of success for your business’s mobile campaign.

Have any questions about the legal aspects of a text-to-win sweepstakes? Contact us for more information.

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How to Use a Text-to-Win or Mobile Sweepstakes to Generate Sales

Text-to-Win Increases Sales
Text-to-Win Increases Sales

You already know running a sweepstakes or text-to-win is a great way to grow your subscriber list, your reach, and your social following. But can you also use it to produce sales?

The short answer is yes. There are also cost-cutting strategies that will benefit your business.

Here are 4 ways to improve your bottom line with a mobile sweepstakes.

Everyone Wins with a Coupon

Users will be shooting to win the grand prize, but why not give them a smaller win along the way? After they enter, offer a discount by text or email. It’s a nice “thank you for entering” gesture and is one of the best ways to generate sales during or after a sweep. It can encourage new customers to try your product or service as well.

Get a Paid Sponsor

Bringing in a paid sponsor is a great way to tap into another company’s audience to increase the bottom line. Collaborate with a complementary brand or product and you can gain new subscribers who may become customers in the future. The sponsor gets exposure to your customers as well, making it a win-win.

Cut Costs with a Prize Sponsor

Deciding on a prize? Sure you can offer your own product or service, but if you’ve done that before, change things up with a sponsored prize. Secure a prize sponsor (or multiple sponsors) and offer their item(s) instead. This can reduce the cost of your sweep or text-to-win and increase the number of signups , especially if the sponsor is a well-known brand or can offer a desirable prize.

Think Long-Term

These techniques will help during or after your sweep, but there are plenty of long-term sales opportunities as well. The goal here is to get these prospects on your list for a future sale. By “on your list,” we mean on your text subscriber list, email list or both. This way, you can continue marketing to them on a weekly or monthly basis and lead them to an eventual sale.

Just Don’t Make this Mistake

Above all, remember to say “no purchase necessary.” If you ask for a purchase, you’re not running a sweepstakes, you’re running a lottery and Uncle Sam may have a problem with that.

Also, make sure subscribers understand that their personal information may be shared with sponsors (if any). Including this information in the legal terms can help you avoid legal headaches later on.

Do you want to learn how you can grow your business with a text-to-win or SMS Sweepstakes campaign? Contact us or call us at (305) 505-­­5393 for help.

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5 Tips for Successful Mobile Sweepstakes & Contests

Sweeppea . Text-To-Win Sweepstakes, Mobile Marketing

The benefits of a mobile contest are clear: your customers win awesome prizes and your company gets loyal subscribers that you can market your products and services to. But how do you make sure that your mobile campaign will produce the results that you want?

Here are 5 tips for successful mobile contests to help you launch a great campaign that is guaranteed to boost your business.

1. Define Your Objectives

It may seem obvious, but understanding your objectives for running a mobile contest will help you to decide if a contest is the best way to get the results you want, and most of all, what type of contest to run. If the end goal of your mobile campaign is to build a loyal list of subscribers, then you should opt for a contest that offers a low barrier to entry.

However, if the goal of the contest is to produce high quality content that you can use to promote your business in the future, then create a contest that focuses on having your subscribers creatively describe what your brand means to them. Either way, you need to make engagement the focus of your campaign.

2. Plan It Out

If you plan to evaluate user-generated content in order to select winners for your contest, you need to plan out the selection process, as well as, the attributes of a winning submission.

3. Choose the Best Mobile Partner

Choosing the right partner means that you need to find a mobile marketing company like Sweeppea that will be able to deliver all of the features that you want for your mobile contest. Here are a few questions to ask:

  • Can you customize my contest for my brand?
  • Can you handle all of the legal requirements of a contest?
  • How can I measure my success with your platform?
  • Will a dedicated representative be available to assist me with campaign setup?

4. Promote Your Campaign

You don’t have to spend a fortune, but you need to make an effort to promote your contest if you expect to get entrants. Promote it on your website and in your company marketing materials.

