Heading into the holiday season last year, one of my clients was looking for a way to grow their subscriber list quickly while standing out from the crowd. To do so, they implemented a holiday sweepstakes, offering subscribers a chance to win a $5,000 shopping spree. The pop-up offer, along with two other email captures, netted 15,284 new subscribers over a 47-day period. Sweepstakes ExampleOf the new subscribers gained during that period, 84% (12,900 subscribers) were a direct result of the sweepstakes offer. That’s a staggering 274 subscribers each day! The campaign produced a 394% lift in growth rate, and the client has used this tactic again this year with a similar offer that is already yielding great results.

Why was the campaign so successful?

The client followed some best practices when implementing the sweepstakes, such as:
  • Allowing existing subscribers to join the promotion.
  • Offering a high-value prize that was relevant to their niche audience.
  • Offering a prize with a price tag.
  • Dedicating a welcome message to registrants immediately after sign-up.
  • Following up with messaging around the winner’s story
  • Including a special thank you offer to everyone who didn’t win.
In addition to these tips, I’d like to recommend a few other strategies to help make your sweepstakes campaign successful.

Promote the Contest on Social

If your business has Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social media accounts, be sure to share it on those platforms. Include a link to the sign-up page to encourage those fans and followers to become email subscribers.

Include a Banner on Your Site

Use your website to promote your contest to people who are clearly in your target market and interested in your company. In addition to a pop-up, try a scrolling header bar to grab visitors’ attention and drive entries.

Email Your Subscribers

Your email subscribers are some of the most engaged and accessible advocates. Send out an email campaign notifying your current subscribers of the contest. Although you might already have their email address, if you’ve established a great premise and prize, then chances are they’ll share their entry over social networks and help get the submissions flowing.

Accept Text-to-Join Entries for In-Store Sign-Ups

Segment these subscribers to monitor their click behavior, email engagement and purchase history, and continue to target them with strong offers and relevant content.

Don’t Mislead Your Audience

While contests and sweepstakes can be very effective ways to collect email addresses and grow your list, they can also damage your brand and your reputation if not done correctly. When planning a sweepstakes campaign, be sure to follow these best practices for email deliverability and list management as outlined by Bronto Director of Deliverability Chris Kolbenschlag. Sweepstakes campaigns are a great way to generate interest in your brand, engage with customers and attract new subscribers to your list. When planned well, they can really give your program a boost around the holidays or at other times throughout the year. Happy planning!