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What Happens When You Can’t Reach Your Sweepstakes Winner?

missed call

You’ve selected a winner for your sweepstakes and now they aren’t responding to any of your attempts to get them to come forward and claim the prize. So what happens when you can’t reach the winner?

Believe it or not, this is a common problem with sweepstakes. Either the company can’t reach the winner or they leave messages and the winner doesn’t get back to them in time.

Here’s what to do to ensure that your sweepstakes isn’t derailed by a winner who has gone missing in action.

Include Guidelines for Official Winners

Your official rules should state how many days winners have to respond and what will happen if a winner doesn’t respond. At Sweeppea, we help clients build rules that say that the potential winner has a number of days to respond.

The amount of time you give winners to respond can vary, but it shouldn’t be too long. Also, the Official Rules will usually have a date by when you will publicly announce a winner, so you need to keep this in mind, as well.

If no response is received, then the rules should state that the company will select another winner. This helps companies avoid any legal problems and helps to keep things moving along for the sweepstakes so you can publicly announce a winner in time.

Steps to Follow When Winners Don’t Respond

In some cases, not all is lost when a winner doesn’t respond. In fact, steps you can take include:

  • Wording the language of your campaign so that any person who is chosen is only a “potential winner” until they are confirmed as the winner.
  • Giving winners notice by phone message or email that they have “X” number of hours to respond (whatever time frame you decide to give them per your Official Rules) from when they are first contacted or the company will have to choose another winner.
  • Once that time is up, randomly select another winner and inform them they also have “X” hours to respond.

When the potential winner responds, verify the winner to ensure they meet the Official Rules or criteria (over 18, US resident, etc.).

Add a Pre-Sweep Step

Adding a pre-sweep step ensures that your rules have a provision for this response period to protect your company.  Our Official Rules Wizard includes this provision to protect our customers.

Asking for your participants’ email addresses is another pre-sweep step is to consider. Our text-to-wins automatically collect mobile numbers, but your online form could also collect emails as well.

Mobile phone is the best method of contact, but it doesn’t hurt to have another option. 

Reserve Your Sweepkey now to get started in 10 minutes or less.

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bd’s Mongolian Grill Drives Foot Traffic with Instant-Win Text Sweepstakes

See how bd's Mongolian Grill Restaurant Uses an Instant Win Text Sweepstakes to Celebrate 25th Anniversary

The campaign run by bd’s Mongolian Grill is a good example of how a restaurant or store can drive foot traffic with a sweepstakes offering instant-win prizes.

How did they do this? By asking fans to visit a location and enter the 25th anniversary giveaway:

“Go to any participating bd’s location for the ‘bd’s 25th Anniversary Family Fun Giveaway’ word of the week. Then text the word of the week to 65047. Get a new word every week to enter! One entry daily. No purchase necessary.”

bd's Mongolian Grill

The many prizes boosted excitement for their fans. They marked their anniversary in a big way by offering not just a grand prize trip to the Caribbean, but also 2nd through 5th place prizes and tons of daily instant-win prizes as well. They chose instant winners each day using our automatic random winner selection feature.

Objective:

  • To promote the restaurant chain’s 25th anniversary with fun prizes in a text sweepstakes.
  • To increase customer visits by announcing a new Sweepkey weekly. Although no purchase is necessary, participants must see signage in store.
  • To build a database of interested consumers for future marketing of coupons and offers via text message and email.

Prize: The Grand Prize is a trip for a family of four to one of three Caribbean Beaches Resorts, including airfare.

Outcome: Thousands of participants entered with hundreds of customers getting instant-win awards.

Client says: We chose Sweeppea because we like the platform. It was a pleasure to work with Marcos and his team.

Want to promote your own restaurant or store with an instant-win text sweepstakes? Reserve Your Sweepkey now to get started.

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When Does Automatic Winner Drawing Make Sense and When Does Manual Winner Drawing Make Sense?