5. Use the Contest Results to Improve Your Business

Once the contest is over, make sure to capitalize on all of the great content and relationships that were acquired over the course of your mobile campaign. Include contest submissions in your advertising campaigns and extend the relationships you’ve acquired to social media so that you can continue the conversation about your brand.

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How Big Brands Use Text-to-Win

Text-to-win examples from big brands

Planning a giveaway or text-to-win sweepstakes? You may be wondering…

  • What should I offer as a  prize?
  • What will excite my customers and prospects?
  • How should I set it up?

These can be answered in many ways, so how about answers with a little inspiration from big brands?

What Should I Give Away?

We suggest offering a prize that’s relevant to your product or service. Your own product or a service package can be a great prize.

Will your own product be enough to excite your customers or prospects? While we’d like to say yes, this can be a challenge if you sell a low-cost consumer good or inexpensive service. You may need to get a little creative or offer a prize with a bigger dollar value to really incentivize consumers to sign up.

Here are a few examples of both product prizes and higher ticket items:

Twisted Tea Offers Branded Motorcycle

This brand added a little “twist” on the typical prize vehicle with a branded motorcycle. It’s a unique way to go beyond its own product, while still offering a branded item.

Text-to-win sweepstakes with a motorcycle prize

SUBWAY Gives Away Subs – Lots and Lots of Subs

Subway offered its own subs as a prize… every 15 minutes!  This translated to 96 winners per day or 2,976 total. While not every business can give away this much product, it’s a good example of how to be creative when offering your own item. Consumers could enter by text or online.

Subway's text-to-win prize was awarded every 15 minutes.

Free Pet Food for a Year From Pet Supermarket 

Another creative way to give away product is to offer a full year’s worth. Who wouldn’t want to win free product for a year? And it isn’t as expensive as it sounds. Offer a set amount for each month (a free bag or case of dog food, for example, or a $25 gift certificate for each month). This will limit your costs while still keeping it attractive for your customers.

Free pet food for a year from Pet Supermarket

How should I set up my sweepstakes or text-to-win?

How do you decide which method to use? Look at your goals first. To make a splash and keep entry as easy as possible, use text-to-win. If you want to build excitement and also collect emails or other information, use text-to-win and an online entry form. When using both methods, you can collect mobile numbers and other information, such as emails, addresses, birthdays, and more.

A few examples:

Coca-Cola 2016 NCAA Text-to-Win with 3 Ways to Enter

Coca-Cola tied into the excitement of the NCAA finals by offering a 4-night trip for two to Glendale, AZ to attend the NCAA Men’s Final Four. Consumers were asked to text the word MADNESS, use an online entry form and/or enter via Facebook.

ncaa-text-to-win

Old Milwaukee Sweepstakes with Text & Online Entry

Old Milwaukee fans had a chance to win a custom branded truck, a valuable prize that was likely to appeal to that audience. Besides texting to enter, fans could also enter online by providing their email. This allowed the beer brand to collect not only mobile phone numbers, but emails as well. Having mobile numbers is a good option when it comes time to contact the winner.

Beer distributor sweepstakes with 2 methods of entry.

Corona Used Text and Social

Corona gave its fans 2 ways to enter for a chance to win a 3-day, 2-night trip for two to a pro-boxing match.  The first was by texting the word CORONABOXING, the second was via social media. In an obvious effort to build their network on Instagram, they asked fans to use the hashtags #coronaboxing and #sweepstakes on a photo post to enter.

Sports themed sweepstakes offers 2 entry methods.

Dunkin’ Donuts Used Web Only 

Dunkin’ Donuts is another brand that offered a free year of product. The actual prize was 1 pound of coffee every 8 weeks for a year. (This could have been better in our opinion.) The brand only offered 1 method of entry: an online web form asking for entrants’ emails. Dunkin’ limited the overall appeal of this one with the prize (7 bags of coffee isn’t a year’s worth as far as we’re concerned) and with 1 method of entry. In our experience, it’s harder to reach a winner when you have email only.

