Running a Sweepstakes or Contest? What You Should Know Before You Go Live

This is a checklist that you should keep in mind when preparing for a sweepstakes or contest launch. Plus the top sweepstakes planning tips to keep it in mind as you prepare for your giveaway's launch.

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If you’re running a sweepstakes or contest, you want to ensure that your marketing campaign launch is successful. A successful sweepstakes launch requires exceptional preparation.

You only have one chance to launch your sweepstakes or contest and your brand’s reputation is on the line. The first impression that your giveaway campaign creates will have a major impact on your brand.

If you’re not sure of how to prepare for a sweepstakes or contest launch, read on. These tips will help you gain a solid understanding of what you should do before your sweepstakes goes live.


  • How do you prepare for your giveaway to go live?
  • What is a sweepstakes checklist Why is it important?
  • How do you ensure a successful launch?


How Important Is a Sweepstakes or Contest Launch Strategy?

A successful sweepstakes or contest launch is extremely important in a marketplace where customers and potential participants can choose from hundreds of giveaways to enter at any given time. As a result, the opportunity window for a sweepstakes or contest to succeed is very small.

Failed marketing that doesn’t attract your target audience, a giveaway entry page that doesn’t work properly, or a technical problem with your sweepstakes platform can quickly derail your entire promotion.

A sweepstakes marketing plan that includes a launch strategy is what separates the leading brands from the rest of the pack.

Learn What Is Required Before Your Sweepstakes Goes Live

While some brands still rely on their in-house marketing team to identify what they need for a sweepstakes or contest, it’s not the best strategy by far. Brands that excel at giveaway promotions are much more likely to use sweepstakes administration services and a sweepstakes or contest platform.

Be Ready to Pivot

Sweepstakes and contest launches can be especially unpredictable. That’s why it’s essential that you keep close eye on all marketing channels where your giveaway is actively promoted during a launch. You should be able to coordinate operations across all platforms so that you can pivot as needed.

» MORE:   10 Sweepstakes and Contest Marketing FAQs You May Not Know - Answered!

To successfully launch a sweepstakes or contest, you must:

  1. Orchestrate the campaign launch timing. Identify the technical aspects of your sweepstakes campaign that need to go live at the same time as participants are officially allowed to enter your giveaway.
  2. Coordinate sweepstakes marketing. This ensures that your marketing efforts achieve the necessary engagement KPIs before your campaign goes live.
  3. Legal compliance. Make sure that your sweepstakes or contest complies with all federal, state, and local laws, along with the TOS of all social media platforms. If you are running a text to win, you also need to obtain express consent from your participants to send them SMS messages.
  4. Sales enablement. Make sure you have product documentation and sales materials ready to go. Make sure that your social media marketing team has access to all information regarding functionality of your product or service. That way your team can look up the answers to your participants’ questions about your brand, product or services.
  5. Buying experience. Review the delivery of your product as a sweepstakes participant. How will new customers buy? How will potential customers navigate from your sweepstakes campaign to your shop? Will you offer a different shopping experience for a participant who becomes a customer directly from your sweepstakes?

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Why Prepare a Sweepstakes Marketing Plan?

A contest or sweepstakes marketing plan consists of the strategies and procedures that a brand may use to develop the most effective marketing channels for its target audience.

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A sweepstakes marketing plan helps you gain traction for your sweepstakes before it goes live. The number of participants, sales revenue, and the ability of your campaign to meet its goals requires planning and timely execution before the launch. A sweepstakes marketing plan helps you in:

  • Evaluating the effectiveness of your giveaway strategy.
  • Listing resources that you need put in your marketing plan.
  • Knowing your audience, customers, and competitors.
  • Describing the nature of your promotion and how helps your brand.
  • Identifying the marketing approaches you will use to attract participants and customers.
  • Outreach to existing customers to build up anticipation and excitement.
» MORE:   When Is It Better to Hire a Sweepstakes Company for Your Giveaway Promotion?

Need help with creating a sweepstakes marketing plan? Go here now to register your Free Premium Account.

The sweepstakes marketing plan is a part of the sweepstakes launch plan. The following is a list of things to include in your sweepstakes marketing plan.

Sweepstakes Marketing Checklist:

  • Develop a story behind the sweepstakes or contest
  • Define your engagement success metrics
  • Identify marketing channels for promotion
  • Integrate the sweepstakes platform with your martech stack
  • Outreach journalists (PR)
  • Plan marketing techniques to attract participants (e.g. sweepstakes aggregator submission)
  • Design creatives
  • Plan social media posts, videos, articles about the sweepstakes
  • Place sweepstakes lead magnets on your brand website


Prepare a Sweepstakes Launch Road Map

Prepare a road map for your sweepstakes with a timeline and actions to take before it goes live. You can use templates or create your own. Make your plan easy to read so that anyone you share it with can understand it quickly as they scan it.

Multiple teams will need access to this roadmap, including the sweepstakes company, your sales team, and your marketing team to ensure proper communication. Involve them in setting the deadlines so that you can ensure that they are realistic and can be met.

This road map will help you stay on top of your campaign launch schedule and get everything you need for the sweepstakes launch day organized, including:

  • Making sure that your customer service team is ready for a higher volume of tickets and customers.
  • Making sure that the marketing team has all of the sweepstakes promotional materials ready for the launch.
  • Ensuring that you’ve completed necessary legal compliance steps.

Sweepstakes Launch Checklist

Ready to start planning? Before the big day, make sure to use this sweepstakes launch checklist:

  • Have all team members completed the activities required of them by the deadlines provided?
  • Has the sweepstakes entry process been tested with your target audience in a controlled setting with feedback taken and optimization performed?
  • Has the sweepstakes administrator confirmed that your promotion is legally compliant and ready for launch day?
  • Has the sweepstakes marketing team implemented the marketing plan?
  • Have your internal teams been trained on customer success for this campaign?
  • Have the sweepstakes advertising campaign and associated creatives been placed and set to go live?
  • Has your entire organization and any vendors been notified about the sweepstakes launch date?
  • Have you integrated your sweepstakes platform with your existing martech stack to track the right metrics and ensure performance?
  • Have you set team members to carry out the analysis of your sweepstakes campaign KPIs during the campaign for actionable intelligence?
  • Have you had a final meeting to go over the sweepstakes promotion timeline and event itinerary?
  • Have you designed communication loops to ensure that information gets to the right departments and team members?
  • Have you arranged the reporting tools that will make it easy to understand the exact ROI of your campaign?
» MORE:   Marketing Technology for Sweepstakes and Contests: Build a Martech Stack for Better ROI


The Countdown Starts Now!

Now that you know how to plan a successful sweepstakes or contest, you can put together a well-documented launch strategy for your campaign. By following this sweepstakes launch plan, you will definitely find your way to a successful giveaway that your audience loves. Make sure to keep these valuable points in mind as you plan your sweepstakes or contest.

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