The Best Practices for Sweepstakes and Contests for Maximum Effectiveness

best practices for sweepstakes and contests for maximum effectiveness blog post title
Here is a list of our current affiliate partners and how we earn money

Sweepstakes and contests are essential marketing tools for businesses which is why following best practices matters.

They allow brands to reward their most loyal customers and attract new ones. It also allows them to increase sales of products and services.

But the ways to run sweepstakes, contests, and raffles seem endless.

best practices for sweepstakes and contests for maximum effectiveness blog post title

The Best Practices for Sweepstakes & Contests

Read it later! Click the link below to save this article in PDF format and enjoy it later. Please allow some time for the file to generate.

So how do you know which marketing best practices for sweepstakes and contests to follow?

Here are 10 sweepstakes marketing best practices to follow for all your promotions.


  • What are best practices for sweepstakes and giveaways?
  • How do you maximize sweepstakes marketing?
  • How do you choose your prizes?

1. Define Your Target Audience

How can you maximize the effectiveness of sweepstakes and contests? Giveaway marketing is popular but it’s easy to fail to develop a consistent sweepstakes marketing strategy that has a substantial financial impact on your sales.

This can happen by not defining your target audience.

Consider this a key ingredient to a successful sweepstakes or contest.

The prize has to match the audience. Make sure that your campaign reaches your most loyal customers first and the target market that you’d like to reach.

Running ongoing sweepstakes and contests can help you to better define your target audience if you include a sweepstakes survey as a part of the entry form.

» MORE:   Sweepsify: A Brand Story Ch 3


2. Choose the Right Sweepstakes Prize

The best sweepstakes and contest prizes have these 3 key attributes:

1. The prize is relevant to the target audience. The prize matches the preferences of your ideal customer while also matching the expectations of your target audience for your promotion.

2. The prize is valuable. If you want your sweepstakes or contest to go viral, you need a prize that many people will want to share. It needs to be a prize that people want everybody on their social media to know that they are sharing.

3. The prize is amazing. The most successful sweepstakes and contests deliver the best customer experience. So if you want your customers and fans to be blown away, you need inspire people.

Choosing a high value prize can be tricky because the most expensive prize isn’t always the right option.

3. Clearly Communicate Who the Sweepstakes Sponsors Are

If you plan to work with a co-sponsor or will be the sole sponsor of your giveaway, make sure to clearly communicate what your business does.

You need to communicate in a way that will help prospective customers identify with your brand.

Make sure to use your brand name, logo, colors, and creatives throughout your sweepstakes marketing campaign.


4. Don’t Create Barriers to Entry

You want to make it as easy as possible to enter your sweepstakes.

When visitors fill out an entry form or answer a survey, don’t make it too long or ask tons of questions at once.

Make it fast and ask for the important details only. It should take a few minutes, at the most, to enter your sweepstakes, contest or raffle.

» MORE:   All of the Benefits of Sweepstakes Marketing for Brands

When it comes to contests and raffles that require additional steps, such as submitting essays, images or videos, make sure that you also include clear instructions.

Your promotion’s Official Rules should explain in detail what the guidelines are for eligible contest entries, such as file formats and sizes.


5. Send Participants to Your Website

Whether you have your giveaway participants enter via SMS, mail-in entry or web form, make sure that you always provide your website on your sweepstakes advertising.

This will allow you to draw in customers to at least learn about your brand.

Follow up with discounts and special offers during the campaign and watch as your sweepstakes participants instantly become customers.

6. Use a Multi-channel Approach

Don’t only rely on social media to promote your sweepstakes or contest.

In fact, you should use multiple channels, both online and offline to extend the reach of your sweepstakes campaign to as many people as possible.

However, keep in mind that some states have additional requirements for in-store promotional advertising.

Ask a sweepstakes administrator about legal compliance first.

7. Focus on Engagement

Above all, you want to create sweepstakes and contests that deliver tons of value to your participants. Create opportunities for them to engage with your promotion throughout.

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.


If you run a promotion that doesn’t drive engagement, chances are that your audience may be less interested in engaging with your brand over time.

8. Use Paid Advertising

Although sweepstakes and contests drive free, organic traffic to your brand, you should also use paid advertising if you want to maximize your results.

» MORE:   Last-Minute Sweepstakes Marketing Strategies to Boost Participation

Paid traffic can bring targeted visitors who are almost about to convert.

As a result, you’ll get participants who are more likely to enter and even buy from you instantly from paid ads.


9. Give Away Bonus Entries and Prizes

Creating sweepstakes that are limited to one entry per household will limit the number of participants you attract. People may not like to enter for a chance at one grand prize because they don’t feel that the odds are in their favor.

However, by offering more prizes, bonus entries, and discounts and special offers throughout the promotion, you can maximize participant engagement and attract more pariticpants.

Subscribe Now:

Discounts and promotional offers just for entrants are a great way to encourage participation as people will be more likely to participate if they are guaranteed to receive a reward.

Make sure that your participants understand that the multiple entries will not increase their odds of winning as all sweepstakes winners must be drawn randomly.

For a contest or raffle, explain the judging criteria for the promotion in your Official Rules.

10. Measure Your Results

If you are running a sweepstakes, contest or raffle, you should have clear goals in mind. Even if it’s your first time running a giveaway, make sure to set meaningful goals that you can measure first.

Once your sweepstakes or contest ends, have a plan to analyze and leverage the results. Whether it’s user-generated content (UGC), leads or valuable first-party data, use it to your advantage to achieve your big picture marketing goals.

Looking for a sweepstakes 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.