A free year of product but only email entry from Dunkin'

Lessons Learned?

  • Think about what will excite your fans most when deciding on a prize.
  • Don’t hesitate to get creative when giving away your product or a branded item.
  • Set goals before deciding how to set up your sweepstakes or giveaway.
  • Offer text entry to keep it easy or add another method to collect emails or other information.

We hope these examples offer inspiration and spur ideas for your own text-to-win sweepstakes!

(Please note: All names and images are trademarked and/or copyrighted by their respective owners.)

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7 Places to Promote Your Text-to-Win or Mobile Campaign

Sweeppea . Text-To-Win Sweepstakes, Mobile Marketing

These days, it isn’t enough to just create a text-to-win or mobile marketing campaign. If you really want a great response, you’ll need to promote it. Here are 7 places where you can promote your text-to-win for maximum exposure.

1. Print Materials

For your mobile campaign to get great results, it needs initial traffic. Your prize or offer should incentivize people to enter, but you still need to promote it in other ways. Start by including your campaign in any and all of  your print marketing materials. You can include it on flyers, business cards, in-store posters, signs, restaurant tent cards, on receipts or invoices, and more.

2. Print Ads, Billboards

Take it further with print. If you advertise in any publications or on outdoor posters or billboards, you can gain additional exposure for your campaign. This type of text campaign can and should piggyback on any advertising efforts you have going on at the time.

3. Social Advertising

Facebook ads are all the rage right now. That’s because they’re effective and less costly than most. You might want to consider paying for ads on Facebook, Twitter or elsewhere to promote your text-to-win. Their targeting options make it easy to reach your ideal audience as well.

4. TV/Radio

TV and radio can help you spread the word too. Include a message about your text-to-win and reach a broad audience. Just don’t forget your legal disclosures.

5. Email Signatures

Do you use a standard email signature or closing in your emails? Put that real estate to good use! Add the promotion to the email signatures of all of your employees. In this way, you remind customers and others of the opportunity to win.

6. Promotional Emails or Email Newsletter

Promoting the text-to-win with email marketing is a no-brainer. Include it in your email newsletter or send a marketing email dedicated to this alone. Let potential subscribers know not to miss out, while also sharing details about how many days are left to enter and what they can win. The beauty of this is that with our web form option, your users can sign up whether they’re on their mobile phones or on desktop computers.

7. Event or Conference

Do you plan to host (or attend) an upcoming event or conference for your business? Make sure your campaign’s call-to-action appears on all marketing materials related to the event.

These are among the most effective ways to promote your text-to-win. Do you know of any others? Let us know. Reach your audience with a text-to-Win or SMS Sweepstakes campaign. Contact us or call us at (305) 505-­­5393 for help with setting up your (SMS) text message marketing.

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Is SMS Marketing Right for Your Business?

Is SMS Marketing Right for Your Business?

With more people on their mobile phones, it’s time to consider whether SMS or text message marketing is a good option for your business. Here are 5 reasons why it should be part of your business marketing:

Text Messaging is Widely Used & Familiar – No Apps Needed

Text message marketing is a cost-effective way to reach your customers and uses a familiar platform. No learning curve required. Given that 90% of all text messages are opened and read within 3 minutes, an SMS marketing campaign also has a high likelihood of success.

Build Customer Loyalty

Text messages make it easy to build customer loyalty without an extra app. You can offer promotions and discounts to customers who opt in to your SMS marketing campaign by messaging them directly.

Create Campaigns Quickly

After amassing a database of customer phone numbers, you can have a SMS marketing campaign up and running in just minutes. With text messages, it’s easy to create promotions quickly.

It’s Cost-Effective

Text message marketing is widely used by major brands because it is low-cost and effective. In fact, the cost of a text message campaign is lower than many traditional forms of marketing.

Easy to Opt-in

All it takes is a simple text message, done in just seconds, for your customers to opt-in or subscribe. And the best way to incentivize them to opt-in is by offering a text-to-win or sweepstakes, offering them a chance to win a prize.