Follow This 10 Step Checklist to Create a Sweepstakes, Giveaway or Contest

sweepsify follow this 10 step checklist to create a sweepstakes giveaway or contest
Here is a list of our current affiliate partners and how we earn money

Do you know the ROI that sweepstakes, giveaways, and contests can get you?

To start, you can create an ongoing source of free viral traffic that can last months. They can also help you ask the right questions so that you can personalize your products and services to your customers’ needs.

They can even boost your sales during critical revenue periods such as the holiday season.

The best part? Sweepstakes, contests, and giveaways yield instant results.

To help you get started with creating an effective sweepstakes, contest or giveaway that delivers an insane ROI, follow this 10 step checklist to create you next campaign.

sweepsify follow this 10 step checklist to create a sweepstakes giveaway or contest

10 Step Checklist to Create a Sweepstakes Giveaway or Contest

Save this 10 step checklist to read later! Just tap the button below to Download this article in PDF format. Please allow some time for the file to generate.


  • Step by step how to design a sweepstakes, contest or giveaway
  • What laws apply to sweepstakes, contests, and giveaways?
  • What to do after your promotion ends


1. Define Your Goals

The first step to a successful sweepstakes, giveaway or contest is to decide what your goals are.

You may want to increase your followers on social media, increase leads and sales or collect information about your brand’s customer demographic.

Whatever the reason, you need a defined goal in order for a contest company to create a giveaway campaign that delivers ROI.

Above all understand that giveaway promotions are designed to accelerate your brands results, not initate them.

If you are still a relevely new brands with few subscribers, work on increasing social media engagement first before working with a contest company for the best rules.

You should also try to make the goal as concrete as possible. Rather than say that you want to increase social media followers, define your goal as you want your campaign to achieve 1,000 new subscribers on Twitter.

It’s okay to set more than one goal for a sweepstakes or contest campaign. However, make sure to prioritize the most profitable goals so that your campaign will have a positive ROI rather than costing you money.

2. Choose Giveaway Prize(s)

Giveaway prizes are something that you should think about carefully as participants are drawn to your sweepstakes or contest because of the prizes being offered.

As a result, you’ll want to select a sweepstakes prize that is unique, valueable, exciting, and relevant to your brand.

If you’re not sure what to offer, think about the values that are most important to your customers.

  • Why do they love your brand?
  • Which products and services of yours make their lives better?
  • What is something that they should own alongside products and services from your brand to maximize the value that your product or service delivers?

Above all, make sure to check with competitiors in your industry to see what kind of engagement they received from running sweepstakes and giveaways featuring various prizes. The results may be surprising.

» MORE:   How Do Sweepstakes Administrators Ensure Your Sweepstakes Promotion Is Legal?

For example, sweepstakes, giveaway, and contest prizes don’t have to be expensive in order to make a splash. Instead they could be as simple as tech gadgets or accessories that are branded with your company logo.

Large prizes are generally recommended if you want to attract as much attention as possible to your giveaway promotion.

However, if more customers and engagement is what you’re brand is after, smaller prizes that are personalized to your customer demographic may yield better results.


3. Hire a Sweepstakes Company for Sweepstakes Administration

Although you may want to run your own giveaway in order to save on costs, don’t do it. This is not recommended.

After you have a general idea of how your giveaway promotion will work, contact a sweepstakes company for assistance with full-service sweepstakes and contest administration so that you have experienced administrators managing your promotion.

The challenge that any brand faces when running a sweepstakes, contest or other type of giveaway is that it needs to go smoothly in order to deliver an amazing experience for the participants.

Professional giveaway management will help you with all of the points in this checklist article. They’ll also make sure that your promotion if fully-compliant with all applicable legal rules and regulations.

Furthermore, if you are running a social media contest, you need to comply with social media platforms’ Terms of Service, which adds another layer of complexity to your giveaway campaign.

Subscribe Now:


4. Define Eligibility Requirements

Who is eligible to win prize(s) in a sweepstakes, contest or giveaway? The details should be explained in full in your giveaway’s official rules.

Official rules typically exclude minors from entering. You may even need to exclude participants who are under age 21+ if you are running a sweepstakes or contest promotion in a highly-regulated industry such as cannabis sweepstakes and alcohol sweepstakes.

Eligibility to win may also exclude family and work colleagues of the sweepstakes sponsor in order to ensure that the promotion is fair.

Finally, you also need to specific who is excluded for reasons not mentioned already namely that the promotion is not permitted in the state where the participant resides.

This is resolved by including the disclaimer “Void where prohibited” in your sweepstakes, contest or giveaway rules.


5. Choose the Entry Methods

Sweepstakes entry methods should be easy to enter. If you want to maximize the number of participants who enter for a chance to win a free prize then choose the fastest entry methods possible.

Common sweepstakes methods of entry include:

A sweepstakes may be a one-entry sweepstakes or a multiple entry sweepstakes which means that participants can enter multiple times if permitted.

Bonus entries are useful for boosting participant engagement.

Whether you run a single entry giveaway or daily entry giveaway, make sure that your entry form confirms proper submission of the entry and that you follow up to let entrants know when a winner will be selected.

Regarding sweepstakes, all sweepstakes must offer a free method of entry by law. Brands typically use the mail-in entry method as the free Alternate Method of Entry (AMOE).

» MORE:   Legal Documents You Need to Run a Sweepstakes


6. Draft Official Rules

A sweepstakes or contest administrator can draft official rules on your behalf. They will also advise you on any legal complications that your promotion may present.