Automatic Winner Drawing

Your sweep is coming to an end and now it’s time to pick the winners.

You may have the option to choose them automatically (through your app) or manually.  But, when exactly does it make sense to draw a winner automatically and when is it best to draw one manually?

Here are a few things to consider to help you sort it out.

When to Use Automatic Winner Drawing

Automatic winning drawing is when sweep winners are automatically selected by a randomized algorithm from the pool of text-to-win participants.

Automatic winner drawings save time and ensure the results of your sweeps are always made available to your participants in a timely fashion.

This is an effective option when you need to select more than one winner or select a winner at a specific time. For example, if you do daily or weekly drawings, you can alert participants as to the specific day and time the winners will be selected.

When to Use Manual Winner Drawing

Manual winner drawings make sense when you need to ensure the winner actually meets the official rules of your sweep.

This type of drawing is required when there are age restrictions, such as in the case of a sweepstakes for an beer, wine or spirits company. For all liquor-related sweeps, you should verify the winner manually first.

However, if your sweep doesn’t have special restrictions or age requirements, you can feel free to draw the winner for your campaign automatically. You could always double-check that they’ve abided by the rules after initial contact.

What Do I Do About Participants Who Cheat?

Regardless of whether you choose manual or automatic winner drawing, you’ll still have people who think it’s okay to try and cheat.

At Sweeppea, we’ve worked really hard to design our systems to ward off the obvious signs of cheating, such as multiple signups with the same contact information.

However, it’s still up to your business to ask important questions to ensure you’re indeed awarding the prize to an eligible winner.

If you use automatic winner drawing, remind winners that they will have to undergo a final verification before any prizes are awarded.

If you draw a winner manually, use this extra intervention step to ensure the winner is abiding by the rules.

Ready to start your text-to-win sweepstakes? Reserve Your Sweepkey now to get started in under 10 minutes.

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Who Needs Abbreviated Rules for Their Text-to-Win Sweepstakes

Who Needs Abbreviated Rules for Their Text-to-Win Sweepstakes

If you’re running a text-to-win or sweepstakes, abbreviated rules are required by several states’ statutes. This means having an abbreviated version of your official rules on your display. You simply can’t run a campaign without these abbreviated rules if you want your text-to-win to be considered legal.

Abbreviated rules aren’t restricted to certain types of vendors. In fact, they are required simply because you are running an SMS marketing campaign. The abbreviated rules must also be made available prior to entry into your sweeps.

Here is the scoop on abbreviated rules so that you know what to include with your sweeps.

Special Restrictions for Alcohol Vendors

For alcohol vendors, there are 12 states that require that your text-to-win abbreviated rules be approved by an Alcohol Control Board. These states are:

  • Alabama
  • Indiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Montana
  • North Carolina
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia

Abbreviated Rules Examples

One thing you also need to keep in mind that most statutes require that these abbreviated rules appear at a size that is “clear and conspicuous.”

As you draft your abbreviated rules, you should also make sure to follow common abbreviations of your original phrases to ensure that your abbreviated rules meet legal specifications.

Here are some examples below:

  • “NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A Purchase Will Not Increase Your Chances of Winning a Prize.” abbreviated to “NO PURCHASE NECESSARY”
  • “Must be a legal resident of the 50 United States and District of Columbia” abbreviated to “Legal resident of the U.S.”
  • “Sweepstakes begins at 11:59 p.m. EST on February 1, 2017 and ends at 12:00 p.m. EST on April 30, 2017” abbreviated to “Sweepstakes begins on 2/1/17 and ends 4/30/17.”
  • “You must be 18 or older to enter” abbreviated to “At least 18.”

These are just a few ways to write abbreviated rules if you have space restrictions.

Also keep in mind they need to be just as clear as the official rules. So avoid using any abbreviations that use unclear language.

