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How to Create a Giveaway Campaign That Boosts Sales

Thomas Griffin
at OptinMonster
Aug 27, 2019

Offering an online contest can deliver ROI for your SMB in multiple ways.

Gamification intertwines with many of the things we do as business owners. Essentially, gamification is when you take something that would never be considered a game and find a way to make it fun and entertaining for your audience. 

There are various types of games you can create for your brand, but one of the most common are giveaway campaigns. According to HubSpot, sweepstakes are by far the most popular and frequently used gamification methods available, making up 45% of all online contests.

We are going to look at various tips and tricks you can use to get more sales and subscribers with giveaway campaigns. In addition, we’ll explore the advantages of using giveaways as part of your marketing strategy, which type of prize you should offer, the rules you’ll want to establish for your contest, and, finally, how you should promote your contest to consumers.   

Let’s dive in! 

The advantages of offering a giveaway 

There are plenty of benefits to using giveaways in your marketing campaigns to improve sales, conversions and engagement. It’s challenging to break through the noise from other companies and show consumers why you’re a brand worth following. A giveaway could be just the thing you need to spark interest and turn people who are curious about your brand into loyal customers. 

Creating a contest will help improve your brand’s visibility since sharing a post is usually a requirement. The result is increased awareness and an opportunity to provide something of value to consumers who may have never heard of your company. 

Businesses, on average, see a 34% increase in their number of fans online after each campaign. It’s entirely possible that you could experience the same results – these are all people who have the potential to become customers. 

Pick a prize 

Now that you know the advantages of hosting a contest for your business, let’s talk about prizes. There are four categories businesses have to pick from when picking a prize for their game. Potential prizes include

  • Cash
  • Products
  • Services
  • A discount on your products or services 

I strongly advise against using a cash prize for your giveaway. While money makes an excellent prize that draws in more new fans than the other options, the quality of the participants drops drastically.

For example, if you own a gardening shop and you’re hosting a contest, a prize consisting of a free gardening kit is likely to draw in consumers dedicated to your niche and who are highly likely to become future customers. On the other hand, if you offer a $50 dollar Amazon gift card, the contest’s participants are not likely to have an interest in gardening and are only participating in the contest for the cash prize. 

Products and services are ideal when you’re hosting a giveaway. For example, you may want to offer three months of free service if you’re creating a contest for your email marketing website. The people who enter your contest are likely to have a genuine interest in your niche. 

Discounts are excellent runner-up prizes. One smart tactic you can use is sending everyone who entered the contest but didn’t win a coupon worth 5% off your products or services. If there’s someone who has been on the fence, this type of gesture may very well be what encourages them to buy something from you.

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Create clear rules 

Next, let’s take a look at establishing rules for your contest. You have to set expectations for customers, so they understand

  • How to enter
  • The terms and conditions
  • The prize 

How do you want users to enter your contest? Can they use social media, contact forms or both? You have to decide how you want consumers to enter your giveaway so you can set the terms and conditions. For example, some businesses let consumers enter their contest twice if they use both the social media entry method and the contact form found on a company’s website. 

Your terms and conditions should specify the length of the contest. Research shows that the best way to gain traction and sales with your giveaway is to let it run for 25 to 60 days.

Terms should also spell out what consumers need to do to enter your contest. Some businesses create forms that ask for necessary information like the email address and name of the individual, which will help build your email list. Other companies encourage users to share their posts on social media and tag their friends for a chance to win. In this case, both methods can be beneficial for growing your email list and improving your sales. 

Always make sure you’re crystal clear about the prize. Consumers don’t like it when things are overly complicated and unclear. We advise including both a picture, if applicable, and the name of the prize in your copy. 

Promoting your contest

Finally, you have to promote your contest. There are several ideas you should consider if you’re just getting started with contests. Create a blog post where you announce the event. An article about the new contest will give consumers an easy way to read and reference the rules. 

Your email list is jampacked with all of your biggest fans. It’s always a good idea to create an email campaign to announce and promote your contest.

If your most dedicated audience is aware of the giveaway, they are more likely to enter and promote the event on social media. 

Speaking of social media, promoting your giveaway through your social channels is one of the best ways to see significant growth in your sales and conversions.

When you set up your rules, you likely decided how many friends a consumer has to tag in your post. Depending on the number you choose, you could see rapid growth overnight. If you require followers to tag five friends to enter, and each of those five friends participates, you’ve just exposed your brand to over 30 people. As this effect multiplies, so will your sales and growth. 


Giveaways are a great way to engage with your audience and give back to the community that has helped you flourish. In the process, you’ll obtain new leads that may be interested in your products and services, which translates to more sales. 

Every contest is a little different, depending on your niche. Make sure you take the time to pick prizes that are relevant to your customers. The more relevant the award, the stronger every lead from the contest becomes. It’s better to have 100 leads that are interested in your product than 500 who are only interested in a prize. Plus, offering a relevant prize helps cement your brand identity and lets new consumers know what to expect from your business in the future. 

After you create and promote your giveaway,  track your Google Analytics and social media stats. The statistics will help you figure out which methods are working and how you can deliver a better experience to your customers. When you combine this information, you’ll get a good idea of just how effective giveaway campaigns can be for your small business.

Image Credit:

GaudiLab/ Getty Images

Thomas Griffin
I'm president and CTO of OptinMonster, a powerful lead generation tool that's installed in over 700,000 websites.