When drafting official rules for a giveaway, you need to include the following:

  • Eligibility
  • No purchase necessary
  • Prizes and the total ARV of the prizes
  • Start/end dates
  • Winner drawing process
  • Winner announcement
  • Privacy policy
  • Legal clauses
  • Sponsor name and address

A sweepstakes official rules template is not recommend for creating rules for your giveaway.

Instead, you should work with a promotions administrator to ensure that you have covered all of the legal concerns that are unique to your promotion.

Free Ad Maker for Social Media and Video Advertising

Create awesome ads for your sweepstakes or contest in seconds with the Adobe Express free ad maker. Customize your advertising by including trending images, high impact fonts, and high quality design assets. Create your ads now.


Giveaway, contest, and sweepstakes laws vary at the federal, state, and local levels and you are required to follow all applicable rules and regulations.

7. Promote Your Sweepstakes

Before your sweepstakes, contest or giveaway goes live, you need to have a plan to promote it.

Promoting your sweepstakes not only increases the number of participants, it also increases likes, shares, comments, retweets, pins, so that you can go viral!

To help you get started, here are 30 ways to promote a giveaway which bring real, measurable results.

  1. Submit your sweepstakes to sweepstakes and contest aggregators
  2. Write a blog post or press release and syndicate it to news outlets
  3. Link to your sweepstakes from your website and email signature
  4. Post it on all of your social media profiles
  5. Make a video about your sweepstakes and show people enjoying the prizes
  6. Promote your giveaway creatives on social media with paid ads
  7. Hire a celebrity or influencer to promote your sweepstakes
  8. Work with a co-sponsor on you giveaway and tap into their audience for greater reach
  9. Offer bonus entries for sharing the promotion
  10. Write email newsletters about your contest, sweepstakes or giveaway
  11. Advertise your giveaway with a promotion insert
  12. Reach out to past participants to invite them to the new giveaway
  13. Advertise on TV, radio, podcasts
  14. In-store advertising (end-cap displays)
  15. Direct mail
  16. Online webinars
  17. Write an article to submit to industry publications
  18. Print it on a receipt
  19. Hire a sweepstakes marketing agency
  20. Use social media share icons on giveaway entry pages
  21. Create content that appeals to influencers
  22. Drive traffic to your giveaway website from forums
  23. Use remarketing on participants who abandon the giveaway entry process
  24. Show social proof that you awarded the prize if you ran a giveaway previously to build trust with participants
  25. Promote your giveaway in social media groups such as Facebook Groups and Reddit Communities
  26. Use Pinterest to upload high-quality images of your giveaway prizes
  27. Use relevant hashtags when promoting your giveaway on social media
  28. Make sure that your giveaway is in your bio link on all social media profiles
  29. If you are running ongoing sweepstakes, contests or giveaways, create a dedicated YouTube channel or playlist for your giveaway updates
  30. If you are running a B2B giveaway, down down on your LinkedIn promotion efforts as 63% of marketers say that LinkedIn is the most effective social platform for B2B.
» MORE:   What Does Express Written Consent Look Like for SMS Marketing?

Don’t forget to insert an element of urgency in your promotions so that participants understand that your promotion is only open for a limited time.


8. Run Your Giveaway

If you work with a sweepstakes administration company, this part of the promotion will require the least amount of work from you.

A sweepstakes company will manage your promotion from start to finish from collecting entries to drawing a winner. For contests, a judging company may also be needed to ensure that the contest entries are fairly evaluated.

Throughout your contest, you should send your participants updates, as well as, other offers and discounts to keep them engaged.

A giveaway company can work with you to help you craft giveaway messaging that keeps participants engaged throughout the promotion.


9. Follow Up With Participants

One your promotion ends, don’t forget to follow up with all participants. First thank them for entering your giveaway. Give them the details of the winner announcement so that there is no confusion regarding whether they won or not.

You should also take this time to make sure that you have requested any publicity releases in the event that you want to use user-generated content from your giveaway in future marketing promotions.

10. Track Campaign Performance

With sweepstakes and contest platforms, you’ll be able export collected data, such as the list of participants, stats, uploads, votes, and entries. Use this information to figure out the performance of your giveaway.

You can also analyze these results through website, CRM, and Google analytics tools so that you have a complete picture of your participants’ actions during your giveaway.

Social listening can also give you a good idea about how your campaign was received by your audience. Take a look at metrics such as:

  • Tagged mentions
  • Audience reach potential from user mentions
  • Overall audience sentiment
  • Coverage of your giveaway by news outlets, influencers, and bloggers

By following this checklist, you’ll have everything you need to run a successful contest, sweepstakes or giveaway and optimize your results to improve your ROI.

Looking for a sweepstakes company to help you with your next promotion? Sweepsify helps you find top giveaway platforms in seconds. Create your free Premium account now to get started.

Sweepsify provides access to sweepstakes company and contest administration services offered by a network of provider sweepstakes management firms. Neither Sweepsify nor its officers, employees or sales associates directly or indirectly provide legal services, representation, or advice. The information available in this blog is meant to provide general information and is not intended to provide legal advice, render an opinion, or provide any specific recommendations. The blog post is not a substitute for competent legal counsel from a licensed sweepstakes lawyer in the state or province where your legal issues exist and the reader is strongly encouraged to seek legal counsel for your specific legal matter. Information contained in the blog may be provided by authors who could be a third-party paid contributor. All information by authors is accepted in good faith, however, Sweepsify makes no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability, or completeness of such information.