Further Considerations for Drafting Abbreviated Rules

Abbreviated rules aren’t the only legal items needed for a text-to-win, see our post about the legal docs needed for a text-to-winhere

Certain states, including New York, Rhode Island, and Arizona also require that you register your sweep with the appropriate regulatory agency if the prizes are over certain dollar amounts.

While our platform suggests ideas on how to draft abbreviated rules for your text-to-win campaign, you should still consult a lawyer to make sure that you’ve covered all of the bases.

Ready to start a text-to-win campaign with Sweeppea? Take the first step and Reserve Your Sweepkey now.

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How Consumer Products Can Get More Retail Space With a Text-to-Win Sweepstakes

Get More Floor Space with a Text-To-Win Sweepstakes

Competing for a shopper’s attention today is like trying to flag down a racer in the middle of Nascar. It’s a fast-paced world and decisions are split-second quick.

So how do you get more eyeballs on your product or more floor or shelf space for attention? Put your product center stage with a big “Text to Win” sign above it and create some excitement.

Use our text-to-win sweepstakes to get the extra space, build excitement and maximize your returns.

Here’s how it works in 3 easy steps:

  • Get end cap space for your sweepstakes: This type of promotion is evergreen, so it’s not dependent on a holiday or season (although you can use one). Run one during a slow period or to gain sales lift in a particular store or area.
  • Choose a prize that will get shoppers to enter: Entering by text is super easy, but it’s the prize that will motivate shoppers to enter. Get them motivated and position your brand for success with a good prize.
  • Setup and promotion: Set up your text-to-win with Sweeppea. To get started, just choose a SweepKey (the word they’ll send by text for entry). We’ll walk you through the process online, while you set up to promote your sweep in store. A header for the end cap will grab attention and show how to enter (as shown above).

Grab eyeballs and make your product the star of the store. With this setup, consumers will buy your product and sign up for your text-to-win sweepstakes at the same time.

Spur Sales During & After the Sweepstakes

Research shows that 83% of shoppers have made an unplanned purchase based on a promotion or coupon. Get them to buy and enter your sweep while they’re in the store. Once the promotion is over, send additional offers by text to keep them coming back.

Remember, you will keep the list of entrants for future marketing, MULTIPLYING your sales and your customer base. Reserve Your Sweepkey now to get started in 10 minutes or less.

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Three Ways To Say Thank You For Participating In Your Text-to-Win

Say Thank You For Participating In Your Text-to-Win

Are you wondering how to thank your participants for participating in your text-to-win? Here are three ways to say thank you that will delight your entrants.

Share a Coupon

A discount off your product or service is a great way to thank and reward your subscribers. After all, they wouldn’t have participated in your text-to-win campaign if they weren’t interested in your brand.

By sharing a coupon, you can bring in some sales right away rather than waiting until your campaign has already ended to send offers.

Send a Gift

Who doesn’t like free stuff? A surprise gift will get your subscribers excited and they’ll be happy they signed up.

It’s a great option to say thank you because it’s unexpected and adds a pleasant surprise. However, like your text-to-win prize, you’ll need to make sure the gift is something of value and relevant to your brand. And if it’s a gift they have to go in-store to get? Even better.

Make a Donation

These days, people prefer to do business with companies that are socially conscious.

If there is a way to tie your brand with an organization that does good in the communities where your subscribers are located, go for it. It can also be an incentive for consumers if they know your company will make a donation for every person that subscribes.

You’ll not only get good karma for helping a good cause, you’ll gain good will for doing something positive in the community.

Now that you know how to keep your participants engaged with your campaign, why not start one of your own? Reserve Your Sweepkey now to set up your text-to-win campaign.

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Case Study: CMG Uses $200 Text Giveaway to Gain Housing Leads Among Virginia Tech Students

Text Giveaway for Leasing Co.

Objective: CMG Leasing was interested in lead generation for their college (off-campus) housing. With Sweeppea, their goal was to use a giveaway and qualifying questions on the entry form to get a list of pre-qualified leads for their sales team.

