How to Use Sweepstakes and Contests to Drive Customer Acquisition

How to Use Sweepstakes and Contests to Drive Customer Acquisition blog post title
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Whether you’re using sweepstakes and contests to win over a new audience or acquire your 10,000th customer, giveaways are an effective customer acquisition method to do it.

If you want to use sweepstakes, contests or raffles to grow your business consistently and profitably, you need to think of giveaways as a part of your customer acquisition strategy.

Not as a one-time reward, but as a tool—one that helps bring new customers through the door and improves customer retention.

In this article, you’ll learn how to use sweepstakes and contests to drive customer acquisition, how giveaways help lower the cost of acquiring new customers, and how you can use your loyal customers to attract new ones.


  • Why include giveaways in a customer acquisition strategy?
  • How can I get customers from sweepstakes and giveaways?
  • Why is a customer acquisition strategy important to a business?


Giveaways Are a Customer Acquisition Channel

A giveaway attracts new fans, followers, and leads to your business, making it an effective customer acquisition method for businesses in many industries.

Creating unique, exciting, and immersive contest and sweepstakes events is a highly effective way to grab your audience’s attention and get them to buy.

Also giveaways are effective for providing social proof.

They attract testimonials and reviews of your products and services, customers interact with your brand live, and you demonstrate trust by fulfilling the promotion’s official rules.

All of these adds up to a customer acquisition channel that can deliver targeted leads and loyal customers.


Sweepstakes Turn Happy Customers Into Brand Ambassadors

Regardless of how you plan to get and retain your customers, giveaway promotions offer something special: sweepstakes provide an amazing customer experience.

This is how sweepstakes and contests turn happy customers into brand ambassadors.

These customers share your brand willingly with their family, friends, and online followers all in exchange for a chance to win a prize for free.

Loyal customers that stick around appreciate when you run sweepstakes and giveaways because it helps them to feel like they get even more value from your brand. They’ll also share these additional benefits, which turns them into some of your best marketers too.

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Here is how sweepstakes and contests empower customers to promote your brand helping you to save time and money when it comes to customer acquisitions.

1. Gather Customer Stories

Through video testimonials, reviews, or user-generated content, you can use a sweepstakes or contest to ask your customers to tell their own stories of how they came to discover the brand, product or service.

2. Make It Easy to Share Your Content

Under other circumstances, it might be difficult to get customers to share your website.

However, for the chance to win a prize for free, your customers will happily share your brand with everyone they know (especially, if you are giving away a large prize).

This is how sweepstakes, contests, and raffles drive viral traffic. It’s when your customers share the giveaway that leads their followers to your brand.

The more convenient you make it to share your sweepstakes or contest, the more likely you are to attract thousands of participants.


3. Inspire Referrals From Your Customers

When you run a sweepstakes, contest or raffle and successfully give away a prize, it provides social proof that will motivate a customer to share your brand, even after the promotion has ended.

Successful giveaway promotions provide proof that your brand is established and credible and is also likely a good company to buy from.

Why Is Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) Important?

Customer acquisition cost (CAC) is important to track to ensure that your customer acquisition strategy is effective. Tracking CAC also allows you to make adjustments to your strategy and budget.

Through running ongoing sweepstakes and contests, you can lower your customer acquistion costs thanks to several factors:

  • They generate user-generated content (UGC)
  • You can do remarketing
  • Targeted leads from people in your core audience

All of these elements combined meaned that sweepstakes and contests generate prospects that are highly likely to become customers, if properly nutured.

As a result, it’s a good idea to make sure that you run giveaway promotions regularly.

You’ll also need to have a martech stack in place that will allow you to reach sweepstakes participants from any brand touchpoint via multi-channel marketing.

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How Sweepstakes and Contests Can Help Improve Your Customer Acquisition Strategy

Once you’ve decided to make sweepstakes, contests or raffles a part of your annual marketing budget and your customer acquisition strategy, use them to your advantage to:

1. Create a Flood of Viral Traffic

You need viral traffic at critical times of the year. For ecommerce, these are the holiday shopping days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

For brands in other industries, you may have industry events, such as trade conferences or investor events that you want to generate traffic for.

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By using a sweepstakes or contest right before or during these events, you can ensure that you have the traffic that you need to promote your business at critical times.


2. Add Trust and Flexibility Into Your Strategy

A sweepstakes or contest is a useful opportunity to create user-generated content (UGC) for your brand. Use giveaway promotions to your fullest advantage so that you create UGC content that can be used in a multitude of creatives for various functions.

Not only does high quality UGC provide social proof, you can also reuse it in a variety of marketing promotions.

3. Find and Get Feedback From Your Target Customers

All customers aren’t your best customers. A sweepstakes or giveaway can help you weed out the customers who are not loyal to your brand so that you can stop wasting resources on them.

The most loyal customers to a brand are the most likely to enter a sweepstakes or contest.

As a result, make sure that any sweepstakes surveys or polls that you conduct during your promotion are targeted toward your loyal customers as you can expect to see real responses to questions about your brand.

How to Get Your First Customers From Sweepstakes and Contests

Acquiring your first customers from sweepstakes and contests isn’t rocket science, especially if you work with established martech companies who can provide you with the demographic insights and historical data you need for your campaigns.

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Even if you are just testing out running sweepstakes and contests, getting customers versus just attracting participants is the exact reason why you should use an established sweepstakes administration service or sweepstakes platform to assist you with your giveaway.

With each new giveaway promotion, you’ll find out what your customers like and you’ll be able to personalize your marketing to their needs and increase your ROI.

To help you get started, here are some tips to get your first customers from sweepstakes and contests.

1. Ask Your Audience

Poll your sweepstakes participants to find out more about your product or service. If you are creating a giveaway for your customers, sweepstakes and contests are an important source of first-party data.

2. Tap Into Influencer Marketing

Influencers typically promote products and services for brands through sponsorships on a regular basis. By working with influencers and celebrities that match your ideal customer profile, you can instantly tap into a pool of potential sweepstakes participants who are likely to also become customers.

3. Do Sweepstakes Marketing

The biggest way to boost your ROI from sweepstakes, contests, and raffles? Promote your giveaway! We’ve already put together a list of the 50 top ways to attract people to your giveaway.

Download It Now (PDF)! Then do as many of them as you can if you want your first customers fast!


Final Tips

Keep in mind that sweepstakes, contests, and raffles are not designed to take you from zero to 1,000 customers.

In fact, we don’t recommend that you run giveaways at all unless you have an established brand or customer base for your product or service.

There are a variety of different ways to improve your customer acquisition results. Sweepstakes, contests, and raffles offer a comprehensive way to attract leads and sales at scale.

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