Outcome:

  • Hundreds of participants entered during Orientation Day for new students at Virginia Tech.
  • 28% of participants answered “Looking for a place to live off campus next year? Y/N”  (17% answered Yes.)
  • Hundreds of pre-qualified leads generated with mobile number and emails for follow up.

Prize: $200 cash

Client: “The contest went very well. We are extending it!” Katie Craig –Marketing Director, CMG Leasing

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Case Study: Comedian Sebastian Maniscalco Used Text-to-Win to Promote Shows, Award Seat Upgrades

Comedian uses text-to-win to promote his shows, award seat upgrades

Case Study from Sweeppea

Comedian Sebastian Maniscalco uses his humor, Italian-American upbringing and funny facial expressions to cause tears of laughter.

He’s not only funny, he’s also smart and wanted a way to capture fan information to promote his shows and award prizes. The convenience and speed of text worked well during his shows.

  • Objective: Boost fun and engagement, while capturing fan information for marketing efforts. With a Text-to-Win through Sweeppea, Sebastian Maniscalco captured his fan’s mobile numbers and emails. This opened the channel for future event marketing and text message offers post-event.
  • Prize: Seat upgrades at his show.
  • Results: Hundreds of audience members entered during his shows. Sebastian Maniscalco awarded seat upgrades to happy fans and built a database of fans to help him promote future shows.
  • Client said: The sweep went very well!

Find out more about him and watch some funny clips on Sebastian’s website.

Ready to build some excitement at your own show with text-to-win? Reserve Your Sweepkey now to get started on your sweepstakes for event marketing.

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What Should You Ask Your Text-To-Win Participants?

contact information

You’ve gotten people to sign up for your text-to-win campaign. But are you sure you have all of the information you need from them?

Here are a few things to consider if you’re trying to decide what to ask your text-to-win participants.

Perform Age Verification as Required by Law

If your company sells products or services that are designed for people 21 and over, such as alcohol, you’ll need to make sure you verify their ages before they can sign up for your campaign.

This ensures that your campaign follows the rules of text message marketing. It also protects you from awarding prizes to ineligible winners.

Plan for Future Promotions

A text-to-win campaign should only be the beginning of your engagement with your participants. As a result, you should decide exactly how you plan to re-market to them after the campaign has ended.

What information will you need to collect from them in order to send them future offers? Figure out when you will ask for this. It’s not always necessary to get mailing address, gender or other information upfront, especially if it will make the entry form too long. Long forms may lead to less entries.

Planning for future promotions before you even start your campaign is the best way to keep the momentum going and keep your participants engaged.

Getting Permission is Important

You need to let entrants know that participating in any kind of SMS marketing campaign may cost them money in data or text message fees. It’s not only important, it’s legally required.

Another requirement is getting their permission to receive your texts. This is handled by having each person opt in and using a notice of written consent: “By participating, you consent to receive text messages from XYZ, sent by an auto phone dialing system.” Be sure to follow these and other legal rules for mobile marketing

 

How to Get It Right

Keep in mind that participants’ interest and engagement is always highest at the start of a new campaign.

The bottom line is that you should ask for all or most of the information you’ll need upfront. The longer you wait to collect important information, the less likely you’re going to get it.

Ready to start a text-to-win campaign with Sweeppea? Take the first step and Reserve Your Sweepkey now.

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Case Study: Link Transit Public Bus System Offers Text-to-Win for 25-Year Anniversary

Public bus system offers text-to-win to riders to mark 25 years of service.

 

What do you do to highlight a 25-year anniversary? With a giveaway to thank your customers of course!

This is exactly what Link Transit, a public bus system in Washington state, did in December 2016. It marked 25 years of service while offering a gift card prize for bus riders.

Objective: To create a fun and engaging text-to-win sweepstakes to thank riders and celebrate 25 years of service.

Prize: $225 Fred Meyer gift card

Results: Hundreds of passengers entered while riding the bus system. The campaign also helped promote Link Transit’s long history of serving the local community.